Today's 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. 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 show 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 a 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. Gigabyte as such is offering a product that looks and feels high-end with the WindForce 3X cooler and then added a very significant 105 MHz faster clock frequency. Overall a very impressive product.
With the reference cards having a base-clock at 980 MHz, being factory clocked to 1046 MHz the magic is to be found in the boost clock as with that factory tweak the GPU all of a 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, being that the GPU is continously hovering in the 1100 MHz range during gaming. I'm still talking 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 57 FPS at 19x12 and that's nearly equal to the GeForce GTX 680. So while this product might have two shader clusters less, the performance really remains exceptionally good and especially once the dynamic clock aka turbo kicks in.
Gigabyte again applied their WindForce 3x solution and I remain a fan (no pun intended). This revision is a slim dual-slot solution and I think it just looks great. The PCB this round however follows the reference though as it's been baked, fried and served at the Gigabyte factory alright. The downside, its PCB color is blue, and I've been saying for a long time now... they need change that color to black for all their products. Then the cooler in its all black design combined with the PCB, overall it is great looking. Combine it with the three silent fans and it's a good looking package alright. Great looking and very sturdy I must state as well, and again we spot a metal plate at the top of the card so it cannot bend whilst mounted horizontally in your chassis.
As you have been able to see in our test sessions, the cooler does its job really well. With the WindForce 3x cooler the GPU will get great cooling power thrown at it. As a result the 'official' temperature target might remain at 80 degrees C, but we have never seen the card with this kind of cooler pass 60 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 all 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 reaches its power target of 160 Watts. And if you wonder about noise, you can hardly hear this card, which is lovely.
The GeForce GTX 760 edition as tested today shows roughly 150 to 160 Watts 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 into the graphics arena as a mid-range product, but comes with a high-end class GPU that has been limited a bit.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 WindForce 3x OC in most scenarios may be 10% slower than the GTX 680, but the factory clock combined with that high boost frequency brings it close to that GTX 680 every now and then alright. 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 well 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 Codemaster's Grid 2 at high quality and 4xAA is still oozing out 57 FPS there. Or what about Hitman Absolution with 54 FPS at 1920x1200 High quality and 2xMSAA? At these resolutions the GeForce GTX 760 offers just a plentiful gaming experience with image quality that you can only get on a PC.
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% due to two disabled SMX clusters (each with 192 shader processor). But with plenty of memory bandwith and the ROP engine left intact, the GeForce GTX 760 remains serious business. The reality is 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, the example today is the Gigabyte version. Armed with the WindForce 3x cooler and a really serious factory overclock this product closes in on 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
Honestly, that is a lot of card for the money.
We really like the card as tested from Gigabyte, it's plenty fast enough for any modern game, it's silent all the way, it has a massive factory overclock and even has room left to get the boost clock in the 1250 to 1300 MHz range. Combine that with the more than excellent cooling performance and you realize fast that Gigabyte again has a winner on their hands. All facts combined and considered make this a mighty fine offering that you should seriously consider if you are in the market for a nice graphics upgrade. Highly recommended. You can search for this product under SKU code GV-N760OC-2GD. Take good note of the OC in there, as there will likely be a regular;y clocked version as well.
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