ASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II OC 2 GB

ASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II OC 2 GB

Architecture & GeForce Experience »

Introduction


After NVIDIA scored a big technological victory over AMD in terms of performance-per-watt and pure performance with its "Kepler" GPU architecture, and AMD's rather lukewarm response to the GeForce GTX 600 series coupled with the company's intention not to launch its next GPU generation until much later this year (think X'mas), it was only natural of NVIDIA to milk its existing GK104 silicon for another generation of GeForce GTX products, with a few superficial additions. The GeForce GTX 770 we have with us today is the first of many such products in NVIDIA's pipeline over the next few months.

The 2880-core GK110 was always going to be the most flexible chip for NVIDIA. With GK104 beating AMD's "Tahiti" in single-GPU performance and efficiency, the GK110 never had to feature in the GeForce GTX 600 series. It made its consumer debut with only 2688 enabled cores on the GeForce GTX TITAN, and warranted a $1000 price point, which went on to make the $650 the 2304-core GeForce GTX 780 commanded look good. The rest of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 700 series product stack is in for a pseudo-upgrade. The GeForce GTX 770 looks a lot like the GeForce GTX 680 on paper, and it is rumored that the GeForce GTX 760 Ti could bear a similar resemblance to the GeForce GTX 670, the GTX 760 to the GTX 660 Ti, and so on. I call this card a pseudo-upgrade because its specification increases don't come at the same price. The GTX 770 is priced roughly on par with the GTX 680, and other models in the series could feature similar pricing trends.

To be fair to NVIDIA, the GeForce GTX 770 isn't a complete and utter rebranding of the GeForce GTX 680 (à la GeForce 8800 GT to 9800 GT). Sure, it is driven by the same GK104 silicon with the same exact core configuration of 1536 cores, 128 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 256-bit wide memory interface; but it features a different reference-design PCB that comes with a stronger VRM to support higher clock speeds, and the new GPU Boost 2.0 technology. The similarities the GTX 770 bears to the GTX 680 are in that sense more along the lines of those between the GeForce 8800 GTS-512 and GeForce 9800 GTX.



The GeForce GTX 770 ships with the highest reference clock speeds of any NVIDIA GPU to date. Its core is clocked at 1046 MHz, with a GPU Boost frequency of 1085 and a blisteringly fast 7.00 GHz memory that churns out 224 GB/s of memory bandwidth. The card features 2 GB of memory, but 4 GB variants could come out pretty soon.

In this review, we're testing the premium GeForce GTX 770 offering of ASUS, the GTX 770 DirectCU II OC. The card features a strong 10-phase VRM and the same dual-slot DirectCU II cooling solution we've seen with some of the later batches of the GTX 680 DirectCU II OC. The cooler uses a densly finned aluminum heatsink with 8 mm thick heat pipes out of nickel-plated copper making direct contact with the GPU, hence the name.

GTX 770 Market Segment Analysis
 GeForce
GTX 570
GeForce
GTX 660 Ti
GeForce
GTX 670
Radeon
HD 7970
GeForce
GTX 770
ASUS GTX
770 DC II
HD 7970
GHz Ed.
GeForce
GTX 680
GeForce
GTX 780
GeForce
GTX Titan
Shader Units480134413442048153615362048153623042688
ROPs40243232323232324848
Graphics ProcessorGF110GK104GK104TahitiGK104GK104TahitiGK104GK110 GK110
Transistors3000M3500M3500M4310M3500M3500M4310M3500M7100M7100M
Memory Size1280 MB2048 MB2048 MB3072 MB2048 MB2048 MB3072 MB2048 MB3072 MB6144 MB
Memory Bus Width320 bit192 bit256 bit384 bit256 bit256 bit384 bit256 bit384 bit384 bit
Core Clock732 MHz915 MHz+915 MHz+925 MHz1046 MHz+1059 MHz+1050 MHz1006 MHz+863 MHz+837 MHz+
Memory Clock950 MHz1502 MHz1502 MHz1375 MHz1753 MHz1753 MHz1500 MHz1502 MHz1502 MHz1502 MHz
Price$250$280$370$380$399$420$450$430$650$1020
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