Eagle-eyed readers may already have caught sight of the EVGA GeForce GTX 970Superclocked (SC) ACX 2.0 graphics card that includes a free EVGA backplate

Priced at £274.99 the original SC version's 1,190MHz core and 1,317MHz average boost speeds provide a significant in-game performance uplift over a bog standard card.

This enhanced GeForce GTX 970 SC, known as 04G-P4-2974-KR, features the same elevated core clocks and standard memory speed as its short-lived predecessor but is equipped with a newer, more efficient cooler. 

Improved cooling, power and I/O

In detail, EVGA is upgrading this GTX 970's cooling by using a full-coverage memory and MOSFET cooling plate (MMCP) rather than the partial plate found on the last-generation For the Win (FTW) card. Such a move is claimed to reduce memory temperature by 14 per cent and, probably more relevant to the overclocker, keep the hot-running VRM MOSFETs 48 per cent cooler than on the same card bereft of MMCP technology.

Value and performance

 Further, EVGA says as far as high performance graphics cards go the GeForce GTX 970 is one of the best value cards around. NVIDIA has combined its latest Maxwell graphics technology with 4GB of video memory to easily power your HD monitors. The efficient EVGA GTX 970 Superclocked ACX 2.0 can offer excellent gaming performance for an affordable price. The Free EVGA Graphics Card Backplate Reinforces the PCB of the product, Helps to protect fragile components from getting damaged, Adds a clean look to the GTX 970 SC Graphics Card, Features logo and model wording, helps reduce heat by 3°C

A backplate acts like a backbone on your card, boosting rigidity by providing extra support to the PCB, protecting critical components, reducing GPU temperatures, and most of all, it looks great!

Throwing down the gauntlet

A perusal of other manufacturers' factory-overclocked GTX 970s reveals that EVGA would offer segment-leading performance and value for a package backed by a transferable three-year warranty and free backplate.

Palit, Gigabyte, Asus, Zotac, MSI, et al., are sure to take notice of EVGA's aggressive stance with respect to the GeForce GTX 970 GPU. We can but hope that such a move will renew competition that ultimately benefits the consumer.

Nvidia's GeForce GTX 970 GPU provides the base for our favourite high-end graphics cards of 2015. Keen on value and high on performance, relatively speaking, EVGA appears to be making the most of it with the Superclocked version that includes the PCB backplate for extra cooling.