The GPU Midrange Gets a Kick
I like budget video cards. They hold a soft spot in my heart. I think the primary reason for this is that I too was once a poor college student and could not afford the really expensive cards. Ok, so this was maybe a few more years ago than I like to admit. Back when the Matrox Millennium was very expensive, I ended up getting the STB Lightspeed 128 instead. Instead of the 12 MB Voodoo 2 I went for the 8 MB version. I was never terribly fond of paying top dollar for a little extra performance. I am still not fond of it either.
The sub-$200 range is a bit of a sweet spot that is very tightly packed with products. These products typically perform in the range of a high end card from 3 years ago, yet still encompass the latest features of the top end products from their respective companies. These products can be overclocked by end users to attain performance approaching cards in the $200 to $250 range. Mind, there are some specific limitations to the amount of performance one can actually achieve with these cards. Still, what a user actually gets is very fair when considering the price.
Today I cover several flavors of cards from three different manufacturers that are based on the AMD HD 7790 and the NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti BOOST chips. These range in price from $129 to $179. The features on these cards are amazingly varied, and there are no “sticker edition” parts to be seen here. Each card is unique in its design and the cooling strategies are also quite distinct. Users should not expect to drive monitors above 1920x1200, much less triple monitors in Surround and Eyefinity.
Now let us quickly go over the respective chips that these cards are based on.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 1, 2013 - 09:24 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows update, Windows 8.1, whql, nvidia, gtx 700, graphics drivers
NVIDIA recently made new WHQL drivers available for users that have upgraded to Windows 8.1. The new drivers are version 326.01 and fully supports Windows 8.1. A full change log of the drivers has not yet been posted, but the 326.01 WHQL is likely very similar to the recent beta version, but with certification to work with the latest service pack/update to Windows 8.
The new 326.01 drivers are available via Windows Update or from the NVIDIA website. Supported GPUs include both desktop and notebook models from the 8000-series to the latest 700 series. Download links are below for the desktop and notebook drivers, depending on your bit-ness of Windows 8.1.
- Windows 8.1 32-bit: http://www.nvidia.com/object/win8-preview-32bit-326.01-whql-driver.html
- Windows 8.1 64-bit: http://www.nvidia.com/object/win8-preview-64bit-326.01-whql-driver.html
- Windows 8.1 32-bit: http://www.nvidia.com/object/notebook-win8-preview-326.01-whql-driver.html
- Windows 8.1 64-bit: http://www.nvidia.com/object/notebook-win8-preview-64bit-326.01-whql-driver.html
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 26, 2013 - 09:19 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windforce 3x, triangle cooling, gtx 760, gk-104, gigabyte, gaming
Not to be left out, Gigabyte is also releasing its own take on the GTX 760 Kepler GPU. This new GTX 760 Overclock Edition uses the company’s WindForce 3X cooler with “Triangle Cooling” technology. The card is model GV-N760OC-2GD and is available now from various retailers for around $260.
The GTX 760 OC Edition card has a GTX 760 GPU with a base clock of 1085 MHz and boost clock of 1150 MHz. Unfortunately, memory (2GB GDDR5) remains the same as stock cards at 6008 MHz.
The factory overclock on the GPU is among the highest options, but is not the highest clocked GTX 760 card. The reference card is clocked at 6008 MHz for the memory and a GPU base and boost clockspeed of 980 MHz and 1033 MHz respectively. The card supports the company’s OC Guru II overclocking utility as well, for adventurous enthusiasts wishing to see just how far they can push their particular cards on air cooling.
Gigabyte is using its WindForce 3X cooler for this overclocked model. The cooler features three angled fans and a custom fin stack with direct contact copper heat pipes to effectively transfer heat away from the GPU. Gigabyte uses two 8mm and four 6mm heatpipes to get heat into the fin array.
The Gigabyte GV-N760OC-2GD GTX 760 Overclock Edition is available now for $259.99.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 26, 2013 - 07:22 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC, msi, gtx 760, gk-104, gaming
MSI is joining the GTX 760 fray with its own version of NVIDIA's latest 700-series graphics cards called the N760 TF 2GD5/OC GTX 760. This midrange gaming card pairs an overclocked GTX 760 GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory and the company's Twin Frozr IV cooler.
Specifcations include a GTX 760 with base clock of 1085 MHz and a boost clock of 1150 MHz. It further has 2GB of GDDR5 memory, but it does not come factory overclocked (6008 MHz stock).
The cooler on the MSI GTX 760 is the Twin Frozr IV which features two 100mm fans, an aluminum heatsink with heapipes connecting the fin stack to the GPU base plate. The fans use MSI's "propeller blade" technology to increase airflow.
The N760 TF 2GD5/OC is not the fastest factory overclocked card, but it should be among the quietest with its two large fans that can spin at lower RPMs while still providing good cooling performance. It also opens up doors to users overclocking beyond the factory overclocked speeds, depending on the particular chip they get.
It is available now for $259.99 at various online retailers, including Newegg.
Also read: PC Perspective's full review of the $250 NVIDIA Kepler-based GTX 760 GPU.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | June 26, 2013 - 06:05 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Windows 8.1, radeon, amd
You should be extremely cautious about upgrading to the Windows 8.1 Release Preview. Each of your apps, and all of your desktop software, must be reinstalled when the final code is released later this year; it is a detour to a dead end.
If curiosity overwhelms reason, and your graphics card was made by AMD withing the last few years, you will at least have a driver available.
It would be a good idea to refer to the AMD article to ensure that your specific model is supported. The driver covers many graphics cards from the Radeon, APU, and FirePro product categories. Many models are certified against Windows Display Driver Model version 1.3 (WDDM 1.3) although some, pre-Graphics Core Next architecture (as far as I can tell), are left behind with WDDM 1.2 introduced with Windows 8.
WDDM 1.3, new to Windows 8.1, allows for a few new developer features:
Enumerating GPU engine capabilities
- A DirectX interface to query card capabilities
- Helps schedule work, especially in "Linked Display Adapter" (LDA, think Crossfire) configurations.
Using cross-adapter resources in a hybrid system
- For systems with both discrete and embedded GPUs, such as an APU and a Radeon Card
- Allows for automatic loading of both GPUs simultaneously for appropriate applications
- Cool, but I've already loaded separate OpenCL kernels simultaneously on both GTX 670 and Intel HD 4000 in Windows 7. Admittedly, it would be nice if it were officially supported functionality, though.
Choice in YUV format ranges, studio or extended, for Microsoft Media Foundation (MMF)
- Formerly, MMF video processing assumed 16-235 black-white, which professional studios use.
- Webcam and Point-and-Shoot use 0-255 (a full byte), which are now processed properly.
Wireless Display (Miracast)
- Attach your PC wirelessly to a Miracast display adapter attached to TV by HDMI, or whatever.
Multiplane overlay support
- Allows GPU to perform complicated compositing, such as video over a website.
- If it's the same as proposed for Linux, will also allow translucency.
AMD's advertised enhancements for Windows 8.1 are:
- Already covered, a part of WDDM 1.3.
48 Hz Dynamic Refresh rates for Video Playback
- Not a clue, unless it is part of an upcoming HFR format for consumers.
Aggressive V-sync interrupt optimization
- Again, not a clue, but it sounds like something to be Frame Rated?
Skype/Lync video conferencing acceleration
- ... just when we move to a dual-machine Skype broadcasting setup...
DX 11.1 feature: Tiled Resources
- Some sources claim DirectX 11.2???
- Will render the most apparent details to a player with higher quality.
If you own Windows 8, you can check out 8.1 by downloading it from the Windows Store... if you dare. By tomorrow, Microsoft will provide ISO version for users to create install media for users who want to fresh-install to a, hopefully unimportant, machine.
Zotac recently announced a new GTX 760 AMP! Edition graphics card, and it is the fastest factory overclocked GTX 760 announced so far.
Specifically, Zotac has taken NVIDIA’s GK-104 “Kepler”-based GTX 760 GPU and overclocked it to 1111 MHz base and 1176 MHz boost. The company has also managed to overclock the 2GB GDDR5 memory to 6208 MHz. This is impressive for any overclock, much less a factory overclock! For comparison, the reference design features 6008 MHz memory and a GPU with base and boost clockspeeds of 980 MHz and 1033 MHz respectively.
Additionally, the Zotac AMP! Edition features the company’s signature orange and black themed dual fan HSF. The cooler uses a custom aluminum fin stack and heat pipe combination that is further cooled by two 75mm fans.
I’m anxious to see how well it performs in reviews, and if there is any more headroom left in the GTX 760 GPU for further overclocking. Zotac has not yet released pricing information for this card, however.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 26, 2013 - 01:04 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: phantom, gtx 760, gk-104, gaming, gainward
In addition to the monstrous GTX 780 Phantom GLH, Gainward is releasing a new Phantom graphics card based on NVIDIA’s new GTX 760 GPU.
This new Gainward GTX 760 Phantom graphics card shares many of the same features as its larger GTX 780-based sibling, just with lower specifications and pricing. The GTX 760 itself features 1,152 CUDA cores and a respectable factory overclock of 1072 MHz base and 1137 MHz boost. Gainward has even overclocked the 2GB of GDDR5 memory slightly to 6.2 GHz. For comparison, the reference NVIDIA GTX 760 comes clocked at 980 MHz base and 1033 MHz boost for the GPU and 6.0 GHz for the memory.
The factory overclock is not the only aspect that sets the Gainward model apart, however. This upcoming graphics card comes with a beefy power phase with DrMOS circuitry, support for the company’s EXPERTool overclocking utility, and a custom cooler. The HSF features an aluminum fin stack, two removable 80mm fans (to make dust removal easier), and four heat pipes connected to a copper base-plate that sits on top of the GPU. According to Gainward, its custom Phantom cooler is up to 6.5 dB quieter and 16-degrees Celsius cooler than the reference NVIDIA design.
Gainward has not released specifics, but expect the card to be available soon for somewhere around $270. Fortunately, reviews on this model are already starting to trickle out, and it looks promising.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 25, 2013 - 03:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: GTX 760 DirectCU, asus, gtx 760
Although it does not yet seem to be available for purchase the ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU II OC should be ready for purchase in the very near future. Our testing has show the effectiveness of the custom cooling solution and in combination with the other tweaks ASUS has added to this card it should be high on your list of preferred GTX 760s.
Fremont, CA (June 25, 2013) - ASUS is excited to announce the new gamers’ sweet spot, the GTX 760 DirectCU II OC, based on the latest 28nm NVIDIA GPU technology. This graphics card offers 1152 CUDA cores, along with a 256-bit memory interface and 2GB of 6GHz blazing fast GDDR5 video memory. ASUS pushes the performance of the GTX 760 even further and surpasses the reference design with our exclusive and award-winning DirectCU heatsink and fan assembly. In addition the ASUS GeForce GTX 760 DirectCU II OC offers superior power delivery, enhanced reliability, and stability. The non-reference PCB design provides lower operating temperatures and uses an advanced high quality power design which includes Super Alloy Power components and Direct Power architecture. ASUS’s GTX 760 DirectCU II OC graphics cards offers up to 20% cooler operation, up to 2x quieter operation, improved reliability and long-lasting stability ensuring an amazing gaming experience.
ASUS GeForce GTX 760 DirectCU II OC: The Gamer’s Sweet Spot Just Got Better
Powering the latest DirectX 11 PC gaming, the GeForce GTX 760 DirectCU II OC offers customers excellent value, offering impressive performance in 1080P and QHD ( 2560 ) resolutions. Gamers can experience huge performance upgrades when coming from previous generation GPUs and through the use of GeForce Experience software, they can have the best performance and image quality settings in the click of a button. ASUS DirectCU II graphics cards offer even faster performance compared to reference designs by using a highly optimized heatsink and fan assembly allowing the card to consistently achieve higher boost clocks. Supporting SLI technology, gamers can also take advantage of outstanding scaling performance by joining together multiple cards.
The exclusive DirectCU II cooler has 4 direct GPU-contact copper heatpipes allowing for quick and efficient heat conduction and dissipation into a large finned heatsink assembly. When combined with our dual fans which are carefully tuned for near silent operation, the GTX 760 DirectCU II offers up to 20% cooler operation. Its dual 80mm fans have been carefully tested and tuned to ensure minimum noise even while under full gaming load, allowing for operation up to 2X quieter than reference designs. The fans are also Dust Proof: designed to reduce dust, debris and dander accumulation. This exclusive feature allows the fans a much higher level of reliability and improved performance compared to non-Dust Proof based fans.
The card also employs ASUS’ award-winning exclusive Direct Power architecture, which widens power delivery to offer greater graphics card stability and improved performance while reducing power latency and impedance. The PCB also operates at lower temperatures thanks to the power being routed through more channels than on traditional graphics card designs.
Rounding out the non-reference design, the card features ASUS’ award winning Super Alloy Power components which include 5K solid state capacitors, alloy based chokes, and MOSFETs that use durable materials to easily withstand high temperatures and heavy loads. They extend average graphics card longevity by 2.5 times compared to reference components. In addition, Super Alloy components offer various improved metrics of performance such as higher voltage thresholds or superior efficiency, and lower operating temperatures. When combined, the DirectCU II heatsink and fan assembly, the Direct Power architecture and the SAP VRM components ensure superior stock performance along with outstanding overclocking capability.
The Perfect Tweaking and Tuning Partner to the GTX 760 – GPU Tweak!
ASUS-exclusive GPU Tweak utility brings customers a unified and intuitive control center for tweaking, tuning and information. Users can set up performance profiles for favorite games, adjust GPU and memory speeds, regulate fan operation, and define power consumption and heat thresholds. Last but not least, users can easily modify voltage and performance parameters to easily overclock their graphics cards for faster and smoother gameplay.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 25, 2013 - 03:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: galaxy, gtx 760, gtx 760 gc
You can pick up GALAXY's GeForce GTX 760 GC 2 GB for $270, sporting a factory overclock and a custom cooling solution.
Galaxy Microsystems, a leading global manufacturer of graphics hardware, announced today the GeForce GTX 760 and GTX 760 GC edition graphics cards. As is the trademark of a Galaxy GC Edition, the latter sports an exclusive performance enhanced design with custom cooling. The latest GPU from NVIDIA, the GeForce GTX 760, is the center of this design featuring 1152 stream processors and support for a high bandwidth 256-bit memory interface.
Galaxy raises the bar on the GC edition by taking this powerful new chip, increasing clocks to make it run even faster, bolting on a twin fan, quad heat pipe solution to make it run even cooler, and putting it on a fully redesigned board to maximize power flow and overclock potential. Both cards are equipped with Galaxy’s Force Air Bracket to further assist with ventilation and heat transfer.
The GTX 760 GPU features all of the most recent graphics technologies such as GPU Boost 2.0, TXAA, DirectX 11.1, and PhysX. A single card supports as many as 4 displays, and users can connect as many as three cards together with SLI to further multiply their outputs and graphics performance for a dramatically enhanced gaming experience.
The Galaxy GTX 760 2GB and GTX 760 GC 2GB are available now at leading retailers and etailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, NCIX, Newegg, and TigerDirect. They can also be purchased directly from Galaxy’s online store at http://store.galaxytechus.com.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 25, 2013 - 01:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: geforce, GK104, gtx 760, nvidia, msi, MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC
To start off with the good news, the GTX 760 is now available between $250 to $260 for the MSI model that [H]ard|OCP reviewed. No paper launch this, nor another $400+ card for you to dream about but instead a solid performing card at a decent price. Power is provide by an 8-pin and a 6-pin PCIe power connector, perhaps a little more than the card needs but perfect for overclockers who need the extra juice. Performance wise the card trumps the GTX 660Ti and matches the GTX 670 and HD7950 boost in almost every test, for a good $50-75 less to pick up. Even better news is that some certain sites testing Frame Rating and SLI performance saw great scaling in real performance.
"Today NVIDIA is launching the GeForce GTX 760. The GeForce GTX 760 will be replacing a video card and offering what use to be high-end memory performance, at a mainstream price. We will evaluate a retail MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC video card with comparisons to find out whether or not this is a true value."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Nvidia's GeForce GTX 760 graphics card reviewed @ The Tech Report
- Gigabyte GTX 760 WindForce OC 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- MSI GeForce GTX 760 Gaming OC 2GB Video Card Review in SLI @ Legit Reviews
- MSI GTX 760 TwinFrozr Gaming 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Gainward GeForce GTX 760 Phantom @ Legion Hardware
- EVGA GTX 760 SC w/ ACX Cooler 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU II OC 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GTX 760 2GB Review @ Hardware Canucks
- NVIDIA GTX 760 Review @ OCC
- Nvidia GTX760 @ Kitguru
- Palit GTX 760 JetStream 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Video Card Review @ Ninjalane
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 review: boost for the mid-range segment @ Hardware.info
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 Launch Review @ Neoseeker
GeForce GTX 760 @ TechSpot
- MSI GTX 770 TwinFrozr Gaming 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3 GB @ X-bit Labs
- EVGA GTX 770 Super Clocked w/ ACX Video Card Review @ Ninjalane
- EVGA GeForce GTX 780 ACX SC Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI GTX 770 Gaming @ Bjorn3D
- MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 WindForce 3X 2GB Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II @ [H]ard|OCP
- Gigabyte GTX 780 WindForce 3X OC Review @ Hardware Canucks
- ASUS GTX 780 Direct CU II OC 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB "Golden Sample" Review @ Madshrimps
- Zotac GeForce GTX TITAN AMP! Edition 6 GB Graphics Card and TITAN in 2-Way SLI Configuration @ X-bit Labs
- Prolimatech MK-26 Multi-VGA Cooler @ eTeknix
- Arctic Accelero Hybrid 7970 VGA Cooler @ eTeknix
- Intel Haswell HD Graphics 4600 vs. AMD Radeon Graphics On Linux @ Phoronix
- Choice of Champions: Asus ROG MATRIX 7970 3 GB @ X-bit Labs
- PowerColor Radeon HD 7850 SCS3 1GB Passive Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- XFX Radeon HD R7790 Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
- Gigabyte Radeon HD7790 @ Funky Kit
- PowerColor TurboDuo HD7790 Review @ Neoseeker
- PowerColor HD 7850 1GB SCS3 Fanless Video Card Review @ HiTech Legion
- HIS Radeon HD 7790 Turbo 1GB @ eTeknix
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