MSI GTX 770 N770 TF 2GD5/OC Reviewccokeman - May 30, 2013
Category: Video Cards
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MSI GTX 770 Gaming Introduction:
We just looked at NVIDIA's latest video card the GTX 780 that proved it was indeed a chip off the old GTX Titan block. It delivered performance that, well, was shocking at the $649 price point. You basically got performance metrics that were closer to the GTX Titan than the GTX 680 the GTX 780 is replacing. Well here we go with phase two of the NVIDIA summer launch right before Computex with the introduction of the GTX 770. While the GTX 570 and GTX 670 have both been and are still quite viable as high performance video cards, there comes a time when the latest games demand more firepower under the cooling solution. For that reason we see updates to the video card offerings from the AMD AND NVIDIA camps. The performance up tick offered by the GTX 770 over the GTX 570 is a massive 65% boost while the improvement over the GTX 670 is a more modest 22%. NVIDIA sees these gains by using the GK104 core with eight SMX, 1536 CUDA cores, a 4x 64-bit memory controller, base and boost clock speeds of 1046 and 1085MHz, respectively, and to top it all off GDDR5 memory that runs at a data rate of 7010MHz.
While there are going to be plenty of GTX 770 reference cards sold by the AIB partners, each were given the go ahead for some real custom works of art that feature improved PCBs, voltage regulation systems, and more efficient cooling solutions. One such card is the one I have here today from MSI: the GTX 770 Gaming edition. The base line specifications take the best that NVIDIA has to offer and ups the ante by boosting the base/boost clock speeds up to 1098MHz/1150MHz while keeping the memory at its default 7010MHz (QDR). If the performance of this card is not enough out of the box MSI offers a performance plateau one level up from this the GTX 770 "Lightning".
The clock speed increases are going to offer up some improved gaming FPS metrics but the addition of the Twin Frozr IV cooling solution is going to drive cooling to another level for improved GPU Boost 2.0 clock speeds using dual propeller blade fans and Airflow Control Technology. Military class IV VRM component selection includes Tantalum core Hi-C caps, new SFC Chokes, and solid aluminum core capacitors that meet MIL-STD-810G. Everyone that has not lived under a rock for the past few years is familiar with MSI's Afterburner GPU tuning utility. The latest builds have added Predator, a screen capture and recording utility that adds value.
With the Gaming series GPUs, MSI has put together a much simpler utility for the masses that prefer the install and go mindset. Called Gaming App, this utility lets the user flip between three modes without having to know what settings to change. Sweet and simple. So where does all this feed into and what does it mean? MSI has put a focus on the gamer with its "G.A.M.E." spirit. Let's see if the philosophy holds up under some gaming tests to see if MSI has brought enough to the table.
MSI GTX 770 Gaming Closer Look:
MSI has had a dynamic shift in the packaging it uses now with its Gaming series hardware. Instead of the whites and blues of days past you get a red and black graphic with the Gaming series badge to the right and a tribal dragon graphic on the left. At the bottom left is an indicator that this is a factory overclocked version of the MSI GTX 770 and it is equipped with MSI's own Twin Frozr cooling solution. On the back side of the package MSI illustrates the main feature set as it applies to the gamer and how best to use the GTX 770 with its supplied utilities such as the Gaming App and Predator (a part of MSI's Afterburner utility). Also discussed are the benefits of the Twin Frozr cooling solution that to be honest are not far off the mark. MSI's Military Class 4 construction is used with components that meet or exceed the MIL-STD-810G rating. Parts such as Hi-C Caps, Super Ferrite chokes, and aluminum solid capacitors all team together to improve stability, efficiency, and longevity.
Inside the sleeve is a black box that holds the GTX 770 Gaming as well as the accessory bundle. The black theme continues through the packaging. There are two layers with the accessories in a separate box to prevent any loose parts from causing damage in transit. The card is secured in foam on all four sides. The accessory bundle MSI supplies includes a pair of 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe power adapters, a DVI to VGA adapter, Quick installation guide, and a driver and utility disk. Here is where you will find the Gaming App, MSI's Afterburner utility, and other included software.
Just looking at the packaging it's interesting to see the direction that MSI is taking to cater to the gamer. The G. (Gaming APP) A. (Advanced Thermal Design) M. (Military Class Components) E. (Experience) philosophy is indicative of this.