1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Graphics GTX 780 in Surround... A Short (LOL) Review

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by xaser04, 17 Jul 2013.

  1. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

    Joined:
    27 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    2,330
    Likes Received:
    264
    Hi all,

    What follows now is a rather brief and to the point review of a GTX780 in Surround... I lied it is a long waffling review of a GTX780 compared to a HD7970 OC in Portrait Surround / Eyefinity interspersed with poetry readings and... God damn it waffling already, this is going well.

    Ahem.

    Anway, back to the subject matter at hand. Ever since the launch of the GTX780, I have been waiting for someone (anyone) to do a decent review comparing it to a overclocked HD7970, specifically with a focus on multi screen gaming. Finding very little in the way of data on the subject I decided to to bite the bullet and test it out myself. Noticing that Dabs had a Palit card for under £520, and had a £25 off coupon available I went ahead a made my purchase. £495 is a lot for a graphics card but the 780 is the only card outright faster than a 7970 (for my purposes), which costs this side of realistic.

    Meet the GTX780

    [​IMG]

    Oooo shiny!

    The box was a simply affair and included the most pathetic of "bundles":

    [​IMG]

    Not even a DVI-VGA converter! After being spoiled by the included cables / adaptors in the 7970's I have received, I was left very underwhelmed. Oh well, onto the card comparisons.

    GTX780 vs VTX HD7970 X Edition:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Overall I am very impressed with just how good the 780 feels. The Titan cooler looks lovely and the whole card feels better than the 7970 it replaces (note; the VTX doesn't feel that good in the hand, the cooler flexes and it simply looks cheap). Of course how a card feels and how it performs are two very different things. Onwards to the benchmarks!

    Test System

    Due to a bios update required to run the GTX780 causing issues there are two systems listed. Both are the same system with only a change in CPU. In all cases the 780 was run through on both CPU's. Unfortunately I had already sold the 7970 when this problem arose hence why there are no 3770K / HD7970 benchmarks included. My resolution generally means this is a minor point, especially with the less powerful 7970.

    System 1 (HD7970 & GTX780):

    - i5 2500K @ 4.4Ghz cooled by a Kuhler 620
    - MSI P67A GD55 MB running Bios 1.5
    - 16GB 1600MT/s DDR3 @ 9-9-9-24
    - 60GB SSD for Win 7 & Origin Games / 120GB SSD for Steam games & other benchmarks
    - Thermaltake Toughpower XT675w
    - Windows 7 HP x64
    - 3 x LG IPS231P monitors running in 3x1 portrait Eyefinity / Surround. Resolution 3600x1920

    System 2 (GTX780 only):

    - i7 3770K @ 4.4Ghz cooled by a Kuhler 620
    - MSI P67A GD55 MB running Bios 4.3
    - 16GB 1600MT/s DDR3 @ 9-9-9-24
    - 60GB SSD for Win 7 & Origin Games / 120GB SSD for Steam games & other benchmarks
    - Thermaltake Toughpower XT675w
    - Windows 7 HP x64
    - 3 x LG IPS231P monitors running in 3x1 portrait Eyefinity / Surround. Resolution 3600x1920

    The cards:

    VTX HD7970 X Edition - Stock 1050/5700 (Ghz) & OC 1200-1250*/6400 - Cat 13.2 Beta 6
    Palit GTX780 - Stock 863**/6008 & OC 1189/6800* - Forceware 320.49 Beta

    *Except where explicitly stated these are the OC clocks for each GPU.
    **Stock boost on the GTX780 appeared to be around 993Mhz.


    The Benchmarks

    Note: Where possible the benchmarks include both Minimum and Average graphs and also FPS plotted against time.
    Note 2: I am not a professional reviewer, I put this together as a bit of fun and to answer my own questions regarding the GTX780. I have not benchmarked certain games like Tomb Raider or Metro Last Light as I don't own them. I no longer own the HD7970 benchmarked so I can't add any extra data points for it. The drivers used were either the latest available (780), or the ones that offered up the best balance of performance and reduced DP tearing (7970).

    3DMark13 (3DMark) - Fire Strike

    Steam Edition (Free Edition) - Standard benchmark

    [​IMG]

    A good start for the GTX780. At stock the 780 is a little faster than the HD7970 Overclocked. Overclock the 780 and it pulls away by a noticable margin. Adding the 3770K knocks on the door of 10k.

    3DMark11

    Steam Edition (Free Edition) - Standard benchmark

    [​IMG]

    Overall this is a similar story to 3DMark13. HD7970OC gets close to a stock 780. Overclocked the 780 pulls away.

    Unigine Valley

    3600x1920, Extreme settings, No AA

    [​IMG]
    Note - HD7970 clocked at 1250/6400

    Again more of the same. In this instance a overclocked HD7970 is actually slightly faster than a stock GTX780.

    Battlefied 3

    5 minute Playthrough of Operation Swordbreaker. Start recording on exist of APC, stop after clearing out carpark.

    Ultra Settings - No MSAA

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Note - HD7970 clocked at 1250/6400

    BF3 @ Ultra settings is a good example of just how fast the GTX780 can be. Out of the box it is noticably faster than a overclocked (1250Mhz core) HD7970 and overclocked, well, there is no contest. Interestingly I patched in a result for GTX670SLI from one of my previous Surround reviews and was quite suprised to a GTX780 OC basically matching 2 670's at this resolution / setting combination. The 670's in question were Direct CUII models boosting to around 1050 on the core so no slouches. Obviously newer driver revisions and a squirt of overclocking would see the 670's pull ahead, but it does show that the 780 can be alot faster than the "previous" generation cards under the right conditions - something I noticed when the 7970 first launched compared to the 6970.

    Ultra Settings - 4xMSAA

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Note - HD7970 clocked at 1250/6400

    As with the Ultra NoAA results this is another noticable "win" for the 780. I would imagine a overclocked 780 would probably surpass 670SLI at these settings based on my previous findings.

    Custom Settings (All High, Shadows on Med) - NoMSAA

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Note - HD7970 clocked at 1250/6400

    These are the settings I actually game at and the 780 continues its lead of the performance charts. The 7970 OC puts in a very good show basically matching a stock 780, but it simply can't compete once you wind up the 780. Playability wise the 780 felt a little smoother than the 7970 simply because it never dropped below the 60Hz refresh of my monitors.

    Overall BF3 highlights just how much the 780 (and 7970) benefit from the wider memory interface at very high resolutions. Both the 680 and 670's shown here were run through exactly the same test (albeit with older drivers) and were comfortably outpaced by the 7970.

    Crysis 3

    High System, Shadows on Med, SMAAx1

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Note - GTX780 Max OC - 1189/7000

    I only benched my HD7970 playable settings in Crysis 3 as I really didn't want to try and "play" a slideshow with the settings turned up even more. Overall the 780 OC combined with a small boost from the 3770K manages to push around an extra 10FPS average. The overall experience on the 780 is smoother and I didn't have any of the DP tearing which I frequently got on the 7970 in this game. Again though we see a overclocked 7970 basically matching a stock 780, hats off to the 7970 for this. I would have loved to have tested a 670/680 in this game but sadly I no longer have one to hand.

    Sleeping Dogs

    Built in benchmark

    Max Settings - Normal AA

    [​IMG]

    Max Settings - High AA

    [​IMG]

    Max Settings - Extreme AA

    [​IMG]

    Sleeping Dogs is one of those games that I believe favours AMD hardware. The 7970 OC puts in a monsterous show outpacing the stock 780 at all settings. Overclocked the 780 pulls ahead but the difference isn't as noticable as in the other games. Both High AA and Extreme AA are a bit much for both cards, especially as they don't look any different to the Normal AA setting when actually playing.

    Test Drive Unlimited 2

    5 minute Playthrough - Drive from first owned garage across Ibiza following the same route each time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Note - HD7970 clocked at 1250/6400

    This was a bugger of a game to test as my 780 decided ramdomly to stop boosting on certain runs. The random traffic generation and weather changes also help ruin a few runs. Overall performance was already very good on the 7970. The 780 is merely faster, not noticably faster, just faster. In the end I got bored of testing this and went about crashing my GTR into everything at 200MPH. Good times :p

    GTX780 1080P Benchmarks

    A bit of fun following my secondary monitors being boxed up for our house move.

    Crysis 3 - Very high Preset with 8xMSAA & SMAAx4
    Battlefield 3 - Ultra with 4xMSAA
    Sleeping Dogs - Max in game settings with Mixed AA
    TDU2 - Maxed in game settings with 8xMSAA
    Unigine Valley - Ultra settings with 8xAA

    [​IMG]

    These benchmarks started out as a bit of fun as I thought a single overclocked 780 would monster everything. Unfortunately the first run I did of Crysis 3 proved me very wrong. The 8xMSAA setting absolutely killed performance for little obvious benefit. Dropping to SMAAx4 improved this by around 10FPS but I think a few more settings would have to be turned down to get the balance just right.

    Battlefield 3 on the other hand was a whole different ball game. Everything absolutely maxed and nearly 120FPS, very nice!

    Sleeping Dogs again shows what a mess the Extreme AA setting actually is. A huge drop in FPS for what?! High is perfectly playable at 1080p so I would probably stick with this even though the image quality different is not at all obvious in game.

    TDU2 decided to play ball this time and with framerates always above 100FPS I think this is perfectly playable.


    Final Thoughts & conclusion

    Ah conclusion time, this is the point where I say the GTX780 is the best thing since sliced bread and leave it at that, well no not really. Yes the GTX780 is a fantastic piece of kit, faster than any other single GPU card I have tested and even nipping on the heels of a GTX670 SLI setup under the right conditions. Card wise itself I can't fault it, looks great, feels great, runs cool and quiet and overclocks like a champ.

    However, there is a big price to pay for this sort of single GPU performance; the price itself. This card was a full 60% more expensive than the 7970 it replaces and it offers up around 20-30% more performance when comparing overclocked vs overclocked. In certain games this extra performance really makes a difference; Crysis 3 for example, but in others the difference is much less noticeable.

    Overall though perhaps I am being a bit harsh? Simply put; unless you fork out another £300 for a Titan you can't get any faster than this on a single GPU card (for my setup). Ultimately for me it was worth it and I can eek out that bit extra of performance in the games that require it, but for anyone else I would recommend benching what you have in the games you play and deciding whether it is worth the cost to you.

    Overall

    + The fastest Single GPU I have tested
    + Offers up around 20-30% more performance than a overclocked HD7970
    + Runs cool and quiet
    + Looks & feels great (Titan cooler)
    + Allows increased playability in those games where a 7970 OC was not quite fast enough
    + Overclocks quite nicely

    - Costs 60% more than the card it replaces
    - Nagging feeling that ultimately it could be faster still

    Now bring on the HD9970, my 780 is looking for a fight.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jul 2013
  2. AlienwareAndy

    AlienwareAndy What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    7 Dec 2009
    Posts:
    3,421
    Likes Received:
    70
    Thanks for this. It's always nice to see independent figures :)
     
  3. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

    Joined:
    27 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    2,330
    Likes Received:
    264
    Thanks for the thanks! :thumb:
     
  4. narwen

    narwen narwen

    Joined:
    6 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    387
    Likes Received:
    12
    Great review
     
  5. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

    Joined:
    27 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    2,330
    Likes Received:
    264
    Thanks! :)

    Everything has been updated now, conclusion and closing thoughts added.
     
  6. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    8,577
    Likes Received:
    196
    I'll wait until these things get cheap or say a newer card comes out.

    My GTX670 is still handling things admirably. :D
     
  7. damien c

    damien c Mad FPS Gamer

    Joined:
    31 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    2,978
    Likes Received:
    230
    That's what I am doing, as well as watercooling my 680's as they still run everything I want maxed out including Metro Last Light.


    OP
    Nice review :thumb:
     
  8. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

    Joined:
    27 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    2,330
    Likes Received:
    264
    Thanks guys.
     
  9. N17 dizzi

    N17 dizzi Multimodder

    Joined:
    23 Mar 2011
    Posts:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    331
    This.



    Nice read xaser :)
     
  10. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    8,577
    Likes Received:
    196
    Definitely fun read. Andthe 780 cooler oozes quality. But I'll be honest, It's still way too much.

    That said, if OC'ed it can do 670SLI frames. It's actually not half bad.
     
  11. AlienwareAndy

    AlienwareAndy What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    7 Dec 2009
    Posts:
    3,421
    Likes Received:
    70
    It wouldn't be too much for me :)

    I like my MSAA way too much. Mind you given the choice? I'd take 760 SLI over the 780.

    Just because you can do it for around £400 for the same performance.
     
  12. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

    Joined:
    27 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    2,330
    Likes Received:
    264
    At 3600x1920 it can get close (genuinely surprised by this, most likely due to the much stronger back end on the 780. At 1080p the 670's would be noticeably faster (GTX690 performance).

    760's or 670's in SLI are a very good choice although I simply prefer a single card. At my res though I would need GTX 780 SLI or even Tri SLI to enjoy lots of AA as well. How do I tell the wife? :worried::D
     
  13. blueviper11

    blueviper11 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2010
    Posts:
    108
    Likes Received:
    2
    Buy it, N say nothing!
     
  14. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    8,577
    Likes Received:
    196
    I like MSAA but ever since MLAA, FXAA and SMAA have arrived. MSAA isn't that necessary. Unless I'm playing old UE3 games and want 64xCSAA @ 1600x1200.

    I think a monitor upgrade is due more than anything else. Also Xaser, I think it has to do with the VRAM limit. At that res, games must be eating VRAM enough that 2GB simply just isn't enough.
     
  15. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

    Joined:
    27 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    2,330
    Likes Received:
    264
    Interestingly at "playable" settings VRAM isn't an issue even on the 2GB cards at my res. Absolutely maxed out VRAM can be an issue (Crysis 3 uses over 3GB maxed out with 8xMSAA for example) but this isn't even playable on GX780 SLI let alone pretty much any GK104 setup.
     
  16. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    8,577
    Likes Received:
    196
    Perhaps a glitchy driver issue?
     
  17. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

    Joined:
    27 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    2,330
    Likes Received:
    264
    Not really, more a case of the very high resolution highlighting the compratively weak back end of the GK104 cards. As I say, at 1080p my single 780 overclocked would be thouroughly trounced by 670 SLI - overclocked or not.
     
  18. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    8,577
    Likes Received:
    196
    I'm going to get a 1200P monitor soon.

    And it occurs to me I might actually have to SLI.
     

Share This Page