Value and Conclusion
|8.9||Today, NVIDIA releases their GeForce GTX 760. It uses the same GK104 graphics processor we've seen on cards like the GTX 660 Ti, GTX 670, GTX 680, and GTX 770. The new card delivers an impressive 20% performance improvement over the GTX 660 but is also priced $50 higher. According to NVIDIA, the GTX 760 will actually replace the GTX 660 Ti in the product stack, providing 6% better performance at $30 less. Compared to AMD's lineup, we see the card 8% faster than the Radeon HD 7950; the HD 7950 Boost variants should roughly match its performance--at higher pricing.|
NVIDIA's card is using the same reference cooler we've seen on previous GTX 600 Series cards, and it feels just a bit weak. Temperatures reach up to 82°C during gaming, which causes additional performance throttling to keep the card cool, as such is activated beyond 80°C. Even at those high temperatures, acoustic performance is far from impressive. The card runs at similar noise levels as the GTX 770 and GTX 780; both are considerably faster. However, the custom GTX 760 designs from other manufacturers we are reviewing today certainly improve cooling performance and noise.
While AMD's HD 7950 comes with 3 GB of VRAM, the GTX 760 "only" uses 2 GB, which is plenty considering both cards are just too slow to play any game at resolutions that require more than 2 GB of VRAM. Overclocking works well and provides an easily accessible performance boost of around 13%, putting the card between the HD 7970 and GTX 680. Pretty nice for a $250 card.
Gaming power consumption ends up higher than the GTX 670, making the GTX 760 the least energy-efficient GK104 design, but the difference is so small that it really doesn't matter outside of the lab. Any power supply that powered a GTX 660 should be able to handle the additional power requirements of the GTX 760 just fine.
NVIDIA is asking a competitive $249 for their card, which makes it similar to the GTX 660 in price / performance, but it's proportionally faster and cheaper--no premium for higher performance! When looking at cards for serious gaming, this is the card that offers the most bang for the buck. The cheapest AMD HD 7950 retails at $20 more but comes with three games. So if you absolutely must keep cost down, the HD 7950 would be a cheaper option after selling off the game coupons.