Pascal pushes down pricing on GeForce GTX 980 Ti, 980, and 970 graphics cards

In a bid to move inventory and renew interest in previous generation Maxwell cards, Nvidia and its hardware partners have cut the price of several previous generation graphics cards, including the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, GeForce GTX 980, and GeForce GTX 970.

Starting at the top, there was little reason to go out and purchase a GeForce GTX 980 Ti after Nvidia announced its first Pascal cards, the GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 with starting prices of $599 and $379, respectively. Both are faster than a Titan X, which itself beats the GeForce GTX 980 Ti by a smidgen. That being the case, it no longer made sense to pay in the neighborhood of $600 for a GeForce GTX 980 Ti, even if it was factory overclocked and custom cooled.

That's no longer the price point. The GeForce GTX 980 Ti is now selling on the street for closer to $450, depending on the model, with MSI's GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G Golden Edition going for $400 ($370 after rebate) before Newegg ran out of inventory. The best deal at the time of this writing is the Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB AMP! for $430, or if you're into the mail-in-rebate thing, MSI's GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G LE is selling for $410 after rebate.

There are several other SKUs priced less than $500, including models from Asus, EVGA, and Gigabyte. They all sport custom coolers and other enthusiast amenities, but is it enough of a price drop to choose one over a GeForce GTX 1070? In most cases, no. The exceptions are:

  • You have to buy a graphics card now and can't find a GeForce GTX 1070 in stock.
  • You already own a GeForce GTX 980 Ti and want to add a second (or third) for SLI.
  • You need the additional CUDA cores, as might be the case in a workstation setup using consumer cards.

Everyone else is better off waiting for stores to receive stock of the GeForce GTX 1070.

Nvidia and its partners also cut pricing on the GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 970. The GeForce GTX 980 now starts at around $380 on Newegg, or $370 after rebate, but it's also a bad deal compared to the GeForce GTX 1070. 

As for the GeForce GTX 970, it can be had for as low as $240, or $220 after rebate, along with several options under $280.  It meets the requirements for VR gaming and isn't cannibalized by Pascal (not yet, anyway), though it's worth pointing out that AMD recently announced its first Polaris card, the Radeon RX 480 for $199. That one will launch to retail on June 29 and is likely to be a hot seller.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).