EVGA GTX 780 Ti SuperClocked w/ ACX Cooler 3 GB Review 95

EVGA GTX 780 Ti SuperClocked w/ ACX Cooler 3 GB Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • According to EVGA, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti SC w/ ACX cooler will retail at $729.
  • Large overclock results in major performance increase over the GTX 780 Ti
  • Price increase reasonable
  • Quiet
  • Good overclocking potential
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman Arkham Origins and Splinter Cell Black List coupons included.
    EVGA also bundles Rise of the Triad.
  • Good temperatures
  • Software voltage control possible
  • Fast 7 Gbps GDDR5 memory
  • Native full-size HDMI and DisplayPort
  • Supports Quad-SLI
  • Support for CUDA/PhysX
  • No backplate
  • Could be even quieter
EVGA's GTX 780 Ti SuperClocked with ACX cooler delivers truly impressive performance. While the GTX 780 Ti is very fast already, EVGA topped it by quite a big margin with their overclock out of the box and the new ACX cooler. ACX plays a significant role in these improvements as it enables the card to run cooler, which results in better performance due to NVIDIA's GPU Boost 2.0 mechanism. When the GTX 780 Ti reaches its temperature target (82°C), Boost 2.0 will reduce clock frequencies to keep the card below that temperature. But the EVGA 780 Ti SC never reaches 82°C, which results in highest Boost clocks being active almost all the time (except for when power consumption is exceeded). We verified this with our clock speed analysis on page thirty. We then see the card 6% faster than the reference design when averaged over our benchmarks. At 2560x1600, the difference is even bigger with 8%, which matches the GTX 690's average performance! It's also a whopping 14% faster than the R9 290X in "Uber" mode and 20% faster than the R9 290X in "Quiet" mode. Had EVGA overclocked their memory, too, which is certainly possible given the use of fast 7 Gbps GDDR5 chips, we'd have seen an even bigger increase in performance.
Our manual overclocking tests revealed that the card has lots of manual overclocking potential left, reaching 1160 MHz base clock, which is a 15% OC on top of the 15% EVGA includes out of the box. I'm a bit skeptical of whether we will see such high overclocks on retail boards, but only time will tell. As mentioned before, memory overclocks well, reaching almost 2 GHz (8 GT/s effective), which gives the card more memory bandwidth than any R9 290X, even with manual overclocking.
EVGA's ACX cooler does a very good job at keeping the card cool. Temperatures are comfortably low, well below the 82°C temperature target. Noise levels are significantly reduced, too, but given the 72°C we saw in our testing, EVGA could have let the card run a bit warmer, maybe 75°C or slightly higher, to procure even better noise levels. That said, EVGA does advertises their ACX coolers as providing better temperatures, so "10°C cooler" was probably a marketing decision.
With a price of $730, the card is certainly not cheap. Compared to the $700 reference design, the difference is $30. Looking at performance per dollar, the card is actually better in that metric than NVIDIA's stock GTX 780 Ti. EVGA also includes an additional game, "Rise of the Triad," bringing the game bundle up to four titles. The GTX 780 Ti is clearly a premium product, which its pricing reflects. If you need to save money and can take the noise, the AMD's Radeon 290 Series could be an alternative. While I haven't reviewed any other custom GTX 780 Ti cards yet, the EVGA GTX 780 Ti SC with ACX cooler definitely sets the bar high for the competition.
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