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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Review

ccokeman    -   November 7, 2013
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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Conclusion:

What we get with the GTX 780 Ti is the best of both worlds in what seems to be the melding of the GTX 780's raw graphics firepower coupled with the incredible memory speeds of the GTX 770. When you put these two together, you end up with great performance at stock speeds that only gets better with the massive overclocked speeds the card is capable of right out of the box. As far as overclocking goes, the GTX 780 Ti has delivered the highest core clock speed at 1291MHz and the second highest memory clock speed at 1920MHz that I have been able to reach while air cooled on a Kepler-based GPU. This added clock speed will provide the gamer that wants to tweak the clock speeds added head room on top of the guaranteed minimum frequencies we see with NVIDIA's GPU Boost 2.0 technology. A new power balancing feature is used to manage the current draw from the three inputs so as to not draw too much current from any of the three power connection points.

In my testing, a boost clock speed of 1291MHz was reached with a memory speed of 1940MHz for a stunning improvement in 3DMark scoring. The baseline clock speeds for the GTX 780 Ti are 875MHz on the core with a typical GPU Boost 2.0 frequency of around 928MHz over a wide array of games. During my testing, I never saw speeds drop below the 928MHz threshold. A much different strategy than what we recently saw with the R9 290X, which when run in Quiet Mode would shed clock speed as fast as donuts disappearing at the morning roll call at your local police department. No such troubles here. Both manufacturers use dynamic clock speeds, but it's how well it's implemented that makes the difference once the cards heat up during gaming. This is where we see another point of difference. The vapor chamber cooling solution used by NVIDIA for its GTX 700 Series Kepler cores has been rock solid in terms of cooling efficiency and the low noise profile it uses thanks to the improved fan algorithms implemented over successive launches. Part of the reason is the larger core, which provides more area to shed the heat load due to a lower thermal density of the silicon; the rest is all in the heat sink design. Cool and quiet running is where NVIDIA is headed.

When you look at the cooling comparison, the GTX 780 Ti is a cooler, quieter running card thanks to the more power efficient design. You really do not have a noise penalty when cranking up the fan speeds on the GTX 780 Ti – it's a noise that is more like a gust of wind than a squirrel screaming for mercy on a treadmill. You get the point, I'm sure.

The performance metrics show that running head to head against the R9 290X, the GTX 780 Ti comes out on top in most of the tests run. When run hot, the margin gets even larger. Sure the R9 290X wins some, but the vast majority see the latest from the green team coming out on top. We could see the writing on the wall with the launch of the GTX 780 – seeing how well it performed in relation to NVIDIA's GTX Titan and being truly stunned at what it had to offer. I have that same feeling now after testing the GTX 780 Ti, fully proving that the addition of the additional CUDA cores and high speed memory makes this the pinnacle of NVIDIA single-GPU gaming. If you need more gaming power for a 4K display, you have the option of adding in another card (or cards) in an SLI configuration to get to that next FPS plateau.

GeForce Experience was launched with the GTX 780 as a way to take all the performance settings data that NVIDIA has put together to deliver the best possible gaming experience by optimizing the in- game settings for your GPU. We all struggle at one time or another to reach that perfect combination of settings. Using GeForce Experience, it's now done for you if you choose to use the tool. Another part of GeForce Experience is ShadowPlay, which launched with the GTX 780 Ti and is a way to record 1080p gameplay at 60 FPS without a significant performance hit thanks to the H.264 video encoder built into the Kepler architecture.

There's no doubt the GTX 780 Ti is fast and delivers smooth-as-silk gameplay. At $699, it is taking over the price point of the GTX 780 and is still $300 less than the GTX Titan. To make this price point more attractive, NVIDIA is sweetening the pot from October 28 through December 31 if you buy a GTX 780 Ti. A trio of AAA game will be included from e-tailers, including Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist; all topped off with a voucher for $100 off an NVIDIA SHIELD. If you are looking for the next best thing, it's here and it's called the GTX 780 Ti.

Stay tuned we will be doing SLI vs CF coming here in the next two weeks or so.

 

Pros:

  • Performance
  • Good Looks
  • Overclocking
  • NVIDIA Technology
  • High Resolution Gaming
  • Low Noise
  • Cooling
  • Game Bundle
  • GeForce Experience
  • ShadowPlay

 

Cons:

  • None


 

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