Obviously the reference design of the GTX 780 already is very sweet, in fact EVGA is using a reference board (PCB) yet decided that the reference cooler was not good enough. There is room for improvement shows alright, as the new ACX cooler keeps this product chilled down under 65 Degrees C, and that is impressive when you consider the shreer performance combined with this factory faster clocked product. Overall, the GTX 780 is a surprisingly fast card, I really want to say exceptional here. Much like we stated in our reference review, we had a great time testing this graphics card. Coming from a GeForce GTX 680 you can expect a good 30% more performance and looking down from a GeForce GTX Titan, the performance difference is only roughly less then 3% and we even have seen a win or two over Titan. That has everything to do with the factory clocks of this product versus power and temperature targets versus the dynamic Boost clock.
EVGA applied their new ACX cooler solution which dramatically imrpoves cooling performance thanks to 40 percent more heatsink surface to coolwith. 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 plaxi see-through window. Regardless, it is a cool looking product alright.
Cooling & Noise Levels
The NVIDIA reference coolers are great, but they follow the temperature target of 80 degrees C. With the ACX cooler the GPU will get 450W of cooling power thrown at it. As a result the temperature target might remain at roughly 65 degrees C, we have never seen the card pass 63 Degrees though. An added benefit of that is that the dynamic clock frequency will go higher up to the point it reached its power target. So this is why the card is so close and sometimes a small notch faster then the GTX Titan.
And if you wonder about noise ... it's so little that I do not even want to mention is. So you are good there.
Again not bad, the card is rated at as having a 250 Watt TDP, we measure pretty much 230 Watts. From the top of my head that's slightly below the number as GeForce GTX 580 had a two years ago. Compared to that product you have nearly double the performance at the same wattage. That 250 Watt TDP also will make running multi-GPU solutions a bit more easy. With two card we think an 800 Watt PSU would be sufficient. So while it's not great to have a GPU sucking up 250 Watt 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.
EVGA's GeForce GTX 780 SC ACX in most scenarios will be 5% to 2% slower than the GTX Titan, comparing towards GTX 680 it seems 30% maybe 35% 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 67 FPS there. Or what about Hitman Absolution with 55 FPS at 2560x1440 High quality and 2xMSAA? At these resolutions the GeForce GTX 780 offers just a phenomenal gaming experience with image quality that you can only get on a PC.
With the release of Titan and now the GTX 780 a thing or two have changed, the new boost modes now also can 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 with the ACX cooler can take 1200 MHz fairly easily really, at that stage you added another 10% performance already. Our tweak made the GPU run at 1256 MHz depending on temperature, power draw and load. For a complex GPU like this that freuqency is amazing in our eyes.
Smooth and fluid framerates is what you'll get thanks to the tremendous horsepower at hand. It does so while hardly making any noise and with dynamically adjustable temperatures you can decide yourself how hot your GPU may run. The card is a nice chunk faster compared to the GeForce GTX 680 and the Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition. Compared to equivalent multi-GPU products that dynamic changes though but I'm not even certain if we should compare to that. The SC edition with ACX cooling will however be a notch more expensive and we have seen it listed for €689,00 on EVGA's EU website.
The card is very silent and runs at Titan like performance. Next to that there still remains to be room left for tweaking. Overall the product is just incredibly impressive and has great looks. With EVGA also comes great after-sales and upgrade programs, be sure to check out their website and see what options are available to you in your region. We reward the EVGA's GeForce GTX 780 SC ACX edition with our top pick award, well deserved. Once it is available in the stores then please be careful, there will be a several SKUs based on the GTX 780, our sample is the 03G-P4-2784-KR SKU.
Don't forget to check out our other GeForce GTX 780 content & related downloads.
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