NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review

NVIDIA released a new high-end GPU model today in the form of the GeForce GTX 780. We check it out to see how it performs under our gaming tests.

Manufacturer: NVIDIA
21 minutes & 27 seconds read time


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 02

For a long time we used to see AMD and NVIDIA release similar models at the same time, but over the past few years, we've seen new GPU launches become separated. The only time that has changed in recent years is the release of the HD 7790 and GTX 650 Ti Boost, which saw both companies offer mid $100 models, just a few weeks apart from each other.

When it came to the dual GPU models, we saw a large gap between the GTX 690 that NVIDIA offered and the recently released HD 7990 from AMD. Not only that, though, after the GTX 680 came out, AMD months later released an updated version of the HD 7970 in the way of the GHz Edition, which helped them come back out on top in most areas.

Today we're seeing NVIDIA do refresh when it comes to the high-end single GPU segment with the release of the new GTX 700 series. The first piece to that puzzle comes in the form of the GTX 780, which is the video card we're looking at today. I think one of the most important things to remember is that the new GTX 700 series isn't designed to come out and replace the impressive GTX TITAN, which quickly became a fan favorite of ours.

We also don't know the rate of which the GTX 700 series will grow at. While we've heard rumors that a GTX 770 is coming, outside of that, we don't know what's going on. With NVIDIA also just recently releasing the GTX 650 Ti Boost, we're not sure if they'd be in such a hurry to release new mid-range models under the GTX 700 series name. The lack of rumors in that area also makes us feel that they're going to be at least a little while off. For now it's clear that NVIDIA want to take back its single GPU dominance in a more affordable fashion. As fast as the GTX TITAN is for a single GPU video card, the associated $999 price tag is hard for most people to swallow.

Being a reference video card that we're checking out today means that we don't have any kind of package to look at. Instead we'll just be getting straight into the card itself. We'll see just what NVIDIA is offering in the form of the GTX 780. We'll then cover the specification side of things and talk about the main highlights. From there we'll look at our testbed and cover the cards that will be in our graphs here today. Once we've done all that it's straight into the performance numbers.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 03

You can see the design of the GTX 780 resembles the GTX TITAN almost perfectly. We've got the clear piece in the middle which lets us see the massive heatsink that is installed. You can see we've got the typical fan design on the right that helps draw air in, push it straight across the GPU and exit straight out the back of the case. You can see the same silver and black design is present and to the left you can see the GTX 780 name embedded into the shroud. It's not only a sexy looking cooler, but also has great solid feel to it.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 04
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 05

Taking a look around, it's very similar to the GTX TITAN. You can see that power comes in the form of a single 8-pin PCIe and 6-pin PCIe connector, while closer to the front you can see two SLI connectors, which provide the ability to run up to four of these video cards together.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 06

When it comes to connectivity, we see a typical high-end NVIDIA setup. We've got two Dual-Link DVI connectors along with a DisplayPort and HDMI connector. We'd love to see NVIDIA offer us a bit more in terms of DisplayPort, especially coming from someone who has been using the technology for three years now. In the end, though, we've really got everything most people will need.


One of the main video cards we would like to compare the GTX 780 against is the older GTX 680 that it's clearly replacing. Unfortunately we don't have the GTX 680 on hand and the last time we had results for the model was before we updated our benchmark line up. Saying that, it's still the main model we're going to compare the GTX 780 against when it comes to the specifications.

Starting off with one of the main areas, the GTX 780 comes with 2304 CUDA cores, compared to 1536 which was seen on the GTX 680. Texture units and ROP units have also both been increased to 192 and 48 from 128 and 32, respectively. The other big change comes in the memory bus width which is now 384-bit compared to 256-bit.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 01

When it comes to the clock department, the core comes in at 863MHz or 900MHz via Boost while the 3GB of GDDR5 carries the same 6008MHz QDR. Against the GTX TITAN, the main numbers for that model include 2688 CUDA cores, 224 and 48 Texture Units and ROP units. The core clock on the GTX TITAN is slightly lower, but the 3GB of GDDR5 sits on the same bus and carries with it the same clock.

While the core clock on the GTX 780 is lower than the GTX 680, the strong increase in Stream processors, Texture units and ROP units is going to be more than enough to give a solid boost in performance over the older GPU.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 99

We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS and Corsair.

While we just mentioned it in the specifications side of things, we'll mention it again here, as we know some of you do skip certain parts of the review. As much as we would've liked to have included a GTX 680 in our results today, the simple fact is that we don't have one on hand, and the ability to use past results isn't an option, due to the last time we tested the video card things have changed in our test system. Saying that, I'm sure people will skip both this paragraph and the one on the last page and mention that the model hasn't been included in the comments below - thanks for that.

Moving on, though, we do have a number of video cards in our graphs today. On the NVIDIA side alongside the GTX 780 3GB we've got the reference NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti Boost cards in SLI along with the Gainward cards overclocked to over 1100MHz on the core. To round off the NVIDIA side we've also got the higher-end EVGA GTX TITAN 6GB SuperClocked.

As for the AMD side of things we chose to include only two cards. The first is the PowerColor PCS HD 7950 2GB which is overclocked to over 1100MHz on the core, while the second is the main competition for the GTX 780, the AMD HD 7970 GHz Edition.

The FPS Numbers Explained

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

Why are some graphs incomplete?

Adding new game benchmarks is a long, tedious and time consuming task as every video card has to be re-tested in those new benchmarks. Because of that reason we have always just evaluated our benchmark line up every six months. To stay up to date and current with the latest benchmarks and games available, we've changed our approach to adding new benchmarks.

Our benchmark line up will progress and be updated as newer more intensive games with benchmarks comes to light. While this will mean that initially you may only see a single video card in those particular graphs, as the weeks go on and we test more and more video cards, the results will grow quickly. This will help keep our benchmark line up as up to date as possible as we introduce and remove games on a constant basis.

Benchmarks - 3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 20

Starting off with 3DMark 11 you can see the numbers look good for the GTX 780 with it sitting ahead of the HD 7970 GHz Edition at both presets.

The performance at the higher Extreme preset against the HD 7970 GHz Edition looks great, when we move to the higher resolution we see that the AMD offering tends to sit a lot closer to the NVIDIA ones. With the wider memory bus, though, and the increase in other key areas, we should see NVIDIA stay strong at the higher resolution.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3

Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com

Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 21

Against the AMD offerings it comes as no surprise that the NVIDIA offerings perform exceptionally well under Heaven. It's of course due to the heavy focus on Tessellation, something that NVIDIA has always been extremely strong with processing.

Benchmarks - Phantasy Star Online 2

Phantasy Star Online 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.sega.com/?t=EnglishUSA

Product Homepage: http://www.pso2.com/us/html/index.html

Play Phantasy Star Online 2 and experience revolutionary combat in an action-driven, free-to-play multiplayer online RPG from SEGA. Take a journey into an immersive sci-fi fantasy narrative and explore mysterious worlds to unravel their secrets. Join fellow adventurers and fight against the legions of darkness to banish them from the galaxy.

Score explanation: Less than 2000: Please adjust your game settings because the processing load is quite heavy.

2000 through 5000: The game runs fine at the setting, if you have room, you can adjust some settings.

5001+: The game works wonderfully at this setting.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 22

PSO2 performance on the single GPU NVIDIA options is exceptional. You can see against the AMD options the gains on the GTX 780 are huge.

Let's see how we go in some of our other benchmarks on the following pages.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 23

Lost Planet 2 performance across the board continues to be strong against its main competition. We're seeing against the HD 7970 GHz Edition that the GTX 780 is coming in at 50% - 60% faster.

You can also see we don't sit all that far behind the GTX TITAN in this case.

Benchmarks - Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Dark Tower

Developer Homepage: http://www.eidos.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.justcause.com/

Just Cause 2 employs the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in Just Cause. The game is set on the other side of the world from the original Just Cause, on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. Panau has varied terrain, from desert to alpine to rainforest. Rico Rodriguez returns as the protagonist, aiming to overthrow the evil dictator Pandak "Baby" Panay and confront his former mentor, Tom Sheldon.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 24

Our higher-end setups are all quite similar here across the board. We've got playable FPS across the board, but comparing the HD 7970 GHz Edition and GTX 780, sees both cards performing quite closely.

Benchmarks - F1 2012

F1 2012

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com

In F1 2012 players will feel the unparalleled thrill of becoming a FORMULA ONE driver with a host of new features, wide-ranging technical and gameplay advancements and extensive competitive and co-operative multiplayer components. F1 2012 will feature all of the official teams, drivers and circuits from the 2012 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including the debut of the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX at Austin, Texas and the return of Germany's famous Hockenheim circuit to the calendar.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 25

At all resolutions you can see the GTX 780 and GTX TITAN are quite tight due to the fact we're hitting an FPS wall. Against the HD 7970 GHz Edition, you can see we're ahead with the gains at the highest resolution being 30%. Saying that, you can see very solid FPS at all resolutions from the AMD video card.

Benchmarks - Metro 2033

Metro 2033

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.thqnordic.com/

Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released in March 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360.[3] In March 2006, 4A Games announced a partnership with Glukhovsky to collaborate on the game.[4] The game was announced at the 2009 Games Convention in Leipzig,[5] a first trailer came along with the announcement.[6] A sequel was announced, currently titled Metro: Last Light.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 26

Getting into Metro 2033 you can see the strong gains are continued to be seen. While not as strong as some others, the 2560 x 1600 numbers are impressive. While the HD 7970 GHz Edition manages to just sneak past that 60 FPS mark with 63 FPS, you can see the GTX 780 manages to give us a solid 75 FPS at this resolution, ensuring solid gameplay performance.

Benchmarks - Dirt Showdown

Dirt Showdown

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/uk/dirtshowdown/360/

DiRT Showdown is the new arcade racing game from the team that brought you the award-winning DiRT series, uncaged in 2012. Pick up and play controls combine with electrifying events, frenzied crowds and stunning graphics to deliver high octane, dive in and drive thrills from event one.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 27

Unlike the HD 7970 GHz Edition, the new GTX 780 manages to offer us playable numbers at all resolutions, even if at 2560 x 1600 we manage to only just sneak across the line.

Overall, though, you can see some impressive numbers from the GTX 780 and we're really not all that far behind the $999 GTX TITAN.

Benchmarks - Nexuiz


Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.alientrap.org/

Product Homepage: http://www.nexuiz.com/

Nexuiz is an Arena First Person shooter coming soon to consoles. Nexuiz is fast paced with extremely competitive game play. IllFonic brings Alientrap Software's Nexuiz to next-gen gaming consoles around the world while staying true to the game play refined over the years through development. IllFonic introduces a new Victorian influenced art style that is simultaneously futuristic and sophisticated. Nexuiz for consoles is powered by CryENGINE 3.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 28

The GTX 780 is the second single GPU video card that is able to break into the 60 FPS realm under Nexuiz. You can see at 1680 x 1050 we manage to get 65 FPS, moving above that resolution you can see the numbers fall below where we need them to be for a solid gaming experience.

Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2

Sniper Elite V2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/

Product Homepage: http://sniperelitev2.com/us/age.html

Sniper Elite V2 features detailed sniping simulation with advanced ballistics, taking into account gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration, aim stability and more. Guaranteed to provide players with the most realistic simulation of military sharpshooting yet available.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 29

Sniper Elite V2 numbers look really good.

You can see at the highest resolution the HD 7970 GHz Edition is pulling in just 65 FPS, a good number, but we'd really prefer a bit more breathing room. The new GTX 780 on the other hand manages to get a strong 84 FPS at the same resolution.

Benchmarks - Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://eu.square-enix.com/en

Product Homepage: http://www.sleepingdogs.net/

The core gameplay of Sleeping Dogs consists of giving the player an open world environment in which to move around freely. Sleeping Dogs is played as an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective action-adventure game with role-playing elements. The player controls Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer, as he goes undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triad organization. On foot, the player character has the ability to walk, run, jump, climb over obstacles and swim, as well as use weapons and martial arts in combat. Players also drive a variety of vehicles including cars, boats, and motorcycles.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 30

Sleeping Dogs performance as you can see above is strong at all resolutions with playable numbers across the board. Against the HD 7970 GHz Edition, though, you can see that the numbers are quite similar.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01

Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long

Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/

Buy It Here

The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 31

You can see under Far Cry 2 we're again ahead of the AMD offerings, but as you'd expect, we've just got very strong FPS at all resolutions here.

Benchmarks - Hitman Absolution

Hitman Absolution

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.ioi.dk/

Product Homepage: http://hitman.com/

Hitman: Absolution is an action-adventure stealth game developed by I/O Interactive and published by Square Enix. It is the fifth entry in the Hitman game series, and runs on I/O Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine. Before release, the developers stated that Absolution would be easier to play and more accessible, while still retaining hardcore aspects of the franchise. The game was released on 20 November 2012, which is in the 47th week of the year (in reference to the protagonist, Agent 47).

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 32

Hitman Absolution hits a bit of a wall on all our NVIDIA setups. The main thing, though, is that we've got playable FPS at all resolutions, and you can see with the numbers above, playing Hitman Absolution at any resolution won't be a problem.

Benchmarks - Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.nixxes.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.tombraider.com/us/base/agegate?refer=184&

Tomb Raider is an action-adventure platform video game. Published by Square Enix, Tomb Raider is the fifth title developed by Crystal Dynamics in the Tomb Raider franchise. As the first entry in a new Tomb Raider continuity, the game is a reboot that emphasizes the reconstructed origins of the culturally influential lead character Lara Croft. Tomb Raider was released on 5 March 2013 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows to universal critical acclaim.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 33

Tomb Raider performance at 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050 is looking good, but you can see when moving to 2560 x 1600, the average is a little too low coming in the 40 FPS range.

Benchmarks - BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://irrationalgames.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.bioshockinfinite.com

BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game and the third installment in the BioShock series. Previously known as "Project Icarus", it is being developed by Irrational Games and was released worldwide on the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 platforms on March 26, 2013. BioShock Infinite is not part of the storyline of previous BioShock games but features similar gameplay concepts and themes.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 34

Just like with Tomb Raider, you can see the GTX 780 performs strong at 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200. Moving to the higher 2560 x 1600 resolution, though, the FPS sits just a little too low. With our in-game detail set extremely high, though, you really have plenty of room to move.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here we see video cards go from playable FPS to an unplayable FPS and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 35

With AA and AF on it comes as no surprise that the performance continues to be strong under Far Cry 2 with the GTX 780. Compared to the AMD HD 7970 GHz Edition, you can see the GTX 780 sits ahead.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 36

1920 x 1200 produces some excellent results here with an 89 FPS average. Moving to 2560 x 1600, though, you can see while we manage to stay ahead of the HD 7970 GHz Edition easily, we're still a little behind that 60 FPS number we're always on the hunt for to provide smooth gameplay.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 37

Strong performance is seen at both resolutions here from the GTX 780. The 2560 x 1600 numbers look great, though, as you see the AMD HD 7970 GHz Edition just scrape in a 60 FPS average, while the GTX 780 manages to get a more solid 66 FPS result.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 38

Sleeping Dogs is extremely intensive when we crank up the detail and you can see like every other video card here, we don't manage to pull a playable 60 FPS number in any situation.

Temperature Test

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 40

Surprisingly the GTX 780 3GB is quite a warm running video card coming in at 80c under load. The idle number on the other hand is impressive.

What will be interesting is the kind of noise levels we get. Next page, please.

Sound Test

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 41

The fan profiles seems to be something that NVIDIA has worked on a bit here with the new model. While running a bit warmer, the noise levels are impressive.

80c for the card is clearly not an issue and while running a little warmer than people might expect, noise levels on a card that offers such strong performance is great.

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind, it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though, while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time, therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card Review 42

Looking above you can see power draw numbers are pretty much even with the GTX 680 when it comes to load.

You can see a massive difference in idle numbers, though, as the GTX 780 is drawing just 129 watts when idling.

GeForce Experience and Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts

GeForce Experience

Something that we would've liked to have covered in more detail at launch, but didn't get the chance to due to the late arrival of our sample is the "GeForce Experience". The idea about behind the GeForce Experience software is to not only making gaming better, but to also make the general GeForce Experience easier. Finally coming out of the BETA stage, the GeForce Experience hits us with version 1.2. It is simple put the best way to make sure you're getting the best gaming experience.

The software is essentially built into two main areas; the "Drivers" area and the "Games" area. The Driver area is simple - it lets you know if your driver is up to date. If it's not, it lets you know the latest one and also gives you the release highlights.

The second area is the "Games" area. Using the specifications of your system, GeForce Experience helps set the in-game settings to the most optimal level. This is done either by increasing the settings of the game or decreasing the settings of the game depending on your system. In the end the plan is to simply offer you the best possible detail, while helping maintain a strong frame rate.

The GeForce Experience is something that we're going to take a deeper look at in the coming weeks as it really helps add value to your NVIDIA purchase. Not everyone understands what's going on in the settings of their favorite games. A small adjustment in one area can have a massive impact on performance - sometimes positive and sometimes negative. NVIDIA aim to just make getting into your favorite game and playing it at the best possible settings easier by offering one clock optimization.

Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts

Before we get into the final thoughts, I just again want to mention the fact that I know we didn't include the GTX 680 in our results here today. But as we've already mentioned twice, we don't have one on hand, and we also don't have current enough results from when we last tested one to include here today. Because of that we weren't able to include it today in our graphs.

Getting away from that topic, though, and getting into the GTX 780 3GB, we're dealing with a video card that performs extremely well. You can see at times it manages to perform not all that far behind the $999 GTX TITAN. We absolutely love that video card, but we're not delusional. The associated price tag of the model means that it's simply not an option for most people.

So, on the topic of price, what's the GTX 780 3GB going to set you back? A cool $649. This isn't a cheap price either, but we have to admit that next to $999, it looks a lot more attractive - especially when you consider the performance difference of the two models, which at times is quite minimal.

Against the AMD HD 7970 GHz Edition, the new GTX 780 is going to set you back roughly $200 more at launch time. Comparing the two models, the performance difference is between almost nothing to 60%, depending on the game. I think what's more important, though, is those gains that are around 20% which see the HD 7970 GHz Edition come in at under 60 FPS and the new GTX 780 come in over it. That's the difference between playable and not playable and that holds the most value.

The two key areas that we really need to take the time to look at now, though, is the overclocking and SLI side of things - both will be covered in the coming days. While we can't comment on overclocking just yet, if previous experience is anything to go by, we should see some decent numbers when it comes to SLI.

The addition of the GTX 780 to the NVIDIA line up is nice. The GTX 680 is indeed feeling a little stale these days and with companies already having offered heavily modified versions of it, there's really not much room to improve on it anymore. The GTX TITAN is a fantastic model no doubt, but the price tag hurts it.

The new GTX 780 helps hit a price gap that isn't really filled at the moment and offers some fantastic performance. From what we've heard, the little brother to it should be showing up just before Computex Taipei 2013 at the start of June, and with nothing really new coming from AMD, we wonder how they're going to respond to NVIDIA in the next month or so.

What do TweakTown.com awards mean? Click for details!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

Newsletter Subscription
We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.