EVGA GTX 780 Ti SC ACX Review
When NVIDIA launched the GTX 780 Ti, they were aiming to take the wind out of AMD’s sales. While their new card cost significantly more than the R9 290X, it offered better performance, a significantly lower acoustical profile and lower power consumption. Those are all first-level differentiators but NVIDIA also added their Holiday Gaming Bundle and a $100 coupon for SHIELD and when combined with those elements, the GTX 780 Ti suddenly started to look quite appealing for gamers in search of the best money could buy.
This brings us to the subject of today’s review: EVGA’s GTX 780 Ti Superclocked. For all intents and purposes, custom GTX 780 Ti cards will hit the market weeks ahead of similar R9 290X efforts from AMD’s board partners and EVGA’s latest demonstrates this perfectly. It offers higher clock speeds, a reference cooler and potentially more overclocking headroom than the reference card for a minor $20 premium. We do have to mention that it isn’t widely available yet but you’ll start seeing it at retailers in the coming weeks.
Higher core clocks are the name of the game with the GTX 780 Superclocked largely because its upgraded heatsink keeps the core at much lower operating temperatures. This improved thermal overhead in turn allows NVIDIA’s GPU Boost to run it at increased frequencies. Naturally, EVGA’s built-in overclock helps things along as well but, as is usually the case, they have erred on the side of caution by keeping the Base clock under the 1GHz mark. Expect that to change as additional cards are released in their lineup.
With the engine getting a healthy dose of adrenalin, EVGA has pointedly ignored the memory speeds. This is quite simply due to the fact that 7Gbps modules operating across a 384-bit interface already provide a titanic amount of bandwidth. Plus, getting such highly clocked memory to consistently overclock provides nightmares for the folks binning the ICs.
So how has EVGA been able to achieve what seems to be an inhumanly short turn-around time between the GTX 780 Ti’s initial launch and their card’s introduction? They’ve simply taken elements already used on their GTX 780 Superclocked ACX and transposed them over onto this new card. This isn’t too much of a stretch since, for all intents and purposes, the GTX 780 and GTX 780 Ti are the same card with a few minor variances.
The defining feature of this particular card is of course EVGA’s excellent ACX cooler which houses a pair of 80mm fans and a massive internal heatsink. As we’ve already mentioned, it is this impressive piece of engineering that keeps the GK110 running at the temperatures necessary to achieve higher performance metrics. You can learn more about the ACX and the design behind it here.
Other than the distinctive heatsink design, the GTX 780 Ti Superclocked is simply a reference NVIDIA card. It uses a simple 6+8 pin power connector layout and a back panel payload consisting of two DVI outputs and connectors for HDMI and DisplayPort. This allows it to natively support up to four monitors (three for Surround and an accessory display).
EVGA’s Superclocked series have an enviable track record and we expect nothing less from this one. However, at $720 (or $780 here in Canada), it isn’t inexpensive but some of the initial sting is taken away by the aforementioned game bundle. But is this particular GTX 780 Ti really worth almost $200 more than a bone stock R9 290X?
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