NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 - GTX 680 Refreshed

Last week NVIDIA introduced the GeForce GTX 780, which became the company's first GeForce 700 series graphics card to be released! Quickly following the release of that card comes the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770. This card is similar to a GeForce GTX 680, but has been refreshed with a new GPU cooler, more powerful power system, higher clock speeds, 7Gbps memory modules, and GPU Boost 2.0 technology. GPU Boost 2.0 technology basically means that the cooler the GPU operates, the faster it performs. Boost 2.0 also gives you more control over the GPU, so you can do overvoltaging. The best thing about this overhaul of the GeForce GTX 680 is that the new GeForce GTX 770 is priced at $399 for the 2GB version and a 4GB version should be coming out later in June for around $448 ($49 more than 2GB card).

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Reference Card

If you take a look at the image above you'll see that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 reference card looks nearly identical to the GeForce GTX Titan/780 as it shares a similar GPU Cooler. The GeForce GTX 770 reference board measures 10.5” in length. Display outputs include two dual-link DVIs, one HDMI and one DisplayPort connector. One 8-pin PCIe power connector and one 6-pin PCIe power connector are required for operation.

  GTX 780 GTX 770 GTX 680
GPU GK110 GK104 GK104
Streaming Multiprocessors 12 8 8
Stream Processors 2304 1536 1536
Texture Units 192 128 128
ROPs 48 32 32
Core Clock 863MHz 1049MHz 1006MHz
Boost Clock 902MHz 1085MHz 1058MHz
Memory Amount 3072MB GDDR5 2048MB GDDR5 2048MB GDDR5
Memory Clock 6008MMHz 7010MHz 6008Hz
Memory Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 288.4 GB/s 224.3 GB/s 192.26 GB/s
TDP 250W 230W 195W
Suggested Power Supply 600W 600W 550W
Transistor Count 7.1B 3.54B 3.54B
Manufacturing Process TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm
Street Price
$649 $399 $449

When it comes to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 specifications you'll be happy to learn that the reference card has a base clock of 1049MHz and a Boost click of 1085MHz, which is a ~2.5% bump in boost performance. Both cards share the GK104 Kepler GPU, so the stream processors (CUDA Cores) remain the same at 1536. The GeForce GTX 770 and GeForce GTX 680 both have 128 texture units, 32 ROPs and a 512KB L2 cache size.

The one major difference that we need to talk about on this card is on the GDDR5 memory. In recent months 7Gbps memory has been made available by Hynix and Samsung, and NVIDIA moved to it for this refresh. In order to do that NVIDIA found that they had to beef up the board power. NVIDIA went with a 4-phase power design for the GPU and a 2-phase power design for the 2GB of GDDR5 memory on the GeForce GTX 680 reference card.  The new GeForce GTC 770 reference card has the same GPU power system, but stepped up to a 3-phase power design for the more power hungry 7Gbps memory chips. This is why someone can't just flash an old GeForce GTX 680 and make it GeForce GTX 770 as it actually requires more power. This is the main reason why the boards TDP went from 195W on the GTX 680 to 230W TDP on the GeForce GTX 770. So, thanks to these new GDDR5 IC's and the boards beefed up power system, NVIDIA is able to get 7010MHz (effective) memory running on the 256-bit memory interface.  This ~1Ghz jump in memory clock means that the memory bandwidth on the GTX 770 is now 224.3 GB/s, which is a 17% increase. So, the GeForce GTX 770 has higher clock speeds, beefed up power and should run cooler (run in boost longer).

msi-asus-gtx770-cards

NVIDIA unfortunately did not send Legit Reviews a GeForce GTX 770 reference card, so we do not have one to show you or use today as a baseline card in the performance tests.  The good news is that our friends over at ASUS and MSI came to the rescue and provided us with their custom GeForce GTX 770 solutions that both come overclocked from the factory. 

asus-msi-gtx770-cards

Neither ASUS or MSI will have a GeForce GTX 770 video card based off the reference design or with reference clock speeds. So, we will be looking at the ASUS GeForce GTX 770 Direct CU II OC 2GB and the MSI GeForce GTX 770 Twin Frozr Gaming OC 2GB. Both cards have a suggested retail price (SRP) of $409.99.

Now that we have the basics covered, let's take a quick look at the test setup and move along to the game benchmarks!

ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC

The first GeForce GTX 770 that we will be looking at today is the ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC that will be sold under part number GTX770-DC2OC-2GD5.

 ASUS GTX770 Graphics Card
DirectCU II OC
Model GTX770-DC2OC-2GD5
GPU boost clock 1111MHz
GPU base clock 1059MHz
Memory clock 1753MHz (7012MHz)
Memory interface 256-bit
Price  $409.99

ASUS informed us that the DirectCU II OC card that we'll be looking at today will be the only card available at launch and that it will run $409.99, which is $10 higher than the suggested retail price on the reference card. The card has a 1059 base clock with a boost clock of 1111MHz along with 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at 1753MHz (7021MHz effective), so it is factory overclocked. The default clock speeds of the NVIDIA reference card are 1049MHz base clock and 1085MHz boost clock.  The ASUS OC version steps up the game a bit, so you are getting 10MHz more on the base clock and an extra 26MHz on the boost clock. 

asus-gtx770-box

The ASUS part number of the card that we are looking at today is GTX770-DC2OC-2GD5 and it comes in a retail box that looks very familiar as ASUS didn't change the design for the GeForce 700 series.

asus-gtx770-bundle

The ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC Edition card bundle is pretty sparse.  It comes with a 8-pin PCIe power adapter, setup guide and the driver disc. There is no game bundle or promotion included by ASUS or currently active on the GeForce 700 series cards right now.

asus-gtx770-front

The ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC is 10.5" in length and is a dual-slot card. As you can see the GPU cooler is offset to the right, but does not hang over past the right side of the PCB.

asus-gtx770-panel

The ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC 2GB GDDR5 graphics card has a total of four display connectors.  You have a  dual-link DVI-I, dual-link DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs. All of the video outputs are standard size, so no adapters are needed, which is nice.  The only downside to using full size connectors is that the exhaust fan outlet is small, but ASUS went with fairly large exhaust slots.

 

asus-gtx770-directcu

ASUS went with their custom DirectCU II GPU cooling system to help keep this Kepler based video card nice and cool. This DirectCU II cooler uses three copper heat pipes that are in direct contact with the GPU to speed up heat dissipation for over 20% cooler performance. The ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC has two 80mm cooling fans for doubled airflow. These fans are pretty quiet and can be easily controlled with the ASUS GPU Tweak utility if you'd like to manually adjust the pair of fans. The Kepler GK104 GPU is the heart of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770, so keeping it cool is critical and will improve the cards Boost capabilities.

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti Dust Proof Fan

ASUS also uses what they call a dust-proof fan that is better sealed to prevent dust from getting into the housing assembly and ruining the fan bearing. ASUS says the fans on this card should last 50,000 hours due to the dust-proof technology versus the 40,000 hours of a standard cooling fan. This is something you can't see by just looking at the card, so we've included the ASUS marketing slide that highlights this technology.

asus-msi-gtx770-angle

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 supports triple-SLI and has a pair of SLI connectors along the top of the PCB for multi-GPU systems.

asus-gtx770-power

ASUS used a 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power connectors on the ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II OC video card and recommends at least a 600 Watt power supply with a minimum +12V current rating of 42A. ASUS has a pair of LED lights under each PCIe power connector that are the Power Diagnostic LED's. These two LED lights are a form of quick diagnostic for issues when connecting power to the video card. Depending on the presence or lack of presence of power connections ( or secure fitting ) the card will display an LED - RED or Green. Green meaning power connections are correct and Red meaning power connections are not.

asus-vga-hotwire

On the back of the card you'll see a couple holes in the backplate for ASUS Hotwire. In this area overclockers can hardwire to the core, memory and PLL voltage points on the card to a supporting ASUS ROG Extreme series motherboard. You also get three measurements points: GPU voltage (GPU OVG), memory voltage (MEM OVL) and PLL voltage (PLL OVL). Two wires are needed for each one and female plugs are needed at the other end for the Extreme PCB pins. Once the wiring is complete, one can do hardware-level voltage changes and accurate monitoring.

asus-gtx770-directcu2

We took apart the ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC card to show you the bare PCB and heatsink assembly. This is really simple as just four screws hold the GPU cooler to the board. As you can see ASUS went with an entirely non-reference solution as the GPU cooler, PCB, Power Topology and components are all their design. ASUS uses a Digi+VRM power design (Digital Controller with SAP Super Alloy Power components) 5K Capacitors, SAP Mosfets and SAP Chokes. Additionally the card feature SAP Cap Power Design implementation (high performance capacitors placed on the back of the card). ASUS claims that Super Alloy Power (SAP) gives you a 15% performance boost, 2.5 times longer lifespan, 35°C cooler operation. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti reference design has a 4 phase GPU PWM design that is analog. ASUS uses a 10-phase Digi+VRM power design.

asus-gtx770-pwm

ASUS also uses a VRM Heatsink for the mosfets, which is nice as they are the hottest part of the VRM and it can really only be seen with the GPU cooler removed.

samsung-gddr5

The ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II video card uses 2GB of Samsung GDDR5 memory. The exact part number is K4G20325FD-FC28. The final two digits are the speed of the graphics memory and in this case they are rated at 0.28ns or 7000Mbps according to the Samsung website. Samsung has 0.25ns or 8000Mbps memory available as well, so expect video card memory clock frequencies to continue increasing! 

Now that we have covered the ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC Edition, let's move along and take a quick look at what MSI has done with their card.

MSI GeForce GTX 770 Twin Frozr Gaming OC Edition

MSI will also be launching two GeForce GTX 770 graphics card in North America this month and that would be the MSI GeForce GTX 770 Twin Frozr Gaming OC Edition and the GeForce GTX 770 Lightning 2GB. 

 MSI GTX770 Graphics Card
Twin Frozr Gaming 2GB
Lightning 2GB
Model N770 TF 2GD5/OC N770 Lightning
GPU boost clock 1111MHz 1202MHz
GPU base clock 1059MHz 1150MHz
Memory clock 1753MHz (7012MHz) 1753MHz (7012MHz)
Memory interface 256-bit 256-bit
Price  $409.99  $459.99

MSI says that the Gaming card will retail for $409.99 and the Lightning card will retail for $459 and the main difference between the two cards is clock speeds and the GPU coolers. We will be looking at the MSI GeForce GTX 770 Twin Frozr Gaming OC Edition today. MSI provided us with an early GTX770 Twin Frozr gaming sample that was clocked at 1059MHz base clock with a boost clock of 1111MHz along with 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at 1753MHz (7012MHz effective), so it is factory overclocked and features identical clock speeds to the ASUS card on the previous page.

msi-gtx780-gamer-box

MSI has a sharp looking retail packaging for the new cards as you can see from the image above.

msi-gtx770-bundle

Inside the retail box you'll find the accessory bundle, which includes a pair of 8-pin PCIe power adapters, the driver disc a DVI-to-VGA adapter and a quick users guide.

msi-gtx780-gamer-angle

The MSI GeForce GTX 770 Gaming card is clearly a departure from the reference design heat sink and cooler. The MSI GeForce GTX 770 Gaming features two 100mm (10cm) fans and the Twin Frozr IV GPU cooler that has 5 copper heat pipes. At start up the fans are audible but quickly fade to nearly inaudible.

msi-gtx780-gamer

MSI uses Military Class 4 components on the Gaming series card, so they have Hi-c CAP, new SFC and Solid CAP. The dual 10cm PWM fans have propeller blade technology with dust technology, so they spin backwards for a second when first started to prevent dust from blowing into the heat sink.

msi-gtx780-gamer-power

MSI went with a pair of 8-pin PCI-e power connectors for their GeForce GTX 770 gaming edition card. MSI went with a 6-phase PWM setup on this card.

msi-gtx780-gamer-panel

Here we can see the connectors for the card. It is packing a pair of DVI connectors, the bottom is a DVI-I while the top is DVI-D. Display Port is at the bottom left and HDMI is in the middle. The design looks nearly identical to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 reference card, so the video outputs remain the same.

msi-gtx780-gamer-back

Here we have the back side of the card where it should be noted that this card is just 10.0" in length, so it is half an inch shorter than the NVIDIA GTX 770 reference design and the ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II. 

Test System

Before we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done using a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running.

Video Cards & Drivers used for testing:

Intel X79/LGA2011 Platform

NVIDIA Test Setup

Test System Settings

The Intel X79 platform that we used to test the all of the video cards was running the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe motherboard with BIOS 0305 that came out on 12/25/2012. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 1866MHz quad channel memory kit was set to 1866MHz with 1.5v and 9-10-9-27 1T memory timings. The OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD was run with firmware version 2.25.

The Intel X79 Test Platform

 

Component

 

Brand/Model

 

Live Pricing

 

Processor

 

Intel Core i7-3960X

 

Motherboard

ASUS P9X79 Deluxe

 

Memory

16GB Corsair 1866MHz

 

Video Card

 

Various

 

Solid-State Drive

 

OCZ Vertex 3 240GB

 

Cooling

 

Intel RTS2011LC

 

Power Supply

Corsair AX1200

 

Operating System

 

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC GPU-Z Information:

asus-gtx770-gpuzasus-gtx770-idle

 

MSI GeForce GTX 770 Gaming GPU-Z Information:

msi-gtz780-gpuzmsi-gtz780-idle

 

Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3 Screenshot

Battlefield 3 (BF3) is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. The game was released in North America on October 25, 2011 and in Europe on October 28, 2011. It does not support versions of Windows prior to Windows Vista as the game only supports DirectX 10 and 11. It is a direct sequel to 2005's Battlefield 2, and the eleventh installment in the Battlefield franchise. The game sold 5 million copies in its first week of release and the PC download is exclusive to EA's Origin platform, through which PC users also authenticate when connecting to the game.

Battlefield 3 Screenshot

Battlefield 3 debuts the new Frostbite 2 engine. This updated Frostbite engine can realistically portray the destruction of buildings and scenery to a greater extent than previous versions. Unlike previous iterations, the new version can also support dense urban areas. Battlefield 3 uses a new type of character animation technology called ANT. ANT technology is used in EA Sports games, such as FIFA, but for Battlefield 3 is adapted to create a more realistic soldier, with the ability to transition into cover and turn the head before the body.

bf3

Benchmark Results: We found the ASUS and MSI GeForce GTX 770 OC cards to be 11.6% faster than the GeForce GTX 680 at 2560x1600 in BF3. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 doesn't support a 3-panel NVIDIA surround setup, so that is why there will not be any 5760x1080 results for any of the game titles. We wanted to include NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 results though as there are many GeForce 5 series owners out there!

Bioshock Infinite

BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game developed by Irrational Games, and published by 2K Games. BioShock Infinite is the third installment in the BioShock series, and though it is not part of the storyline of previous BioShock games, it does feature similar gameplay concepts and themes. BioShock Infinite uses a Modified Unreal Engine 3 game engine and was released worldwide on March 26, 2013.

Bioshock Infinite

We tested BioShock Infinite with the Ultra game settings.

bioshock

Benchmark Results: We found the ASUS and MSI GeForce GTX 770 OC cards to be 14.8% faster than the GeForce GTX 680 at 2560x1600 in Bioshock Infinite.

Far Cry 3

Farcry3 Game Screenshot

Far Cry 3 is an open world first-person shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It is the sequel to 2008's Far Cry 2. The game was released on December 4th, 2012 for North America. Far Cry 3 is set on a tropical island found somewhere at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.[11] After a vacation goes awry, player character Jason Brody has to save his kidnapped friends and escape from the islands and their unhinged inhabitants.

FarCry 3 Quality Settings

FarCry 3 Video Quality

Far Cry 3 uses the Dunia Engine 2 game engine with Havok physics. The graphics are excellent and the game really pushes the limits of what one can expect from mainstream graphics cards. We set game title to 8x MSAA Anti-Aliasing and ultra quality settings. 

farcry3

Benchmark Results: We found the ASUS and MSI GeForce GTX 770 OC cards to be 5.2% faster than the GeForce GTX 680 at 2560x1600 in Far Cry.

Hitman: Absolution

Hitman: Absolution is an action-adventure stealth DirecX 11 video game developed by IO Interactive and published by Square Enix. It is the fifth entry in the Hitman game series, and runs on IO Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine. This game title uses the Glacier 2 game engine and was released on November 20th, 2012.

hitmanabsolution_550.

We benchmarked Hitman: Absolution with Ultra Settings.

 hitman-benchmark

Benchmark Results: we found the ASUS and MSI GeForce GTX 770 OC cards to be 8.2 faster than the GeForce GTX 680 at 2560x1600!

Metro Last Light

Metro: Last Light is a first-person shooter video game developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and published by Deep Silver. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and features action-oriented gameplay with a combination of survival horror elements. It uses the 4A Game engine and was released in May 2013.

Metro: Last Light

Metro Last Light was benchmarked with Ultra settings

metro-ll

Benchmark Results: We found the ASUS and MSI GeForce GTX 770 OC cards to be 11.5% faster than the GeForce GTX 680 at 2560x1600!

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

On March 5th, 2013 Square Enix released Tomb Raider, billed as a reboot of the franchise. In Tomb Raider, the player is confronted with a much younger Lara Croft who is shipwrecked and finds herself stranded on a mysterious island rife with danger, both natural and human. In contrast to the earlier games Croft is portrayed as vulnerable, acting out of necessity, desperation and sheer survival rather than for a greater cause or personal gain.

Tomb Raider Settings

The game has been built on Crystal Dynamics's game engine called the "Crystal Engine" and the graphics look fantastic. AMD and Crystal Dyanmic's worked on a new technology called TressFX Hair, which AMD describes as “the world’s first in-game implementation of a real-time, per-strand hair physics system” for this game title. We set the image quality to ultimate for benchmarking, but we disabled TressFX Hair under the advanced tab to be fair to NVIDIA graphics cards that don't support the feature.

tomb-raider

Benchmark Results: In Tomb Raider we found the ASUS and MSI GeForce GTX 770 OC cards to be 10.1% faster than the GeForce GTX 680 at 2560x1600!

3DMark 2013

3Dmark Fire Strike Benchmark Results - For high performance gaming PCs

Use Fire Strike to test the performance of dedicated gaming PCs, or use the Fire Strike Extreme preset for high-end systems with multiple GPUs. Fire Strike uses a multi-threaded DirectX 11 engine to test DirectX 11 hardware.

3DMark Fire Strike

 

Fire Strike Benchmark Results:

firestrike

 

Benchmark Results: 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark has the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 GPU powered cards coming in at around 7070 3DMarks. This makes it 9% faster than the GeForce GTX 680.

Fire Strike Extreme:

firestrike-extreme

Benchmark Results: 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme benchmark found the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 cards having an overall score of roughly 3500 3DMarks. This makes it 20% slower than the GeForce GTX 780 and 9% faster than the GeForce GTX 680.

Catzilla

Catzilla is a relatively new benchmark that is made the Polish demoscene group Plasticis. something we are using for that reasonis being produced in collaboration with Polish post production company, Plastige. Plastige is the company that worked on Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition and some of the developers there were behind the PlayStation Network game Datura. The benchmark uses a parallel graphics engine that takes advantage of multi-core CPUs. This isn't a benchmark being made in some kids basement and it doesn't appear to be bought off by any companies yet, so it should be a good benchmark to use.

catzilla-benchmark

While this benchmark is in beta phases, we still have found that Catzilla is a good cross-API benchmark. You also can't go wrong with a benchmark that has a giant animated cat nuke cities with its laser eyes as you do. You can watch a video of the benchmark in action below.

We purchased Catzilla Advanced and ran the full Catzilla benchmark at 2560x1440.  This 1440p benchmark is designed for high-end computers, which is perfect as that is where these video cards are going to end up!

catzilla

Benchmark Results: Both GeForce GTX 770 cards perform well in Catzilla and were found to be 9% faster than the reference GeForce GTX 680.

Temperature & Noise Testing

Temperature & Noise Testing

Temperatures are important to enthusiasts and gamers, so we took a bit of time and did some temperature testing on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 based video cards.

ASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II Idle Temperature:

asus-gtx770-idle

MSI GeForce GTX 770 Gaming Idle Temperature:

msi-gtz780-idle

ASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II Gaming Temperature:

asus-gtx770-gaming

MSI GeForce GTX 770 Gaming Card Gaming Temperature:

msi-gtz780-gaming

When playing Far Cry 3 and Battlefield 3 for about 30 minutes each, we hit 63C on the ASUS card and 71C on the MSI card. Notice that ASUS has the fan profile fairly aggressive, so the fans are spinning at 2340RPM and they are louder than MSI. During gaming the MSI fans spin at just 1320RPM, so you get less noise and more heat.

temp-testing

When it comes to temperature testing both the ASUS and MSI GeForce GTX 770 OC cards were found to idle at 27C, but at load there was an 8C difference between the cards.  The ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II clearly runs cooler at full load. It should be noted that we tested with automatic fan control enabled, but you can manually control the fans on both cards.

Sound Testing

We recently upgraded our sound meter to an Extech sound level meter with ±1.5dB accuracy that meets Type 2 standards. This meter ranges from 35dB to 90dB on the low measurement range, which is perfect for us as our test room usually averages around 36dB. We measure the sound level two inches above the corner of the motherboard with 'A' frequency weighting. The microphone wind cover is used to make sure no wind is blowing across the microphone, which would seriously throw off the data.

noise

When it comes to noise levels the MSI GeForce GTX 770 Gaming OC card was quieter at full load, but the ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II was quieter at idle.

Power Consumption

asus-msi-gtx770-cards

For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Kill-A-Watt power meter. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers we ran three games at 1920x1080 and averaged the peak results seen on the power meter.

power-consumption

Power Consumption Results: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 doesn't appear to use more more power than a GeForce GTX 680 despite having a higher TDP. The MSI GeForce GTX 770 Gaming OC actually used less power at idle and load than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 reference card.  The ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC used more power than the MSI GTX770 and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 reference card though. The ASUS card uses 10 Watts more power in games and 8 Watts more than the MSI card due to the design of the board and the PWM components.

ASUS GeForce GTX 770 Overclocking

gpu-tweak-utility

To overclock the ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC Edition card we used ASUS GPU Tweak version 2.3.9.2. This is a great overclocking utility that allows you to adjust the GPU boost clock, memory clock, voltages, power/temp targets and tinker with the fan speed settings. If you want to enabled advanced features you can enable adjustment of the GPU voltage and the power target. You also have the latest version of GPU-Z built-in and live monitoring tools all in this one utility. 

asus-oc-smal

Overclocking the ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC video card was simple thanks to GPU Tweak and we had great results for this card. The defaults speed core clock speed on this card are 1059MHz on the core (1111MHz Boost) and 7012MHz on the 3GB of GDDR5 memory.

We cranked up the power target to 110% and set the temperature target to 94C. From there we then increased the memory and GPU clock speeds as far as we could. We were able to take the card up to 12085MHz on the core (1260MHz Boost) and all the way up to 8000MHz on the memory! Thanks to GPU Boost 2.0 we were hitting 1306MHz when gaming, which is better than the 1162MHz you boost to with stock settings. This is a very nice overclock on the core and an amazing overclock on the memory. It should be noted that when we tried to overclock beyond 8000MHz on the memory that we started seeing artifacts in 3D applications, but a 1GHz overclock on the memory is amazing. ASUS did a great job designing this card and it easily overclocks!

oc-gpuz

Let's take a look at some Futuremark 3DMark on the Fire Strike preset to see how the overclock helped performance.

 firestrike-oc

We tried out this overclock with Futuremark 3DMark Fire Strike and saw the score go from 7069 to 7902, which is a 11.8% improvement over the stock speeds! 

ocpower_550

Just for fun we took a look at overclocked power consumption and we found in 3DMark Fire Strike that power use went from 367W to 393W, which is an increase of just 26 Watts. The ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC would hit 57C with stock settings and 60C with the overclock, so overclocking doesn't really add too much more heat or power draw!

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Reference Card

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 brings a welcomed performance increase to the now year-old GeForce GTX 680 graphics card. Our testing found the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 2GB OC Edition cards by ASUS and MSI were between 5-15% faster than the original GeForce GTX 680 2GB reference card.  This is a nice performance increase thanks to the higher clock speeds and the additional memory bandwidth provided by the 7.0 Gbps memory. The performance difference between the GeForce GTX 770 and GeForce GTX 780 are pretty staggering though as we saw about a 20% performance gap between the two cards in testing. When compared to the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition cards it splits the performance tests, so the overall performance is comparable.

Overclocking performance on the GeForce GTX 770 appears to be impressive as we were able to hit over 1300MHz Boost clocks on the ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC Edition 2GB card. This increased 3DMark performance by over 11%, which is a very nice performance improvement on this GK104 Kepler powered card!

asus-msi-gtx770-cards

When it comes to pricing the GeForce GTX 770 comes in at $399 for the 2GB versions and we expect the 4GB versions that are coming out next month to be around $448. This makes the GeForce GTX 770 cards $250 less expensive than the GeForce GTX 780. If you don't want to spend $649.99 shipped on a GeForce GTX 780, the performance seen on the GeForce GTX 770 is hard to ignore. This card has a nice price versus performance ratio and is less expensive than the GeForce GTX 680 that it replaces. The ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC and MSI GeForce GTX 770 Gaming OC Edition cards both retail for $409.99, so they are about $10 more than a reference card. The only downside to the pricing is that no game bundle promotions are available at this time.

 

ASRock Z77 Pro3 Legit Reviews Recommended Award

Legit Bottom Line: At the end of the day the GeForce GTX 680 has been refreshed and had a price cut. The performance gains of 5-15% are welcomed and this makes for a solid high-end graphics option. If you are looking for a video card in the $400-$450 price range be sure to check out the GeForce GTX 770!