ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition Graphics Card Review

I’m usually not bothered with the unboxing process because most product packaging aren’t special BUT the ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition is one heck of an exception because it really indeed is one stunning package.

ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition Graphics Card Review

The box art doesn’t seem to be spectacular but what’s is spectacular is the package itself, out of the box is yet another box – one with hard cover and texture. By now one would’ve felt the excitement build up.

ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition Graphics Card Review

Upon opening the box – wow, an ASUS gaming mouse pad with rough texture that covers the content from edge to edge.

ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition Graphics Card Review

Underneath the mouse pad lies the beautiful gold-colored GTX 980 from ASUS.

ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition Graphics Card Review

The card comes with
– DirectCU II with 0dB fan technology
– DIGI+ VRM and 14-phase Super Alloy Power: 30%-less power noise and 5X-greater durability.
– Japanese-made 10K black-metallic capacitors: Provide 5X longer lifetime and 20% better temperature endurance.
– Memory Defroster: Instant defrost. Say goodbye to cold bugs.
– Safe Mode: One-press VBIOS reload.
– Color-coded Load Indicator: At-a-glance GPU load level.

Here’s the view from the top.

ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition Graphics Card Review

The design is pretty unique, considering there’s a cutout on the PCB at the PCI-E connection area. The 20th Anniversary text on the shroud is there the color-coded load indicator is. It goes green on SAFE MODE, blue on low load, orange on medium and red on high load.

ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition Graphics Card Review

The ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition comes with gold colored backplate, a stunning looking one too with the ASUS | 20th Anniversary in huge typeface.

ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition Graphics Card Review

The view from the bottom shows the DirectCU II With 10mm Heatpipe in black coat.

ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition Graphics Card Review

Lastly the I/O ports. 1x DVI, 1x HDMI and 3x DisplayPort.

ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition Graphics Card Review

Here’s the GPU-Z for the card.

ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition Graphics Card Review

More details at the official product page.

Test Setup

ProcessorIntel Core i5-4670K
RAMAVEXIR Blitz 2x 4GB 1600Mhz DDR3
MotherboardASRock Z87 Extreme4
CoolerNZXT Kraken X31
MonitorDell UP3214Q
Power SupplyFSP AURUM S 700W
CasingNZXT S340
Operating SystemWindows 10 64bit

Overclocking

The ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition graphics card is already overclocked by default so I’ve only managed to push it a little, with 60Mhz on the core and 200Mhz on the memory.

Benchmarks

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Heaven 4.0
*NOTE : Details are set to maximum.
*NOTE : AA disabled in 4K test.

Card1080p (avg)4K (avg)
ASUS GTX 980 Anniversary70.818.3
ASUS GTX 980 Anniversary Overclocked74.119.3
Reference GTX 9806517
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)53.813.8
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo33.2N/A
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB56.315.2

Metro Last Light

Heaven 4.0

Card1080p (avg)4K (avg)
ASUS GTX 980 Anniversary90.6736.69
ASUS GTX 980 Anniversary Overclocked94.3338.33
Reference GTX 9808833
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)8029
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo55.0N/A
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB77.527

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite
Settings are at
2 – UltraDX11_DDOF | 2 – Custom | 1 – 16:9 | 4 – FullHD / 4K

Card1080p (avg)4K (avg)
ASUS GTX 980 Anniversary12945.95
ASUS GTX 980 Anniversary Overclocked133.4958.23
Reference GTX 98012343
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)11237
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo75.04N/A
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB11137.83

Shadow of Mordor

Heaven 4.0
Settings : Set to ULTRA, V-sync off.

Card1080p (avg)4K (avg)
ASUS GTX 980 Anniversary100.5140.65
ASUS GTX 980 Anniversary Overclocked105.2242.64
Reference GTX 9809238
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)7130
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo46.62N/A
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB91.738.71

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V
Settings : Every option to the MAX setting available.

Card1080p (avg)4K (avg)
ASUS GTX 980 Anniversary46.8833.10
ASUS GTX 980 Anniversary Overclocked50.2135.26
Reference GTX 9804432
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)3727
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo23.4N/A
PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB3931

To summarize – the performance is absolutely beautiful, especially when it’s comparable to the more expensive GTX 970 and in some games like Shadow of Mordor, the 8GB available to the R9 390 widens the performance gap!

Temperature

Furmark Burn-in Test was used to stress the card. Fan settings are at Auto. Room set to ~25c.

CardIdle(°C)Load (°C)
ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary4471
ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Full RPM2553

The fan hovers at around 38% on AUTO settings where the audio level.

Power Consumption

The stress was done with Furmark Burn-in Test. Power consumption reading was taken from the watt-meter, actual power draw by the entire system from the wall point. I’m using an FSP Aurum S 700W with 90% efficiency and the estimated system power draw (CPU, not including GPU) during Furmark test is 60w.

CardASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary
Furmark Burn-in312
Estimated Actual System Draw252
Estimated Card Power Draw226

226W is a very much higher power draw compared to Nvidia’s official specs with 162W, after having 2x 8pin PCI-E connector means this card could draw up to 375W.

The Verdict

The ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition Graphics Card retails at RM 3179 which is significantly higher than their STRIX variant at 2659, and the Poseidon and Matrix variants at RM 27xx range.

In terms of price to performance value, it certainly isn’t far from the ASUS GTX 980 Ti at RM 3599 that offers a lot more performance and when compared to the GTX 970, those cards provide around 80% to 90% of its performance and they’re only half the price!

Well before we brush this model of GTX 980 off – let’s not forget, it comes with 2x 8pin PCI-E connection, Memory Defroster and Safe mode – clearly this card was made for the overclocking enthusiasts, to be aim for the highest scores on 3D Mark for GTX 980 graphics card.

To sum it up, this card is not for the average user. It’s for one who wants to max out the GTX 980 and don’t mind breaking the bank and possibly losing an internal organ for that purpose.

goldfries recommended

goldfries rated this product :