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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB Reference Video Card Review

NVIDIA refuse to sit ideally by and let AMD have all the limelight. They fight back today with the new GTX 780 Ti 3GB that offers quite the punch.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Thu, Nov 7 2013 11:31 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:00 PM CST
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Introduction

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VIEW GALLERY - 31 IMAGES

There's no denying that the last one or two months have been all AMD. While AMD has only been launching their video cards over the last month, the month leading up to the GPU 14 Hawaii event saw leaks and talk of the upcoming models on almost a daily basis. With so much focus on what's going on with AMD, we can't deny that NVIDIA has fallen out of the limelight a little.

The whole situation is then made even worse by the fact that AMD has released their products at such a competitive price point. The only time that NVIDIA all of a sudden popped up was when we heard that they were bringing a price drop to a large number of models to compete with the new AMD Radeon R series video cards.

While all this talk was happening, though, we got wind of a new model from NVIDIA being released at their recent Montreal event - the GTX 780 Ti. As the name suggests, it's obviously designed to come out ahead of the GTX 780. That was the only answer we had, though. How much faster was the model going to be? What price point was it going to hit at? How's it going to look against the new R9 290X 4GB?

These are of course questions that we're asking ourselves and questions that we intend to answer today. Since we're dealing with a reference card today, we'll simply be moving on from here straight into the card and the specifications.

It will be really interesting to see just what NVIDIA has done with this model today. Let's dive in and take a close look now.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

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It offers a very similar look to the GTX 780 and GTX TITAN. These top-end NVIDIA reference coolers look fantastic and we've heard people talk about how the latest reference design coolers from AMD feel kind of cheap.

While we'd agree with that and also agree that the design of the high-end NVIDIA reference coolers are so much sexier with the perspex window, if the cooler does its job and the design helps cut down costs, then we really can't complain - especially when you consider that once the card goes in your case, you're more than likely not going to be able to see it.

Overall, though, there's not a whole lot to see as the cooler almost covers the whole card from top to bottom and left to right. We've got the fan on the far right hand side which draws cool air in, pushes it directly across the GPU and then straight out the back of the case. This is a very typical cooler design when it comes to high-end reference coolers.

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Taking a look around the card it again very much feels like the GTX 780. When it comes to the power, you can see we've got a single 8-pin PCIe and 6-pin PCIe power connector. Staying across the top of the card you can see two SLI connectors which give us the ability to run up to four of these cards in SLI. While we won't be making use of them today, we hope to in the coming weeks, as we'd like to see how the setup performs against the R290 X 4GB CrossFire setup that we looked at recently.

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Finishing our look up at the card, you can see the I/O is very standard. We've got two Dual-Link DVI connectors, along with a HDMI and DisplayPort connector.

Specifications

When it comes to the specifications, the main thing we want to know is how it differs against its little brother, the GTX 780 3GB. CUDA cores have been increased from 2304 to 2880 - even higher than the GTX TITAN that carries 2688. Texture Units are also up with the GTX 780 having 192, the GTX TITAN having 224 and the new GTX 780 Ti having a massive 240. ROPs remain the same across all three models with 48 present.

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When it comes to clock speeds, the base clock of 875MHz and boost clock of 928MHz is up on both models again with the GTX 780 offering 863MHz / 900MHz and the GTX TITAN coming in at 837MHz / 876MHz.

Like the GTX 780, the GTX 780 Ti offers 3GB of GDDR5 sitting on a 384-bit memory bus like the GTX TITAN, but the big difference is that the GTX TITAN offers 6GB of GDDR5. The main difference here, though, is that unlike the GTX 780 and GTX TITAN which offers a 6000MHz QDR memory clock, the new GTX 780 Ti offers a massive 7000MHz QDR clock.

Specification wise, the GTX 780 Ti is quite the beast, and considerably more impressive than the $999 GTX TITAN. Let's find out just what the new model is capable of as we get into the benchmarking side of things over the next lot of pages.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup

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

We've got a whole bunch of setups in our graphs today as we find out just what the new GTX 780 Ti 3GB is capable of. On the NVIDIA side, we've got the reference GTX 770 2GB, along with our heavily overclocked MSI GTX 780 3GB Lightning, which is running at 1020MHz on the core. And let's not forget the EVGA GTX TITAN 6GB SuperClocked.

It will be really interesting to see how the new GTX 780 Ti 3GB goes against our heavily overclocked MSI GTX 780 Lightning. From a specification point of view, it really feels like that even with the strong overclock, the new Ti variant should offer performance that is really competitive to it.

When it comes to the AMD side, it comes as no surprise that we've got a whole bunch of different setups going on as they've of course dominated our video card section for the past month with their new models. We really haven't worried about any of the older HD 7000 series cards this time around and chosen to jump straight into the new R series cards instead.

We start off our collection of AMD setups with the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC, from there we move into the just looked at AMD R9 290 4GB, and its big brother, the R9 290X 4GB, which is tested in Uber mode.

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.

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Starting off with 3DMark 11, the numbers are extremely impressive. While you can see the only single GPU setup that is able to come out ahead of the GTX 780 Ti 3GB at the Performance preset is the R9 290X, you can see when it comes to the Extreme preset, it manages to get a strong jump on the competition.

Benchmarks - 3DMark Fire Strike

3DMark Fire Strike

Version and / or Patch Used: 1

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

Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/3dmark

Buy It Here

Fire Strike is our new showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today. Fire Strike will only be available in the Windows editions of 3DMark initially.

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Looking at Fire Strike performance, the numbers between the R9 290X and GTX 780 Ti are extremely close with little separating them. The R9 290X has a slight jump in the Standard preset, but the GTX 780 Ti manages a few extra marks in the Extreme test.

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.

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Heaven performance is exceptional on the new GTX 780 Ti. You can see that the new model is ahead of all our other single GPU options at both resolutions.

With just the strong specs for the model and the great tessellation performance that NVIDIA sees, it comes as no surprise we see such strong numbers.

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.

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The PSO2 stock numbers are just amazingly high here and we can't wait to see where they go when we throw overclocking into the mix at a later date.

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."

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The new GTX 780 Ti has no problems out performing all our other single GPU solutions at all resolutions. There's some serious power being offered here by the new NVIDIA model.

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.

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Just Cause 2 numbers across the board are very strong and you can see the new NVIDIA model sits just slightly behind the AMD R9 290X 4GB at all resolutions. Most importantly, though, is the fact that we've got playable FPS across the board.

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.

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F1 2012 performance is exceptional across the board and the GTX 780 Ti is ahead of all our other setups at all resolutions here.

Benchmarks - Metro Last Light

Metro Last Light

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://enterthemetro.com/ /

Metro: Last Light takes place one year after the events of Metro 2033, proceeding from the ending where Artyom chose to call down the missile strike on the Dark Ones. The Rangers have since occupied the D6 military facility, with Artyom having become an official member of the group. Khan, the nomad mystic, arrives at D6 to inform Artyom and the Rangers that a single Dark One survived the missile strike. Khan believes the Dark One is the key to humanity's future, and wants to make peace with it, while Ranger leader Colonel Miller wants to kill the creature due to its potential threat. Miller sends Artyom to the surface with a mission to kill the Dark One; he is accompanied by Anna, Miller's sarcastic daughter and the Rangers' best sniper.

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Metro Last Light performance is just ahead of the R9 290X 4GB slightly at all resolutions. Like the R9 290X 4GB, though, while we've got playable numbers at both 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050, we do fall short at the higher 2560 x 1600 resolution.

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.

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At the highest resolution, the GTX 780 Ti and R9 290X 4GB perform identically, below that, though, the NVIDIA offering has a little jump on our other setups.

Benchmarks - Nexuiz

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.

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Nexuiz sees the GTX 780 Ti sitting ahead of the R9 290X 4GB across the board. Apart from 1680 x 1050, though, you can see it is below the 60 FPS number we're always on the hunt for to provide 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.

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Sniper Elite V2 numbers are exceptional across the board and the new NVIDIA model is ahead of all our single GPU offerings at all resolutions. The new GTX 780 Ti really is a power house of a video card.

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.

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Sleeping Dogs sees great performance at all resolutions, but you can see the GTX 780 Ti trails a little behind the R9 290X 4GB in this instance. The main thing is we've got playable FPS at all resolutions.

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.

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Checking out Far Cry 2 performance you can just see strong numbers, as you'd expect. You're not going to have any trouble here.

Please Note: We still include Far Cry 2 in our benchmarks (we know it's old) as a way for our readers to get a general representation of how older games perform on new hardware.

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).

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Because the NVIDIA offerings hit the FPS wall sooner under Hitman Absolution then the AMD ones we see that our R9 offerings manage to perform a bit stronger across the board. While we're never happy about hitting an FPS wall, the 64 FPS minimum and averages in the 80 FPS range offer some perfect gameplay.

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.

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The new GTX 780 Ti manages to see some great performance at all resolutions here and while the average at 2560 x 1600 is a little lower then we'd like, because of the 42 FPS minimum the 56 FPS average is going to make for some smooth gameplay. As for against the competition you can see we manage to just sneak ahead of the R9 290X 4GB at all resolutions.

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.

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BioShock Infinite numbers are fantastic and you can see not only are we ahead of the single GPU options at all resolutions, we also manage to break into the 60 FPS range at 2560 x 1600.

Benchmarks - Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Origin Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Custom 60 Second Run with FRAPS

Developer Homepage: http://dice.se/

Product Homepage: https://www.battlefield.com/games/battlefield-4

Battlefield 4 (also known as BF4) is an upcoming first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. The game is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3. Battlefield 4 features several changes compared to its predecessor. The game's heads-up display is much the same, composed of two compact rectangles. The lower left-hand corner features a mini-map and compass for navigation, and a simplified objective notice above it; the lower right includes a compact ammo counter and health meter. The mini-map, as well as the main game screen, shows symbols marking three kinds of entities: blue for allies, green for squadmates, and red/orange for enemies.

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With Battlefield 4 out now, we've moved from the beta and into the full version.

You can see across the board we've got great performance and very playable numbers at all resolutions. Compared to the R9 290X 4GB, though, you can see the new 780 Ti trails a bit behind at all resolutions.

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.

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Turning on AA and AF continues to not be a problem for the new GTX 780 Ti under Far Cry 2, as you'd hope and expect.

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Cranking up the AA and AF under Metro Last Light sees the FPS crumble to well below the 60 FPS range at both resolutions. Saying that, though, you can see it's an issue for almost every other setup here as well.

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Just Cause 2 sees some great performance with AA and AF on. While the GTX 780Ti does fall behind the R9 290X 4GB at both resolutions, we've got playable FPS at both resolutions.

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Sleeping Dogs looks great at 1920 x 1200 with AA and AF on. The new NVIDIA model is ahead of the other single GPU setups and manages to get playable FPS. While it is ahead of the single GPU setups at 2560 x 1600 as well, it is a decent way off the 60 FPS number that we want.

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.

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Like so many of the new generation high-end video cards, the GTX 780 Ti is a warm running card at 82c under load.

It's more attractive than the 90c - 94c numbers that we're seeing out of the new AMD video cards.

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).

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Noise levels on the new GTX 780 Ti are pretty good and you can see it is below the half way mark here. They're not at a level we'd be worried about.

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.

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Sitting around that 500 watt mark, the new GTX 780 Ti comes in line with a lot of other single GPU high-end offerings.

We recommend a quality 650 Watt power supple plus to handle a setup like this.

Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts

Hitting at $699, the new GTX 780 Ti 3GB is going to cost anywhere from $110 - $150 more than the AMD R9 290X 4GB. The main reason for the range in price is because while the official price for the R9 290X 4GB is $549, they're being listed as high as $589. This is about what we would expect from NVIDIA, in no way would we expect them to come out and offer the new model at the same price as the AMD one - it's just not what they do. Plus, if they did that, it wreaks havoc on a whole bunch of other models from NVIDIA.

When it comes to performance, the card is a beast, and it really has to hurt anyone who bought a GTX TITAN for $999. As much of a beast that card was, the price tag was always painful. The performance of the new GTX 780 Ti 3GB is really quite exceptional, though, and you can see against our MSI GTX 780 3GB Lightning, which is overclocked to over 1000MHz on the core, more often than not, the new Ti variant manages to perform ahead of it.

The new GTX 780 Ti 3GB competes against the AMD R9 290X 4GB in the sense that it's AMD's top single GPU model against NVIDIA's top single GPU model. But with over $100 separating the two cards and more than $200 separating them when you're talking about CrossFire or SLI, there's a decent price gap between the two cards. It's really enough that the NVIDIA offering could just simply not be in your budget.

What we're really excited about, though, is what partners do in the coming weeks and months with both the GTX 780 Ti 3GB and the R9 290X 4GB. Let MSI loose on the models with its Lightning label and ASUS with its MATRIX one and we're going to really see what happens. Then you've got the solo partners, what will EVGA do to the GTX 780 Ti? And AMD partners like Sapphire and HIS with the R9 290X?

If you're a fan of NVIDIA video cards, you're going to be really happy with what NVIDIA has brought to the table today. Is the NVIDIA offering the faster out of the two? When two cards perform this well, it's hard to give a clear winner. Sometimes we see the NVIDIA offering ahead, other times the AMD offering is ahead. And there's also times where both cards perform almost the same as each other.

We do feel that AMD has a bit more going on when it comes to the feature side of things with stuff like Mantle, bridgeless CrossFire and TrueAudio to name just a few. On the other hand, it feels like NVIDIA just turned around and slapped a beast of a video card on the table. They simply let the numbers do the talking.

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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.

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