PNY GTX 780 & GTX 780 Ti Customized OC Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: August 20, 2014
Product Name: GTX 780 XLR8 Customized OC / GTX 780 Ti XLR8 Customized OC
Warranty: Lifetime (with registration)
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After years of being satisfied with championing NVIDIA’s Quadro, PNY is on a mission to enhance their positioning within the gaming GPU market. While cards like the XLR8 series have gone a long way towards legitimizing their current stance, they’re looking beyond being just an afterthought for enthusiasts. The new Customized Series is meant as a large step towards providing the market with something unique while still adhering to PNY’s fundamental principles of excellent customer support and rigorous product testing.

So what makes the Customized all that different? From a specifications standpoint (more on this below) not all that much but where these cards depart from the ordinary is their design. They’re more streamlined and boast a backplate, both of which are elements some buyers are looking for when they put together a build with a large case window. Most importantly, they have a new internal heatsink design and are more affordable than PNY’s highest-end SKU; the Ultimate OC.

Starting off with the GTX 780 XLR8 Customized OC (yes, these PNY product designations are getting more confusing as time goes on), we have a card whose specifications aren’t all that much better than the reference design. However, through the use of a well implemented cooling solution it can hit speeds in excess of those achieved by ASUS’ DirectCU II OC edition. Unlike the XLR8 OC, its memory frequencies haven’t budged but that’s to be expected since the Custom series is meant to bridge the gap between PNY’s reference cards and their higher clocked versions.

The real selling point of this card is its price. At just $530, it isn’t all that much more expensive than NVIDIA’s reference design and it comes backed up by PNY’s lifetime warranty and highly regarded customer support.

The GTX 780 Ti XLR8 Customized Series OC runs in parallel with their standard XLR8 and will likely replace it within retail channels. Both the core and memory frequencies are identical, as is the maximum achievable out-of-box Boost speed so there really won’t be all that much to distinguish this GTX 780 Ti from its progenitor other than PNY’s strides in cooling and card design.

Like the GTX 780 Custom OC, pricing will be quite aggressive with the GTX 780 Ti version going for about $730 USD before rebates and significantly less when you factor in all the ongoing promotions. Naturally, this card will also come with PNY’s industry leading lifetime warranty.

Both the GTX 780 Ti and GTX 780 Custom Series share the exact same exterior design and even internal component layout so for the purposes of this quick overview, we’ll address them together.

PNY has distinguished this series with a full aluminum heatsink shroud construction which not only helps dissipate head but it also helps with structural rigidity since it’s bolted directly to the card’s PCB. It is further separated from other cards in PNY’s lineup by the inclusion of a pair of 80mm fans with white LED lighting.

The aluminum shroud has also been bent back over itself which not only creates a clean rear profile but also helps direct airflow back over components instead of the air being driven against your enclosure’s natural air movement. Even though this addition does make the Custom Series slightly longer than the reference card, it is still about 11 ½” long so there won’t be any fitment issues in most enclosures.

Below that awesome looking aluminum exterior is a heatsink that’s been equipped with five large heatpipes and a slim yet extensive fin array. There’s also a custom 8-phase all digital PWM which is cooled with a secondary forged aluminum heatsink for cooler temperatures.

These are some of the first PNY cards to receive a secondary backplate but in this case all it does is create some extra heat dissipation for top-mounted components. Plus, it looks pretty good too.

The only difference between the GTX 780 and GTX 780 Ti is the input power connectors with the higher end Ti using a pair of 8-pins while the 780 gets an 8+6 pin combo. Meanwhile, the backplates receive reference treatment with two DVI’s, a DisplayPort and a lone HDMI output.

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