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EVGA GTX 780 ACX Double BIOS Review: A Big Step Away from Reference

Author: Josh Walrath
Manufacturer: EVGA

The EVGA GTX 780 ACX, Continued...

The card is nice and heavy with a pretty robust heatsink.  The heatsink itself is split into two units, both of which are connected by four heatpipes to each other and the GPU.  One other heatpipe curves back into the primary heatsink to more effectively spread the heat.  Two 80 mm fans with BIOS and user controlled speeds keep the card nice and cool.  EVGA has implemented a heatplate that also acts to stiffen the PCB to minimize warping.  The overall fan/heatsink/plate make it a very heavy card.  Without the stiffening elements, it would be a real challenge to keep the pcb straight when installed.

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The card features a 6 + 8 pin power connection, which provides 250 watts of power to the card.

The BIOS switch on the back is actually quite small.  To change the BIOS one needs to use a very finely pointed implement.  Eyeglass repair kit screwdrivers seem to work really well here, but don’t expect sausage fingers to be able to switch it up.  The instructions silkscreened on the back of the card are confusing when it comes to switching the BIOS to the secondary chip.  It is better to look at the EVGA website to get the instructions on how to switch them out.

The cooling shroud is not gaudy in the least.  It is a very understated affair with nice touches throughout.  No bold colors, no heatpipes sticking out of the top, and no outlandish graphics adorn the card.  It shows the branding for EVGA, the GTX 780, and their ACX cooling and that is it.  It has a few nice flourishes and EVGA keeps it very classy.  For those wanting to show off their computer internals, it is a very nice selection.  I think we all remember the days of vid cards coming with massive stickers on the heatsink shroud that show off scantily clad women in non-functional armor looking menacing at the buyer.  Or at least I am assuming that they were looking menacingly at me…

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The back is relatively sparse, except for the low profile caps directly behind the GPU.

The card leaves a very good impression on the buyer with the quality add-ins, build, looks, and performance of the GTX 780.

 

Further Thoughts on EVGA

EVGA has a very loyal following for some very specific reasons.  Not only do they produce some very good video cards at good prices, but they support their users like few other companies.  The card carries a three year warranty, which is very common in the industry.  What EVGA does beyond that puts a lot of other, larger groups to shame.

Quite a few of the EVGA employees make themselves available to users through their forums and community building activities.  This puts an actual face to the company when dealing with issues, sharing results, or just chatting with people who are enthusiastic and passionate about gaming and graphics.  This community building does make for a much more responsive group when users do in fact have problems with their product, software, or drivers.  It is hard to get mad at a company when they get back to you in a timely manner and work personally with you to try to fix issues.

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EVGA makes some understated, but attractive boxes that look like they mean business.  Again, bad artwork is not present with this product.

There is also the Step-Up program that has been running for quite a few years now.  Users who buy EVGA products and register them, can get discounts on new cards within a certain period of time after the initial purchase.  This helps to protect the user a bit if there is a new, shiny card introduced that they would have rather waited for if they had known it was coming.  If a user wants to take advantage of the Step-Up program, they really need to go to the EVGA site right after purchase and look over the rules.  They aren’t complex, but time is of the essence when registering the product to be able to potentially utilize this program.

The company does a lot of outreach to their users and consumers.  This typically results in quite a few repeat customers who have a personal connection to EVGA and their employees.  It doesn’t hurt that EVGA does have a pretty good reputation with the quality of their cards.

March 7, 2014 | 10:20 AM - Posted by SKLDRBLDS (not verified)

You state power limit increases for bios #2.
But what are they?
But don't state in your overclocking page which you used.

While I presume you are using #2 bios, you said the power target is different, could you tell me the actual power target limits?

More curious than anything..

March 7, 2014 | 10:33 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Getting exact numbers for you on power target.  Can tell you that fan speed for normal is 30% to 85%, but with the 2nd BIOS the range is increased from 20% to 100%.

March 8, 2014 | 07:36 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

The  power target goes up to 302W (up from 295W).

March 7, 2014 | 10:40 AM - Posted by TinkerToyTech

But the most important question is: Does this have the Double Floats wanted by the Miners? Will this card's price be shot through the roof for no particular reason?

March 7, 2014 | 10:41 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Nope, you need a Titan to get those kinds of numbers.

March 7, 2014 | 10:46 AM - Posted by TinkerToyTech

oh, and Josh, Ryan, you'll need to know that I found out about this article from your (Josh) twitter mention of it.

March 7, 2014 | 10:50 AM - Posted by robert3892

Remember everyone that this is a review of the EVGA GTX 780 and not the EVGA GTX 780ti so the price is lower than that of the EVGA GTX 780ti.

The EVGA website price for the EVGA GTX 780GTX with ACX is 499 US dollars.

The EVGA website price for the EVGA GTX 780GTXti with ACX is 709 US dollars.

I don't foresee the price of this model being reviewed increasing anytime soon unless EVGA decides to do so.

The dual BIOs allows you to overclock one BIOs and if something bad happens you can switch to the 2nd BIOs.

(a.k.a rjohnson11, EVGA volunteer forum moderator)

March 7, 2014 | 02:50 PM - Posted by tom rogers (not verified)

I have just installed this card, and the part about running faster than the stock speeds is true for mine as well. It runs consistently at 993mhz, which just happens to be the 780SC stock speed, so I'm pretty happy with the results. Like a small upgrade for free.

The fact that I've had two 680ftw cards that ended up being duds, running hotter every week until they blew up, I'm surprised I bought yet another EVGA product, but the author is right; no one else coddles the purchaser like EVGA. No questions asked, and in fact, they saw what I'd done by looking at my comments/actions via the Forum, and didn't have me dance through hoops for an RMA. I also like their upgraded RMA system, where you just get a number and give them your CC# to hold, and they send you a new card that day. Once you get the new card, you just put the old one in the package, tape it with the RMA sticker, and you're gaming in a couple days instead of weeks.

March 9, 2014 | 02:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This is reference PCB design just has bios switch and does not offer any addition extra power phases

There is no difference between this and standard 780 other than having 2 BIOS out of the box 2nd BIOS offers no advantages over the other.

The 2nd bios so in case you have issues you have another bios to fall back on

March 10, 2014 | 07:22 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Direct from EVGA... 2nd BIOS offers increased fan speed control and a 8 watt increase in power.  Compare pics of the back of the card from original GTX 780 reference design.  Some significant differences there.

March 10, 2014 | 01:41 PM - Posted by Chris.A (not verified)

He/She is correct it uses the same reference PCB it just has added bios switch.

The FTW and Classfied use non reference PCB

March 11, 2014 | 12:25 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Direct from EVGA, this would not be considered a reference design. *shrug* take it as you will.

March 10, 2014 | 01:53 PM - Posted by Chris.A (not verified)

also 2nd BIOS didn't do much at all to help OC

I end up flashing custom BIOS that disabled speedboost and higher power target and unlocked voltage to 1.212

March 12, 2014 | 11:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

EVGA is the BEST COMPANY IN THE BUSINESS. PERIOD. Kingpins team in also the best in the business which is no coincidence.

EVGA FTW or GTFO.

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