GeForce GTX 760 - GK104 For $249
Over the past month NVIDIA has managed to keep us extremely busy with the launch of the new GeForce GTX 700 series of video cards. NVIDIA already released the high-end GeForce GTX 780 and GeForce GTX 770 cards and today they continue the refresh of their product stack with the introduction of the GeForce GTX 760.
We have been told that this is the final desktop GeForce GTX graphics card that will be released for a number of months, so let's take a look at the new NVIDIA graphics card lineup.
As you can see the GeForce GTX 680 and GeForce GTX 670 have booth been dropped from the lineup and have been replaced by the GeForce GTX 780 and GeForce GTX 770. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 video card that is coming out today replacing the GeForce GTX 660 Ti in the lineup. Pricing for the GeForce GTX 760 begins at $249.99 and this will be a hard launch, so you should be able to go out and by partner cards right now. GeForce GTX 760 cards will be offered by ASUS, Colorful, EVGA, Gainward, Galaxy, Gigabyte, Innovision 3D, MSI, Palit, PNY and Zotac. NVIDIA board partners will be offering a wide variety of GeForce GTX 760 configurations, including boards with custom cooling, factory overclocks and some with 4GB of memory instead of 2GB (extra ~$49).
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 reference card features six streaming multiprocessors, 1,152 CUDA cores, 96 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface. The TDP on the card is 170 Watts and a 500 Watt power supply is recommended. The memory bandwidth on the GeForce GTX 660 Ti is ~144 GB/s and ~192 GB/s on the GeForce GTX 670/680. The GeForce GTX 760 shares that same memory solution that was found on GeForce GTX 670/680 cards, so it has 192.26 Gb/s of memory bandwidth. Both 2GB and 4GB versions of the GeForce GTX 760 are in the works, with the 4GB cards costing about $49 more.
|GTX 660||GTX 660 Ti||GTX 760|
|Memory Clock||6008MMHz GDDR5||6008MHz GDDR5||6008MHz GDDR5|
|Memory Bus Width||192-bit||192-bit||256-bit|
|Memory Bandwidth||144.2 GB/s||144.2-bit||
|Texture Filtering Rate
||78.4 GT/s||102.5 GT/s||94.1 GT/s|
|Manufacturing Process||TSMC 28nm||TSMC 28nm||TSMC 28nm|
|Current Suggested Price
At the end of the day you basically have a card running the GK104 with one of the Graphics Processing Clusters (GPCs) disabled (fewer stream processors), but you get the full GDDR5 memory and raster operations setup that is found on the GeForce GTX670/GTX680. Not bad considering yesterday a GeForce GTX 660 Ti would run you $280 and the GeForce GTX 760 comes in $30 less expensive at just $250.
NVIDIA is hoping that the GeForce GTX 760 will get some people with older cards to update as it offers a 300% performance boost over the Geforce GTX 275 that came out in 2009 and is roughly twice as fast as the GeForce GTX 560 from 2011.
NVIDIA also says that the GeForce GTX 760 will be able to beat the AMD Radeon HD 7950! Let's take a closer look at the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB reference card and get to testing.
The GeForce GTX 760 Reference Card
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB is a dual-slot cards that measure 9.5" in length. It features a black colored PCB with the part number 180-12004-1102-A00). It looks very similar what we saw on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 series of cards since this is basically a refresh of those GK104 powered cards.
Flipping the cards over we can see that the black PCB measures just 6.875" in length, so if you wanted to water cool your video card, the card would under seven inches in length with a full coverage GPU water block! You can also see some of the Hynix GDDR5 memory IC's that make up this cards 2GB frame buffer.
NVIDIA is using SK hynix GDDR5 IC's that are marked H5GQ2H24AFR-R0C. According to the SK hynix website these specific IC's are rated to run at 6.0Gbps (0.3ns) at 1.5V.
When it comes to video outputs you have a pair of DVI connectors (DVI-I and DVI-D), DisplayPort and HDMI video. This remains unchanged from the GeForce GTX 660 series cards. The new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 series video cards has a dual SLI interconnect/bridge, which means they are 3-way SLI ready! You can also see that the card uses a pair of 6-pin PCIe power connectors.
Lastly, we want to point out that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 rceference card uses the same blower style fan and GPU cooler that we saw on other GeForce GTX 660 series cards. This GPU ooler has a large aluminum fin heatsink array, but we aren't expecting to see stellar temperature results with this cooler. Most add-in-board companies will be offering custom GPU coolers on the retail cards, so this isn't a big deal.
Now that you know what the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 is, we can dive into benchmarking and overclocking!
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:
- NVIDIA GeForce 320.39
- AMD Catalyst 13.6 Beta 2
Intel X79/LGA2011 Platform
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|
Intel Core i7-3960X
ASUS P9X79 Deluxe
16GB Corsair 1866MHz
OCZ Vertex 3 240GB
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card GPU-Z Information:
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 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.
Benchmark Results: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB graphics card was able to hold its own at just about all of the resolutions. At the most common resolution of 1920x1080 the GeForce GTX 760 averaged 69.47 frames per second, only ~10 fps or 13% below the GeForce GTX 680 which was double the cost at launch. Increasing the resolution in Battlefield 3 to 2560x1600 the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 averaged 42.84 frames per second, only 11.5% behind the GTX 680. Once we fired up our triple monitor surround system at 5760x1080 our average did dip below the magic 30 frames per second with an average of 26.83 frames per second.
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.
We tested BioShock Infinite with the Ultra game settings.
Benchmark Results: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 was able to average 80.99 frames per second at 1920x1080, this time though it was a difference of ~15.6%. Very solid performance for a card that is launching at half the price of the GTX 680! Increasing the resolution to 2560x1600 the GTX 760 was able to average 47.9 frames per second. With our triple monitor setup running at 5760x1080 we were able to average 29.12 frames per second.
Far Cry 3
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. After a vacation goes awry, player character Jason Brody has to save his kidnapped friends and escape from the islands and their unhinged inhabitants.
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.
Benchmark Results: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 struggled at 5760x1080, due largely to the 2GB frame buffer and our use of 8x AA. Far Cry 3 can really take advantage of the video cards that have 3GB or more memory. At 1920x1080 the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 averaged 39.122 frames per second, not far behind the GeForce GTX 680 2GB which averaged 40.9 frames per second or the Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB card from AMD. The GeForce GTX 760 was only 9% slower than the GTX 680 and 16.4% behind the Sapphire Radeon HD7970 Vapor-X. Once we were running the triple monitor setup the 3GB Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 was nearly double the performance of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB card due to the frame buffer being totally full.
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.
We benchmarked Hitman: Absolution with Ultra Settings.
Benchmark Results: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and the GTX 680 were running real close in Hitman: Absolution. At 1920x1080 the GeForce GTX 760 averaged 30.4 frames per second while the GTX 680 averaged 7.9% faster with an average of 32.8 frames per second. At our highest single monitor resolution of 2560x1600 the GTX 760 average 17.5 frames per second while the GTX 680 averaged 19.4 frames per second, a difference of ~10%. Neither the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 or the GTX 680 were what I would call remotely playable at 5760x1080 again due to having just 2GB of memory.
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 was benchmarked with the games built-in benchmark with Very High quality settings, 16x AF, normal motion blur and DX11 tessellation set to normal. Advanced PhysX was disabled.
Benchmark Results: Metro Last Light is tough on video cards, and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 struggled over 1920x1080. Though at 1920x1080 the GTX 760 was able to average a comfortable 44.33 frames per second. Once we increased the resolution we started dipping below 30 frames per second, at 2560x1600 we had an average of 27.33 frames per second and our triple monitor setup with a resolution of 5760x1080 averaged only 18.67 frames per second.
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.
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.
Benchmark Results: The GeForce GTX 760 averaged 77.9 frames per second at 1920x1080 which is plenty for a great gaming experience. Increasing the resolution to 2560x1600 the performance dropped to 44.2 frames per second which is still very solid performance. Our triple monitor display may be stretching the GeForce GTX 760 a little on the thin side but we were still able to average 31.6 frames per second and it was quite playable, even at this high of a resolution.
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.
Fire Strike Benchmark Results:
Benchmark Results: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB graphics card hit an overall score of 5556, a little less than 1k points behind the GeForce GTX 680 though it's still a solid score.
Fire Strike Extreme:
Benchmark Results: When moving up to the 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme benchmark the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 hit an overall score of 2735 points.
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.
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!
Benchmark Results: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 scored a solid 4687 on the Catzilla 1440P test, only 125 points or 2.5% behind the GeForce GTX 680.
Noise and Temps
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 760 2GB video card
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Idle Temperature:
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB video card had an idle temperature of 29.0C in a room that was 22.0C (72F).
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Gaming Temperature:
When playing Far Cry 3 and Battlefield 3 for about 30 minutes each, we hit 82C and did not get any hotter than this as that is the temperature target of this video card. Notice the fan speed went from just 1100RPM at idle to 2100RPM when gaming and you could easily hear this card over the water cooler and Corsair AX1200 PSU on our test system.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB video card is actually the hottest of any video card that we have tested in the past 5 weeks! Hitting 82C isn't really that hot in the big picture, but it is hot enough to put it at the top of our temperature chart.
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.
When it comes to noise levels you should already know that it will not be the quietest in the group as we just told you it was the hottest. The old NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 reference design is still on top of our noise chart with ~54dB while gaming, but the GeForce GTX 760 reference design isn't that far back at 53dB.
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 Results: With the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB reference card on our test system we observed a 100W idle power draw at the wall outlet and when gaming that jumped up to 336 Watts. This is on par with most other cards at idle and the peak power draw was near the bottom of the chart, so this card is fairly efficient all things considered.
GeForce GTX 760 Overclocking
We installed the EVGA Precision X 4.2.0 software utility to see how the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB video card could be overclocked! You can use whatever software utility you like for overclocking and we used this one since we are familiar with it and it was already installed on our test machine.
In case you forgot, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB graphics card has a base clock of 980MHz, a boost clock of 1033MHz and the memory runs at 6008MHz. To see how much higher we could get we increased the power target to 115% and the temperature target to 94C. This is the highest possible setting for each. We then slowly increased the GPU clock offset and memory clock offset to see how far we could go before the card would become unstable. We ended up with a GPU clock offset to +165MHz and the mem clock offset to +215MHz before we started to get encounter some issues like artifacts. In game titles we saw the card hitting 1267MHz thanks to GPU Boost on the core. This is not a bad overclock and we were very happy with the performance gains it gave us.
For example in 3DMark Fire Strike we saw performance go from 5556 to 6237 by overclocking the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB video card. This is a performance gain of 12.3%, which isn't bad considering that it then performs close to a GeForce GTX 680 and only costs $250.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
The reference GeForce GTX 760 graphics card features a GK104-225-A2 "Kepler" GPU with 1152 CUDA cores, 96 TMUs, 32 ROPs along with a 2GB of GDDR5 memory running along a 256-bit wide memory interface. To get specs like that on a $250 graphics card is impressive. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 was found to be a solid desktop gaming graphics card that performs exceptionally well on a single monitor setup in the 1920x1080-2560x1600 screen resolution range. The reference card we tested had 2GB of GDDR5 memory and we found that it wasn't able to perform that well in our 2D Surround testing at 5760x1080.
That said, we were also testing with the image quality cranked up. NVIDIA told us that we have our IQ settings too high and that running 8x AA is unrealistic and something gamers don't do. Funny, this is the company that used the term 'Crank That #($& Up' as a marketing term in recent years and that is how we've been testing for many years. Sure this card can run everything, but for 95% of the gamers out there this $250 card will be able to play the game titles you want at acceptable frame rates. Those that game at 2560x1600 and beyond need to look at a video card with a frame buffer of 3+ GB in order to smoothly run the game titles they love.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 is a very overclocking friendly graphics card and we were able to go from 980MHz on the core all the way up to 1145MHz! This put the boost clock at a rather impressive 1198MHz (1033MHz stock) and that helped us get around a 12-14% performance boost in most game titles and synthetic benchmarks. We were also able to bump the memory up form 6008MHz to 6440MHz. Not bad overclocking considering we are on the reference GPU cooler, so it will be interesting to see how the AIB cards do with better custom GPU coolers.
There are some pretty good offerings and AMD also has a ton of cards available as well. AMD's Radeon HD 7950 can be found for as little as $259.99 shipped right now thanks to the Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X selling for that on Newegg. With and AMD Radeon HD 7900 series card you get the AMD Never Settle Reloaded bundle that gives you four gaming titles: Tomb Raider, BioShock Infinite, Crysis 3 and Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon. Right now NVIDIA doesn't offer any games with the GeForce GTX 700 series, so that makes things a bit interesting. For right around $250 you can get either the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB or the AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB. The real winners here are gamers as for basically $250 you can pick up a great graphics card that will play all the games you can think of with ease on a single monitor setup.
With the introduction of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 the top of the desktop lineup looks like this:
- GeForce GTX TITAN/GeForce GTX 690
- GeForce GTX 780
- GeForce GTX 770
- GeForce GTX 760
- GeForce GTX 660
- GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST
- GeForce GTX 650 Ti
- GeForce GTX 650
We weren't able to benchmark all of the cards that we wanted to for this article, but we will continue to benchmark and add cards to the charts as time goes on. We updated our test benchmark and started over with the latest drivers last month, so it's been a slow and steady process to get things back the way we want them to be. Let us know if there is something you'd like to see that is not being covered!
Legit Bottom Line: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB video card gives gamers more power than ever at the $250 price point and we can see this card selling extremely well due to the price and features that it has.