The new gaming series graphics cards was obviously released to mix and match gaming series motherboards. And admittedly, there's nothing wrong with that. The GTX 770 gaming edition has great looks, is a sturdy build, has nice cooling and sure, offers great performance. Here again the fact remains that the GeForce GTX 770 is a GeForce GTX 680 in disguise, and that, overall, makes this a far less interesting release for many of you. The harsh reality of course for those that have purchased a GeForce GTX 680 or even 580, there's no reason to upgrade whatsoever. Overall you are looking at a performance differential of 10% in favor of the GTX 770. The GTX 770 is faster thanks to a higher standard clock and memory frequency. But it's the same performance as a slightly tweaked GTX 680. What will be interesting to see is how this GTX 770 is going to cannibalize the GTX 680 sales. All fact combined though do make me say this, it's a great card to get your gaming freak on.
Pricing, it's just lovely, sure this is not a card with the fastest factory overclock (although it can overclock just as well manually), but is does come with the dual-slot Twin Frozr cooler series and looks just great. The card right now can be purchased for roughly 370 EUR, and that we feel is an exemplary price, as it is in the lowest regions for the GTX 770 (at the moment of writing.
MSI applied their TwinFrozr cooler solution which dramatically improves cooling performance. it is much better then reference cooling. Even better are the temperatures, we where hovering at give or take 70 Degrees C as highest logged entry after finishing up our entire benchmark suite.
Again not bad, the card is rated at as having a 230 Watt TDP. That 250 Watt TDP will also make running multi-GPU solutions a bit easier. With two cards we think an 800 Watt PSU would be sufficient. So yeah, it's not great to have a GPU sucking up 230 Watt, but you'll agree with us that 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. Mind you that our measurements show that the card is just under 200 Watts of power consumption mostly (under stress).
Oh, and you just know what would be the perfect motherboard for this card eh ? Yeah, the Z87 Gaming edition.
Pretty much all GeForce GTX 770 cards in most scenarios will be 15% to 25% slower than the GTX 780, comparing towards GTX 680 it seems give or take 10% 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 88 FPS there. Or what about Hitman Absolution with 45 FPS at 1920x1200 High quality and 2xMSAA? At these resolutions the GeForce GTX 770 offers just a phenomenal gaming experience with image quality that you can only get on a PC.
Overclocking then, the overclock itself is impressive, however and again I do keep repeating this NVIDIAs power, temperature and voltage restrictions cause the issue that all board partners are fighting, they all clock roughly the same when tweaked. The threshold seems to be 1250 to 1300 MHz on the boost clock. The new boost modes can now 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 1250 MHz fairly easily really, and at that stage you added another 10% performance already (over reference GTX 770). We had great results allowing this card to run stable at close to 1300 MHz. I'm not complaining here as that's a fantastic clock frequency, but its pretty much the same for all cards from all brands with any cooler.
The MSI GeForce GTX 770 is a hot in terms of price versus features versus performance. You'll receive a great looking card with better then reference cooling and as much tweakability as you'll need to get in the 1250~1300 MHz range. Combine that with a 370 EUR price tag and MSI simply has a winner in their hands. MSI did tweak the card a tiny bit for you, but it was close to nothing with I think it was 14 MHz, well .. regardless overall the card is a real treat, a small feast to have in your PC. It's silent and is closing in on the all new GTX 780. We have no hesitation to recommend the product to you if you are in the market for a nice performance upgrade. We feel the price-tag is very fair for a product of this statue, nice job MSI. Definitely recommended.
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