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Nvidia GTX780Ti Review (1600p, Ultra HD 4K)

Rating: 9.0.

AMD have been taking all the headlines in the last month, releasing a slew of graphics cards – including the class leading (but noisy) R9 290 and R9 290X. The R9 290X managed to take the  performance crown from Nvidia's GTX 780 and GTX Titan in the ultra high end at both 1600p and Ultra HD 4K resolutions. Nvidia have been hard at work behind the scenes however and today they release their new GTX780 Ti. The big question we need to answer … is it enough to push the formidable R9 290X into second place?

AMD's R9 290/X is undoubtedly a monster card, but as I mentioned in our coverage over the previous couple of weeks, they really did botch the reference cooling solution. Performance figures only tell part of the story and I couldn't help but feel monumentally disappointed with their new reference cooler.

We are sure AMD partners will be able to fix the cooling/throttling concerns, but in the meantime there are plenty of reference cards now available, if you are happy dealing with a lot of heat, or noise.
Nvidia have supplemented their flagship GTX 780, adding the ‘Ti' moniker to the name. This new card incorporates GPU Boost 2.0 technology ensuring that the GTX780 Ti is always running at the highest clocks possible. Nvidia claim that with Boost 2.0, they can guarantee a certain minimum level of performance no matter the workload that the hardware is dealing with, or the thermal/power conditions.

Nvidia have also added a new power balancing feature which helps to get the most out of overclocking the hardware. The GPU gets power from three sources, the 6 pin and 8 pin connector and the PCI Express interface. When a user overclocks the hardware the power delivery can be unbalanced with power drawn from one source more than the others, potentially maxing out the clock speeds.

Nvidia say the new feature can direct power from one input to another, meaning that if you max out one power source then the algorithm will take more power from others to compensate. We will look at overclocking this card later in the review.
nvidia reference cards

Nvidia GTX780Ti Nvidia GTX780 Nvidia GTX Titan
GPU GK110 GK110 GK110
Technology 28nm 28nm 28nm
Transistors 7.1Bn 7.1Bn 7.1Bn
ROP's 48 48 48
TMU's 240 192 224
CUDA Cores
2880 2304 2688
Pixel Filrate 42.0 GPixel/s 41.4 GPixel/s 40.2 GPixel/s
Memory Size 3GB 3GB 6GB
Texture Filrate 210.2 GTexel/s 165.7 GTexel/s 187.5 GTexel/s
Bus Width 384 bit 384 bit 384 bit
Bandwidth 336 GB/s 288.4 GB/s 288.4 GB/s
GPU clock speed 876mhz 863mhz 837mhz
Boost clock speed 928mhz 902mhz 876mhz
Memory clock speed 1,750mhz 1,502mhz 1,502mhz

The GTX780 has 2304 CUDA cores and the GTX Titan has 2,688. The new GTX780Ti has a staggering 2880. The GTX780 Ti has 3GB of memory, identical to the GTX780, but it is clocked much higher – at 1,750mhz (7Gbps effective). The CPU core is clocked at 876mhz, with a boost clock speed of 928mhz – higher than both the reference GTX 780 and GTX Titan. The new GTX 780 Ti also has the highest Texture Unit count of 240, up from 192 Texture Units on the previous GTX780. The GTX Titan by comparison has 224 Texture Units.

CUDA Developers, researchers and scientists will still want the GTX Titan because of the full performance double precision and 6GB frame buffer however the GTX 780 Ti is Nvidia's new flagship Gaming GPU.

This review today will feature comparisons against AMD's R9 290 and R9 290x. We also include results from an overclocked Palit GTX770, reference clocked Nvidia GTX780, an Nvidia GTX Titan and the class leading MSI GTX780 Lightning – all of which we have reviewed in the past. We also add in results from the fastest R9 280X on the market – the Sapphire R9 280X Toxic Edition.
Today we test hardware with a 30 inch Apple Cinema HD display (2,560×1,600) and with our new ASUS PQ321QE Ultra HD 4K Monitor (3,840×2,160). It will be interesting to see if the GTX 780 Ti's 3GB of GDDR5 memory will be a limiting factor powering the latest games at 4K.
The 4K ASUS PQ321QE panel retails with a whopping £2999.99 asking price , however we would expect this cost to drop in 2014.
Setting up this monitor is simple with both AMD and Nvidia hardware (via DisplayPort cable) and we didn’t experience any issues. To achieve a refresh rate of 60hz after the Forceware or Catalyst drivers were installed we enable the Multi Stream Transport mode within a submenu of the Asus PQ321QE.

Today we test using the latest Catalyst and Forceware drivers (13.11 beta8 and 331.70 respectively).

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