ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU II OC 2 GB Review 15

ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU II OC 2 GB Review

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The GeForce GTX 760 is based on NVIDIA's winning GK104 silicon first used in previous generation, with the newer variant driving a few SKUs too. The component hierarchy inside a GeForce GTX 760 is identical to every other chip based on the "Kepler" architecture. A memory interface, 768 KB cache, and display I/O are shared by four graphics processing clusters (GPCs) that in turn share a raster engine (combination of edge setup, rasterizer, and Z-cull) with two streaming multiprocessors. These are the building blocks of Kepler GPUs, and each hold 192 CUDA cores and specialized components.

The GTX 760 downscale is of a different kind than GeForce GTX 660 Ti. While the GTX 660 Ti had seven out of eight streaming multiprocessors (SMX, the building blocks of "Kepler" family of GPUs) enabled, it also parted with a quarter of its raster operations circuitry and memory bus width. The GeForce GTX 760, on the other hand, has just six out of eight SMXs enabled but the full complement of ROPs at 32 and the full 256-bit wide memory bus.

GeForce Experience

With GeForce 320.18 WHQL drivers, NVIDIA released the first stable version of GeForce Experience. The application simplifies game configuration for PC gamers who aren't well-versed in all the necessary technobabble required to get that game to run at the best possible settings with the hardware available to them. GeForce Experience is aptly named as it completes the experience of owning a GeForce graphics card; PCs, being the best possible way to play video games, should not be any harder to use than gaming consoles.

With your permission, the software scans your system for installed games, recommending optimal settings that give you the highest visual details at consistent, playable frame rates. The software is also optimized to reduce settings that have a big performance impact at low visual cost. You could easily perform these changes yourself in-game, probably through trial and error, but you can trust GeForce Experience to pick reasonably good settings if you are too lazy to do so yourself. I imagine the software to be particularly useful for gamers who aren't familiar with the intricacies of game configurations yet want the best possible levels of detail.

The simplicity of inserting a disc or cartridge and turning on the device is what attracts gamers to consoles. Gamers who pick the PC platform should hence never be faulted for their lack of knowledge with graphics settings, and that's what GeForce Experience addresses. Price is a non-argument. $300 gets you a console, but the same $300 can also get you a graphics card that lets you turn your parents' Dell desktop into a gaming machine that eats consoles for breakfast. GeForce Experience keeps itself up to date by fetching settings data from NVIDIA each time you run it, which will also keep your GeForce drivers up to date.

I gave GeForce Experience a quick try for Battlefield 3 and it picked a higher AA mode that was still playable in BF3, so it does value image-quality. It also takes into account the rest of the system and not just the GPU.
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