titleJust this past week I was away on vacation, I came back to a stack of boxes with most of them being video cards. This time, most of them are a new model from Nvidia. Just like with other big launches, the Nvidia GTX 780 was quickly followed up by the GTX 770. To continue filling in gaps in their product line that the GTX 780 launch created Nvidia is launching the GTX 760 that will replace the GTX 660 Ti. Today we are going to take a look at the new GTX 760 and see what it is all about as well as seeing what it is capable in our test suite. The GTX 780 and GTX 770’s were both impressive, I am very curious to see what they will be following them up with.

 

Product Name: Nvidia GTX 760

Review Sample Provided by: Nvidia

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

 

GTX 760 Details

As Nvidia went over the details of the GTX 760 I was sitting comfortably with a nice view of the ocean while on vacation. They went over some of the details that we spoke about on our forums a few weeks ago with PC gaming being a big focus for a lot of the developers at GDC this year. They also showed us where the GTX 760 will fit in their product lineup. As you can see below the GTX 760 is replacing the GTX 660 Ti and we will still have the GTX 660 and below. Something they don’t normally show us is their product lineup for the future, as you can see below this will be the last launch until at least the fall. I would guess that Nvidia would like to see AMD bring out its new cards before they continue bringing out the 700 series. All of the GTX 600 series cards have adjusted in price to fit their new placement in the product line as well.  

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Now that we know where the GTX 760 goes in the product lineup, let’s take a look at its specifications. As you can see below the GTX 760 is very similar to the GTX 660 Ti. I put together a table showing the specifications between the GTX 660, GTX 660 Ti, and the new GTX 760. As you can see the GTX 660 Ti actually had more CUDA cores than the card that replaces it. They did however bump up the clock speeds as well as give the GTX 760 more voltage to support those clock speeds as well. On the memory side of things they have moved from a 192 bit interface to a 256 bit interface for a little more bandwidth. It will be interesting to see in our performance sections how the improved clock speed and memory bandwidth will perform against the lower CUDA cores.

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GTX 660

GTX 660 Ti

GTX 760

CUDA Cores

960

1344

1,152

Base Clock

980 Mhz

915 Mhz

980 Mhz

Boost Clock

1033 Mhz

980 Mhz

1,033 Mhz

Memory Config

2GB/192-bit GDDR5

2GB/192-bit GDDR5

2GB or 4GB/256-bit GDDR5

Memory Speed

6.0 Gbps

6.0 Gbps

6.0 Gbps

Power Connectors

6-pin

6-pin + 6-pin

6-pin + 6-pin

TDP

140W

150W

170W

Outputs

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 3.0

PCI Express 3.0

PCI Express 3.0

 

Just like the GTX 770 and GTX 780 the GTX 760 does still have Boost 2.0 and along with that the new adaptive temperature controller that eliminates a lot of the quick fan speed adjustments that end up making a lot of noise. Nvidia has figured out that it is the big changes in fan speed that make fan noise so noticeable, slower more controlled fan speed changes will still keep things cool while being less noticeable to the end user.

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Here is a full specification breakdown of the GTX 760 as well

Specifications

Graphics Processing Clusters

3 or 4

Streaming Multiprocessors

6

CUDA Cores

1152

Texture Units

96

ROP Units

32

Base Clock

980 MHz

Boost Clock

1,033 MHz

Memory Clock (Data rate)

6008 MHz

L2 Cache Size

512K

Total Video Memory

2048MB GDDR5

Memory Interface

256-bit

Total Memory Bandwidth

192.26 GB/s

Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear)

94.1 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

2 x  6-pin

Recommended Power Supply

500 Watts

Thermal Design Power (TDP)

170 Watts

Thermal Threshold2

95° C

 

 


Card Layout and Photos

If I didn’t know any better I would think I was still looking at the GTX 670 or GTX 660 Ti. The GTX 760 shares the exact same fan shroud and design from the previous cards. It’s not really too big of a shock considering they also share a lot of the same design specification wise as well. Things like the new memory controller aren’t visible on the outside. Ironically this design actually matches the 700 series cards better than it did the 600 series of cards. This is because this design was made to look similar to the GTX 690, where the cooler design was pulled from for the Titan-GTX 780-GTX 770. Of course it is all black plastic where those cards were all metal. Hopefully I don’t forget and sit this next to my GTX 670 at any point though, I doubt I will be able to tell the difference without hooking them both up.

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Just like the GTX 660 Ti that this card replaces, it does have the same short PCB design. As you can see the fan shroud continues past the PCb making the card look fairly normal in size when you see if from the other side. This allows Nvidia to still pack all of the cooling needed onto the card even though they didn’t need the extra space for the PCB.

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On the top of the GTX 760 we still do have the Geforce GTX logo but unlike the GTX 770 and GTX 780 it doesn’t light up, it is just printed onto the fan shroud.

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As you can see the entire design is enclosed meaning all of the air that is pulled in from the fan will be pushed all the way across the card and out the back of your case. Although we have seen that other designs allow for larger heatsinks, this design is great for any case that is very limited on cooling. You don’t want to be adding more heat into your case if it can’t handle what it has already or you will be increasing the temps of your motherboard, hard drives, and CPU.

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Here is what the GTX 760 looks like next to the GTX 780 and by proxy the GTX 770. It is slightly shorter overall but the much shorter PCB is even more obvious, especially when you see the difference in power connection locations. There is also a big quality difference when you look at the GTX 770 and GTX 780 where they have the all metal fan shroud design that also lights up.

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For power on the GTX 760, Nvidia included two 6 pin power connections next to each other. This is similar to the GTX 660 Ti even though the GTX 760 does have a slightly higher TDP. The location of course is just like the older GTX 770 and GTX 660 Ti cards half way down the card due to the shorter PCB design.

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The GTX 760’s connections are exactly the same as what we have seen the last two generations. You will get two DVI connections, one of the two (the bottom in this picture) will support VGA pass through while the other won’t. You also have one HDMI and one DisplayPort connection. Nvidia included a fairly large cooling vent but to get even more airflow they did include a small vent in between the bottom DVI port and the HDMI connection as well.

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Unlike the GTX 660 last year, the GTX 760 does have two SLI bridge connections meaning it is physically possible to run this in a triple or quad setup. Most likely this is limited to triple via software support though, just like the GTX 780 and GTX 770. I was told only the Titan currently supports quad SLI because it is Nvidia’s flagship card.

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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

 

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

On the power side of things, I was surprised that the GTX 760 pulled less than the GTX 670 under load by a noticeable amount because they both had a TDP of 170 watts. This put the GTX 760 under the GTX 770 by 40 watts at load as well, this could be the difference between a power supply upgrade or saving your money and using your current power supply.

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The GTX 760 started off with our idle noise testing with one of the lowest results tested, of course all of the results are so close together that it is hard to call this a big win. It wasn’t until you see the 100% fan speed noise results that you can see that the card is fairly quiet, coming in just below the GTX 670 with the same fan shroud design. I did note in my testing though that when the GTX 760 was spooling up to 100% fan speed that it was actually louder putting it at a much higher 76.8 decibels. I’m not sure if it was just a problem with our card, I haven’t heard that noise from any other the other cards tested including the GTX 670 that has the same design.

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When it came to our temperature testing, I was surprised that our GTX 760 didn’t hit the same 79 degree sweet spot that other Nvidia cards almost always hit. I was seeing consistent 80 to 81 degree temperatures during all of our Unreal Heaven Benchmark 4.0 testing. This puts the GTX 760 at the top of our charts.

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Synthetic Benchmarks

Remember before I wasn’t really sure what to expect for performance because of the lower CUDA cores but increases in clock speed and memory bandwidth. In 3Dmark Fire Strike my results were almost spot on for the GTX 670, a card with even more CUDA cores. Of course in some of my results the overclocked GTX 660 Ti did come close in results due to its increased clock speeds. Overall though my results put the GTX 760 really close in performance to the GTX 670, a good performing card.

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In Game Benchmarks

Much like in my synthetic benchmark testing the GTX 760 performed very closely to the GTX 670 in most of our in game benchmarks. There are some cases where the increased number of CUDA cores really helps the GTX 670 though, like in Dirt Showdown. Hopefully you will find a few games that you like to play in all of our test results below. One thing is for sure, the GTX 760 is going to be able to play most of today’s games at or near the sweet spot of 60 FPS, especially if you turn off some of the Antialiasing that I run in most of our benchmarks to push the high end cards even harder.

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Overclocking

With a similar design to the GTX 660 Ti, but with increases in TDP and the memory controller I wasn’t all that sure what to expect when it came to overclocking the GTX 760. On the GPU Core Clock side of things I started off with a 200Mhz offset expecting it to fail and to set my testing range but surprisingly it passed. I bumped up higher to 300Mhz and it failed and worked my way back down to find out that the 200Mhz was very close to my max overclock. My best ended up being 215Mhz Offset giving me a GPU clock speed of 1372 while in our 3dmark 11 test 2 benchmark.

On the memory side of things I wasn’t about to waist too much time, knowing that the GTX 770 did so well with a similar memory controller I started at 300Mhz offset and went all the way to 600Mhz before it failed on me at both 750Mhz and 650Mhz. The 600Mhz memory clock speed offset ended up being the sweet spot that didn’t give me any artifacts while testing as well. The overall memory speed was 3602Mhz or 7204Mhz, very impressive! I was able to combine the two results without any issues as well as you can see on the last line in my testing in the table below. Overall I was very happy with the overclock possible with the GTX 760, especially on the memory side.

 

GPU Clock Speed Overclocking

GPU Clock Speed Offset

Pass/Fail

Resulting GPU Speed

FPS Result

Notes

200Mhz

Pass

1346Mhz

44.44

 

300Mhz

Fail

1437Mhz

N/A

Driver Crash

250Mhz

Fail

1398Mhz

N/A

Driver Crash

225Mhz

Fail

1372Mhz

N/A

Driver Crash

215Mhz

Pass

1359Mhz

44.96

 

220Mhz

Fail

1364Mhz

N/A

Driver Crash

 

Memory Clock Offset Overclocking

Memory Clock Speed Offset

Pass/Fail

Resulting Memory Speed

FPS Result

Notes

300Mhz

Pass

3305Mhz

38.91

 

500Mhz

Pass

3506Mhz

39.01

 

600Mhz

Pass

3602Mhz

39.07

 

750MhZ

Fail

N/A

N/A

Hard Fail, system lock

650MhZ

Fail

3649Mhz

N/A

Driver Crash

 

Combined GPU and Memory overclocks together

GPU Offset

Memory Offset

Pass Fail

FPS Result

Notes

215MHZ

600MHz

Pass

44.98

 

 

 


Overall and Final Verdict

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Now that I have taken a look at the GTX 760 both aesthetically as well as its performance, what do I think? Well I was very happy with the cards performance, give or take depending on the test I saw results similar to the GTX 670, in other words this year you are getting the performance of two cards up. This puts it in line with the GTX 770 and GTX 780 as well as the rest of the lineup that will consist of the GTX 660 and below for at least a good portion of this year.

Nvidia priced the GTX 760 at $249 here at launch and at that price you are getting performance that would have cost you a lot more earlier this year. In fact I think for a lot of people that $249 MSRP is going to be the sweet spot much like a lot of the other cards that came in at that same price point like the GTX 560, GTX 460, GTS 8800 G90, etc. You should be able to play everything that is out now and when you want or need more performance later on picking up a second card isn’t going to make your wallet get up and run away.

In my testing I was extremely impressed with the overclocking performance that I saw with the card, especially on the memory side. Ironically In my Pro’s and con’s below you will see that I was happy with the noise levels of the card in everyday use due to the new fan controller but in my testing I also noted that the fan made more noise when accelerating up to its target speed. Both can be possible because the new fan controller’s design is to prevent all of the up and down in fan speeds. My only other complaint (and it is trivial) is the reference designs fan shroud is the exact same design from last year. It actually goes well with the new 700 series cards, but I always like seeing new designs as well. I’m sure all of the overclocked designs will be using various other designs anyhow so most won’t even see a reference design. 

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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's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #31546 25 Jun 2013 21:11
Nvidia's latest card launched this morning! Enjoy
Satansoul's Avatar
Satansoul replied the topic: #31547 26 Jun 2013 02:47
I have not seen any 7950s being tested? are you guys gonna test one soon?
garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #31548 26 Jun 2013 03:46
we tested one back on Jan 31st of 2012 when they launched

lanoc.org/review/video-cards/5667-xfx-r7...-edition-overclocked

I doubt we will see any more

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