As you guys know, the GeForce GTX 770 is a GeForce GTX 680 in disguise, and that overall, makes this a far less interesting release for many of you. Bare in mind though, the GeForce GTX 680 has been a real powerhouse in performance and to date can keep up in the high-end range of dedicated graphics cards. The reality of course for those that have purchased a GeForce GTX 680 or even 580, there's no reason to upgrade whatsoever. Overall you are looking at a performance differential of 10% in favor of the GTX 770. The GTX 770 is faster thanks to a higher standard clock and memory frequency. But it's the same performance as a slightly tweaked GTX 680. What will be interesting to see is how this GTX 770 is going to cannibalize the GTX 680 sales. All fact combined though do make me say this, it's a great card to get your gaming freak on.
Pricing, I just did a quick browse and looked at pricing with some price engines and the EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Superclocked with ACX Cooler will cost you roughly 435 EUR right now. That's steep alright, especially when you consider that the competition is offering custom cooled versions at the 375 EUR marker already.
EVGA applied their ACX cooler solution which dramatically improves cooling performance thanks to 40 percent more heatsink surface to cool with. As stated the PCB seems to be reference though, but the cooler in its all black design, the two subtle and silent fans, yeah it's a good looking package alright. The one thing I have to mention is that the top place of the cooler is made out of plastic and that does make the cooler look a tiny bit cheap, especially when you have had the NV reference cooler with that cool plexi see-through window. Regardless, it is a cool looking product alright.
Cooling and noise levels
As you have been able to see in our test sessions, the cooler does its job really well. With the ACX cooler the GPU will get 450W of cooling power thrown at it. As a result the 'official' temperature target might remain 80 degrees C, but we have never seen the card pass 70 Degrees. BTW unlike some other websites, we do not fire off pointless viral-like applications like Furmark to test temperatures. We simply log the temperatures during our benchmark sessions and take the highest recorded temperature. So with the low temperatures comes an added benefit, the dynamic clock frequency will go higher up to the point it reached its power target of 230 Watt. And if you wonder about noise, honestly you can hardly hear this card, which is great.
Again not bad, the card is rated at as having a 230 Watt TDP. That 250 Watt TDP will also make running multi-GPU solutions a bit easier. With two cards we think an 800 Watt PSU would be sufficient. So yeah, it's not great to have a GPU sucking up 230 Watt, but you'll agree with us that it could have been a lot worse, really. If you look at the dual-GPU based ARES II for example, that card alone draws 500 Watt / 250 Watt per GPU. So, perspective is the word I like you to keep in mind. Mind you that our measurements show that the card is just under 200 Watts of power consumption mostly (under stress).
EVGA's GeForce GTX 780 SC ACX in most scenarios will be 15% to 25% slower than the GTX 780, comparing towards GTX 680 it seems give or take 10% faster. Drivers wise we can't complain at all, we did not stumble into any issues. And with a single GPU there's no micro-stuttering (if that ever bothered you) and no multi-GPU driver issues to fight off. Performance wise really there's not one game that won't run seriously good at the very best image quality settings. The one title that is a little icky is Metro Last Light, just disable SSAA as the game already applies and enforces in-game AAA. Gaming you must do with a nice 30" monitor of course, at 2560x1440/1600. I mean Sleeping Dogs at high quality is still oozing out 88 FPS there. Or what about Hitman Absolution with 45 FPS at 1920x1200 High quality and 2xMSAA? At these resolutions the GeForce GTX 770 offers just a phenomenal gaming experience with image quality that you can only get on a PC.
Overclocking then, the overclock itself is impressive, however NVIDIAs power, temperature and voltage restrictions cause one massive issue that all board partners are fighting, they all clock roughly the same when tweaked. The threshold seems to be 1250 to 1300 MHz on the boost clock. The new boost modes can now be configured with temperature targets relative to maximum power draw and your GPU Core frequency offsets. Saying that I realize it's sounds complicated, but you'll have your things balanced out quite fast. This GPU can take 1250 MHz fairly easily really, and at that stage you added another 10% performance already (over reference GTX 770). We had great results allowing this card to run stable at just over 1280 MHz. It can vary per card a tiny bit, but not much.
The GeForce GTX 770 overall is a little weird, as the product tested really is all too familiar. Sure it has difference (improved) looks and cooling. But the heart of the GTX 770 is the GTX 680, combined with a small tweak on the base-clock clock frequency and memory it brings in a nice 10% gain in performance. The decisive factor obviously is going to be pricing. The performance of the GeForce GTX 770 is nothing to complain about. EVGA did a nice job with the card, the pricing however might be of a hindrance to sales as some of the competition (at the moment of writing) is up-to 60 EUR cheaper and that's quite a difference. The card does comes with factory higher clocks and the ACX cooler. You will receive 3 years warranty on the product, however bring in some extra cash and you can also opt in to an extended warranty program.
Overall the card is a real treat. It's silent and is closing in on the all new GTX 780. The higher factory clocks are nice and next to that there still remains to be room left for tweaking allowing this product to reach the 1250 to 1300 MHz fairly easily. We have no hesitation to recommend the product to you if you are in the market for a nice performance upgrade. Definitely recommended.
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