Most recently, we have spent quite a massive amount of time among gamers and gaming equipment. The story ended with us reviewing different things including the best mechanical keyboards, SSD for gaming, 17-inch laptops, and other stuff. Now, we are looking at the best GTX 970.
As far as many people are concerned, graphics cards are just graphic cards. It is not that way in the serious gaming world where every single detail matters. Graphics cards are not just graphic cards, and that is why many people like us spend many days to separate them and people like you spend the time to sieve through.
Having a great video card is at the center of your gaming experience. In fact, if you call it the pulse of your gaming, you will be right.
After working on this review extensively, we have found that the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 is the best GTX 970 you can get. You cannot go wrong with it as it has great performance, good cooling system, and is able to serve right for 4K gaming.
If, however, you have a Mini-ITX motherboard, a better GTX 970 for you should be the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 OC. The card also delivers 4k and performs very well without putting much weight on your wallet.
Why You Should Trust Our Reviews
As earlier stated, we have spent some generous amount of time around gaming components. A substantial amount of time, however, has so far, been spent checking out and reviewing the GTX 970.
That is because even though there are not a million video cards in the market, most have many things in common and separating them isn’t the easiest of tasks.
To make the separation, we picked and tested mainly from those considered to be among the best in the market which come highly recommended. We also got the opinions of computer experts and hardcore gamers, as well as the opinions of those who have bought and used these cards.
With these, we were able to test and pick out those we believe are the greatest. Some of the core properties we looked at included: overall performance, thermal control, cooling system, build including properties such as memory types and capacity, clock speed, bit rates and finally, pricing.
What Are The Best GTX 970 Graphics Cards?
GTX 970 Content Maps
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970
EVGA GeForce GTX 970
ASUS STRIX GeForce GTX 970
MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 4GB XTREME GAMING OC EDITION
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970
PNY GeForce GTX 970
MSI ARMOR 2X GeForce GTX 970
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 G1 Gaming Edition
Gigabyte is not one of those companies that need to be introduced to heavy gamers and people who have used various computer components. The company has quite rightly paid its dues enough to gain the trust of the market with almost all its products.
Designed with the Flex display technology, the GeForce GTX 970 Overclocked is evidently one of the best GTX 970 to find its way into the market. It is a video card that brags of performance for gamers who are interested in running stainless 4K and full HD games.
More so, with a speed of 1149 MHz in OC Mode and 1278 MHz when boosted, this GPU doesn’t only come with the performance factor but also with beauty if you consider that it features a customizable LED light.
It is able to maintain cool temperatures even when you are overclocking. This is because of the WindForce cooler which is not only effective but also decently noiseless.
The cooler is designed with pure copper heat-pipes that function in accelerating heat dissipation thereby increasing the cooling function. It works together with the fan, which on its own is finely designed and built for effective air flow.
The card has 3 display ports as well as 1 HDMI port. It also has 2 DVI ports which means you can have as much as 6 displays simultaneously instead of 3 you get with most.
One thing you should consider before getting this card is the size of your case as the card is long so not all cases would be able to accommodate GPUs up to about 12.5 inches or longer. Your best bet is to check the specs for your case or any case you intend to buy. The specs should include a description of the maximum length of graphics card they can accommodate. You can check for ATX mid tower cases and above.
- Crazy overclocking ability even as it consumes low power.
- The card easily maintains its cool even under much pressure.
- It is aesthetically on point.
- Comes with backplates for durability and stability.
- Very good connectivity thanks to its 6 video outputs.
- Good price.
- Because it is longer than regular, it may not fit smaller cases.
This card is one that should be good for the ride. While on one hand, the overclocking is superb, on another, it keeps its cool. Another thing to note is that it has beauty to it and is very quiet. This is the one we would recommend for someone looking for a card that is complete in different ways.
EVGA GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card
EVGA has successfully established its place in the video card market after it became one of the first to give various options to gamers.
In fact, one of the best things about this very card is that it comes in different versions with little differences. This, however, doesn’t mean they are different; they just give you more options in cooling methods and clock speeds.
The EVGA GeForce GTX970 card comes with a 4G memory and has a memory bandwidth of 224.3 GB/s. More so, it comes with a speed of 7010 MHz.
With 1165MHz base clock, this GTX 970 goes even better than what you get with the reference card which goes at 1050MHz. The boost clock speed you get with it is 1317 MHz.
Even at that, it still maintains its cool thanks to the dual 87mm axial fans which has controlled power consumption and much less noise. EVGA said it has given more time to the fan power draw and blade quality to get you a lower temperature as the power consumption can get to 250% short of what the reference card gives.
What is more is that the noise can be controlled to go lower by as much as 36%. However, there is still some noise that you get with the card.
What we noticed was that for 1080p and 1440p gaming, this card performs very well. When you go 4K, however, it begins to slack a bit.
Finally, with the Precision X software, you will be able to achieve easy overclocking and be able to control and monitor various things including the voltage. Three years of warranty is what you get with this card.
- Good when it comes to overclocking.
- Excellent heat control
- It comes with different options for different people.
- Well managed power consumption
- One of the best in terms of value.
- Not the quietest on the list but there is option for noise control
- It is not the best for 4K.
This card is one of the best GTX 970 among serious gamers. With fantastic overclocking and good cooling system, this is a good one to go with. Nevertheless, we may not recommend it for someone who would make use of Ultra HD display, or most especially, 4K as it may not perform as good as it does with normal HD gaming but apart from that, it is a good run.
ASUS STRIX GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card
While Republic of Gamers has remained at the higher end of ASUS’s gaming components and the STRIX has remained very popular among mainstream gamers. Not just that, gaming enthusiasts have also patronized it overwhelmingly.
What the STRIX line is all about, is sharpness and swift response. With the STRIX GeForce GTX 970, the company has made a card that would give an enhanced performance with up to 114 MHz base clock and 1253 MHz Boost clock. More so, it features a 4GB GDDR5 RAM which has 7012 MHz memory clock.
Although that cannot be said to be the end of the world in performance, it still manages to offer a great output. But more than that, the ease with which you can have the card tweaked is impressive.
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That is thanks to the monitoring widget it is equipped with which shows you a real-time outcome of all your tweaks.
One of the best things with this card is the DirectCU II cooling technology it features. It was built with 10mm heat pipe which is very efficient in getting heat away from the GPU. Also, because of the build and fan technology which is 0db, it is extremely quiet even when you are playing graphics heavy games.
Overall, this piece comes well kitted with features that should pull when pulled and push when pushed.
- Good power consumption
- One of the best when it comes to silent performance.
- As claimed by ASUS, this is actually durable
- The pricing is very good.
- On both 1080p and 1440p monitor, you still get excellent gaming performance.
- Memory chips are not overclocked.
- Not best for 4K gaming.
Unless you are interested in 4K gaming, this is a card that is good to go in many ways. It is affordable, power efficient, good in performance, and a card that should serve for a rather long time. Do not expect, however, that you will get it any faster with overclocking, but it is better than the reference and for the price, it is a great bargain!
MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G
MSI could as well be the pendulum of gaming. Once you push anything about gaming, it always manages to return as MSI. They are there whether you push for Gaming motherboards, or mechanical keyboards, or SSD, or whatever.
Swinging the top GTX 970, the MSI 4G GeForce GTX 970 returns. The card offers great performance, good power control, and intelligent overclocking. This is coupled with its serious gaming looks.
The card features a 4GB of GDDR5 memory, just as the name suggests. With that, you get a memory speed of 7010 MHz. The GPU runs at a speed of 1,140MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,279MHz.
Looking at the overclocking potentials, there is an improvement from Nvidia’s reference GeForce GTX 970 version.
As regards the GM204 graphic processor it features, this card comes with the Twin Frozr V fan setup. What that does apart from cooling is ensuring that the cooling is silently done and we noticed that this ensures that you do not get unnecessary noise.
Another interesting thing about this card is that it does not consume too much power when it runs, requiring only 145w when compared to the reference version which consumes 230W of power.
Finally, it will suit you whether you are looking at Full HD or Ultra HD resolution gaming. Also, it is compatible with DirectX 12 which opens you up to greater graphics quality and gaming features that support Microsoft’s graphics API.
- Good overclocking performance
- It runs on 4 GB memory
- Good cooling system that is not noisy
- Decent power consumption
- Valuable purchase
- It doesn’t come with a backplate
This GTX 970 is one that enthusiastic gamers should easily bet upon. It comes with great performance, optimal temperature control, speed, and efficient power control. One thing to note is that it is not the cheapest you can get in the market, but it is a helluva valuable piece. Period!
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 4GB XTREME GAMING OC EDITION
Although not as popular as the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 overclocked, this is still a very powerful and great card. It is Gigabyte after all.
The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 4GB XTREME Gaming OC Edition has at its core, cool performance and generous factory overclocking.
With a DDR5 4GB RAM, you get up to 7100MHz memory speed. This comes better than the 7010MHz you get with ASUS STRIX GTX 970 which happens to be more expensive although better in other ways.
Also, when looking at the clocking, it has a base speed of 1190MHz and when on boost, you get to have a speed of 1342MHz.
For the cooling system, the card makes use of Gigabyte’s WINDFORCE 3X cooling system. With the composite copper heat pipes, bold fin technology, and its unique fan design, what you get is good cooling and low noise.
More so, there is the Triangle cool technology of Gigabyte to it. This technology has stood the company out for effective heat dissipation even when overclocking.
It comes with 1 DVIi port, 3 Display ports, as well as 1 HDMI2.0 card which means it is good for multi-display configuration which has become something most gamers are moving into.
This is quite easy to use as it lets you know through a blinking led light if your connection is not good, or a solid one if all is good.
- Has very good overclocking ability
- Top cooling performance and heat dissipation
- Intelligent build with great features.
- Quite easy to use.
- It is not one of the cheapest on the list.
One thing that places this video card above many others in the market is the speed it comes with. Also, it has general performance, great thermal control, and a good build. More than that, it is a piece that is made for someone who is looking for a piece that has generous overclocking performance.
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card
It will be surprising if you don’t know Zotac, but it will truly be understood since the company only came into mainstream gaming industry slightly more than 10 years ago. In as much as it is not as old as others, it has spread into different areas such as SSDs, Mini PCs, and other accessories.
Our eyes today, are on its card which is among the best GTX 970 when you consider its features and furnishing.
Before the Zotac GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Core Edition, the company had the GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Edition which although was a mad one in performance, was rather more bulky than most others. In fact, it occupied two PCI slots.
To solve the problem, the company didn’t only bring something more fitting with the Extreme Core Edition, but something even better.
At the core of Zotac, as will be agreed by people who have known the company for some time, are designs that are mostly trigger happy in a good way. It is same with this GPU even as the previous Extreme Edition failed in that aspect.
The performance of this video card takes a lane of its own by moving at a base clock speed of 1228MHz. When you decide to boost the clock speed, it can give up to 1380MHz. That is crazy, we must admit.
The card comes ready to give you 4K-quality gaming, and it has a 4 way SLI.
More than that, it comes with a 4GB GDDR5 RAM that affords you a speed of up to 7200MHz.
Powered by the NVIDIA Maxwell architecture, the card comes with a cooling system that is not what you get every day with its triple fan IceStorm technology. What this cooling system does is to ensure that there is proper heat transfer using the copper heat-pipes it features and increased cooling with its triple 90mm fans.
What is more to the cooling system is that there is also a very much controlled noise level.
- Great speed performance
- It is VR-ready
- Top notch cooling system
- There is no noise to it.
- The price is very good
- It is still considerably large.
For many people who have tried the Extreme Edition, there can hardly be a Zotac that will beat this. It is not only more fitting considering the size, but also in performance. This should definitely serve you right whether you want to upgrade your video card without having to cripple your wallet or you just need a GTX 970. It is a good piece at the end of it all.
PNY GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card
Another NVIDIA Maxwell architecture, the PNY GeForce GTX 970 is a card that has been designed with massive and heavy gaming in mind. A piece for real gaming enthusiasts.
From a company which has been around for over 30 years, you should expect this card to give you a good run for your gaming, and that is what it does.
Designed with a memory of 4GB GDDR5, it has a memory overclocking capability that pushes you up to 7,010 MHz, which happens to be what most give. For the general performance, it has a Core Clock performance of 1050 MHz even as the Boost Clock speed is placed at 1178 MHz.
3 SLI support, the card is great for highly demanding games. Although it is able to deliver 4K gaming even on 1080p displays, it doesn’t give the best when compared to Zotac GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Core Edition. This, however, is not to suggest that it does a dirty job.
For gaming experience, this video card does it in a very great way with features it comes with, including the Cone-Traced Global Illumination. What this does is to make for great illumination effect that improves shadows, transparency, and reflections.
More to the experience, the card supports NVIDIA G-SYNC technology which ensures that you get a smooth and freeze-free gaming. Other things about the video card is that it is CR ready and DirectX 12 Ready.
Finally, you can get to play games across 4 monitors for greater display concurrently.
- Top notch 1080p and 1440p gaming display
- Features for great gaming experience.
- Good overclocking potentials.
- The overall performance is on point.
- It has good thermal control.
- Not the best for 4K gaming
- It is not cheap
The PNY GeForce GTX 970 is a card that has returned very strong in 1080p and 1440p gaming. More so, for someone looking for speed, this should as well be able to provide something more than just ordinary.
MSI ARMOR 2X GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card
With the ARMOR 2X GeForce GTX 970, MSI has added another in the line of its cards that stress on performance on one hand and good thermal control on the other.
To agree with MSI and simply put, the card has a classy design without any complexities.
As regards the speed, the ARMOR 2X has a base speed of 1102 MHz and when on boost clock, the speed gets to 1241 MHz and for the 4GB GDDR5 memory it comes with, what you get is
7,010 MHz memory clock speed.
It makes use of a large heatsink which has many aluminum fins to help in dissipating heat from the GPU and ensure that your system remains cool. More so, you get good airflow thanks to the dual 10cm Propeller Blade fans it uses.
That being said, this doesn’t return as the best on the list when it comes to being the coolest. Still, it answers right if the question is on silent performance.
In as much as this card comes with performance in mind, it is designed to also be durable. That is the point behind MSI’s use of Military Class 4 components in the build, and we found that to work rather very well.
The card is both VR ready and DirectX 12 ready. This essentially means that you get better rendering than with most others as well as easier multitasking during your gaming and very good virtual reality gaming.
Finally, EVGA gives a 3-year warranty on this video graphics card.
- Good performance
- The card is silent.
- Great VR experience.
- Comes with a promise of durability.
- Quite on the expensive side.
Without any complex design, this is a card that has performance at its core while also centering on durability. Although you may not get it as the coolest when it comes to heat and temperature regulation, you will get one of the most silent gaming experiences. It doesn’t matter whether you are an enthusiast or the gamer who hardly knows where his pad is, this could as well serve if what you want is a strongly built and durable GTX 970.
Best GTX 970 For Mini ITX Motherboards
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 OC
If you are looking for a piece that is both Mini-ITX motherboard and casing compatible and fitting, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 OC may just be a great choice.
Powered by Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 GPU, this card gives you almost the same speed you get with many others on the list, even with its size. For the base speed, you are able to get up to 1076 MHz and a boosted clock speed of 1216MHz. Its 4 GB of DDR5 graphics memory comes with 7010 MHz standard clock which can get higher.
With a very effective cooling system, the card features a 90mm cooler that has unique fan blade design and the heat pipes are copper made so that heat can evenly be dissipated. More so, the heat dissipation is further enhanced by the company’s patented Triangle Cool technology which is able to reduce turbulence between fans.
Because it is a compact piece, it has one problem that most others have, and that is as regards the air flow. Hence, going with this will be best for someone with a good CPU fan.
Another interesting thing the card features is a flexible display. With this intelligent technology, you will be able to have up to 4 monitors connected simultaneously when gaming. More so, once you connect a monitor, the technology automatically detects it for easy configuration.
Finally, with the OC Guru II, the card is designed to be easy to use and friendly to tweak. Using the interface, you get to easily modify important settings and directly update the driver and BIOS. Things you can do include setting the clock speed as well as the fan speed.
- Compact piece for mini-itx case
- The performance is great all the way
- Low noise
- Friendly interface for ease of use and tweaking
- Good cooling system
- It is able to deliver 4k
- Not the best with airflow
- Not one you can use forever
But for its size, this piece is like most other GTX 970s with great performance. The card is designed to be able to give not only performance but convenience and ease of use as well. It has a good cooling system, even though the airflow could still be improved on. Once you are able to cough out what it demands at price, this should serve you quite rightly.
ASUS Graphics Cards Turbo-GTX970-OC-4GD5
The ASUS Graphics Cards Turbo-GTX970 card is one of those few that are quick to call attention to themselves as a result of their looks. With that, it is quite easy to either exaggerate how good they are, or how bad they are.
We would try to stick where we should, without moving with the exaggerations on either side.
With the looks of a model, the card comes with quite many features that are mostly amazing. The most pronounced of its features is the cooling system it brags of. This is even when most cards its size have problems taking out built up heat.
The cooling system is enhanced by the Dual-ball-bearing fan which while designed to last very long, is able to perform excellently well. This is because it allows for greater heat dissipation and ensures you get your GPU at the right temperature.
While you get 1088 MHz core clock, you can reach 1228 MHz while on boost. More so, with the 4GB memory, you get a memory speed of up to 7010 MHz.
Apart from optimal power management it offers, another great thing it features is the Xsplit GameCaster which helps you make necessary adjustments such as clock speed, voltages, as well as tuning graphics card how you want with your fan speed. This comes in both standard and advanced mode with more options.
- Great cooling performance
- The quality and build should definitely impress
- Has aesthetic value that pleases.
- Easy options for overclocking
- It is quite pricey
- Not the quietest.
This is easily the best GTX 970 for someone looking for a piece for compact Micro ATX or Mini ITX Systems. Now, this is not only about the fitting, but more about the performance it offers. Although not the best when you want the most noiseless of cards, it still performs great at heat regulation.
Even though the GTX 970 is not the latest in the market, it is not out of touch with the gaming world and gaming needs. Interestingly, it will not run out of steam completely anytime soon. Nevertheless, unless you are able to get yourself the best GTX 970 or a high performing one, time may soon catch up with you considering that modern games are now designed with many complexities.
On this list, we were able to collect some cards that are good enough for 4K gaming and some others that are able to take care of your mini-itx motherboards. There isn’t any
We recommend you go with any of these over most other GTX 970 in the market because they’ve been proven to give more than they take at the end of the day.
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