You might recall that we recently rounded up a collection of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti graphics cards and put them through a gauntlet of benchmarks and tests. Each of the cards represented brought something unique to the table and stood out in some way, but curiously missing from the bunch was an entry from ASUS. Not to worry -- we didn't forget about ASUS, their cards just decided to show up fashionably late to the GPU party.
We mean that literally and figuratively. One of the things that separates the ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU from the competition is the custom cooling solution. Yes, it's prepped and primed to run cooler (up to 20 percent) and quieter (by a factor of 3) compared to NVIDIA's reference cooling solution, but it also makes a customizable fashion statement. Included with the card are two sets of metallic (read: not paper) stickers -- one set in gold and other in red. These add a bit of accented bling to the all-black heatsink to match your motherboard's color scheme.
Like the cards in our roundup, this is a GeForce GTX 780 Ti part based on NVIDIA's GK110 GPU, which is built on a 28nm manufacturing process by TSMC. It's still one of the fastest GPUs on the market, and this particular model from ASUS comes revved up a bit over reference -- it sports a 954MHz base clockspeed and 1020MHz boost clockspeed, versus 875MHz and 928MHz, respectively, for reference cards.
|Cards||NVIDIA Reference||ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II|
|Graphics Processing Clusters||5||5|
|CUDA Cores (single precision)||2880||2880|
|CUDA Cores (double precision)||960||960|
|Base Clock||875 MHz||954MHz|
|Boost Clock||928 MHz||1020MHz|
|Memory Clock (Data rate)||7000 MHz||7000 MHz|
|L2 Cache Size||1536K||1536K|
|Total Video Memory||3072MB GDDR5||3072 GDDR5|
|Total Memory Bandwidth||336 GB/s||336 GB/s|
|Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear)||210 GT/sec||244.8 GT/sec|
|Fabrication Process||28 nm||28nm|
|Transistor Count||7.1 Billion||7.1 Billion|
2 x Dual-Link DVI
|2 x Dual-Link DVI
1 x HDMI
1 x DisplayPort
|Form Factor||Dual Slot||Dual Slot|
|Power Connectors||One 8-pin and one 6-pin||Two 8-pin|
|Recommended Power Supply||600 Watts||600 Watts|
|Thermal Design Power (TDP)||250 Watts||250 Watts|
|Price|| $699 MSRP
You'll notice that this card requires dual 8-pin PCI-E power connectors yet the power requirements are the same as NVIDIA's reference design. Part of the reason is probably due to the custom cooler, but this also allows ASUS to draw in more power when needed. Combined with the card's 10-phase power design and digital voltage regulators, this card should be able to deliver cleaner power than reference solutions, which in turn could allow it to maintain boost clockspeeds for longer periods of time and aid in overclocking.
The other thing to note is the comparatively stellar price point. This is an overclocked card (and warrantied as such) that sells on the street for less than the reference card's MSRP. Had the card been included in our roundup, it would have tied for least expensive (before rebate, anyway), coming in $80 less than the most expensive part. That kind of savings can translate into a triple A title, several slightly older titles, or a night out on the town.