The GeForce GTX 780 all by itself in its reference design is already sexy, this Gigabyte WindForce 3x OC edition however is smokin' hot. Once you have it in your hands and look at it you can't stop smiling. It really is very VERY nice. 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 5% and we even have seen a win over Titan. That has everything to do with the factory clocks of this product versus power and temperature targets versus the dynamic Boost clock.
Gigabyte applied their WindForce 3x solution. This revision is a slim dual-slot solution and I think it just looks great. The PCB seems to be reference though, but the cooler in its all black design, the three subtle and silent fans, yeah it's a good looking package alright. Great looking and very sturdy I must state as well, there is a metal plate at the top of the card so it can not bend.
Cooling & Noise Levels
The NVIDIA reference coolers are great, but they follow the temperature target of 80 degrees C. With the WindForce 3x 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 68 Degrees ! 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 ... what noise ?
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.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 780 WindForce 3x OC 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 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 with the WindForce 3x cooler can take 1150 MHz fairly easily really, at that stage you added another 10% performance already. Our tweak made the GPU run at 1200 MHz depending on temperature, power draw and load. For a 7 Billion transistor en-counting product that is just amazing stuff really.
I've already stated in the GeForce GTX 780 reference review that the product 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).
If you opt the Gigabyte GTX 780 Windforce 3X OC edition, then you are in for a real treat. It's drop-dead silent and runs at Titan like performance (with small offsets here and there). Next to that there still remains to be room left for tweaking. Overall the product is just massively impressive and has great looks. As such we reward the Gigabyte GTX 780 Windforce 3X OC edition with our top pick award, well deserved. Nice job Gigabyte ! Once it is available in the stores then please be careful, there will be a normal and an OC edition, our sample is the GV-N780OC-3GD SKU.
Don't forget to check out our other GeForce GTX 780 content & related downloads.
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