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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Review
Date: May 23, 2013
Author: Marco Chiappetta
Introductions and Specifications

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

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.

The GeForce GTX 780

The new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780’s design language is similar to the company’s current flagship, single-GPU powered card, the GeForce GTX Titan, which should come as no surprise considering the cards are built around the same GPU.

As was listed in the specifications on the previous page, the GeForce GTX 780 is outfitted with a GK110 GPU, with a base clock of 863MHz and a Boost click of 900MHz. Unlike the GK110 on the Titan, however, two SMs (Streaming Multiprocessors) are disabled on the GTX 780, which brings the card’s CUDA core count down to 2304, from Titan’s 2688. The number of active texture units also decreases from 224 on Titan to 192 on the GeForce GTX 780.

The GeForce GTX 780’s 3GB frame buffer—half the size of Titan’s 6GB--is clocked at 6008MHz (effective GDDR5 data rate) and the memory links to the GPU via a wide 384-bit interface. At those clocks, the GeForce GTX 780 offers up a peak textured fillrate of 165.7 GTexels/s and 288.4 GB/s of memory bandwidth, which should place the GeForce GTX 780 among the fastest single-GPU powered graphics cards available today.

Like the GeForce GTX Titan, the GeForce GTX 780 is outfitted with a frame made of aluminum to add rigidity. And the card has a metal fan housing as well. The GeForce GTX logo along the top edge of the card lights up like the Titan’s too, and the brightness can be controlled via software as well.

The actual cooling hardware on the GTX 780 consists of a large vapor chamber with a densely packed, nickel-plated aluminum finstack, and large rear-mounted barrel-type fan with user-adjustable fan curves. Like the GeForce GTX Titan, the GTX 780 also uses low-profile components on about the front 65% of the PCB around the GPU, and the card’s cooler has a flat, ducted baseplate for unobstructed airflow, which minimizes turbulence and helps quiet down and better cool the card.

There is a window cut into the fan shroud that shows off the finstack (under a sheet of Lexan), and due to the fan configuration, virtually all of the heat produced by the card is exhausted from a system. Cards with centrally mounted axial-type fans, expel some of the heated air from the system, but dump the rest back into the case.

As evidenced by the pair of SLI edge connectors at the top of the card, the GeForce GTX 780 supports up to 3-Way SLI, and because the TDP of the card is only 250 watts, single 8-pin and 6-pin supplemental PCI Express power feeds are all that are required to power the GTX 780.

Outputs consist of a pair of dual-link DVI outputs, a full-sized DisplayPort output, and an HDMI connector. The GeForce GTX 780 should have more than enough muscle to push multiple displays simultaneously, and as such, it supports NVIDIA's 3D Vision Surround technology as well.

GeForce Experience, ShadowPlay

To coincide with the launch of the GeForce GTX 780, NVIDIA is also releasing its GeForce Experience software to the mass market. If you’re unfamiliar with GeForce Experience, it is a companion application that will be bundled with NVIDIA’s GeForce drivers moving forward, that make it quick and easy for gamers to optimize the performance of their games for their particular PC’s configuration, without having to futz around in the game’s menu system.

NVIDIA gathers an enormous amount of performance data from a variety of sources. The company works with game developers to optimize both game engines and its own drivers before a title hits the market using a farm of systems with different configurations. Games are internally tested for driver compatibility, and customers provide feedback via public forums and the like. The net result is a comprehensive database of how any given game will perform on a wide range of hardware.

The GeForce Experience Utility

The goal of the GeForce Experience application is to streamline the optimization process by leveraging the performance data in NVIDIA’s database. Instead of depending on individual games to handle it, NVIDIA's GeForce Experience software will select the best settings for a given title depending on your system configuration. These settings aren't just picked by a superior algorithm; human testing is an integral part of the process too. We should point out that users will be able to control whether or not Optimized settings are applied on a game-by-game basis, and the GeForce Experience utility can be used to launch programs from different services as well. And power users, who prefer to tinker on their own, still have the ability to do so.

The closed beta for GeForce Experience went live a few months ago, and initially supported about 32 games. Since then, NVIDIA has responded to all of the user feedback, added some features, and updated the app to support more games and it is now ready for prime time.

ShadowPlay Menu Up Close

A cool new feature coming with GeForce Experience is dubbed ShadowPlay. If you’ve ever searched YouTube for gaming-related videos, you know how popular it is for gamers to record and post highlights from their particular proud gaming moments.

By utilizing the H.264 video encoder built-in to every Kepler GPU, ShadowPlay records up to the last 20 minutes of gameplay footage at resolutions up to 1080p at 30 FPS, and can write it to a file at the touch of a button. ShadowPlay works in the background and will consume a certain amount of RAM depending on the length of the recording (around 500MB for a 3 minute video), but compared to software-based video encoders like FRAPS, using ShadowPlay results in less of a performance hit, so you can still game while recording.

ShadowPlay will be rolling out for all Kepler-based GPUs (including the GeForce GTX 600 series) later this summer.

Test System and Unigine Heaven v4.0

How We Configured Our Test Systems: We tested the graphics cards in this article on an Asus P9X79 Deluxe motherboard powered by a Core i7-3960X six-core processor and 16GB of G.SKILL DDR3-1866 RAM. The first thing we did when configuring the test system was enter the system UEFI and set all values to their "high performance" default settings and disable any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The memory's X.M.P. profile was enabled to ensure better-than-stock performance and the hard drive was then formatted and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 was installed. When the installation was complete, we fully updated the OS and installed the latest DirectX redist along with all of the drivers, games, and benchmark tools necessary to complete our tests.

HotHardware's Test System
Intel Core i7 Powered

Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7-3960X
(3.3GHz, Six-Core)
Asus P9X79 Deluxe
(Intel X79 Express)

Radeon HD 7990
Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition x 2
GeForce GTX 680 x 2
GeForce GTX 690
GeForce GTX Titan x 2
GeForce GTX 780 x 2

Western Digital Raptor 150GB
Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

Relevant Software:
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
DirectX April 2011 Redist
AMD Catalyst v13.5B
NVIDIA GeForce Drivers v314.09/v320.14

Benchmarks Used:

Unigine Heaven v4
3DMark "Fire Strike"
Batman: Arkham City
Hitman: Absolution
Alien vs. Predator
Metro 2033
Sleeping Dogs
Crysis 3

Unigine Heaven v4.0 Benchmark
Pseudo-DirectX 11 Gaming

Unigine Heaven v4.0

Unigine's Heaven Benchmark v4.0 is built around the Unigine game engine. Unigine is a cross-platform, real-time 3D engine, with support for DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 11 and OpenGL. The Heaven benchmark--when run in DX11 mode--also makes comprehensive use of tessellation technology and advanced SSAO (screen-space ambient occlusion). It also features volumetric cumulonimbus clouds generated by a physically accurate algorithm and a dynamic sky with light scattering.


In Unigine, with the Extreme Tessellation option enabled, the GeForce GTX 780 puts out excellent scores, significantly faster than NVIDIA's previous generation GeForce GTX 680 and within about 10% of the GeForce GTX Titan.  SLI scaling with the 780 shows an efficient gain of almost double the single GTX 780's frame rate.

In terms of its standard score in this DX11-based benchmark, the GeForce GTX 780 shows a commanding lead of over 40% versus AMD's fastest single card setup.  Versus the GeForce GTX Titan, the GTX 780 comes with striking distance trailing by less than 15%.
3DMark Fire Strike Test

Futuremark 3DMark11
Synthetic DirectX Gaming

Futuremark 3DMark Fire Strike

Fire Strike has two benchmark modes: Normal mode runs in 1920x1080, while Extreme mode targets 2560x1440. GPU target frame buffer utilization for normal mode is 1GB and the benchmark uses tessellation, ambient occlusion, volume illumination, and a medium-quality depth of field filter. The more taxing Extreme mode targets 1.5GB of frame buffer memory and increases detail levels across the board. Extreme mode is explicitly designed for CrossFire / SLI systems. GT 1 focuses on geometry and illumination, with over 100 shadow casting spot lights, 140 non-shadow casting point lights, and 3.9 million vertices calculated for tessellation per frame. Only 80 million pixels are processed per frame. GT2 emphasizes particles and GPU simulations. Tessellation volume is reduced to 2.6 million vertices, but the number of pixels processed per frame rises to 170 million.

GeForce GTX 780 3DMark Fire Strike Benchmark Run

In this benchmark the field is much more tightly grouped and the GeForce GTX 780 sits almost on top of the GTX Titan's results.  Also of note is the more than respectable showing of AMD's Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, which clips in just ahead of the GeForce GTX 680.  As you can see in the lower overall frame rates, all cards have to work hard in this benchmark. However, chain together a pair of GeForce GTX 780s and you're treated to almost 2X the performance.

Though "scoring" in this benchmark is a little more nebulous than frame rate, we see the same trend here and again the GeForce GTX 780 is a hair's-width away from what is currently the fastest card on the market now, the GeForce GTX Titan.
Alien vs. Predator Performance
Though it's a little bit dated at this point, Alien vs. Predator is still a bone-crushing benchmark test that stresses even the fastest graphics cards money can buy.

Alien vs. Predator
DirectX 11 Gaming Performance

Alien vs. Predator

The Alien vs. Predator benchmark makes use of the advanced Tessellation, screen space ambient occlusion, and high-quality shadow features available with DirectX 11. In addition to enabling all of the aforementioned DirectX 11-related features offered by this benchmark, we also switched on 4X anti-aliasing along with 16X anisotropic filtering to more heavily tax the graphics cards being tested.

AvP has historically been a strong point for AMD hardware and the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Ed. is actually nipping at the heels of the GeForce GTX 780 and GeForce GTX Titan cards.  Regardless, NVIDIA can now lay claim to the top two slots in this benchmark as well.

Captured @ 1920x1200 - Click For An Enlarged View

Frame capture data with the single-GPU powered GeForce GTX 780, GTX 680 and Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition show no major issues with frame pacing. It's the multi-GPU configurations, however, that you have worry about...

Captured @ 1920x1200 - Click For An Enlarged View

And worry you should, if you've for a pair of Radeon HD 7970 cards running in CrossFire at least. The GeForce SLI configurations delivered frames at a relatively even clip here. The CrossFire setup though has significant issues in this game.

We'd be remiss not to mention a new driver that address frame pacing issues in the works at AMD, but an exact release date for those drivers hasn't been disclosed. We're told to expect them sometime this summer, but they're not ready just yet.
Metro 2033 Performance

Metro 2033
DirecX11 Gaming Performance

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is your basic post-apocalyptic first person shooter game with a few rather unconventional twists. Unlike most FPS titles, there is no health meter to measure your level of ailment; rather, you’re left to deal with life, or lack thereof, more akin to the real world with blood spatter on your visor and your heart rate and respiration level as indicators. The game is loosely based on a novel by Russian Author Dmitry Glukhovsky. Metro 2003 boasts some of the best 3D visuals on the PC platform and includes a DX11 rendering mode that makes use of advanced depth of field effects and character model tessellation for increased realism. This title also supports NVIDIA PhysX technology for impressive in-game physics effects. We tested the game at resolutions of 1920x1200 and 2560x1600 with adaptive anti-aliasing and in-game image quality options set to their High Quality mode, with DOF effects disabled.

Once again, in Metro 2033, the GeForce GTX 780 is within a few percentage points of the performance numbers put out by the GeForce GTX Titan.  This time however, the GTX 780 annihilates the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition and GeForce GTX 680 cards with nearly a 20 FPS advantage.

Captured @ 1920x1200 - Click For An Enlarged View

There are a number of spikes in the frame time data gathered with the single-GPU configurations in Metro 2033, but all of the cards seem to behave similarly.

Captured @ 1920x1200 - Click For An Enlarged View

The dual-GPU configurations also showed a number of peaks and valleys and don't look quite as good. The Radeon HD 7970 CrossFire configuration offered the most erratic frame times, but it was nowhere near as bad as AvP on the previous page.
Batman: Arkham City Performance

Batman: Arkham City
DirectX Gaming Performance

Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Arkham City is a sequel to 2009’s Game of the Year-winning Batman: Arkham Asylum. This recently released sequel, however, lives up to and even surpasses the original in many ways. The story takes place 18 months after the original game. Quincy Sharp, the onetime administrator of Arkham Asylum, has become mayor and convinced Gotham to create "Arkham City" by walling off the worst, most crime-ridden areas of the city and turning the area into a giant open-air prison. The game has DirectX 9 and 11 rendering paths, with support for tessellation, multi-view soft shadows, and ambient occlusion. We tested in DX11 mode at various resolutions with all in-game graphical options set to their maximum values.

The driver NVIDIA provided with the GeForce GTX 780 (which wouldn't install on older cards, BTW), seemed to improve minimum framerates in Batman dramatically. Average frame rates fall right where'd you expect, with the GeForce GTX 780 outpacing the GeForce GTX 680 here, but trailing the Titan by a slightly. And yes, CrossFire is still broken in this game, but we continue to use it to hammer that point home.

Captured @ 1920x1200 - Click For An Enlarged View

There were no issues with frame pacing to speak of with Batman with the single GPU configurations we tested. That large spike you see is a scene transition and nothing to be concerned about.

Captured @ 1920x1200 - Click For An Enlarged View

Save for a few additional spikes, there were no major issues with frame times with the multi-GPU configurations either. Of course, CrossFire wasn't working here, so the Radeons' results are similar to the single-GPU data posted above.

Sleeping Dogs Performance

Sleeping Dogs
DX11 Gaming Performance

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs is an open-world game in which you play the role of Wei Shen, an undercover cop trying to take down the Triads from the inside. In the game, you have to fight your way up in the organization and take part in various criminal activities without blowing your cover. We tested Sleeping Dogs at two resolutions, with all in-game graphical options set to their maximum values with FXAA enabled.

The new GeForce GTX 780 outpaces the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition and GeForce GTX 680 once again in the Sleeping Dogs benchmark, in both single and dual-GPU configurations. The only single-GPU powered card able to overtake the GTX 780 is the Titan.

Captured @ 1920x1200 - Click For An Enlarged View

The GeForces didn't exhibit any major issues with frametimes in Sleeping dogs, and save for one incident, neither did the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition.

Captured @ 1920x1200 - Click For An Enlarged View

The dual-GPU configurations tell a different story, however. The GeForce GTX 690 and 780 SLI configurations didn't deliver frames quite as evenly as the single GPU did, but there were no major issues here. The Radeon HD 7970 CrossFire setup though showed a number of large spikes and frame pacing was erratic throughout the benchmark run.

Hitman: Absolution Performance

Hitman: Absolution
DirectX 11 Gaming Performance

Hitman: Absolution

Hitman: Absolution follows Agent 47, a cold-blooded assassin, who takes on his most dangerous contract to date. Betrayed by those he once trusted - and now hunted by the police - he suddenly finds himself at the center of a dark conspiracy and must embark on a personal journey through a corrupt and twisted world. We tested the game at multiple resolutions, with all in-game options set to their maximum values and global illumination and 4X anti-aliasing enabled.

The general performance trend we've seen throughout our testing to this point plays out again in the Hitman: Absolution benchmark. Whether in single-card or dual-card SLI configurations, the GeForce GTX 780 outruns the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition and GeForce GTX 680, and trails the GeForce GTX Titan.

Captured @ 1920x1200 - Click For An Enlarged View

Save for one major incident with the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, frame pacing / frametimes with the single-GPU configurations was nice and smooth.

Captured @ 1920x1200 - Click For An Enlarged View

The GeForces continued to smoothly deliver frames when tested in SLI mode, but the Radeon HD 7970 CrossFire setup showed some major peaks and valleys in frametime which hindered the smoothness of this game's animation.

Once again, we should mention, that AMD is working on driver to address frame pacing issues with CrossFire configurations, but it's not ready for prime time just yet.

Crysis 3 Performance

Crysis 3
DirectX 11 Gaming Performance

Crysis 3

Crysis 3, which is powered by Crytek’s proprietary CryENGINE 3 technology, is the third installment in this popular franchise. Crysis 3 is the sequel to 2011’s Crysis 2 and follows Prophet as he returns to New York a few years after the events of Crysis 2. Like previous games in the franchise, Crysis 3 has impressive visuals that can tax even the most powerful PCs when cranked up to their maximum values. We tested this game at various resolutions with all in-game graphics options set to Very High, with 4X MSAA and 16X anisotropic filtering enabled and motion blur set to high.

The GeForce GTX 780's higher clocks and newer drivers (which wouldn't install on the other GeForces) gave it an edge over every other single-GPU card we tested in Crysis 3. SLI scaled particularly well with the 780s in this game too, which put the configuration at the top of the charts.

Captured @ 1920x1200 - Click For An Enlarged View

Save for a couple of spikes, there were no major problems with frame delivery in Crysis 3 with the single-GPU configurations. Interestingly enough, it was the GeForces that exhibited the spikes here, and not the Radeon HD 7970.

Captured @ 1920x1200 - Click For An Enlarged View

The tables turn with the dual-GPU configurations, however. Here, the GeForces deliver far more consistent frametimes and the Radeon HD 7970 CrossFire setup suffers from significant variations throughout the benchmark run.

Overclocking the GeForce GTX 780

We spent a little time overclocking the GeForce GTX 780 to see what kind of additional frequency headroom it had left under its hood. For these tests, we used the latest edition of EVGA's Precision X GPU tweaking utility, which is designed to work with the new GeForce GTX 780.

Overclocking a Kepler-based GeForce GTX series graphics card requires a bit more tweaking then previous-gen products, due to all of the new options available and the complexities associated with GPU Boost 2.0. Sometimes, you’ll find that increasing a particular voltage or frequency may appear to function properly, when in fact performance decreases due to errors or throttling. You may also find that the actual GPU Boost clock may travel above or below the designated offset value when the power and/or temperature targets are also increased.

EVGA's Precision X Tweaking Utility Running On The GeForce GTX 780

We did a few things when experimenting with overclocked speeds on the GTX 780. First we tried the most basic option available--we simply changed the temperature target from the default 80'C and increased it to 90'C to see what kind of impact it would have on performance. Then, to push things much further, we increased the power and temperature targets to 106% and 94'C, respectively, and also increased the GPU and Memory clock offsets and ran a few tests.

Overclocking The GeForce GTX 780
Tweakin' The GPU

Ultimately, with some simple tweaks we were able to take our GeForce GTX 780's GPU to a perfectly stable 1.11GHz with 1581MHz memory (6324MHz, effective), up from the stock 900MHz / 6008MHz, respectively. While overclocked, the card showed some nice performance increases in both games we tested.

Power Consumption, Noise, Temps
Before bringing this article to a close, we'd like to cover a few final data points--namely, power consumption, temperatures, and noise. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored acoustics and tracked how much power our test system was consuming using a power meter. Our goal was to give you an idea of how much power each configuration used while idling and also while under a heavy workload. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not just the power being drawn by the graphics cards alone.

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

The GeForce GTX 780's power consumption fell right in line with expectations, for the most part. Its idle power consumption was higher than we expect, but we aren't sure if there's something with our test system that caused the elevated idle power. Load power, however, fell right in line above the GeForce GTX 680 but below the Titan. We should also point out that despite offering much better overall performance, the GTX 780's load power was also lower than the Radeon HD 7970's, which is a nod to the Kepler architecture's power efficiency.

We've included this temperature data to essentially show the GeForce GTX 780's idle temperature because reporting the max temp under load is pointless due to GPU Boost 2.0. GPU Boost 2.0 will run the GPU up to the maximum temperature target specified in the driver while under load and throttle voltages and fan speed accordingly to maintain that target temperature. Because the default temperature target was 79'C with our GTX 780, it peaked at 79'C under load. Set the temp target to 75'C and that's how high its GPU temperature will go.

Having a hard temperature target with the GeForce GTX 780 is interesting because it means cards that are better cooled, either through liquid cooling or when installed in a high-performance chassis, should offer somewhat better performance. The cooler a GeForce GTX 780 runs, the longer it will be able to maintain maximum GPU Boost frequencies, which will ultimately improve performance.

In terms of acoustics, the GeForce GTX 780 is simply awesome. It is easily among the quietest high-end graphics cards we have ever tested. Period. End of story. In real world conditions, the GeForce GTX 780 is somewhat quieter under load than a GTX 680 and is much quieter than a Radeon HD 7970.

Part of the reason for the 780's great acoustics is a new fan speed control alogorithm NVIDIA developed. For the GeForce GTX 780, NVIDIA developed a new fan controller that uses an adaptive temperature filter with an RPM and temperature targeted control algorithm to eliminate unnecessary fan fluctuations that contribute to fan noise. The end result is fewer fan speed fluctuations and a "smoother" acoustic profile.
Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The GeForce GTX 780 is an excellent all-around performer. As you would expect after perusing its specifications, the GeForce GTX 780’s performance falls in line just behind the GeForce GTX Titan, but well ahead of the GeForce GTX 680. The GeForce GTX 780 is also significantly faster than the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. Excluding Titan for a moment, it’s only the dual-GPU powered GeForce GTX 690 and Radeon HD 7990 that offered better frame rates than the GTX 780, but with the added caveat that you have to deal with all of the issues associated with multi-GPU configurations.

The GeForce GTX 780 also performed well in terms of its acoustics, which are best of class, it overclocked well, and scaling in SLI mode was very good too.

The GeForce GTX 780

Let’s get straight to the point—we really dig the GeForce GTX 780. As much as we love ultra high-end hardware like the GeForce GTX Titan, its 6GB frame buffer was major overkill and would do little for most gamers except increase the card’s cost. By bringing the card’s memory down to 3GB and harvesting GK110 GPUs with a couple of functional blocks disabled, NVIDIA is able to offer a card in the GeForce GTX 780 that performs very much like a Titan, but at a much lower cost. That’s good stuff if you ask us.

Of course, “lower cost” is a relative term. The GeForce GTX 780 is still a premium product, and as such, it commands a premium price. MSRP for the GeForce GTX 780 is $649—about $350 bucks less than the Titan or $110 - $220 more than a GeForce GTX 680. That’s not cheap, but enthusiasts that want the highest performing products have always had to pay-to-play.  EVGA's GeForce GTX 780 is currently shipping on Amazon at this price.

Do we wish the GeForce GTX 780 was more affordable? Absolutely. But this is an awesome graphics card regardless. The GeForce GTX 780 offers killer performance, it runs super quiet, it’s easily overclockable, and it supports NVIDIA’s latest features, like GPU Boost 2.0 and Display Overclocking. Throw the GeForce Experience utility into the mix and there’s even more to like. If you’ve got the funds for a product like the GeForce GTX 780, by all means treat yourself. This is a great graphics card.


  • Extreme Performance
  • Quiet
  • Cutting Edge Features
  • Good Looking
  • Pricey

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