titleLast week we took a look at the Nvidia GTX 780, their first card in the 700 series of cards. Surprisingly I am sitting here a week later already telling you about their next card: the GTX 770. Is the combination of the GTX 780 and GTX 770 a one-two punch or a hit and a miss? Well in order to find out we had to put it through our benchmark suite to see what it was capable of. I enjoyed the GTX 780; I hope they are able to keep it up with the GTX 770.

Product Name: Nvidia GTX 770

Review Sample Provided by: Nvidia

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes


GTX 770 Details

You have to be wondering what is so different about the GTX 770, I mean we just saw the GTX 780 last week right? Well there are a lot of similarities between the two cards. Visually they are basically the same other than small details like the GTX 770 logo on it and a few changes on the PCB. So what sets it apart? The GTX 780 uses the GK110 GPU that was also in the Titan and the GTX 770 uses the same GK104 that we saw in the GTX 680. Clock speed between the GTX 770 and the GTX 680 are actually fairly close, the base clock is closer to what we saw with the GTX 680’s boost clock and the GTX 770’s boost clock speed is 1085 MHz.

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Beyond that difference, they also went with the fastest memory every used at a whopping 7 Gbps. This is faster than what we saw on the GTX 780 even. They did drop down the capacity from the GTX 780 to 2 GB’s using a 256-bit memory controller, just like the GTX 680 did. Nvidia also mentioned that we can expect to see 4GB models out as well.

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So what do those changes mean overall? Well Nvidia is showing a Single Precision score of 3.2 Teraflops, falling nicely in between the GTX 680’s 2.5 and the GTX 780’s 4.0. For power usage the GTX 680 was very efficient, in order for them to up the memory speed and the clock speed we did lose some of that but the GTX 770 does use less than what the GTX 780 uses. The GTX 780 pulls 250 watts where the GTX 770 pulls 230 watts, it’s not a huge difference, but it will make a difference on your electric bill over a year or two. Because of the increase in power usage over the GTX 680 though, the GTX 770 does use the same 8+6 power plug configuration that the GTX 780 uses.

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Model

GTX 580

GTX 680

GTX 770

GTX 780

CUDA Cores

512

1536

1536

2304

Base Clock

772MHz

1006 MHz

1046 MHz

863 MHz

Boost Clock

NA

1058 HHz

1085 MHz

900 MHz

Single Precision

1.5 Teraflops

2.5 Teraflops

3.2 Teraflops

4.0 Teraflops

Memory Config

2GB/384-bit GDDR5

2GB/256-bit GDDR5

2GB or 4GB/256-bit GDDR5

3GB/384-bit GDDR5

Memory Speed

4.0 Gbps

6.0 Gbps

7.0 Gbps

6.0 Gbps

Power Connectors

6-pin + 8-pin

6-pin + 6-pin

6-pin + 8-pin

6-pin + 8-pin

TDP

244W

195W

230W

250W

Outputs

Mini HDMI

Two Dual Link DVI

2x DL-DVI

HDMI

DisplayPort 1.2

2x DL-DVI

HDMI

DisplayPort 1.2

2x DL-DVI

HDMI

DisplayPort 1.2

Bus Interface

PCI Express 2.0

PCI Express 3.0

PCI Express 3.0

PCI Express 3.0

Let’s not forget that the GTX 770 still does get the same features we introduced with the GTX 780 though. It does take advantage of Boost 2.0 for better on the fly clock speed boosts as well as letting us have temperature goal overclock/underclock settings. The same can be said for the new fan speed controller programing that focuses on less drastic fan speed changes to make the card noise even less noticeable. Also now that the new drivers have been out for a week everyone should be taking advantage of the Geforce Experience where Nvidia helps you keep your drivers up to date and it also helps fine tune your in game settings to fit your PC configuration perfectly.

Nvidia was also showing off their in house benchmarks of the GTX 770 against the GTX 670 and the GTX 570. They say to expect a 65% performance increase over the GTX 570, a major jump for those who have had their GTX 570 for a few years and are finally looking at an upgrade.

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Specifications

Graphics Processing Clusters

4

Streaming Multiprocessors

8

CUDA Cores

1536

Texture Units

128

ROP Units

32

Base Clock

1046 MHz

Boost Clock

1084 MHz

Memory Clock (Data rate)

7010 MHz

L2 Cache Size

512KB

Total Video Memory

2048MB or 4096MB GDDR5

Memory Interface

256-bit

Total Memory Bandwidth

224.3 GB/s

Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear)

133.9 GigaTexels/sec

Fabrication Process

28 nm

Transistor Count

3.54 Billion

Connectors

2 x Dual-Link DVI

1 xHDMI

1 x DisplayPort

Form Factor

Dual Slot

Power Connectors

One 8-pin and one 6-pin

Recommended Power Supply

600 Watts

Thermal Design Power (TDP)

230 Watts

Thermal Threshold

95° C



Card Layout and Photos

Right out of the box it is clear that the GTX 770 looks basically the same as the GTX 780. In some cases this could be a bad thing, but considering how amazing the GTX 780 looks this is a major plus. The GTX 770 looks amazing, this is one of the rare situations where I doubt there will be any/many aftermarket coolers that can compete with the styling but we are excited to see what everyone will have to offer. The all metal fan shroud combines a heavy duty look with the window peeking in to see the cards heatsink, something you normally don’t get to see with fan shrouds covering them up to focus the air over top of them.

Also to those who are wondering, I know I have mentioned it before but other than the window none of that is plastic. It looks like it could be plastic in the pictures but once you get it in hand will be blown away by its quality. It’s amazing how much of a difference going to a metal fan shroud can do to someone’s impression of quality.

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Even with a window in the side we still have a full sized fan to push the air over the heatsink and keep the GTX 770 cool. I love that Nvidia also machined out a small metal cap that goes on the center of the fan, it ties it into the rest of the metal fan shroud perfectly and gives a nice color contrast against the black fan.

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Really the only difference in the GTX 770’s cooler compared to the GTX 780 or even the Titan is the GTX 770 logo that was cast in it. It’s a small touch but it is MUCH better than a sticker or something similar that I could see some manufactures doing to save costs.

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Even the vented area at the end of that card that gives you an up close view of a small area of heatsink that covers the power circuitry on the GTX 770 looks good. You can also see the three screw holes for adding additional support if you need it.

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Up on the top edge of the GTX 770 we have the Geforce GTX logo to show off what kind of card you are sporting. In a lot of cases this is the only part of the video card you might see. The rest of the pretty fan shroud gets a little hidden when facing down in the case but Nvidia has made sure your new card won’t go unseen. Not only does the green color catch your eye, but it also will light up and really stands out when the lights are turned down.

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Just like its big brother the GTX 770 requires an 8 pin and a 6 pin power connection to power everything. This goes along with its only slightly lower TDP as well so it’s not a huge surprise.

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Just like the GTX 780 the GTX 770 has two SLI bridge connections meaning it is capable of running up to quad SLI if you feel the itch or need the extra power in your rig. That is assuming your motherboard, power supply, and case all will support four GTX 770’s.

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This is just the reference card, but I love that it has a black PCB; it goes great with the front fan shroud design. They could have stepped it up even more with a back plate but it would only be for aesthetics as the shroud already does a good job of keeping the card from bending around.

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Down on the PCI slots we have the same connection configuration as the GTX 780. You get two dual link DVI plugs, one full sized HDMI, and one full sized DisplayPort. Only one of the two DVI ports will allow analog support you can see the one with the support on the bottom here. That means only one DVI to VGA adapter is supported. This is fairly standard but I like to remind people just in case.

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Putting the GTX 770 next to the recently introduced GTX 780 we can finally see how similar the two cards really are. In fact the kick ass looking fan shroud design is exactly the same other than having 770 on it rather than 780. The cards are the exact same length as well. It isn’t until we flip them over and take a closer look at the PCB’s next to each other we can finally see a few differences. If you look where the GPU is you can see the 770 has noticeably less going on. Around the GPU there are 8 memory chips where the GTX 780 has 12 around the GPU to make up its extra gig in frame buffer. There are a lot of things that do match up between the two cards, but they are different where it counts.

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Our Test Rig

CPU

Intel i7-3960X

Memory

Corsair Vengeance 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM Quad Channel  (4x4GB)

Motherboard

Asus Rampage IV X79 Motherboard 

Cooling

Intel Active Thermal Solution RTS2011LC

Power Supply

Cooler Master Gold Series 1200 Watt PSU

Storage

Kingston Hyper X 120 SSD

Seagate Constellation 2tb Hard drive 

Case

High Speed PC Test Bench

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Our Testing Procedures

Bioshock Infinite 

Using the Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool we run Bioshock Infinite on the “Xtreme” quality setting. This has a resolution of 1920x1080, FXAA turned on, Ultra Texture detail, 16x Aniso Texture Filtering, Ultra Dynamic Shadows, Normal Postprocessing, Light Shafts on, Ambient Occlusion set to ultra, and the Level of Detail set to Ultra as well.

Tomb Raider

Using the Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool we run Tomb Raider on the “Xtreme” quality setting. This has a resolution of 1920x1080, Exclusive Fullscreen turned on, Anti-Aliasing set to 2xSSAA, Texture Quality set to Ultra, Texture Aniso set to 16x Aniso, Hair Quality set to TressFX, Shadow set to Normal, Shadow Resolution on High, Ultra SSAO, Ultra Depth of Field, High Reflection quality, Ultra LOD scale, Post Processing On, High Precision RT turned on, and Tessellation is also turned on. 

Hitman: Absolution

Using the Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool we run Hitman: Absolution on the “Xtreme” quality setting other than the MSAA setting is turned down from 8x to 2x. That setting puts the resolution at 1920x1080, MSAA is set to 2x, Texture Quality is set to High, Texture Aniso is set to 16x, Shadows are on Ultra, SSA is set to high, Global Illumination is turned on, Reflections are set to High, FXAA is on, Level of Detail is set to Ultra, Depth of Field is high, Tessellation is turned on, and Bloom is set to normal.

Sleeping Dogs

Using the Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool we run Sleeping Dogs on the “Xtreme” quality setting. That means our resolution is set to 1920x1080, Anti-Aliasing is set to Extreme, Texture Quality is set to High-Res, Shadow Quality is High, Shadow Filter is set to high, SSAO is set to High, Motion Blur Level is set to High, and World Density is set to Extreme.

F1 2012

We use the built in benchmark for F1 2012. We set our resolution to 1920x1080 and then use the “Ultra” setting.

Batman Arkham Asylum

We used the built-in benchmark set to 1920 x 1080, Multi Sample AA 16XQ, Detail Level, Very High, Bloom: Yes, Dynamic Shadows: Yes, Motion Blur: Yes, Distortion: Yes, Fog Volumes: Yes, Spherical Harmonic Lighting: Yes, Ambient Occlusion: Yes, PhysX: Off

Total War: Shogun 2

Direct X11 Benchmark High setting

Crysis 2

Using Adrenaline Crysis 2 benchmark.  1080p, 4x Anti-Aliasing, DX11, Laplace Edge Detection Edge AA, on the Times Square map, with hi res textures turned on.

Battlefield 3

Using Fraps with the game set to Ultra settings with 4x MSAA Antialiasing Deferred, 16X Anisotropic Filter, at 1920x1080.

Sniper V2 Elite

1920 x 1080 resolution, graphics detail set to ultra

Dirt Showdown

1920 x 1080 resolution, 4x MSAA multisampling, Vsync off, Shadows: ultra; Post Process: High; Night Lighting: High; Vehicle Reflections: Ultra; Ambient Occlusion: Ultra; Water: high; Objects: Ultra; Trees: Ultra; Crowd: Ultra; Ground Cover: High.

Metro Last Light

Using the included benchmark tool. The settings are set to 1920x1080, DirectX 11, quality is set to very high, Texture filtering is untouched at 4x, and motion blue is set to normal. SSAA is unselected, PhysX is unselected, Tessellation is off. We run through scene D6 three times to get an average score.

Synthetic Benchmarks

For video cards our synthetic benchmarks are limited to 3DMark Vantage 2011, and 3DMark 2013 (AKA 3DMark). In 3DMark Vantage 2011 we run both performance and extreme benchmarks. The same goes for the most current version of 3DMark, we run through Fire Strike on standard and extreme settings.

Unreal Heaven Benchmark 4.0

Using the “Extreme” preset

Unreal Heaven Benchmark 4.0 heat testing

We run through Unreal Heaven at 1080p for 30 minutes to test in game heat performance and noise output of the card while under load.

Power Usage

Using Unreal Heaven Benchmark 4.0, we get our “load” power usage number from the peak power usage during our test. We get our numbers from a Kill-A-Watt connected to the test benches power cord.

Noise Testing

Our Noise testing is done using a decibel meter 3 inches away from the video card on the bottom/fan side of the card. We test an idle noise level and then to get an idea of how loud the card will get if it warms all the way up we also turn the fan speed up to 100% and test again. The 100% test isn’t a representation of typical in game noise levels, but it will show you how loud a card can be if you run it at its highest setting or if it gets very hot.

 

 


Cooling, Noise, and Power

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Considering the complete heatsink and fan for the GTX 770 is the same as the GTX 780, I wasn’t surprised that our results came in exactly the same. At idle the GTX 770 was in line with almost every other card we have tested and when I turned the fan speed up to 100% it did get noisy but not a loud as some of the other cards tested like the dual fan R7970. It’s rare that you should ever need to hear the fan at 100%, unless you are having a problem. I found the GTX 770 to be quiet overall in all of my testing; rarely did I ever notice it at all, especially over the small chipset cooler on our Rampage 4 motherboard.

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I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I saw the temperature results. Nvidia sets 79/80 as their temperature goal to keep things quiet during use. You won’t see it go up over 79/80 but as the heat increases you might hear the fan slowly creep up. In my case I could hardly hear the fan at all during this test, a noticeable improvement over the GTX 680 and HD 7970 that I re-tested recently.

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For power usage I was actually very surprised. Even just on our idle testing the GTX 770 outperformed all but the lowest cards. At loud the performance was respectable as well. The GTX 680 was always a low power usage card and the GTX 770 came in even lower, not bad considering it has faster ram, a higher clock speed, and a higher TDP.

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Synthetic Benchmarks

Our first synthetic benchmark is 3DMark using the performance and extreme settings. It’s really amazing to see that the GTX 770 up almost spot on with the performance of the two GTX 650 Ti’s in SLI. As far as the GTX 680 and R7970, they came in below the GTX 770 by a respectable amount in both the performance and extreme benchmarks.

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In the latest 3DMark Fire Strike and Fire Strike Extreme benchmarks the GTX 770 came in slightly above the R7970 and noticeably higher than the GTX 680.

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When it comes to our Unreal Heaven Benchmark 4.0 the GTX 770 came in slightly above the similar GTX 680 and well above the R7970 but still well below the GTX 780. That GK110 GPU in the GTX 780 helped it pull ahead considerably, not to mention the extra memory bandwidth.

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In Game Benchmarks

Our Synthetic benchmarks gave me a good idea where to expect the GTX 770 in relation to the GTX 680 and the R7970. Other than Hitman and Tomb Raider this was basically the case. There were a few games like Batman and F1 2012 where the GTX 770 stood out above them even more and even came in fairly close to the performance we saw with the GTX 780. Most importantly all of the games tested here will play perfectly on their highest settings when using a 1080p monitor and in most cases you should be able to push even high resolutions as well, not bad for a card that isn’t even the “flagship” card.

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Overclocking

A true enthusiast is never satisfied and always looking to edge out a little performance when they can. Even if you don’t plan on keeping your card overclocked, a lot of people give it a try to see what they could have if they wanted. When it came to overclocking the GTX 770 I took the same approach that I used on the GTX 780 and all of the other Kepler cards before it. I start by pushing the limits of the GPU Clock Speed Offset to see how far I can push it. To do this I turned up our settings in precision to the max 106% power target and 94 degree temperature target then turned the fan up to 100% just for good measure. From there I started with a high 200Mhz because our GTX 780 hit over that. When that failed I went down to 148 and worked my way back up until it failed my 3dmark test. In the end I hit 174 after turning up the voltage, oddly enough you can only turn up the voltage one notch to 12mV, but that was enough to get 174Mhz offset to pass after failing. The end result while running my 3dmark test was an overall clock speed of 1320Mhz, a highly respectable number if you ask me!

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From there I did the same thing with the Memory Clock Offset but something interesting happened. Keep in mind the GTX 770 uses new memory that is faster than ever used before, aka 7000Mhz memory after it is doubled. So I started at a memory clock offset of 204 and bumped it up over and over trying to find out max. It wasn’t until 487Mhz that I saw a single artifact in my test but nothing worth freaking out about. I pushed past all the way up to 637Mhz when I finally had more artifacts than I could handle. It actually passed my test, but I was terrified the whole time the test ran that I was going to trash our brand new GTX 770. Imagine that phone call to Nvidia, we have had your card for 6 hours and I have already blown it up!

When you hear 635Mhz offset it doesn’t really set in until you realize that gave us a memory clock speed of 8280Mhz! Of course that wasn’t going to do it so I bumped it down to 600Mhz and ran it again. This time I did see more artifacts but nothing like the last test.

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Next I put both of our results together and ran the test once again to see if the card could do both at the same time. Shockingly it ran through the test and even had fewer artifacts than on the similar memory test. All in all I have to say that the GTX 770 overclocked very well, especially on the memory side. To show you all, I have put together my testing for all to see. It’s interesting to see that sometimes a bump in offset might not give actual results when boost is taken into consideration.

GPU Clock Speed Overclocking

GPU Clock Speed Offset

Pass/Fail

Resulting GPU Speed

FPS Result

Notes

200Mhz

Fail

1330

N/A

148Mhz

Pass

1280Mhz

54.15

168Mhz

Pass

1293Mhz

54.64

187Mhz

Fail

1320Mhz

N/A

174Mhz

Fail

1306Mhz

N/A

174Mhz

Pass

1320Mhz

55.53

increased voltage 12mV

181Mhz

Fail

1320Mhz

N/A

increased voltage 12mV

Memory Clock Offset Overclocking

Memory Clock Speed Offset

Pass/Fail

Resulting Memory Speed

FPS Result

Notes

204Mhz

Pass

3713Mhz

48.97

240Mhz

Pass

3744Mhz

48.97

302Mhz

Pass

3802Mhz

48.99

355Mhz

Pass

3861Mhz

49.07

434Mhz

Pass

3938Mhz

49.12

487Mhz

Pass

3996Mhz

49.15

saw one artifact

531Mhz

Pass

4037Mhz

49.14

saw one artifact

575Mhz

Pass

4082Mhz

49.25

saw two artifacts

637Mhz

Fail

4140Mhz

49.29

Completed test but LOTS of artifacts

600Mhz

Pass

4104Mhz

49.24

Saw 10 artifacts

Combined GPU and Memory overclocks together

GPU Offset

Memory Offset

Pass Fail

FPS Result

Notes

174Mhz

600Mhz

Pass

56.32

4 Artifacts – 12mV overvoltage

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Overall and Final Verdict

I love that not long ago the best performance you could get was an HD7970 or a GTX 680 and now the GTX 770 dominates both of them in nearly every benchmark we put it through. It’s going to be really interesting to see what overclocked models can do, our reference card did extremely well when benchmarking here in the office. In fact I was very worried I would have to give Nvidia a call explaining how we blew up our card in less than 6 hours when our memory clock speeds broke 8000Mhz.

Nvidia really impressed us with the inclusion of the all metal fan shroud that also came on the GTX 780 and Titan. The heavy duty design and eye catching styling really set the GTX 770 apart from all of the cards we have seen from past generations. I said the same thing on the GTX 780 launch, but it’s really surprising how something that is relatively small can make such a big difference when it comes to your impression of the quality of the card. Every time I get it in my hands I really feel like I am holding something special and it helps assure you that you didn’t waste your money on a hunk of plastic.

 

Speaking of money by now you have to be wondering what the price of the GTX 770 is. Nvidia is suggesting that the 2GB models sell for $399. We really focused on the GTX 770’s performance in comparison to the GTX 680, GTX 780, and HD 7970, now that we know its price it’s really eye opening when you consider the performance and compare it against those cards. Both the GTX 680 and HD 7970 come in $50 more than the GTX 770 at the time of this review while the GTX 770 pulls ahead in performance against them. Even better is when you consider how much cheaper this is to the $649 GTX 780. The GTX 770 comes with the same high end heatsink as the GTX 780 but at a much lower cost. That kick ass fan shroud really sets the GTX 770 apart against the more expensive GTX 680 and HD 7970.

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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garfi3ld replied the topic: #31185 30 May 2013 19:56
One of two reviews that we published today, check out Nvidia's new GTX 770

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