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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI Radeon R9 290X Gigabyte WindForce 3X OC Edition
Cyberpunk 2077 31% 12%
Assassins Creed: Valhalla 36% 3%
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War 29% 15%
Genshin Impact 30% 13%
eFootball PES 2021 65% 43%
Mafia: Definitive Edition 0% 62%
Watch Dogs Legion 33% 9%
FIFA 21 65% 43%
Marvel's Avengers 34% 7%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 38% 0%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the graphical capabilities of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI are significantly better than the AMD Radeon R9 290X Gigabyte WindForce 3X OC Edition.

The GTX 980 has a 86 MHz higher core clock speed and 80 more Texture Mapping Units than the R9 290X. This results in the GTX 980 providing 105.3 GTexel/s better texturing performance. This still holds weight but shader performance is generally more relevant, particularly since both of these GPUs support at least DirectX 10.

The GTX 980 has a 86 MHz higher core clock speed and 64 more Render Output Units than the R9 290X. This results in the GTX 980 providing 77.5 GPixel/s better pixeling performance. However, both GPUs support DirectX 9 or above, and pixeling performance is only really relevant when comparing older cards.

The GTX 980 was released less than a year after the R9 290X, and so they are likely to have similar driver support for optimizing performance when running the latest games.

Both GPUs exhibit very powerful performance, so it probably isn't worth upgrading from one to the other, as both are capable of running even the most demanding games at the highest settings.

The GTX 980 has 4096 MB more video memory than the R9 290X, so is likely to be much better at displaying game textures at higher resolutions. This is supported by the fact that the GTX 980 also has superior memory performance overall.

The GTX 980 has 128.8 GB/sec greater memory bandwidth than the R9 290X, which means that the memory performance of the GTX 980 is massively better than the R9 290X.

The GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI has 4096 Shader Processing Units and the Radeon R9 290X Gigabyte WindForce 3X OC Edition has 2816. However, the actual shader performance of the GTX 980 is 6724 and the actual shader performance of the R9 290X is 2489. The GTX 980 having 4235 better shader performance and an altogether better performance when taking into account other relevant data means that the GTX 980 delivers a massively smoother and more efficient experience when processing graphical data than the R9 290X.

The GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI requires 350 Watts to run and the Radeon R9 290X Gigabyte WindForce 3X OC Edition requires 290 Watts. We would recommend a PSU with at least 750 Watts for the GTX 980 and a PSU with at least 600 Watts for the R9 290X. The GTX 980 requires 60 Watts more than the R9 290X to run. The difference is significant enough that the GTX 980 may have an adverse affect on your yearly electricity bills in comparison to the R9 290X.

Game FPS Benchmarks On Ultra

GPU Architecture

Core Speed1126 MHzvs1040 MHz
Boost Clock1216 MHzvs-
ArchitectureMaxwell GM204-400-A1 (x2)GCN 1.1 Hawaii XT
OC Potential Fair vs Fair
Driver Support Great vs Great
Release Date19 Sep 2014vs01 Dec 2013
GPU LinkGD LinkGD Link

Resolution Performance

1366x768 - green tick vs green tick -
green tick vs green tick
green tick vs
green tick vs
green tick vs

GPU Memory

Memory8192 MBvs4096 MB
Memory Speed1753 MHzvs1250 MHz
Memory Bus512 Bitvs512 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5vsGDDR5
Memory Bandwidth448.8GB/secvs320GB/sec
L2 Cache 4096 KB green tick vs 1024 KB
Delta Color Compression yes vs no
Memory Performance 0% green tick vs green tick 0%

GPU Display

Shader Processing Units4096vs2816
Actual Shader Performance100%vs100%
Texture Mapping Units256vs176
Texture Rate288.3 GTexel/svs183 GTexel/s
Render Output Units128vs64
Pixel Rate144.1 GPixel/svs66.6 GPixel/s

GPU Outputs

Max Digital Resolution (WxH)4096x2160vs4096x2160
VGA Connections0vs0
DVI Connections1vs2
HDMI Connections1vs1
DisplayPort Connections-vs-

GPU Power Requirements

Max Power350 Wattsvs290 Watts
Recommended PSU750 Watts & 42 Ampsvs600 Watts

GPU Features

Shader Model5.0vs5.0
Open GL4.5vs4.4
Open CL-vs-
Notebook GPUnono

GPU Supporting Hardware

Recommended ProcessorIntel Core i7-5820K 6-Core 3.3GHzvsIntel Core i7-4770K 4-Core 3.5GHz
Recommended RAM16 GBvs8 GB
Maximum Recommended Gaming Resolution5760x1080vs2560x1440

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

GPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewOverview
GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI is a solution of two GeForce GTX 980 4GB put together using NVIDIA's SLI technology.

The Second variant of the Maxwell Architecture, despite being also manufactured with a 28nm technology, has an extremely large L2 Cache and features a Third Generation Delta Color Compression which allows NVIDIA to produce Graphics Cards with relatively small memory data transfer rates, without causing too much impact on the overall performance. Furthermore, the Shaders have been redesigned and are both more powerful and energy efficient.

It consists of 2 GPUs codenamed GM204-400-A1 which, together, offer 4096 Shader Processing Units, 256 TMUs and 128 ROPs, on a 512-bit memory interface of fast GDDR5. The central unit runs at 1126MHz and goes up to 1216MHz, in Turbo Mode, while the memory clock operates at 1753MHz.

Power Consumption
Power Consumption lies between 300W and 400W.

Gaming benchmarks prove that at 4K (3840x2160) GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI is over 7% faster than AMD's Radeon R9 295X2.

System Suggestions
We recommend a very strong processor (Intel Core i7 Six Core/AMD FX Eight Core) and 16GB of RAM for a system with GeForce GTX 980 4GB SLI.
Radeon R9 290X Gigabyte WindForce 3X OC Edition is a special edition of the high-end Radeon R9 290X.
This edition comes overclocked out of the box in the central unit which was increased from 1000MHz to 1040MHz. The memory clock was left untouched. Furthermore, the card comes with a custom triple fan solution which will reduce its temperature under load.
There are no benchmarks available but expect, at most, a 2% performance boost over the reference card.
Recommended CPU
Possible GPU Upgrades
GPU Variants