With the introduction of the GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970, NVIDIA’s product stack looks very similar to the way it did in 2012, in which performance-segment GK104 went into making the GTX 680 and GTX 670, positioned as high-end parts, thanks to higher performance relative to AMD’s high-end chips, at the time. Much like “Kepler” and GK104, “Maxwell” and GM204 boasts of leaps in performance-per-Watt, and overall performance. Those two, however, aren’t the only proposition of Maxwell. NVIDIA announced a bucket-list of innovations in consumer-graphics technologies, such as support for Microsoft’s next-generation DirectX 12 API, Dynamic Super Resolution, Multi-Frame Sampled AA, Voxel Global Illumination, and VR Direct. Such is NVIDIA’s confidence in the superiority of its “Maxwell” architecture, that it thinks a 28 nm chip with 165W TDP, can outperform “Kepler” based chips with 50 percent higher TDP, and on the same 28 nm process.
The GeForce GTX 980 hence, is NVIDIA’s newest high-end single-GPU graphics card, by possible virtue of its performance. It is priced at US $549, which is $100 cheaper than the GeForce GTX 780 at launch, but $50 more than the GTX 680, at its launch. The GeForce GTX 970, on the other hand is a high-performance offering, priced at $329. With the introduction of these two, NVIDIA announced discontinuation of the GeForce GTX 780 and GTX 770 from the product stack. The GTX 760 sees a price-cut that sends it down to $219. NVIDIA priced the GTX 980 to lock horns with AMD’s R9 290X, and the GTX 970, with the R9 290. Will they succeed?