PNY GTX 770 OC2 4GB Review
It may come as a surprise but with the GTX 770 4GB OC2, PNY is gunning for the big leagues and aims to compete against the likes of EVGA, ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte. After a period of silence when they primarily focused on the high margin Quadro cards, PNY is finally putting some serious money back into their XLR8 gaming brand, launching a number of high end and pretty appealing GPUs.
The GTX 770 4GB OC2 may not jump out as being radically different from the countless competitors that have come before it but there is one major differentiating factor: its warranty. This isnít something we normally focus on review simply because warranties have become pretty generic these days with two or three years of coverage being the de facto standard. EVGA, XFX and Zotac have largely done away with their lifetime warranties while other companies that championed the long-term coverage flag (like BFG) have been consigned to the dustbin of history. PNY is doing things differently by backing up their XLR8 brand with a full lifetime warranty (for the original purchaser) free of charge provided the card is registered on their website. This should be a breath of fresh air for anyone who puts emphasis on protecting their investment.
Speaking of investments, at $440 this particular OC2 Edition is one of the most expensive GTX 770s available on the market and thereís good reason for that. It combines epic core clock speeds with 4GB of GDDR5 memory into a card thatís been heavily upgraded and doesnít look anything like a reference design.
Those clock speeds are particularly impressive since, when averaged out, they narrowly beat out MSIís class-leading Lightning. This has been accomplished through the judicious use of higher core voltage alongside an impressively endowed heatsink which allows the GTX 770 OC2 remain within NVIDIAís Boost limitations while still offering more performance that its immediate competition. If PNY was hoping to get our attention, this is certainly a great start.
With a dual slot heatsink and a pair of 80mm cooling fans, there really isnít much to differentiate PNYís 10 ĺĒ long GTX 770 4GB OC2 from the competition. Some will appreciate the understated nature of the predominantly black design but what we care about is under that shroud.
The heatsink is a multi-stage affair that utilizes five large heatpipes and a low-slung fin array that makes use of every millimeter of available vertical space. It really is a feat of engineering which takes the best features of competing designs and melds them into a cohesive cooler.
PNY has also used a completely custom PCB for this card which contains an all-digital 6+3 phase PWM design that can provide up to 300W of power. Its layout is unlike any we have seen with the core components pushed off to one side, making place for a vastly expanded VRM layout. Truth be told, it looks like PNY is using the PCB from an NVIDIA Quadro rather than a mass market GeForce design.
Flipping the card over shows us a radically different design as we mentioned above while the heatsink overhands the PCBís edge by about ĺĒ. Additional memory modules are housed here as well with 2GB of memory being housed on this side. PNY hasnít added a backplate since the memory modules will dissipate heat quicker when left untouched within the caseís air circulation zone.
While the GTX 770 4GB OC2ís backplate is pure reference design, the power inputs are straight out of Fermi generation Quadro and Tesla cards. They consist of a stacked 6+8 pin design which is used to maximize PWM space. This layout does may power connector installation a bit of a hassle but that shouldnít be too much of a problem unless youíre switching out graphics cards every few weeks.
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