NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Review

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When NVIDIA introduced the GeForce GTX Titan a few months back, the company created a huge gap in its single-GPU product line-up. With its GK110 GPU and massive 6GB frame buffer, the GeForce GTX Titan was easily able to outrun the GK104-based GeForce GTX 680 and it hung with the dual-GPU powered GeForce GTX 690 as well. That gap between the GeForce GTX 680 and GTX Titan could have potentially been filled by a scaled down GK110 with a smaller frame buffer, and in fact, one of the first questions we asked of NVIDIA during our briefing on Titan was if a more affordable version of the card was in the works, but company reps were expectedly mum at the time. It’s not like NVIDIA to comment on unannounced products, but we took a shot anyway.

NVIDIA’s talking now, though. Today marks the arrival of the GeForce GTX 780, a graphics card that is essentially a GeForce GTX Titan, with a scaled down GK110 GPU and a smaller, but still relatively large, 3GB complement of video memory. As its name suggest, the new GeForce GTX 780 falls in above the GeForce GTX 680, and below the GTX Titan, but as you’ll see a little later, it’s not all that far behind the Titan overall.

In addition to its latest high-end Graphics card, NVIDIA is also using the occasion to officially launch its GeForce Experience utility announce a new feature to GFE, dubbed ShadowPlay. We’ve got the scoop on the pages ahead...


The GeForce GTX 780

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780
Specifications & Features

Graphics Processing Clusters 4 or 5
Streaming Multiprocessors 12
CUDA Cores (single precision) 2304
CUDA Cores (double precision) --
Texture Units 192
ROP Units 48
Base Clock 863 MHz
Boost Clock 900 MHz
Memory Clock (Data rate) 6008 MHz
L2 Cache Size 1536K
Total Video Memory 3072MB GDDR5
Memory Interface 384-bit
Total Memory Bandwidth 288.4 GB/s
Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear) 165.7 GigaTexels/sec
Fabrication Process 28 nm
Transistor Count 7.1 Billion
Connectors

2 x Dual-Link DVI
1 x HDMI
1 x DisplayPort

Form Factor Dual Slot
Power Connectors One 8-pin and one 6-pin
Recommended Power Supply 600 Watts
Thermal Design Power (TDP) 250 Watts
Thermal Threshold 95°C
Currently Selling:   $649 on Amazon

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780's main features and specifications are listed in the table above. Before we get into the specifics of the card and some of the capabilities of the GPU at its core, however, we want to direct your attention to a few past HotHardware articles that lay the foundation for what we’ll be showing you here today.


The GeForce GTX 780 From The Rear...

If you paid attention to the transistor count in the chart above and are on top of the high-end GPU scene, you're probably aware that the GeForce GTX 780 is built around NVIDIA's GK110 GPU, the same chip that powers the GeForce GTX Titan. Though the GK110 is a different piece of silicon than the GK104 that came before it, it leverages technologies previously introduced on older NVIDIA products. As such, we’d recommend checking out these articles for more detailed coverage of many of NVIDIA’s existing technologies that carry over to the new GeForce GTX 780:

In our Fermi and GF100 architecture previews we discuss the GPU architecture and its CUDA cores, and Polymorph and Raster engines, among many other features. In our GeForce GTX 480 coverage, we dig a little deeper into Fermi, and discuss the first graphics card based on the technology. And in our 3D Vision Surround, 3D Vision 2, and TXAA related articles, we cover NVIDIA’s multi-monitor, stereoscopic 3D technologies, and anti-aliasing technologies, which are all integral parts of the GeForce GTX 780. In our GeForce GTX 680 and GTX 690 articles, we discuss the Kepler GPU architecture and its many features in detail. And finally, in our GeForce GTX Titan review, we explain GPU Boost 2.0 and Display Overclocking, among other things, which are also available on the GeForce GTX 780.

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The 780 looks to be a pretty impressive card from all I've seen about it so far. However, it seems that the video card market is building cards that are extremely impressive, but increasingly expensive and out of the price range of a lot of gamers. Sure, they also released the 660 TI recently as well, but I think this push for $650-$1000 cards is going beyond excessive. I'd rather see them work on producing 670's and 680's at a lower cost so they could offer those cards at a reduced price and increase market saturation.

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Yeah, I'm not sure what's up with Nvidia. Seems they've been bit by Apple's glamour-tech bug. Or perhaps they are trying to boost console sales?

Seriously, we don't need more high-end cards, just fairer prices on the cheap ones. And there's no need for all the metal on these things, it just raises the cost for Nvidia and consumer. It gives very little if any value. Tech will become outdated, why bling it up?

Don't get me wrong, I love Nvidia's products. I just don't think they are headed down the right path with this.

Personally, I think they might be feeling a little bored because AMD's tech isn't keeping up. However, if they put this new tech against AMD's at the previous price-point, it would put AMD out of business, which wouldn't be good for anyone. So they decided to make them more expensive, since they have the room to work with...

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This is their "high end" level of cards, the 680 when it first came out was 600+ dollars and now you can get one for 450, the opening price for something new is always higher. Assuming the scaling is the same, the 760 ti will be around 350-450 dollars and will outperform a 670. The price to performance ratio stays roughly the same, just more performance is more expensive

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Heck of a nice card. It would be hard to let this card go after testing,.....

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Hi I just bought a titan after testing a 7970 for my purposes. No i am not made of money - but i am quite keen to do certain things. One of which is gaming in stereoscopic 3d. Nvidia is the only option here. Another is to do GPGPU CUDA in double precision. Nvidia sucks at this unless you pay the big bucks for the dedicated GPU cards or buy a Titan. AMD with OpenCl is much more cost effective. MUCH. Both stink for producing stereoscopic 3d via say quadbuffered OpenGL. The Nvidia kit can actually do this but Nvidia actively prevents you from doing so because they want to force you to buy the high end quadras... In a nutshell - I want to play my FPS shooters in stereoscopic 3d, AND I want good CUDA/OpenCL double precision compute performance AND I want to be able to write my own stereoscopic 3d code (even script it say from mathematica) Nvidia is the closest to this, and their hardware can easily support it, yet they choose to nobble their drivers and such to force me to buy vastly more expensive hardware that may not do what I want anyway. Waugh! So frustrating! And to boil it right down - what can a GTX780 do? what is its DP floating point performance in CUDA? Can I do my own stereoscopic 3d code?

please help - I could find this out for myself (because nobody seems to be doing this or asking about it - or at least google is not my frend on this - wonder why?) but it is EXPENSIVE...

cheers

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You could flash your card's BIOS to Quadra specs. Try google again, methods exist to do this already, but you could screw it up if you make a mistake.

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There's no rule that companies have to build their top end products at low enough cost for the majority of consumers. People always complain about the cost of high end / top of the line hardware. I'm not a rich guy at all so I get it to a limited extent. But at the same time, if you can't afford it / it's too pricey for you then get a lower end card. New mid range cards are still going to offer way better performance then previous gen in most cases. I'm sure there will be good performing 700 cards for less money, so everyone can stop crying about top end being so expensive, geez.

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