Face the facts, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti all by itself in a reference design, is already a kick-ass product. So once Nvidia's board partners start improving on the design, things only get better. The EVGA SC ACX model offers two pretty nice pluses over the reference models, the first being the factory overclock and the second being that ACX cooler. Now noise level wise, there is very little difference in-between the reference cooler and the ACX cooler, however... the ACX cooler has far better cooling overall as the temperature under gaming or computing stress for this graphics card remains at roughly 65 Degrees C, and that's very noteworthy. The end result is a graphics card that is a notch faster then the GeForce GTX Titan for far less money. Speaking about money, the suggested retail price of the GeForce GTX 780 Ti is set at 699 USD. In the EU based on VAT differences that would boil down to roughly 650 EUR. And sure, a lot of money, but considering the Titan still sells in the 800~900 EUR range this product actually makes sense. The biggest differences in-between the Titan and the GTX 780 Ti are twofold, obviously 3GB graphics memory will save some cost for NVIDIA. That said, with Ultra HD gaming becoming a big thing we do feel that cards of this caliber should have gotten 4 GB of memory at the last. Even with BF4 in UHD / Ultra 4xMSAA we already are filling that framebuffer close to 3GB. Future games will get UHD texture packs and I foresee that 3GB utilization will be breached. The second difference in-between Titan and GTX 780 Ti is Double Precision. Titan will remain the product to get if youy are computing a lot, you get full DP on it whilst the GTX 780 and 780 Ti will run DP in a 1:24 ratio. But that's not a troublesome factor for gaming whatsoever though.
But yeah, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti all by itself in its reference design is already supah-sexy, this EVGA SC ACX edition however is just terrific!
EVGA applied their ACX cooler - I have no hard stats on it, but I expect it to be a 450 Watt revision cooling solution. The design is rather slim and it fits a dual-slot design. Overall it is not the most flashy looking cooler but sure it just looks great in a black interior black PC. With two subtle and relatively silent fans the aesthetics are just fine. Taste and thus aesthetics however are subjective thing of course.
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 80 degrees C, but we have never seen the card pass (give or take) 65 Degrees. And I do want to remind you here that the card is factory clocked on the GPU core with all the 2880 Shader processors activated. 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. Noise it all is okay really. You can hear some airflow, but that's it.
Not bad, the card is still rated at as having a 250 Watt TDP, we measure that to be a little higher though, roughly 260 to 265 Watts (under full stress). But at this performance level, that is absolutely okay. 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.
GeForce GTX 780 Ti in most scenarios will be 5 to 10% faster than the GTX Titan, comparing towards GTX 680 it seems 40% 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. Gaming you must do with a nice 30" monitor of course, at 2560x1440/1600. I mean Battlefield 4 at Ultra quality is still oozing out 65+ FPS there. Or what about Hitman Absolution with 65+ FPS at 2560x1440 High quality and 2xMSAA? At these resolutions the GeForce GTX 780 Ti offers just a phenomenal gaming experience with image quality that you can only see on a PC.
The card is already clocked for you at 1006 MHz (875 = reference clock)) and boosting to 1071 MHz. This GPU can take 1150 MHz fairly easily really, and at that stage you added another 10% performance already. Our tweak made the GPU run at 1100-1150 MHz whilst boosting over 1200 Mhz (depending on temperature, power draw and load). For a 7.1 Billion transistor en-counting product that is just amazing stuff really. Now we have not applied any voltage tweaking at this stage, this 2880 Shader processor card at a boost frequency of 1200~1250 MHz this way only consumes 15 Watts more with a tweak done this way, nice huh. With additional voltage tweaking we have no doubt you'll pass the 1300 MHz marker, but the power limiters on recent NVIDIA graphics cards are restrictive and a tricky thing.
The GeForce GTX 780 Ti is a powerhouse of technology. Silky 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 severe chunk faster compared to the GeForce GTX 680 and the Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition. Direct competition is of course the R9 290X from AMD, up-to 2560x1440 the GTX 780 Ti, mostly wins. At Ultra HD levels the cards get closer to each other though. The MSRP pricing for the GeForce GTX 780 Ti is EUR 579.00 excl. VAT (US $699 incl. VAT), meaning roughly 650 EUR incl VAT in the EU. Since prices already dropped a little products like the EVGA SC ACX edition will be priced similar to these numbers. EVGA shows a 729 USD pricetag for this product on their website. I have not found a EU price just yet.
If you choose the ACX edition, then you are in for a real treat. It's not at all noisy and runs at Titan or faster like performance. Next to that there still remains to be room left for tweaking. Overall the product is just VERY impressive and has great looks. As such we reward the EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti SC ACX edition with our top pick award, well deserved. Our sample is the 03G-P4-2884-KR SKU and you will receive three years warranty with it. Keep in mind that EVGA has amongst the best of the industry after-sales but also that you'll see a little more value as EVGA bundles the card with Batman Arkham Origins + Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag + Splinter Cell Blacklist and EVGA also bundles in Deadfall Adventures (launched on 15 November), Painkiller Hell & Damnation, and Rise of the Triad for free.
If you are interested, we have a GeForce GTX 780 Ti SLI article as well, read that over here.
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