You know, once I first noticed the specs of the GeForce GTX 780 I was a little worries that NVIDIA disabled one SMX too many. Well, that proofs me wrong as the GTX 780 is a surprisingly fast card, I really want to say exceptional here. We had a great time testing this one GPU, but as you know we'll be showing SLI scaling and multi-monitor (5760x1080) game performance in another article as well. Coming from a GeForce GTX 680 you can expect a good 25% more performance and looking down from a GeForce GTX Titan, the performance difference is only roughly 10%. My main concern remains pricing though as the GTX 780 will be priced a good notch above the GeForce GTX 680, but sure overall you gain from the new looks, sheer silence and performance increase.
For the the Kepler based graphics cards Nvidia applies their new TLC package, considering it's gonna be an expensive GPU to bake, they really wanted to do everything right. And that certainly shows, the looks remain terrific similar to the GTX 690 and Titan really. The GeForce GTX logo on top some might dislike, it surely doesn't bother me though and that see-through Plexiglas in the cooler makes it look quite nice. So I think everybody will agree with me it's just a great looking and very sturdy product.
Cooling & Noise Levels
The cooling itself really, you can't complain about. New are of course the temperature targets that Nvidia is using. The default setting for this will be 80 degrees C, which Nvidia feels is a nice balance in-between performance, power consumption and temperature. Most of you would however prefer something a little lower. You can obviously change the temperature target of the fan RPM yourself. But at 80 degrees C and at that level the noise levels are just fine. Really, with one card installed you are absolutely fine. In idle you barely can hear the cooling solution and under stress, well you can hear some airflow and that's it. Perfectly fine would sum it up well.
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.
GeForce GTX 780 in most scenarios will be 10% slower than the GTX Titan, comparing towards GTX 680 it seems 25% 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 54 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 opnly 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 can take 1100 MHz fairly easily really, and at that stage you added another 10% performance already. Our tweak made the GPU run at 1150-1175 MHz depending on temperature, power draw and load. For a 7 Billion transistor en-counting product that is just amazing stuff really.
Let's wrap this review up as you'll need to browse a SLI article as well! The GeForce GTX 780 is an astonishing piece 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 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 MSRP pricing for the GeForce GTX 780 is EUR 539.00 excl. VAT (US $649 incl. VAT / GBP £549 incl. VAT).
Combined with sheer silence and the overall brute performance to play any game to date with the very best image quality settings and high monitor resolutions the GeForce GTX 780 is a no-brainer no matter how you look at it. Especially since its so much cheaper then a Titan. We again take our hats off and bow to Nvidia on a mission accomplished. Well done!
Don't forget to check out our other GeForce GTX 780 content & related downloads.
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