GPUBoss Review Our evaluation of 980 vs 690 among Desktop GPUs


Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite and 21 more


T-Rex, Manhattan, Cloud Gate Factor, Sky Diver Factor and 1 more


Face Detection, Ocean Surface Simulation and 3 more

Performance per Watt

Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite and 32 more


Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite and 32 more

Noise and Power

TDP, Idle Power Consumption, Load Power Consumption and 2 more


Overall Score

Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 

GPUBoss recommends the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980  based on its noise and power.

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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of GeForce GTX 980

Reasons to consider the
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980

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Higher clock speed 1,127 MHz vs 915 MHz Around 25% higher clock speed
Higher effective memory clock speed 7,012 MHz vs 6,008 MHz More than 15% higher effective memory clock speed
Better 3DMark vantage graphics score 44,693 vs 41,180 Around 10% better 3DMark vantage graphics score
Higher pixel rate 77.82 GPixel/s vs 58.56 GPixel/s Around 35% higher pixel rate
Higher turbo clock speed 1,216 MHz vs 1,019 MHz Around 20% higher turbo clock speed
Higher memory clock speed 1,753 MHz vs 1,502 MHz More than 15% higher memory clock speed
Slightly better fire strike factor score 76.57 vs 71.92 More than 5% better fire strike factor score
Much lower TDP 165W vs 300W 45% lower TDP
Higher crysis 3 framerate 58.3 vs 53 Around 10% higher crysis 3 framerate
Front view of GeForce GTX 690

Reasons to consider the
Nvidia GeForce GTX 690

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Is dual GPU Yes vs No About half of graphics cards are dual GPU
Much better 3DMark06 score 30,360 vs 17,512 Around 75% better 3DMark06 score
Much higher memory bandwidth 384.6 GB/s vs 224.4 GB/s More than 70% higher memory bandwidth
Many more texture mapping units 256 vs 128 Twice as many texture mapping units
Significantly higher texture rate 234.2 GTexel/s vs 155.6 GTexel/s More than 50% higher texture rate
Significantly more shading units 3,072 vs 2,048 1024 more shading units
Better floating-point performance 5,621.8 GFLOPS vs 4,981 GFLOPS Around 15% better floating-point performance
Much wider memory bus 512 bit vs 256 bit 2x wider memory bus

Benchmarks Real world tests of GeForce GTX 980 vs 690

3DMark Vantage Graphics Industry standard benchmark that tests DirectX 10 GPU performance

3DMark06 Industry standard benchmark that tests DirectX 9 GPU performance

Fire Strike Factor Data courtesy FutureMark

Sky Diver Factor Data courtesy FutureMark

Cloud Gate Factor Data courtesy FutureMark

Battlefield 4

Crysis 3

Reviews Word on the street


Showing 25 comments.
I had both of cards it's very similar in performance but 690 take a lot of power 300 and many users don't have 650+ psu to run it as well 2x pin 8 and 980 got better directX 12
Not true when you are talking about dx9 the 690 spanks the shit out of the 980 ;')
You are dead wrong the full 4gb is accessible when running in single gpu mode or when the other gpu is idle its how the card was written two interlinked 2gb vram modules same as putting in two 2gb ram cards its accessable as 4gb vram however when running in sli it has to adress the space to both gpus limiting the amount of data that can be stored
Actually this is untrue they both have access to the full 4gb however they have to allocate it to 2gb because even though they display the same things and c alculations each gpu needs a copy to render itself so they take turns using the 4gb vram and in reality limit it to 2gb or less because each gpu must have a copy lame I know and also doesnt make sense why it cant load it onto the vram and then allow the software to tic toc the data like dx 12 that will solve this problem
I am curious if the Gtx 690 will again wipe the floor with a gtx 980 in dx12 what I think would be Epic is to get a HD 7990 an 690 or Hd 7990 and gtx 980 8gb and see how the ram is allocated
Actually you can acess all $gb at the same time the problem is it tries to seperate the data to send to both processors faulty design should have had 8gb or at least 6 or 7gb if it was 8gb it would handily smoke a 980 probably even a ti but this is Nvidia and Amd we are talking about they could make a card to end all cards right now and use a Intel chip as the processor however they focus on this Gpu war that is quite sad Hopefully Hbm2 is more hopeful then Hbm1 and It would be nice to see in Dual gpu cards direct access to al the memory
if it is newer tech why do the 300 refreshed cards in 2011 from Amd still beat and keep up with nvidia's 900 series cards smh.... the 690 has a bigger memory bus it is going to win regardless and if all the ram was acessible it would beat the 980 big time which may happen in dx12. a 690 goes used for $300-$400 anyway. we are comparing a $1000 gpu to a $500 one
The 980 is better plain and simple . Please realize it is newer tech nd more memory SLI = 1000.00 or less and it woill totally destroy 690 sorry but the numbers dont lie
power consumption<performance
brian <3 we meet again. i agree the 690 is the winner, it is a $1000 gpu vs a $500 one, and it is a dual one. it should curb stomp the 980 any day, only reason why it sucks is because you can't access all 4gb of ram, in dx12 it may change who knows. but still it is better overall, kind of sad they do this to make money
no it doesn't lol, these greedy owners just want to make more money by selling the 980's. the 690 is a immense dual gpu vs a single one, the only reason why it loses to the 980 is becuase you can't access all 4gb vram on it, in dx12 it may change and beat the 980, since all gtx 600's cards and up are dx12 compatible. keep in mind this a $1000 gpu to a $500 one, in games that don't need all that vram it wins, plus it has more cuda cores and bigger memory bus
The 980 wins all day some people really make laugh
Pllls gtx 980 has no 512 bit memory bus this site is a piece of crap and btw 690 beats the double floating point performance for those who want to make renderings or mining is better the 690
Even when you disable one gpu, you can't use the 4gb vram on gpu1. It is still limited to 2gb since the is no direct link between the second gb of vram.
1.5times more cores for the 690. 23.1% faster clock speed for 980 + 35% architecture improvement for 980 - On paper the 980 should be approx 10% faster in compute & in not very demanding games but once you add SLI inefficiencies the gap would grow. In games that use alot of textures the 690 would pull ahead though 62.5% more texture performance. The 690 may be hurt by it's VRAM though.
yet nvidias website says the 980 is better than the 690..... you people are so close minded. You apparently dont understand how efficient maxwell is
Thank you very much. I will wait...even though it's tempting :D I play guild wars 2 and WoW which are games that are oldish in some ways but still demanding, in a huge cluster zerg of 100 people my 690 GTX only has 20 FPS in very high population areas, I'm sure someday when I wait for an 8 GB GTX 980 card that I will have better performance in those settings.
Well, I have to say that I disagree with you. Therefore, in the Nvidia control panel you can disable one GPU and assign the other GPU exclusively on physics, or simply leave it disabled. When you do that, the whole 4GB of vram is used by the GPU1 while the GPU2 idles until physics are required. I have tested it in AC Unity, and this makes a great difference. Two GPUs jerky gameplay, one GPU4GBVRAM+Physics GPU fluid gameplay. Try it by yourself...
No you only have 2gb of VRAM. Your 690 has two separate GPU's inside and they both take it in turns to display a frame. So GPU number 1 displays a frame , then GPU number 2 displays the next frame , then GPU 1 displays a frame and then GPU displays the next frame and on and on in this fashion. So if both GPU's are working on the same data taking it in turns to draw a frame that means that both banks of 2gb has to have the same graphics data in memory. Does that make sense mate?. Essentially you have two GPU's working on the same thing at the same time taking it in turns to render a frame. For example if you were running a game at say 60fps and only had one GPU then only one GPU would render all 60fps. You have two GPU's and the take it in turns to render a frame. So GPU 1 renders a frame and then GPU 2 renders a frame and so on. So both GPU's have the same graphics data in VRAM and that's why the amount of memory doesn't double. The 980ti may cost more, or it could fit into the price that 980 currently costs while 980 gets reduced. When the 780 came out it was priced the same as 680 was at launch and the 680 was rebranded as 770 and reduced in price At the very least you should be waiting on the 8gb cards because if you eventually plan to get two you don't ever want to be in the position of having enough raw power to run games but not enough GDDR5 VRAM. See 4gb is enough for a single 980 because chances are that it will run out of raw power before VRAM , or to put it another way, when graphics need more than 4gb of VRAM they will be so demanding that a single 980 wouldn't run them fast enough even if it had more VRAM. However, if you buy two 980's you will have doubled your performance but will still only have 4gb of VRAM so when graphics start to need more than 4gb you will have enough raw power due to having two GPU's , but not enough VRAM. So you should wait at least until the 8gb versions of the 980's launch as they are coming soon and it will mean that you will have 8gb of VRAM which should be enough to maximise the performance from two cards. Does that make sense?. In short, 4gb is enough for one GPU because by the time games need more than 4gb the settings that need more than 4gb will also need a more powerful card than 980. However, if you buy two 980's you will have enough raw power to run the settings that need more than 4gb of VRAM but you won't have more than 4gb of VRAM , so wait for the 8gb cards so that you have raw performance and enough VRAM. Also you know to disable SLI dual GPU when playing games that don't support dual GPU's right?. If a game doesn't support two GPU's you will get worse performance and stuttering, if this happens just disable dual GPU while playing that particular game. So yes, wait for the 8gb versions mate. Has this helped mate, feel free to ask if you need anymore help
The reason why the 690 doesn't work as a GPU with 4gb of VRAM is because both GPU's are working on the same data at the same time so both GPU's 2gb's of VRAM has to have the exact same data in it as each card takes it in turns to render a frame. That's why it doesn't stack up to 4gb. Does that make sense as I am not the best at explaining things in text?. :) So if both cards are taking it in turns to draw a frame that means that the data in both cards has to be the same so you don't get 4gb of VRAM but your bandwidth doubles. I think you should hold off for as long as you can as there is always something better around the corner mate. As you know the 8gb 980's are on the way but so is the "big" Maxwell card . The 980 is the direct replacement for 680 but the direct replacement for 780 hasn't launched yet so I suggest you wait for that one mate. Oh and I am very sorry it has taken 8 days to respond to this as I didn't know it was you that had replied Most modern games are creeping over 2gb of GDDR5 at 2560x1440p so it is coming to the end of it's life at max settings at that resolution but you should hold off for another while mate. I hope this helped?
the 690 may have 4gb total vram, but it only can use 2gb of that. it's 2 gb per card, not 4 gb shared. each card is unable to access the vram of the other.
Thanks for the reply. Sorry it took long to get back. I run a 2560x1980 ultra wide 21:9 monitor. Where I'm confused is my card in total is 4GB Vram and the 980 is one card with 4GB Vram. Most games I play support sli so I am curious as to how the 980's 4GB Vram is better than the 690's 4GB total Vram. I am playing Far Cry 4 on 2560x1080 Ultra settings and my GPU-Z is saying I'm running 95% of my card and at 90 degrees Celcius. My dad is willing to buy my card for 450$ to help me out recover some cash so I can go and get a 980 if I choose to do so. The plan in the future would be to buy a second 980. I will tough it out a few more months and see if 980 8GB ti come out. That would be great but likely more expensive than a standard 980 right?
I am sorry I cannot advise you on Battlefield4 mate as I don't play that. Assassins Creed Unity is going to be VRAM hungry so you would benefit from the extra 2gb of VRAM the 980 has for a frame buffer. I haven't had my 980 long but already I have played games with settings that the 690 wouldn't manage, Shadow of Mordor for example was meant to require 6gb of GDDR5 for ultra textures but I am running the game with ultra textures @ 90fps. I know the 690 cannot manage ultra textures without poor stuttering so you can imagine any further games like that will cause issues. See , when I made the decision to buy the 980 I owned Watchdogs which ran very poorly which was blamed on 2gb frame buffer. Then Evil Within was meant to require 4gb of GDDR5 but it turns out that game is maxed out on a 2gb 750ti. So I think you should simply hold off for as long as possible as lots of big games coming up are fine running on a 2gb GPU. I know that 8gb versions of the 980 are on the way so you should either wait for those or the "big" Maxwell GM200 GPU. I think on the whole that the 980 is better than 690 as even nVIDIA said that 980 gives 2x the performance of 680. Now as you know SLI cards never give twice the performance of one GPU, at best it's 80% so the 980 will likely give better performance in most games but it's the extra 2gb of VRAM that will make the biggest difference/ Being really honest with you, I was really depressed and had lots of spare cash so needed something to cheer me up. I do think the 980 is better but maybe you should hold off for a little while longer mate. The only reason I commented was because people were saying the 980 was slower or weaker and I simply don't think that's true with my time testing with it. What resolution are you currently gaming at?. I would hold firm until a more worthy upgrade comes along, unless of course money isn't tight . I am sure Assassins Creed Unity will likely benefit from more than 2gb of GDDR5 but most other big games run fine on 2gb. So the 980 is an amazing card, I was playing older games like Resident Evil6 @ 4k resolution via DSR and the frame rate was 99fps yet the card was running really quiet. I normally hear my cards running at 1080p so I am impressed but I would hold off for a little while yet mate.
I have a GTX 690 4GB card and I'm tempted to get a GTX 980 hoping it's not a downgrade in performance in games such as Battlefield 4, World Of Warcraft, Skyrim, Assassin's Creed Unity. Do you know how the 980 does with those games compared to the GTX 690? likely in 3-4 months I'd pick up a second 980 to sli it. Or I might wait to see if they release a GTX 980 ti. Any thoughts?
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