NVIDIA GTX 760 Reviewccokeman - June 25, 2013
Category: Video Cards
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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 Introduction:
The last month has been pretty productive for NVIDIA as it launched the latest cards in its product stack, the GTX 780 and GTX 770, that drive gaming FPS to new levels. Add in the GTX Titan and the product stack available to the high end gamer looks pretty good. The mid range is still covered by the GTX 660, GTX 650 TI and GTX 650 while the upper end consists of the GTX 690, GTX Titan, GTX 770 and last but not least the GTX 780. The new GTX 760 is going to take the place of the GTX 660Ti in the line up and is supposed to be the last revision to the line for a while.
Coming to market at $249, the GTX 760 looks to be competitive with AMD's GHz Edition HD 7870 on the price points but comparing with the HD 7950 when it comes to performance. Delivering that performance is the latest revision of the GK104 Kepler core that is equipped with six SMX, 1152 CUDA cores, a 4x64-bit memory interface, and 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Clock speeds see a boost up 980MHz on the core with a GPU Boost 2.0 clock speed of 1033MHz. GDDR5 memory is pretty much standard over the last generation with modules rated for 1500MHz (6000MHz QDR) to go along with the same size 4x64-bit memory bus used on the GTX 680.
When you look at how far graphics cards have come, the three to four year upgrade cycle presents an incredible opportunity with the GTX 760. It offers up a significant upside in performance over prior generations such as the GTX 275 and GTX 560. Compared to a GTX 275 released four years ago, you can see an up to 200% boost in gaming performance at 1080 resolutions with the eye candy turned up with a 140% swing when coming from a GTX 560. On top of that you get access to the full NVIDIA tool box to allow you to enjoy the latest games to the fullest.
Let's see what kind of performance this card from NVIDIA delivers by comparison. At $249 its an interesting proposition.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 Closer Look:
The GTX 760 card I received was a pure reference card and was a bit of Deja vu. Pulled out of the packaging it looked exactly like a GTX 670 with the smaller PCB, cooling solution, and shroud. Measuring 9.5 inches in length, it will fit in just about any chassis on the market from full towers to Mini ITX builds. The GTX 760 uses a PCIe 3.0 16x interface to connect to the motherboard and features the latest revision of the GK104 Kepler core. The front side features a plastic shroud that directs airflow from the blower-style fan through the heat sink and out the I/O bracket. The back side of the black PCB has four of the eight memory ICs, with a bracket used to hold the cooling solution in place on the GK104 core. The top of the card features the GeForce GTX logo for that ideal brand identification through a clear side panel window.
Display connectivity includes a pair of DL-DVI ports, a single HDMI 1.4a port supporting audio over HDMI, and a full size DisplayPort that can support up to a 3+1 display surround setup. The back side of the GTX 760 is closed up tight with the back side of the card housing the cooling fan.
A pair of SLI bridge connections suggest that the GTX 760 can be used in a Tri-SLI configuration in a motherboard that supports three way SLI. Power is supplied to the GTX 760 via two PCIe power connections to provide the 170W TDP. A 500W power supply is recommended for use with a single GTX 760. Additional cards will increase the minimum size power supply needed.
The shroud comes off easily to show off the hybrid copper aluminum cooling solution. The heat sink is held in place with a total of four screws and is small by comparison to earlier revisions but should handle the heat load. A blower-style fan is used and is controlled with NVIDIA's adaptive fan controller that changes the perception of fan noise by controlling how and when the fan cycles up and down. A large aluminum heat sink is used to cool the VRM components with the airflow through the shroud.
NVIDIA's 28nm Kepler-based GK104 core is used to provide the muscle under the shroud. Equipped with 5.54 billion transistors, three or four GPCs housing six SMX (Streaming Multiprocessors) each with 192 CUDA cores for a total of 1152 on board the core. A total of 96 texture units and 32 ROPs along with a 512K shared L2 cache also share space in the Streaming multiprocessors. 2GB of GDDR5 memory from Hynix is used on the GTX 760 and is rated at 1500MHz (6000MHz QDR). NVIDIA improved the memory bandwidth on the GTX 760 by moving to a 4x64 memory bus to deliver 192.26 GB/s of memory bandwidth.
Gaming at 1920x1080 is the sweet spot that the GTX 760 was designed for. To deliver the best gaming experience your $250 can buy is the goal, so let's see how it delivers against this goal.