Gigabyte GTX 770 WindForce OC 2 GB Review 1

Gigabyte GTX 770 WindForce OC 2 GB Review

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As mentioned in the introduction, the GeForce GTX 770 has a lot in common with the GeForce GTX 680. They're both based on the same 28 nm GK104 silicon, circa March 2012. The chip is based on the "Kepler" microarchitecture, with four independent graphics processing clusters (GPCs) that each has two streaming multiprocessors (SMXs) with 192 CUDA cores a piece. Each SMX holds 16 texture memory units (TMUs), which make up the chip's 128 TMUs. The GK104 features a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, which raised the bar for memory clock speed with the GTX 680 as the first card to feature memory clocked at 6 GHz. A slightly better VRM allowed the GTX 770 to raise that bar yet again, with a 7 GHz out-of-the-box memory clock offering 224 GB/s bandwidth.

The new reference design PCB also allowed NVIDIA to, aside from giving the GK104 a strong enough VRM to maintain those high clock speeds, deploy its brand new GPU Boost 2.0 technology, which makes higher GPU core clock speeds available to demanding applications by taking into account not only power draw but also GPU temperatures. Lower operating temperatures are rewarded with better boosting opportunities for the GPU, creating a real incentive for buying cards with better-performing cooling solutions than NVIDIA's reference-design.

GeForce Experience

With last week's 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, based on the hardware available to you. 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 knowledgeable 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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