Graphics Cards Guide

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 review

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 - A Watered-Down Titan?

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Overall rating 8.5/10
Performance:
9
Features:
8.5
Value:
8
THE GOOD
Massive improvement over GTX 680
Excellent all-round performance
Easy to overclock
Relatively quiet even at high fan speed
THE BAD
Expensive compared to previous generation GTX 680 at launch
Seen as playing second fiddle to the GTX Titan


Test Setup

Test Setup

For those who've been following our reviews, take note that we've replaced our old test rig with a brand new one for 2013. Here are the new specs we'll be running with:

  • Intel Core i7-3960X (3.3GHz)
  • ASUS P9X79 Pro (Intel X79 chipset) Motherboard
  • 4 x 2GB DDR3-1600 G.Skill Ripjaws Memory
  • Seagate 7200.10 200GB SATA hard drive (OS)
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 7200 RPM 1TB SATA hard drive (Benchmarks + Games)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Here's the list of cards we'll be testing.

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 320.18)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan 6GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 314.09)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 310.90)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 310.90)
  • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB GDDR5 (AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta) - OC BIOS

Note 1: There's a slight discrepancy in driver versions used across all the cards, but bear with us updating of benchmarks is an ongoing process, especially on our new test rig. Despite this, the differences shoudn't be alarming as they are fairly recent releases and still paint a reasonably accurate expectation of where the new card stands among the competition.

Note 2: In our performance testing, we left the default temperature ceiling at 80 degrees Celsius as most users would leave it as default. Only at our overclocking exercise did we increase the power target at 104 per cent and our temperature target was automatically increased to 89 degree Celsius.

Here's a look at how the GTX 780 stacks up against its competition:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 and competitive SKUs compared
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (Reference Card) AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB DDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 (reference card)
Core Code
  • GK110
  • GK110
  • GK104
  • Tahiti XT
  • GK104
GPU Transistor Count
  • 7.1 billion
  • 7.1 billion
  • 3.54 billion
  • 4300 million
  • 7080 million
Manufacturing Process
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
Core Clock
  • 863MHz
  • 836MHz
  • 1006MHz
  • 1050MHz
  • 915MHz
Stream Processors
  • 2304
  • 2688
  • 1536 CUDA cores
  • 2048 Stream processing units
  • 3072
Stream Processor Clock
  • 863MHz
  • 836MHz
  • 1006MHz
  • 1050MHz
  • 915MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMUs)
  • 192
  • 224
  • 128
  • 128
  • 256
Raster Operator units (ROP)
  • 48
  • 48
  • 32
  • 32
  • 256
Memory Clock (DDR)
  • 6008MHz
  • 6008MHz
  • 6008MHz
  • 6000MHz DDR (GDDR5)
  • 6008MHz DDR
Memory Bus width
  • 384-bit
  • 384-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 384-bit
  • 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth
  • 288.4 GB/s
  • 288.4 GB/s
  • 192.3GB/s
  • 288GB/s
  • 384.4 GB/s (192.2 GB/s per GPU)
PCI Express Interface
  • PCI Express 3.0
  • PCI Express 3.0
  • PCIe ver 3.0 x16
  • PCIe ver 3.0 x16
  • PCIe v3.0 x16
Power Connectors
  • 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin
  • 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin
  • 2 x 6-pin
  • 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin
  • 2 x 8-pin
Multi GPU Technology
  • SLI
  • SLI
  • SLI
  • CrossFireX
  • SLI
DVI Outputs
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 1 x Dual-Link
  • 3 x Dual-Link
HDMI Outputs
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
DisplayPort Outputs
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 2 (version 1.2 HBR2)
  • 1 x Mini-DisplayPort
HDCP Output Support
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes

Benchmarks

We have updated our benchmarks since our NVIDIA GTX Titan review and here's the full list that we'll be using for our initial GTX 780 review:-

  • Futuremark 3DMark 11
  • Futuremark 3DMark 2013
  • Unigine 4.0 "Heaven"
  • Unigine "Valley" 1.0
  • Crysis 2
  • Dirt 3
  • Assassin's Creed 3
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
  • Hitman: Absolution
  • Far Cry 3
  • Crysis 3