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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Review - GK104 Speed Bump

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Manufacturer: NVIDIA

GK104 gets cheaper and faster

A week ago today we posted our review of the GeForce GTX 780, NVIDIA's attempt to split the difference between the GTX 680 and the GTX Titan graphics cards in terms of performance and pricing.  Today NVIDIA launches the GeForce GTX 770 that, even though it has a fancy new name, is a card and a GPU that you are very familiar with.

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The NVIDIA GK104 GPU Diagram

Based on GK104, the same GPU that powers the GTX 680 (released in March 2012), GTX 670 and the GTX 690 (though in a pair), the new GeForce GTX 770 has very few changes from the previous models that are really worth noting.  NVIDIA has updated the GPU Boost technology to 2.0 (more granular, better controls in software) but the real changes come in the clocks speeds.

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The GTX 770 is still built around 4 GPCs and 8 SMXs for a grand total of 1536 CUDA cores, 128 texture units and 32 ROPs.  The clock speeds have increased from 1006 MHz base clock and 1058 MHz Boost up to 1046 MHz base and 1085 MHz Boost.  That is a pretty minor speed bump in reality, an increase of just 4% or so over the previous clock speeds. 

NVIDIA did bump up the GDDR5 memory speed considerably though, going from 6.0 Gbps to 7.0 Gbps, or 1750 MHz.  The memory bus width remains 256-bits wide but the total memory bandwidth has jumped up to 224.3 GB/s.

Maybe the best change for PC gamers is the new starting MSRP for the GeForce GTX 770 at $399 - a full $50-60 less than the GTX 680 was selling for as of yesterday.  If you happened to pick up a GTX 680 recently, you are going to want to look into your return options as this will surely annoying the crap out of you.

If you want more information on the architecture design of the GK104 GPU, check out our initial article on the chips release from last year.  Otherwise, with those few specification changes out of the way, let's move on to some interesting information.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Reference Card

Tired of this design yet?  If so, you'll want to look into some of the non-reference options I'll show you on the next page from other vendors, but I for one am still taken with the design of these cards.  You will find a handful of vendors offering up re-branded GTX 770 options at the outset of release but most will have their own SKUs to showcase.

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Continue reading our review of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 graphics card!!

If you saw the GTX 780 release, or even the GTX Titan, you'll instantly recognize the design here - the only change is the stamping on the left hand side.

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The back of the card remains bare.

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2- and 3-Way SLI support continues on with the GTX 770.

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Unlike the GTX 680 though, the new GTX 770 has an 8-pin and a 6-pin power connection.  I really believe this is just a cautionary thing for NVIDIA to add to the design though we do find some board partners that have gone a step further into dual 8-pin connections.

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External display options are the same as well - dual dual-link DVI, full size HDMI and full size DisplayPort.

May 30, 2013 | 07:01 AM - Posted by mAxius

Ryan nice review have you tried this with a 680? http://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/1e8u6i/flash_your_geforce_gtx_... it seams very interesting

May 30, 2013 | 07:16 AM - Posted by Zorkwiz

I just wanted to point out that the link "If you don't need the example graphs and explanations below, you can jump straight to the benchmark results now!!" still links back to the 7990 review where it was first used. This was also true in the 780 review from last week. I'd think it should jump to the results for the current review.

Great write up as always Ryan. Makes me even more eager to see Haswell numbers next week so I can decide whether, after 5 years, my i7 920 finally should be retired...

May 30, 2013 | 07:46 AM - Posted by RoboGeoff (not verified)

I'm like you. I'm still wondering when I'll benefit from upgrading from my i7 920, and it looks like my pair of GTX 580s will still do ok for another year or more.

May 30, 2013 | 09:34 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Thanks for the heads up, fixed!

June 10, 2013 | 08:01 AM - Posted by madhatter256 (not verified)

Me, too! My i7 920 overclocked to 3.8ghz still doesn't choke (CPU wise) at whatever game I throw at it.

May 30, 2013 | 08:21 AM - Posted by krvi (not verified)

The power consumption data is for the whole system, right? not graphic card-only.

I see EVGA have announced their lineup as well ( http://eu.evga.com/articles/00748/#3773 ), and most of their models specification say 254mm in length, which would fit perfectly in my SilverStone SG05... as opposed to other models. I hope their specifications are accurate.
Maybe we will see some reviews on the non-reference models, as well as EVGA's ACX cooler, later in the week.

May 30, 2013 | 09:34 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Yes, the power results are full system power draw, at the wall.

May 30, 2013 | 12:29 PM - Posted by MarkT (not verified)

Ill be honest 680s never coming down in price, even now and 770s coming in at a lower price and faster leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

May 30, 2013 | 12:52 PM - Posted by noble118

Eager to see how 770 in sli compare to Titan and 7990. Considering it would be a cheaper alternative to them.

May 30, 2013 | 01:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Great review as always. If I could say one thing, it would be to change your FPS graphs to Bar graphs. So much easier to read.

May 30, 2013 | 02:38 PM - Posted by audiophile (not verified)

Any concern with having this high end of a card only have 2GB of memory? I wonder if that will become a limitation in the next year or two, especially with 1440p becoming more and more common.

May 30, 2013 | 04:21 PM - Posted by Xen

Awesome, they basically lowered the price of a non reference 680 and called it a 770. A $50 price drop constitutes a Gold award? Maybe I just fail to see the innovation here. I just think the next generation of cards should be more than a copy and paste, seems some what bland for such a high award.

May 31, 2013 | 03:01 AM - Posted by nobody special (not verified)

Again, I know your reviews are great, but I can't help but just skip to the conclusion every time due to the lines instead of bar charts (useful to show how long or how many times a card goes below 30fps etc but harder to read). Is it really so difficult to put up a bar chart also like every other site for those of us who hate trying to figure out all the lines? I'm not saying remove them, just add to them with charts. Not knocking the review though ryan, they are the most informative out there IMHO (along with hardocp who shows max you can expect to run at in nice details). Just dislike the missing bar charts with mins+avg showing.

For the whiners this is a REFRESH, not a next gen. It's faster, quiet, less heat and cheaper. For the 2GB whiners, you'll be spending all day running at under 30fps min anyway no matter how much memory you have without 2 cards or a Titan/dualgpu card.

Look at all the reviews that show ABOVE 1920x1200 (1440p etc) WITH minimum fps showing. Tombraider, hitman absolution etc all hit BELOW 30fps so who cares about 2GB? You need to spend over $700 to run there. Heck, hardocp had to turn stuff down on GTX 780 even at 1920x1080! 7970, 680, 770 etc are all 1080P cards at best and many games need details turned down to run there. Discussing memory is pointless if you end up below 30fps to prove it's useful.

May 31, 2013 | 04:50 PM - Posted by bystander (not verified)

It seems to me that they are attempting to approach benchmarking from a different mind set than you seem to. They have said this many times since the start of developing this FCAT system that FPS is a terrible way to measure a GPU's performance. They probably do not show you an average FPS, as a way to make you look at the graph instead. It doesn't matter much if the average FPS is better on one card or another, if it is not consistent and smooth.

There are lots of other sites who will show you FPS as the main indicator of how good a card is. This site attempts to measure how smooth the experience is. The thing that actually matters.

I find this system pretty interesting. Of course I also look at other sites as well.

May 31, 2013 | 06:55 AM - Posted by Tri Wahyudianto (not verified)

Ryan, how about the new display overclocking, can you test it with observed fps that you already developed ?
see if it can resolve our problem with tearing and stuttering

June 5, 2013 | 01:13 PM - Posted by PhoneyVirus

It's bad when the GeForce GTX 770 can out preform the Tahiti-based HD 7970 GHz Edition in crossfire because of the Micro Shuttering, of course at resolution 1920x1080 but come on AMD get that Shutter problem under control.

On the flip side I would never use FRAPS not alone pay for it to benchmarking my system.

Thanks 4 the Review PCPer I'll be sticking with my EVGA GeForce GTX 670 and dropping another one in for SLI, knowing that Crossfire has Micro Shuttering problem in software and Nvidia uses hardware that's build right in for such problems.

P.S I only use Nvidia Products!

June 10, 2013 | 07:40 PM - Posted by Hilda_Sat9

Anthony. although Troy`s story is incredible... I just received a gorgeous Honda NSX since I been making $9717 this last 5 weeks and-just over, $10k lass-month. it's realy my favourite work I've ever done. I started this three months/ago and immediately startad bringin in minimum $80.. per hour. I work through this link, Bow6.com

June 13, 2013 | 02:32 PM - Posted by TinkerToyTech

what I want to know is can I drive 4 different desktops, extended desktops, off the one card, I'm not gaming, more like video on one, and browsers and so on on the others...

WHat would be the best card for 4x1080p monitors?

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