titleSo up until now we have taken a look at the stock GTX 760 with its single fan, the EVGA GTX 760 with its dual fans, that really only leaves one logical option right? Today I’m going to take a look at the GTX 760 from Gigabyte with their Windforce cooler that packs in a whopping 3 fans. The card is also overclocked a little more than the previous card as well. I’m expecting good performance and I’m very curious about how well Gigabytes Windforce cooling will do because this is our first chance to check out a card with it.

Product Name: Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce

Review Sample Provided by: Gigabyte

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

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Specifications

Graphics Processing Clusters

3 or 4

Streaming Multiprocessors

6

CUDA Cores

1152

Texture Units

96

ROP Units

32

Base Clock

1085 MHz

Boost Clock

1150 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

 


Packaging

If you haven’t seen a Gigabyte video card box before the large eye on the cover could make some people uncomfortable while it stares at you. Personally I think it is just looking at me waiting for me to put my new card in my pc and get to gaming. Along with the eye, on the front of the packaging we have all of the important information noting that this is the GTX 760, it is overclocked, and it does have the windforce cooler on it. For everything else you will need to flip the box over. The back has a large section dedicated to showing you what windforce cooling is all about. Beyond that there really is just a small feature listing that is repeated in multiple languages as well as a box with details on PCI Express 3.0.

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Inside you will find a second box, it is inside that box that you will find the GTX 760 sitting in surrounded by foam for protection. There is something about opening up boxes like this with the card in the middle like a big jewel that reminds me of Indiana jones every single time. Up under the card you will also find a driver disk, a quick guide, and two adapter cables (one dual Molex to 6-pin and the other dual Molex to 8-pin).

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Card Layout and Photos

The biggest feature of the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce is of course the Windforce cooling that is in its name. This is a cooling design that Gigabyte uses on a lot of their cards that literally packs as many fans on the card as possible. Along with that there is a large heatsink that goes from end to end that gives the fans lots of surface area to blow over to keep the card cool. That heatsink starts with heatpipes running from the GPU itself pulling the heat out to help with the cooling. All of the fans blow down onto the PCB meaning the rest of the card will also get cooling as well, similar to how a down facing heatsink will also cool ram in a PC.

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The same design that gives the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce so much cooling also means the heatsink can’t fit inside of a proper fan shroud to push the warmed air out the back of the case nor would it work with all of the air flow the triple fans provide. Because of that the card is open on all sides to push warmed air inside of your case. This isn’t a problem at all in most cases but if your computer is already running warm, putting even more warm air into it is only going to heat everything up more.

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To keep the large heatsink secure and to prevent any sagging of the cooling and the PCB Gigabyte used a long metal bracket along the top of the card. It blends into the design and looks good as well as being functional. Being the only thing you will really see when the card is installed they also included a Gigabyte logo on it as well. I would have loved to see this bracket also have the cards model name on it as well or maybe the Windforce logo.

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Really the only thing about the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce that matches with the reference card is the PCI slot cover. We have the same DisplayPort and HDMI ports as well as the two DVI connections. The venting on the slot cover is the same as well although this card is less likely to push air out the back due to its design as I mentioned before.

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Just like the other GTX 760’s the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce does have two SLI bridge connections making it capable of running in triple SLI if you decide to now or in the future.

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The two power connections on the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce are all the way down at the end of the card like they would be on any traditional card. This is different from both the reference card and the EVGA card we have seen. What is also different from the reference design is the 8-pin plus 6-pin design, the reference card went with two 6-pin connections. The overclocked EVGA card went this route as well for additional power headroom.

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Around on the back side of things we have a bright blue PCB. This is fairly standard for Gigabyte as this is their color, but I would still prefer to see this be a nice black finish. Having said that, it is obvious that the PCB of the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce is considerably larger than the reference card when you put them next to each other. The half-length PCB design of the reference card wasn’t used on the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce, they went with a longer design. What is interesting is this design is completely unique, there isn’t a large empty area in the added space like we have seen on a lot of the cards like this. Gigabyte completely relayed out the PCB design.

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When you put all three of the GTX 760’s together you can finally really see all of the differences. For one you can see the length difference between the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce’s length and the other two cards. It takes a little more room to be able to pack three fans onto the card. You can also see that the finish is glossy while the other cards have a matt finish that is a little less flashy.

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 Our Test Rig and Procedures

 

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

Power usage for the GTX 760 reference design was surprisingly low but when I took a look at the overclocked EVGA card I did see a jump in power usage because of the overclock and the additional fan. With this card having only slightly more on the overclock but a third fan I was curious to see where it would fall. It wasn’t all that surprising when the results put it at 6 watts over the other overclocked GTX 760 while under load but I was surprised that the idle power was lower than both the EVGA card and the reference design as well. Under load this put the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce up close to the power draw that the reference GTX 770 pulls under load and over what our GTX 670 did as well.

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With three fans, noise can be a big issue if for any reason they end up at 100% load. This was especially clear in my testing where the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce barely missed being at the top of the pack in 100% testing, thankfully this card shouldn’t need to spool up that much if it is doing a good job with its cooling. So let’s see the cooling results.

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So what will three fans and a large heatsink get you for cooling these days? Well in our testing the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce ran between 58 and 59 degrees the entire time it was in Unreal Heaven Benchmark 4.0. It ran extremely quiet as well as the fans hardly had to run. This doesn’t put it in as the coolest card tested, but very close. Gigabyte has tuned the fan speeds to a nice balance of cooling and noise for the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce.

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Synthetic Benchmarks

What does a tiny bump in overclock (13 Mhz) get you over the EVGA card that I tested  earlier this week? Honestly only a fraction of an FPS and in some cases the difference is so small that it falls into the margin of error. The performance of the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce is JUST as impressive as the EVGA card, especially when compared to the reference card and to our R7970 in our test results. The overclock on the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce helps edge the GTX 760’s performance up beyond the GTX 670 in most of these tests. Not too bad considering the GTX 670 has a lot more CUDA cores and sold for a lot more than any GTX 760.

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In Game Benchmarks

Our in game benchmarks gave us similar results to the synthetic benchmarks. In almost every case the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce came in a fraction of an FPS above our other overclocked GTX 760 and noticeably higher than our GTX 760 reference card results. In every game I tested the FPS was playable and in almost every case the results show over 60 FPS, what most people consider to be the sweet spot. That includes all of the games that we have AntiAliasing turned on and all the way up on at 1080p. In Tomb Raider, the one game that is close to 30 FPS, turning down AA would yield you even better results if you need it. In other words the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce will play just about every game on the market with every last detail turned up, take that consoles!

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Overclocking

After overclocking both the EVGA and the reference card I noticed that the GTX 760 isn’t very consistant in its overclocking capabilitys. What the reference card overclocked well at the EVGA card did not and vice versa. Having the chance to see what the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce could do I was extremely curious to see if it would match the reference card or even beat the numbers I was able to get with it. I started fairly high up on the GPU and had to work my way down to an offset of 125Mhz for an overall clock speed of 1333Mhz, this was just slightly under the 1359 Mhz that the reference card was able to do and MUCh better than what I saw with the EVGA card. On to the memory I hard to push the limits all the way up to a 750 Mhz offset before it failed. I settled on an offset of 700 Mhz that put my memory clock at 3703 Mhz or 7406 Mhz, a very impressive number and higher than what our reference card was able to do. All in all the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce performed very well while overclocking, more importantly I think the Windforce cooling will come in handy when you settle on an overclock that you will run day to day.

 

GPU Clock Speed Overclocking

GPU Clock Speed Offset

Pass/Fail

Resulting GPU Speed

FPS Result

Notes

200Mhz

Fail

1411Mhz

N/A

Driver and 3DMark Crash

150Mhz

Fail

1359Mhz

N/A

Driver and 3DMark Crash

125Mhz

Pass

1333Mhz

44.02

 

135Mhz

Fail

1346Mhz

44.37

Artifacts

 

Memory Clock Offset Overclocking

Memory Clock Speed Offset

Pass/Fail

Resulting Memory Speed

FPS Result

Notes

400Mhz

Pass

3402Mhz

40.91

 

500Mhz

Pass

3506Mhz

40.98

 

600Mhz

Pass

3602Mhz

41.04

 

650MhZ

Pass

3649Mhz

41.07

 

700MhZ

Pass

3703Mhz

41.11

 

750Mhz

Fail

3703Mhz

N/A

Artifact then driver crash

 

Combined GPU and Memory overclocks together

GPU Offset

Memory Offset

Pass Fail

FPS Resuts

Notes

125Mhz

700Mhz

Pass

44.74

 

 

 


Overall and Final Verdict

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Being our first look at one of Gigabyte’s Windforce video cards I have to admit that I am impressed with the amount of cooling that they packed into the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce. Three fans on one card isn’t something you will see every day and it did its job and some when it came to keeping the overclocked GTX 760 cool. The unique cooling design does have a couple downsides as you would expect. For one, when the three fans are running at 100% fan speed they can be fairly noisy. But the cooling power of the card means that unless you set the fans to 100% yourself you will most likely never have to worry about that.  The other downside is this card is a little longer than the other GTX 760’s, it shouldn’t be an issue for most people but if you are putting this card in a small case it could come up and you should be aware. Of course there is one major selling point about the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce, on top of its great performance. Gigabyte isn’t marking the card up at all over the reference design, meaning you can get this overclocked card for less than any of the other overclocked cards. At that price, why would you want a reference card when for the same price you can get better cooling and a stock overclock! 

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://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: #31583 29 Jun 2013 04:50
One last GTX 760 to check out before the weekend!
arbiter's Avatar
arbiter replied the topic: #31584 29 Jun 2013 14:18
as an owner of a gtx670 windforce card, noise of fans at 100% is not an issue. Even with my card overclocked to 1250mhz gpu and 6.8ghz memoory, mine rarely ever tops 50% on fans or gets over 70c. You listed it as a con to the card the noise level at 100%, frankly it will never get there, less he person has some serious case venting issues.
for a 760, windforce cooler might be a bit overkill. from tip of the rear bracket to end of the cooler is like 11inch's so its not a small card.
garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #31585 29 Jun 2013 17:25
"But the cooling power of the card means that unless you set the fans to 100% yourself you will most likely never have to worry about that."

Yeah I agree, I mentioned the same thing in the review. But I mention it because some people like to turn up their fan speed manually, and if they do they its going to be noisier than the other GTX 760's tested.

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