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Josh Norem

May 06, 2014

Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti OC

At A Glance

Mutt

Fastest GPU in the Lab; very quiet; perfect price.

Purebred

OC Guru software is meh; not the highest overclocker.

A ‘Force’ to be reckoned with

The Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti OC Edition is somewhat like a Maximum PC editor, in that it is powerful and mostly silent. This is the OC Edition we are testing, so it’s in a high state of tune right out of the box, thanks to a colossal “WindForce” cooler that can expel up to 450W of heat—it’s almost overkill on this 250W TDP GPU. Keep in mind we are big fans of overkill, though, particularly when this package costs exactly the same amount of money as the reference board. So, yes, you get all this cooling and overclocking for free.

The ultra-fancy WindForce cooler sports anti-turbulence inclined fans, copper heat pipes, and vapor chambers.

With all that cooling headroom, Gigabyte has increased the clock speeds on this sucker from the stock 875MHz to 1,020MHz, with its boost clock also increased from 928MHz to 1,085MHz. Since the 780 Ti’s memory is already running at 7GHz, Gigabyte left that untouched, so it remains at stock speeds. At press time the card should be bundled with three top games, but the deal is only “while supplies last,” so check with Gigabyte or the retailer during purchase for the bundle.

To test the Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti, we put it up against the reference board from Nvidia, the $1,000 GTX Titan, the $650 Asus Mars 760, and the $550 AMD R9 290X. Since this is the first retail GTX 780 Ti we have tested, we expected it to break some benchmark records. And no surprise, it was the fastest GPU in every test we have, except in Far Cry 3 and Crysis 3 where it lost to the dual-GPU Asus Mars 760 by one lousy frame per second—effectively a tie. We were impressed by how much faster it was than the stock card, too—typically by around 10 percent—which, we will remind you, costs the same.

The Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti overclocking performance was also respectable, but not as good as what we saw with the reference card from Nvidia. That card boosted up to 1,241MHz, but the Gigabyte card topped out at 1,176MHz. Under load, the Gigabyte card performed extremely well, hitting just 82 C and running totally silent at all times. The stock cooler hit around 85 C when overclocked and was quite loud. Clearly, the WindForce design reaps benefits both in acoustics and performance.

With only the reference board to compare it to, along with the less expensive Radeon R9 290X, it’s impossible to say whether the Gigabyte is the “best” 780 Ti, but it’s damn good, and we can’t imagine how another vendor’s card would be any better at the same price. We can see a card maybe outperforming it by one or two percent, and having better software, but it won’t beat this one on price and certainly not on acoustics.

$700, www.gigabyte.us

Benchmarks
 Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti OC
 GTX 780 Ti (Reference)GTX TitanAMD Radeon R9 290X (Quiet)Asus Mars 760
Driver
331.82
331.82
331.8213.11 Beta 9.2311.82
3DMark Fire Strike 10,4729,9539,1599,6389,488
Unigine Heaven 4.0 (fps)
44
39
363337
Batman: Arkham Origins (fps)61
51465354
Crysis 3 (fps)3228263033
Far Cry 3 (fps)4641393347
Tomb Raider (fps)3327252930
Metro: Last Light (fps)2723211725
Battlefield 4 (fps)5647424449
CoD: Ghosts (fps)6160484557

Best scores are bolded. Our test bed is a 3.33GHz Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition in an Asus P9X79 motherboard with 16GB of DDR3/1600 and a Thermaltake ToughPower 1,050W PSU. The OS is 64-bit Windows 8. All games are run at 2560x1600 with 4X AA except for the 3DMark tests.

THE VERDICT

Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti OC

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