Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 4GB Video Card Review – 2GB or 4GB of VRAM

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Battlefield 4

bf4-screenshot

Battlefield 4 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts. It is a sequel to 2011′s Battlefield 3 and was released on October 29, 2013 in North America. Battlefield 4′s single-player Campaign takes place in 2020, six years after the events of its predecessor. Tensions between Russia and the United States have beem running at a record high. On top of this, China is also on the brink of war, as Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, plans to overthrow China’s current government; and, if successful, the Russians will have full support from the Chinese, bringing China into a war with the United States.

bf4-settings

This game title uses the Frostbite 3 game engine and looks great. We tested Battlefield 4 with the Ultra graphics quality preset as most discrete desktop graphics cards can easily play with this IQ setting at 1080P and we still want to be able to push the higher-end cards down the road. We used FRAPS to benchmark each card with these settings on the Shanghai level.

bf4-19

Battlefield 4 runs beautifully on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 graphics card and we were right around 50FPS during most of the gameplay. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB reference card averaged 53.5 FPS and the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 4GB averaged 51.4 FPS. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB has a 26.1MHz clock advantage, so we expected it to be ahead at 1080P as less than 2GB of frame buffer is being used.

Battlefield 4 2560x1600

Moving from a 1920×1080 screen resolution up to 2560×1600 dropped performance by nearly 40% and both cards were able to average just over 30 FPS.  The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB reference card had a 1 FPS lead on average (31.4FPS versus 30.3FPS) thanks to what we suspect is the higher actual boost clock speeds on the GPU and nothing more than that. The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 4GB video card was right there, but it wasn’t able to put that extra frame buffer to good use.

bf4-38

At 3840×2160 we figured that we’d see the GeForce GTX 760 4GB video card easily take the lead, but BF4 must not use that much dedicated video card memory!  The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 4GB averaged 16.4 FPS and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB reference card was at 16.5 FPS. This is one of the hottest game titles out right now, so it is disappointing that doubling the frame buffer from 2GB to 4GB doesn’t translate into a better gaming experience.

bf4-4gb-load

We played through a couple maps on BF4 and we were able to get the memory usage up to 2997MB, so having 4GB of memory might help here and there. The bad news is that by the time you need more than 2GB of frame buffer the GPU doesn’t have the power needed to game at that resolution. 

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  • Ryan

    What about something like modded Skyrim

  • mark

    I have a biostar x79 and this card 4gb and I set the bios to gen 3 and it only shows as gen 2 on the pre bios screen and in windows, can anyone help please

  • Mathew Andresen

    Very nice article, ty. Glad I’m going with the 2gb

  • Domas

    Firstly very nice review, thanks for your job :) I’m just wondering how much does the heating influences gaming performance. The Gigabyte card was really ahead in these parameters, so maybe it’s worth to pay these 40$ just to be safe not to get high temp? Also is there any kind of cap in temperature regarding video cards? What is dangerous and what is just simply ‘an ok’ temperature?

    • mowa

      when you want to max out your performance, you have to try to avoid heat in any way. I have a laptop right now that only has one fan and sometimes overheats and shuts down. This happens when CPU and/or GPU reach over 90-100° celcius. However on a desktop PC this should not happen because they have much better air flow and cooling.
      Just try to avoid heat in any way because it will slow down your sytem

  • bengg

    this 3 fan formation is quite something…i would add another at the back…checkout my 3 fan video card mod – http://www.benshardwareblog.com/pc-hardware/hd3850-triple-fan-solution

  • Liam

    is it worth getting a 4gb sli?

  • Liam

    Does anyone know how many watts the 4gb oc edition uses?

  • Praisejeebis

    Just recently bought a graphics card and after days a research and then looking at this article i seem to be missing something. Are some of these tests to help us decide between 2g and 4g run with a reference card vs an overclocked gigabyte card? shouldn’t they both be gigabytes

    • Liam

      It depends on what games you play to how well the card works

    • Anthony Lim

      I have the 4 GB OC edition and I was wondering if I have the right PSU, it is thermaltake smart M series 750w?

  • CatiePotatie

    Interesting to see that one game has a strong difference at 4k while the other doesn’t.. I have 3x 660ti 2GB graphics cards and mostly play at 6000×1080 (BC), sometimes 8000×1440 if it can handle it but I think the 2GB is holding me back a bit there. If I could have found some more conclusive tests when I was researching this I might have opted to wait a bit and go for something a little beefier.

  • DWillyEfect

    What about in SLI? Would the extra memory matter then?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Nope, because the memory is dedicated to each card. This means that you don’t gain any additional frame buffer by running say two 2GB cards as you are still stuck with 2GB of memory.

      • Wilbur

        I presume DWillyEfect mean the extra memory which 4GB cards in SLI would provide. (As it is a 4GB card that is reviewed here). Then you would suddenly have roughly the same horsepower as a GTX 690 or a 680 SLI setup, but without the shortcomings of those card´s small memory capacity. It seems to me that the only application for a 4GB card like this, is in a SLI setup running monster resolutions.

        • Nathan Kirsch

          duh, yeah that would be interesting and might work out well. If only I had two 4GB GTX 760′s or GTX 770′s to try that out on.

  • basroil

    Any chance we’ll see one of these for the 770? It’s got enough kick that perhaps there’s enough difference on BF4 to matter.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Possibly if this article does well we can take a look at a 2GB versus 4GB version of the GTX 770. Gigabyte charges $55 more to double up the memory on their GeForce GTX 770 OC WindForce 3X, so it hopefully does a little better for such a significant price hike. It’s the same memory that is on this card, so there is no reason it should cost more to double up the memory on the GTX 770 versus the GTX 760.

      • basroil

        Yea, been looking at those and they are all close to $400 even without overclocking. Guess you can’t fight markups when there’s a monopoly on a card.