NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: November 6, 2013
Product Name: GTX 780 Ti
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Temperature Analysis

For all temperature testing, the cards were placed on an open test bench with a single 120mm 1200RPM fan placed ~8” away from the heatsink. The ambient temperature was kept at a constant 22°C (+/- 0.5°C). If the ambient temperatures rose above 23°C at any time throughout the test, all benchmarking was stopped..

For Idle tests, we let the system idle at the Windows 7 desktop for 15 minutes and recorded the peak temperature.

As with all other GTX 700-series cards, the GTX 780 Ti has its temperature limit set at 82°C so the second it goes above that, the fan increases speed ever so slightly in order to compensate. This is quite different from AMD’s current approach which sets fan speeds at a preset maximum and throttles core speeds once a certain temperature is reached.

Acoustical Testing

What you see below are the baseline idle dB(A) results attained for a relatively quiet open-case system (specs are in the Methodology section) sans GPU along with the attained results for each individual card in idle and load scenarios. The meter we use has been calibrated and is placed at seated ear-level exactly 12” away from the GPU’s fan. For the load scenarios, a loop of Unigine Valley is used in order to generate a constant load on the GPU(s) over the course of 15 minutes.

Compared to the R9 290X and R9 290, the GTX 780 Ti is whisper quiet which is actually a noteworthy achievement considering how much heat the 7.1 billion transistor GK110 core must be pumping out.

According to NVIDIA, their ability to keep the core running at lower temperature levels than the R9 290-series cards boils down to two obvious yet important factors: their heatsink design is clearly superior and the GK110 core is absolutely massive. While this may sound counterintuitive, the large die area actually helps dissipate heat across a larger surface area, thus allowing the core to make boarder contact with the heatsink’s baseplate. The R9 290 on the other hand concentrates its transistors into a smaller die package and focuses heat transfer into a much smaller, less efficient area.

System Power Consumption

For this test we hooked up our power supply to a UPM power meter that will log the power consumption of the whole system twice every second. In order to stress the GPU as much as possible we used 15 minutes of Unigine Valley running on a loop while letting the card sit at a stable Windows desktop for 15 minutes to determine the peak idle power consumption.

Please note that after extensive testing, we have found that simply plugging in a power meter to a wall outlet or UPS will NOT give you accurate power consumption numbers due to slight changes in the input voltage. Thus we use a Tripp-Lite 1800W line conditioner between the 120V outlet and the power meter.

While the GTX 780 Ti does consume more power than a GTX 780 and GTX TITAN, it’s still a far cry away from the rampant numbers posted by the R9 290X and R9 290.

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