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

Author: Josh Walrath
Manufacturer: EVGA

Test Setup and Results

I am currently unable to do the frame rating/frame pacing testing that Ryan does.  It simply costs a lot of money to get that setup.  Instead, I have used the more traditional testing of FPS across multiple applications and benchmarks.  In this context, it certainly does not invalidate these results.  Ryan covers every new GPU with the frame rating suite, so if a reader is curious about those results, they can find them on this site.

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The pack is very comprehensive when it comes to what a user needs to get up and running.  Lots of extras like stickers and posters round out the goodies for the enthusiast crowd.

I recently changed from the AMD test system to the Intel based i7 3770K.  This CPU certainly pushes even high end graphics cards and gives us a better look at their theoretical performance.  I also started testing in only 1920x1200 and 2560x1600.

I test the cards in a rather large case, instead of an open air workstation.  I believe this is more representative of most usage scenarios, and the controlled airflow does provide positive results when it comes to thermals.

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The back of the box has the transparent window so a user can verify that the card in the box matches what is printed on the front.

For comparison I am using the Asus GTX 770, Asus R9 280X, Asus R9 270X, and the Asus GTX 760.  I show the 280X and 270X in CrossFire using the latest Beta drivers that enable Frame Pacing to resolutions up to 2560x1600.

Intel i7 3770K

Gigabyte G1 Sniper 3

GSkill 2 x 4GB DDR-3 1866

WD 1 TB Caviar Black HD

Lite-On BDR

Enermax Fulmo GT Case

Corsair AX1200 Power Supply

Windows 7 64 Bit

AMD Catalyst 13.12 Drivers

NVIDIA 331.82 Drivers

 

Results

I try to have a good balance of synthetic testing combined with real world results.  I believe this is a good balance of what is theoretically possible with these chips vs. what we see in actual games.  Let us start off with the synthetics first.

March 7, 2014 | 01:20 PM - 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 | 01:33 PM - 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 | 10:36 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

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

March 7, 2014 | 01:40 PM - 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 | 01:41 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

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

March 7, 2014 | 01:46 PM - 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 | 01:50 PM - 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 | 05:50 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 | 05:53 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 | 10:22 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 | 04:41 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 | 03:25 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 | 04:53 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 | 02:16 PM - 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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