The GTX 980 puts on an impressive show, but it doesn't come cheap. The 980 is set to retail for $549 in the US, and £429 in the UK. That's quite a bit cheaper than the $700 launch price of the 780 Ti and the $649 launch price of the 780, but both cards go for quite a bit less money these days. While the 980 costs substantially more than an AMD R9 290X in the UK, in the US at least, it's around the same price. Frankly, the 980 is a superior product to the R9 290X, and if you've got the choice, it's the GPU to go for. It's fast, cool, elegantly designed, and as quiet as you like under load.
980 looks good, but the 970 is the holy crap GPU.
The 970 when overclocked, and the word is they both are massive overclockers, can get passed the stock 980.
Since it can get passed the stock 980, the 970, is actually faster then a stock 780ti when overclocked. Which also makes it a $329-369 card that easily beats a OG Titan.
Plus all that great new tech, that not only makes the quality of the graphical output better, but the new features it has the other don't, and won't be able to use, make it the reason to own one of these card.
Now some of the stuff MAY get ported back to earlier 600 and 700 series models, but much of it won't. Also the 900 series was built for this stuff, which means the older cards are going to chug when trying to do the newer stuff. So expect the lead to widen of the 970 and 980 here in late 2014, 2015, and 2016 compared to the 780ti and earlier. These are going to fall back as the newer cards can easily assimilate the new processes, whereas the older cards don't have that reserve and will chug harder because of it.
The 970 is $329-369, depending on what version you get. It is the spiritual, and value successor to the the GTX 670.
I thought I would wait for 20nm, but that isn't going to happen. There will likely not be a 20nm solution. These are the cards you will buy through 2016, unless you get a ultra high end titan of some sort, or a lower 960. Don't expect a 20nm version to crop up, EVER. Not for Nvidia OR ATI.
You'll need to wait until the 16nm with FinFet comes out. The bombshell news is, there will be NO 20nm solutions for ATI OR NVidia. Read this bombshell article, and you'll see why. You know those 20nm troubles by TSMC? It's far worse then you've been told. 20nm is going to be for low power products, like phone chips, and that's it. Global Foundries can't do it either. Only Intel can for their chips, because they used FinFet at 22nm.
There will be no high power 20nm solution. You're going to have to wait until they have 16nm FinFet ready. Now we know why Nvidia massively reshuffled everything. TSMC and Global foundries majorly screwed up.
So you might as well buy the 970 or 980, or maybe wait for a slight re-spin a year from now, though something in me thinks they are going to wait for their mainstream line until 16nm FinFet. There will be no 20nm improvement right around the corner, because GPU's are skipping 20nm. It provides no benefit, and TSMC aren't even making it. Global Foundries too.
If you want higher, they'll bring out a new Titan. That's what I think.
16nm with FinFet is the next one, and we'll have to wait until that to get a proper node progression. When is that 2016? 2017?
Whenever it comes, it sure and the hell won't be $329-369 either.
With the GTX 670 started to chug, plus the performance, features, and price of the 970, and no 20nm hitting any ATI or Nvidia GPU's, needing to wait until 16nm FinFet, I pulled the trigger on a $339 EVGA ACX turbo boost 1317mhz edition from Newegg and it'll arrive on Tuesday.