EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) Graphics Card Review

EVGA’s offering need no introduction despite its simple box design. The model here is one of their many GTX 970 offerings, one that’s at a lower price point and of lower speed.

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) Graphics Card Review

The card comes with EVGA’s signature dual-fan setup, nice black shroud with the word EVGA and GeForce GTX 970 on the upper and lower section of the shroud.

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) Graphics Card Review

At the top you see the fins of the heatsink, they’re not blocked in any way and on closer scrutiny you will see some hint of copper heatpipes. The card is powered by 6+8pin PCI-E connector, indicating that this GTX 970 is capable of drawing more power than many GTX 970 in the market.

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) Graphics Card Review

GTX 970 cards are often powered by just an 8-pin PCI-E, indicating around 225W max power draw. By having this configuration the card is theoretically capable of up to 300W power draw.

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) Graphics Card Review

The EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) is without backplate.

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) Graphics Card Review

Here’s the view from the bottom, again EVGA adopts a design that does not block heatsink fins.

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) Graphics Card Review

Below is the GPU-Z of the card

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) 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 EVGA GeForce GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) overclocks very well, I was able to pump 165Mhz to the core and 200Mhz to the memory, matching the speed of the FTW model.

Benchmarks

Unigine Heaven 4.0

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

Card1080p (avg)4K (avg)
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)53.813.8
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)5814.5
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo33.2N/A
Reference GTX 9806517

Metro Last Light

Heaven 4.0

Card1080p (avg)4K (avg)
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)8029
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)8531
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo55.0N/A
Reference GTX 9808833

Bioshock Infinite

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

Card1080p (avg)4K (avg)
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)11237
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)11739
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo75.04N/A
Reference GTX 98012343

Shadow of Mordor

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

Card1080p (avg)4K (avg)
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)7130
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)8633
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo46.62N/A
Reference GTX 9809238

Grand Theft Auto V

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

Card1080p (avg)4K (avg)
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)3727
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)4128
ASUS GTX 960 Turbo23.4N/A
Reference GTX 9804432

The overclocking made no difference on games like Shadow of Mordor, I suspect this is due to the VRAM limitation but as for the other games there’s a general increase in performance with the boost in core speed.

Temperature

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

CardIdle(°C)Load (°C)
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)4473
EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) Full RPM2857

The fan hovers at around 34% on AUTO settings where the audio level is acceptable and it will stop spinning once it hovers under 50°C.

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.

CardEVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF)
Furmark Burn-in272
Estimated Actual System Draw244
Estimated Card Power Draw184

The power draw seems a little higher than expected but I don’t think it’s a cause of concern, considering that Furmark tests pushes the card to draw more than what it usually does in typical benchmarks.

The Verdict

The EVGA GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ (REF) retails at RM 1599, it’s a very solid graphic card and with much overclocking headroom. I was able to match the speed to the FTW variant that costs RM 1,799 and once overclocked it comes very close to the GTX 980. The only thing it lacks is a backplate, not an issue unless you want something that looks more outstanding.

goldfries recommended

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