When we first learned of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 video card we were a bit disappointed to see that was basically a GeForce Titan with half the memory and a toned-down GK110 ‘Kepler’ GPU. We aren’t big fans of re-branding like that, but we dove head first into this review with a positive attitude. We were also very interested to see what happens when you take away half the Titan’s frame buffer and 14% of the GPU’s stream processors.
The performance decrease that we expected to see from Titan was present, but not nearly as bad as we expected. For example in Metro: Last Light at 5760×1080 the GTX 780 was just 9% slower than the Titan. At 2560×1600 and 1920×1080 screen resolutions that performance gap narrowed to just 4-6 percent, which is on the borderline of being significant. Our testing in Battlefield 3, Bioshock Infinite, Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution and Tomb Raider all showed similar results. Just for fun we also benchmarked the old NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 video card that came out in November 2010 and found that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 nearly doubles the performance of that card. If you happen to have one of those cards and are looking for a significant performance jump before you update, you finally have a good option and it no longer costs $999.
When it comes to pricing the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 can be picked up online for $649.99 shipped. This is still a pretty penny, but keep in mind this is a high-end gaming graphics card aimed at those gaming above 1920×1080. Sure, you can use this card for 1920×1080 gaming, but that is like doing the speed limit on a highway with a super car. NVIDIA is designing these high-end cards for Ultra HD gaming, so think 2560×1600 or 5760×1080 with an NVIDIA Surround setup. This card would also be well suited for 4K gaming for those that can afford a 4K display setup!
At the end of the day the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 is going to make those that were on the fence about buying a GeForce GTX Titan very happy. You now have a card that has similar performance and the same appearance and software features (GPU Boost 2.0 and Display Overclocking) for 35% less cash. For those that are looking to spend under $500, you’ll have to wait a bit longer as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 likely won’t be too far behind.
Legit Bottom Line: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 fills in the performance gap between the GeForce GTX 680 and GeForce GTX Titan, but does not bring any new technologies or features to the table that weren’t already available on the GeForce GTX Titan.