NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB Review
When it was first announced at NVIDIA’s Montreal event, it was obvious that the GeForce GTX 780 Ti was an attempt to recapture the performance crown from AMD’s extremely capable R9 290X. However, NVIDIA does have an interesting situation to contend with since the 290X currently goes for $549, competes well against the almighty TITAN but hasn’t been widely available in the retail channels since its launch. This has left the door open for a more powerful, highly targeted alternative NVIDIA is ready to go.
The GTX 780 Ti is the card we’ve all been waiting for since Kepler was first announced as it represents the first GeForce-branded unveiling of NVIDIA’s fully enabled 7.1 billion transistor GK110 core. This means it has one more Streaming Multiprocessor active than the TITAN but it still retains the same 384-bit memory controller and ROP layout.
Having that extra SM grants access to some additional processing backbone in the form of 2880 CUDA cores, 240 texture units, additional L1 instruction cache, and another all-important PolyMorph Engine. Budding CUDA developers may be salivating right now but unlike the TITAN, the GTX 780 Ti’s double precision throughput has been neutered to 1/3 the single precision rate. With this in mind, double precision performance will be faster than a GTX 780 but significantly slower than a TITAN. This approach towards segmentation actually makes sense since NVIDIA wanted to keep some differentiation between the two cards.
With a bucket load of impressive specifications in tow, it goes without saying NVIDIA’s GTX 780 Ti is taking over TITAN’s mantle as the GeForce lineup’s flagship. In many ways, this card takes the GTX 780’s blueprint and turns all the settings up to eleven. There are more cores, additional TMUs and even higher Base and Boost frequencies. The memory layout remains at 3GB but overall speed has seen a stratospheric increase through the use of 7Gbps GDDR5 modules. It manages to accomplish this while operating at about the same TDP numbers as a GTX 780 due to enhanced power management routines.
While the R9 290X may have the GTX 780 Ti beat in terms of raw memory allotment with 4GB, NVIDIA’s latest card features more bandwidth. This may be the lone stumbling block since we are starting to see some games maxing out the 3GB layout on other NVIDIA cards, particularly at 4K resolution (more on that in an upcoming article) so it should be interesting to see where the GTX 780 Ti's performance lands in the coming months.
The GTX 780 Ti’s $699 price may be a bit controversial since AMD’s R9 290X set the bar quite high with a showing of $549 while the GTX 780 is a full $200 less expensive at $499. With that being said, NVIDIA is aiming quite high with claims it will easily beat AMD’s flagship and one-up the TITAN by a handy margin.
It should also be mentioned that NVIDIA has extended their Holiday Gaming Bundle to the GTX 780 Ti so buyers will receive three free games (Batman Arkham City, Splinter Cell Black List and Assassin’s Creed Black Flag) along with a $100 rebate coupon for SHIELD. When combined with exclusive features like ShadowPlay and G-Sync, this may still be an enticing solution regardless of its premium.
While many things have changed in NVIDIA’s lineup, some have remained the same. The GTX 690 is still at $999 since it is an immensely powerful card that’s well supported by NVIDIA’s latest SLI profiles regardless of its age. TITAN meanwhile continues to be an excellent option for CUDA developers so NVIDIA will keep it around without touching cost since it still provides a phenomenal value for non-gaming markets that care about full speed double precision.
NVIDIA is hoping that enthusiasts will appreciate their approach to flagship graphics cards since performance isn’t their sole focus here. The GTX 780 Ti is expected to provide class-leading framerates while being more efficient and quieter than the R9 290X. Considering NVIDIA’s past track record in this area, we certainly have some high expectations and so should you.
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