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Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3 GB - A Large Increase Occurring In Every Aspect (Part 1)

9/7/2013 5:19:08 PM

The flagship graphics accelerator of Nvidia's new product line was introduced quite surprisingly. It not only increases the performance bar but also the price maximum. Our review today will reveal how such a large increase can occur on every aspect.

The preparation for the launch of Nvidia's flagship graphics card have been pretty fast, ignore a couple of months of rumors, information leakage and discussion of different versions of specifications. Contrary to some skeptical predictions skeptical, Nvidia has successfully introduced its top solution very quickly, and largely because the company has recently released the special GeForce GTX Titan. The GeForce GTX 780 is based only on the Titan's design and uses the same GK110 GPU.

GeForce GTX 780 graphics card

GeForce GTX 780 graphics card

Why would we call the GeForce GTX 780 a flagship product if we knew that the Titan was even faster. In fact, the Titan is an image-constructive product and has very small target customer. As for the GeForce GTX 780, it is a fast but standard graphics card. As the name implies, it is meant to lead the top new product line of Nvidia. There is also one more reason to call the GTX 780 a flagship product, but we will explain it in the contents of this review.

Structure

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 is based on the same GPU with the Titan: GK110 chip  with Kepler structure. A SMX sub-unit is turned off, however, in its GPU, so the total number of CUDA cores is reduced from 2688 to 2304 or 14%.

A SMX sub-unit is turned off

A SMX sub-unit is turned off

The number of texture-mapping units (TMUs) was reduced from 224 to 192 but the number of raster operators remained at 48. The GPU operates at higher clock rate: 863 MHz in 3D applications (up to 902 MHz in enhanced mode). Memory clock rate remained at 6008 MHz, but the new card has 3 instead of 6 gigabytes, which affects the price and PCB design. On the other hand the GeForce GTX 780 has the same power requirement as the Titan: 250 watts at maximum load. A 600 watt PSU source is recommended for a PC with a GTX 780 card inside.

Its introductory price is $649, which was higher than 30% when compared to the GeForce GTX 680 ($499 - but the actual retail price is now lower) and lower than 35% compared to the Titan.

Graphics card's design and features

The new GeForce GTX 780 looks like a clone of the GeForce GTX Titan except for the text on the cooler casing and the lack of memory chips on the reverse side of the PCB.

The GeForce GTX 780's front

The GeForce GTX 780's front

The GeForce GTX 780's rear

The GeForce GTX 780's rear

You will be pleased to know that the GeForce GTX 780 has the same highlighting on its top edge as the Titan.

The highlighting on the edge of the card

The highlighting on the edge of the card

The new Graphics Card is equipped with three video ports:  dual-link DVI-I and DVI-D, HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort1.2

The ports of GeForce GTX 780

The ports of GeForce GTX 780

So you can connect multiple monitors at the same time with a GTX 780 card just like with the Titan. There is no difference in terms of power and SLI connector.

Power and a corner of the GeForce GTX 780

Power and a corner of the GeForce GTX 780

PCB of previous versions of the GeForce GTX 780 is a copy of the Titan's PCB.

Being a clone of Titan's PCB

Being a clone of Titan's PCB

Except for the change in the back of the PCB that has been previously mentioned, the rest are the same. The GPU's regulators consist of 6 phases of GPU-based DrMOS semiconductor, and three more phases for the chip memory and PLL.

The GPU's regulators consist of 6 phases of GPU-based DrMOS semiconductor

The GPU's regulators consist of 6 phases of GPU-based DrMOS semiconductor

Like the Titan, the power system is controlled by the NCP4206 controller of Semiconductor ON.

The NCP4206 controller of Semiconductor ON.

The NCP4206 controller of Semiconductor ON.

Maybe the pre-installed GeForce GTX 780 will have another PCB.

The GPU of our samples are produced in Taiwan in the 36th week of 2012. Thus, Nvidia had working GK110 chips as far back as the early September 2012.

The GPU die is 561 sq. mm large and marked as GK110-300-A1

The GPU die is 561 sq. mm large and marked as GK110-300-A1

The GPU die is 561 sq. mm large and marked as GK110-300-A1 (the Titan die is marked as GK-110-400-A1). As specified in an official way, the GPU is clocked at 867/902 MHz in 3D applications at 1162 volts. The clock rate was reduced from 324 MHz in 2D applications and the voltage dropped to 0.875 volts.

 

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