ASUS does what it can do best, and that is supplying the GTX 760 in a customized package. The DirectCU II cooling delivers good cooling temperatures whilst the oh-so-important noise factor is eliminated. The release of the GeForce GTX 760 really isn't something new in terms of technology. The GeForce GTX 760 is a GTX 680 GPU with two out of the 8 available shader processor clusters disabled. And from that point of view the release really is more of the same. The interesting thing however is that NVIDIA opened up this level of performance in a 'somewhat' mainstream performance segment. But at 249 USD the performance you gain from a product like this is really interesting. Traditionally a GeForce GTX 460/560/660 and now 760 series product is upper segment of mainstream and as this product shows us, it'll eat any game for breakfast and then for lunch and dinner as well. For the reference clocked products, you may expect slightly lower than GTX 670 performance. But with all board partner 'tweaked' products, add another 10% to the performance and all of the sudden these puppies sit in between the GTX 670 and 680 performance wise. The board partners have gone crazy and jumped all over the GeForce GTX 760 with multiple versions and custom cooled solutions.
With the reference cards having a base-clock at 980 MHz, being factory clocked to 1058 MHz the magic is to be found in the boost clock as at that factory tweak the GPU all of the sudden finds its turbo frequency well above 1100 MHz (when the power signature allows it to do so). But mostly that is what we noticed, that the GPU is continuously hovering in the 1100 MHz range during gaming. I'm still taking reference here okay ? Now a card like shown today with its factory tweak, well let me just say that it is absolutely golden for the guys and girls with a 1920x1080 and 1920x1200 range in monitor resolution, there's not a game out there that it can't deal with at this resolution. In Crysis 3 we end at an average of 41 FPS in 1920x1200 with Very High quality settings and that high resolution texture package and FXAA. Battlefield 3 is another example, with all eye candy opened up in game and again at 4xAA the card still pushes 56 FPS at 19x12 and that nearly equal to the GeForce GTX 680. So while this product might have two shader clusters less, the performance really remains exceptionally good and once the dynamic clock aka turbo kicks in.
So yeah, again the cooler is the icing on top of the cake. Realistically though, I have yet to see one board partner delivering a card with a bad cooler. It certainly is impressive to see where we have gotten over the years. The custom PCB results in a small size card, the PCB color is black and the cooler is stylishly done in black and red. What's not to like ? It's a good looking product in my honest opinion.
As you have been able to see in our test sessions, the cooler does its job well. The NVIDIA reference coolers are great, but they follow the temperature target of 80 degrees C. With the Direct CU II cooler however the GPU will get better cooling power at your disposal. As a result the temperature target might remain at roughly 66 degrees C. Now this is the highest recorded number based on our entire run of the software test suite. So we benchmarked all games and then noted down the hottest recorded temperature.
The GeForce GTX 760 edition as tested today shows roughly 160 Watt power consumption at peak utilization with a modern game. Honestly that is pretty good as well. Not far off from reference, of course. But remember the 760 is injected in the graphics arena as a mid-range product, but comes with a high-end class GPU that has been limited a bit.
Overclocking & perf
Typically with all cards you'll reach 1250~1300 MHz on the boost clock, if you know what you are doing overclocking wise. However with The power boost being temperature and power limited versus low temperatures ...this card reach 1280 MHz and that was stable. If only we'd have a little more GPU voltage at our disposal, we'd pass 1350 MHz, I'm sure of it. None the less, the overclock result of the ASUS card was quite sufficient. 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.
As much of a refresh as the GeForce GTX 760 really is, it is the end-result that counts. The product comes with a GTX 680 chip but was limited in performance by roughly 25% because of two disabled SMX clusters (each 192 Shaders processors). But with plenty of memory bandwidth and the ROP engine left in-tact the GeForce GTX 760 remains to be serious business. The reality remains that last year's most high-end GPU can now be bought at a much better price. The AIB partners from NVIDIA jumped on it, as example today the tested version. Armed with the updated cooler and a really serious factory overclock this product closes in at the GTX 670 and almost GTX 680 performance range. And no matter how you look at it, that is just a good deal for the money. Talking about money, these are the NVIDIA MSRPs (meaning over time you may expect lower prices):
EUR - 199 excl. VAT
GGBP - £209 incl. VAT
USD - $249 incl. VAT
The ASUS DCU2 cards always deliver. Admittedly the factory overclock could have been higher, especially when you look at the competition. However that was easily tweaked out as the DirectCU II cooler in combo with the custom PCB offers good tweakability. Combined with the very low noise levels, the temps, the looks and a factory tweak the GeForce GTX 760 DirectCU II card deserves our recommended award. For any gamer in the FullHD resolution region these cards offer great performance for the money.
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