Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream Review
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Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream Review

February 9th, 2015 Terry Leave a comment Go to comments



I’m usually a Gamer that is (reasonably) happy to play with components that are mid to high end, and have never been one to chase the best on the market at the time, instead being in favour of taking one step down in performance for the usually large step down in price.

With this in mind I am very much looking forward to trying out a monster high end graphics card in this review, and that card is the Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream. The card itself is geared up to perform well with the minimum of noise and temperature courtesy of Palit’s Jetstream technology, this allied with the numbers that we are all interested in and that is the Core Clock (1203 Mhz), the Boost Clock (1304 Mhz) and the Memory Clock (7200 Mhz) should provide me with some good performance. When compared to some other higher priced graphics cards out there, these numbers stack up very well, with the only possible downside I can see being the low(ish – by today’s standards) memory size of 4Gb, which might impact use at higher resolutions or with multiple monitors.


Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Box Front Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Box Back


This review sample of the Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream came in a rather nice, and rather large, predominately matt black box with writing picked out in gold. Immediately in sight is the Super Jetstream logo along with the memory size, the model of card and some of the standards it adheres to.

The back of the box provides a paragraph on the GTX 980 itself and its dominance in today’s market along with some pictures and sections of text describing the benefits of gaming with a GTX 980. Below all of this are small paragraphs describing some of the specifications of the card in various languages.


Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Inside Box Front Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Packaging


On opening the front cover of the box, you are presented with a view of the card and its dual fan Jetstream design, along with details of the technical aspects and features of the card. One of the main things to note here is the top right of the panel where you can see “Extremely Quiet”, “Overclocking Performance” and “Extremely Cool” due to the Jetstream technology of the dual fans rotating in opposite directions (more on that later!).

Once out of the box, you can see that the card is well packaged and well protected (although our review sample had cracked internal plastic packaging), here you can also see one of the accessories provided with the card, the DVI-Analogue Adapter. Underneath this plastic packaging there is a cardboard plate that hides the Manual and Driver Disc. There was no sign of the other accessory that should have been provided, that being a Power Cable, which I assume would be a Molex to PCIE adapter as often seen with Graphics Cards.

At the time of review the Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream is retailing for £419.99 at Overclockers UK and comes with a 2 year warranty.



courtesy of Palit

Memory Amount 4096MB
Memory Interface 256bit
Graphics Clock Base Clock : 1203MHz / Boost Clock : 1304MHz
Memory Clock 3600 MHz (DDR 7200 MHz)
CUDA Cores 2048
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 230.4
NVIDIA SLI-ready 2-way*
NVIDIA 3D Vision Ready
NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround Ready
NVIDIA PureVideo HD Technology
NVIDIA PhysX-ready
NVIDIA CUDA Technology
NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0
NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync
Microsoft DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.4
Bus Support PCI-E 3.0 x 16
Certified for Microsoft Windows 7
Certified for Microsoft Windows 8
Maximum Digital Resolution 4096×2160
Maximum VGA Resolution 2048×1536
Dual-Link DVI Yes
DisplayPort mini-DisplayPort x 3
Height 2.5 Slot
Board Length 280mm
PCB Width 280mm x 133mm
Graphics Card Power 180 W
Minimum Recommended System Power 500 W
Supplementary Power Connectors 6-pin X1 8-pin X1
Accessory Manual, Driver Disc, DVI-CRT Adapter, Power Cable

* Additional details available here


First Impressions


My first impressions of this card were very good. The styling is to my liking with all the right parts of the card picked out in a lovely red. I can see the alternate fan blades which leads me to believe that the fans will rotate in opposite directions (as part of the Jetstream feature) as well as the shape of the fan blades, they almost look like a jet engines fan blades… ;)


Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Angled


Taking a look at the front of the card we can see the two large Jetstream fans, behind which is a meaty looking heatsink. This card should stay nice and cool. At the outputs end of the card is a Jetstream logo.

The back of the card (like many graphics cards) is pretty unremarkable apart from the fact that it has a back plate offering some protection to the components on the back of the card.

Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Front Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Back


Looking at the bottom of the card (PCIE connector) there’s not alot to see, other than seeing just how deep that heatsink is (maybe a little too deep)…

The top of the card offers no flashy lit logos and simply declares that the card is from Palit. At the far end we see the main power sockets x1 6-pin and x1 8-pin.

Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Left Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Right

At the outputs end of the card we can see that the Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 offers connectivity for Dual-Link DVI, 3 x Mini-Display Port and one Mini-HDMI port. Note that if you want to run a 4K resolution (3840×2160) at 60Hz then you’re going to need to use either the DisplayPort output or HDMI. All these ports are located on one of the back plates the other used for venting heat from the card.

At the other end of the card you can see the end of the heatpipes embedded in that massive heatsink.

Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Outputs Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-End


Hardware Installation


Installation into our Test Rig‘s motherboard was incredibly easy. The Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 is long but not over long (at 280mm), and providing power was simple with just x1 6-pin and x1 8-pin power connections needed.

  • Test Rig Setup

  • Case Cooler Master HAF XB Power Supply Corsair Professional Series AX 760i
    Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer CPU Intel Core i5-4690K
    CPU Cooler Raijintek Themis RAM HyperX Savage 2400MHz 8GB Kit
    Graphics Card Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream SSD HyperX FURY 120GB


    Once seated inside the machine it became apparent just how suited to my motherboard this graphics card is with its colour being almost exactly the same as that used on the motherboard components (and in fact my RAM modules). On powering up the Rig we could also see the lighting that Palit has added behind the fans to give that extra little bit of flashiness (and we all love a bit of flashiness don’t we!)


    Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-In Case Full Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Installed Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-In Case Angled


    It was also at this point that I noticed something else, this card is oversized! Give Palit its due this card is described in the specifications as a 2.5 Slot card and they aren’t wrong. The card covers the neighbouring PCI-E slot on my motherboard totally so you may as well call this a 3 slot card. This needs to be noted and could cause problems if you have a very populated machine and need access to that neighbouring PCI-E slot.


    Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Oversized Angled Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Oversized


    I decided to evaluate this use of more than two slots by moving my Sound Blaster up the slots and mounting it as close as I could to the Palit. The results can be seen in the pictures below, there is some space between the cards, but not much, and this could potentially impact cooling on an SLI configured rig.


    Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Card Proximity Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-Card Proximity Angled


    Testing Methodology/Setup


    Our Test Rig was treated to a fresh install of Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit (Service Pack 1) with all associated drivers also installed. Nvidia Driver 347.25 was installed and used throughout testing.

    For testing purposes we use MSI Afterburner (here), to help us with our testing and overclocking.


  • Overclocking the Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream using MSI Afterburner (Version 4.1.0)

    Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream-O/C Settings Nvidia’s Boost Clock is a bit of a difficult thing to explain, but the bottom line is that it runs at whatever the best speed it can while trying to remain within its TDP, and all this whilst staying cool!.

    Via MSI Afterburner I raised the Power Limit to 125% (the maximum supported) overclocked the Core (Boost) Clock by a further 175MHz and overclocked the Memory Clock by a further 700MHz. The end result is a card with a theoretical Core Boost Clock of 1479MHz and a Memory Clock of 8600MHz. Of course (due to Nvidia GPU Boost 2.0) this Boost clock value will fluctuate (it did seem to be around 1529MHz), as the card is constantly balancing within its TDP. The key here is that the results of this overclocking is that the Palit will run faster.


    Hardware Performance


  • Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream – STOCK (Core: 1203MHz / Boost: 1304MHz / Mem: 7200MHz)
  • Benchmark Ambient Temperature Max GPU Temp Delta Temp Result
    Batman Arkham Origins 20.00 73.00 53.00 236.00 FPS (average)
    Tomb Raider 20.00 72.00 52.00 116.20 FPS (average)
    Metro Last Light 19.00 72.00 53.00 92.00 (average)
    UNiGiNE Heaven 19.00 72.00 53.00 1767
    3DMark (Fire Strike) 19.00 73.00 54.00 11127


  • Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream – OVERCLOCKED (Core: 1378MHz / Boost: 1479MHz / Mem: 8600MHz)
  • Benchmark Ambient Temperature Max GPU Temp Delta Temp Result
    Batman Arkham Origins 20.00 52.00 32.00 266.00 FPS (average)
    Tomb Raider 20.00 51.00 31.00 135.90 FPS (average)
    Metro Last Light 21.00 51.00 30.00 102.67 (average)
    UNiGiNE Heaven 21.00 53.00 32.00 2045
    3DMark (Fire Strike) 21.00 57.00 36.00 12647


    Comparative Test Results (at stock):

    NOTE: Please note that all of these benchmarks are valid and correct at the time of review and we do not use historical data. Each benchmark is re-run every time (against our Test Cards) for each new GPU review using the latest Drivers at that time. Therefore the scores may fluctuate between reviews as Driver optimizations come into play…


  • Batman Arkham Origins - Benchmark Settings
    Palit GEFORCE GTX 980
    Zotac GTX 980 AMP!
    Zotac GEFORCE GTX 970
    XFX 290X Black OC Edition
    XFX 280X Black OC Edition
    Zotac GTX 960 AMP!
    XFX 270X Black OC Edition
    Results measured in FPS (average)
  • Tomb Raider - Benchmark Settings
    Palit GEFORCE GTX 980
    Zotac GTX 980 AMP!
    Zotac GEFORCE GTX 970
    XFX 290X Black OC Edition
    XFX 280X Black OC Edition
    Zotac GTX 960 AMP!
    XFX 270X Black OC Edition
    Results measured in FPS (average)
  • Metro: Last Light - Benchmark Settings
    Palit GEFORCE GTX 980
    Zotac GTX 980 AMP!
    XFX 290X Black OC Edition
    Zotac GEFORCE GTX 970
    XFX 280X Black OC Edition
    Zotac GTX 960 AMP!
    XFX 270X Black OC Edition
    Results measured in FPS (average)
  • UNiGiNE Heaven 4.0 - Benchmark Settings
    Palit GEFORCE GTX 980
    Zotac GTX 980 AMP!
    XFX 290X Black OC Edition
    Zotac GEFORCE GTX 970
    XFX 280X Black OC Edition
    Zotac GTX 960 AMP!
    XFX 270X Black OC Edition
    Benchmark Results
  • 3DMARK (Firestrike)
  • 3DMark - Benchmark Settings
    Palit GEFORCE GTX 980
    Zotac GTX 980 AMP!
    XFX 290X Black OC Edition
    Zotac GEFORCE GTX 970
    XFX 280X Black OC Edition
    Zotac GTX 960 AMP!
    XFX 270X Black OC Edition
    Benchmark Results


    The Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 really shone in all of our benchmarks, even at stock speeds it topped all of our graphs in the tests performed. I mentioned the RAM size of the card earlier and this should be noted here. All of our benchmarks (currently) look at HD (1920×1080) Gaming which very much suits the lower memory size of the Palit, it should be considered that higher resolution gaming WILL use more RAM, although even when looking at 2560×1440 very few games (other than Shadow of Mordor) use more than 3GB RAM anyway! Although not having tried it myself I understand from a previous review by James that Shadow of Mordor on max settings @ 2560×1440 uses 4.7GB of VRAM.

    Overclocking the Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream was a bit of an eye opener to me. The ease at which I pushed the memory speed up was staggering and finally topping out at a whopping 700Mhz increase (equating to 8600Mhz memory clock speed). I was fully expecting stability issues at this speed but had evenings of gaming as well as multiple benchmark runs where the card just didn’t miss a beat! Some of these results are probably down to the Jetstream system that seemed to shift heat with ease even at these heady heights of overclocking, the card with the fans at 100% never went above 57 degrees and averaged out at about 53 degrees across the tests. Even with all this air moving around the noise levels were still what I consider reasonable with a figure of 60dbA. Putting all of this together you get the output reflected in the scores obtained from the benchmarks in an overclocked state.


    Final Thoughts


    Stunning! That’s the first word that comes to mind. The Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream was simply that, stunning.

    The design is great from a looks point of view with the only drawback being that 2.5 slot sizing. This could be a problem with some SLI setups, but if considered when purchasing and catered for shouldn’t be a real problem. The Jetstream fan system seems to work VERY well with the clockwise and counter-clockwise rotating fans shifting all that heat out of the card. The LEDs also look good, but may not be as obvious as a top plate lighted logo certainly if mounted in an upright tower case.

    The packaging provided was smart and perfectly adequate, with all the main pertinent info listed on the box front and back.

    Actually seeing the card out of the box for that first time is great, the colour is lovely and design quality very evident.

    One thing I MUST mention in this section is the overclocking potential I discovered in this card. I pushed the memory clocks to incredible levels with a 700Mhz increase, and the card handled it no trouble. I may have been lucky with the card provided, but I also think that this is down to that Jetstream design. Temperature can be one of an overclockers worse enemies and managing the temps really helps to get those clock speeds up. The Jetstream system allows this and its effectiveness can be seen in the temperatures produced during overclocking.

    The only other thing I need to mention I think is the memory. At 4Gb the Palit is in line with many other cards on the market, but falls behind others like the Titan Black. In normal use at reasonable resolutions (and with most games) this wouldn’t be a problem, but it might become more of an issue in the future and certainly may fall foul of higher specification multi monitor setups.

    To sum up, the Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream blew me away (almost literally with those fans), and performed fabulously. If you also consider that this card costs £419.99 (at time of writing), it has changed my attitude of “buy next level down” to “buy the best”. At this price level and this performance why would you not? The only downside of this card is that use of more than two slots and that has lost this card what would otherwise have been a Platinum award!



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    Overclockers UK

    Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream



    Design/Quality pcGameware awards the Palit GEFORCE GTX 980 Super Jetstream a Gold


    Many thanks to Palit for providing this sample for review


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