Summer is upon us, and for a lot of people, particularly those taking a break from studies, it is time to head back home to dust out the old gaming PC and check out some of the new games on offer. Given that game studios finally put their money on DirectX 11 and cutting-edge visual technologies, it could prompt graphics upgrades. $200 to $300 is what an ideal graphics upgrade should cost. It's either that or wait until the winter holiday for next-gen consoles. NVIDIA sensed this potential rush for summertime graphics upgrades and pulled out an ace from up its sleeves, the GeForce GTX 760. We take a look at its hand.
The GeForce GTX 760 is a bit of a strangelet when it comes to market positioning. It's designed to succeed the GeForce GTX 660, but actually displaces the GeForce GTX 660 Ti from the product stack. With $249.99, it's priced bang in the middle of the price / performance sweet-spot segment. The product-stack roadmap given to us by NVIDIA also confirms just that.
Unlike the GeForce GTX 770, which has a curious lot in common with the GeForce GTX 680, except for higher clock speeds and GPU Boost 2.0, the GeForce GTX 760 features a core configuration never implemented on a retail SKU. It's based on the same 28 nm GK104 silicon but features just six of the chip's eight streaming multiprocessors, which translates into a configuration with 1,152 CUDA cores and 96 texture memory units (TMUs). Unlike with the GTX 660 Ti, NVIDIA left the memory and raster operations subsystems untouched, giving the chip a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface and 32 ROPs.
The chip features new GPU Boost 2.0 technology, which also takes temperature into account, alongside power and load. If the GPU is cool enough (under the 80°C mark), there's greater opportunity for the GPU to run at boost frequencies at load, and therein lies the incentive to opt for custom-design graphics cards with competent cooling solutions. The memory is clocked at 6 Gbps, yielding a decent 192 GB/s of memory bandwidth, a 33 percent increase over the GTX 660 Ti and GTX 660.
In this review, we have with us NVIDIA's reference design GeForce GTX 760 graphics card. Its PCB looks nearly identical to that of the GeForce GTX 670, while its cooler, at least internally, is identical to the one that cools the GTX 660 and GTX 650 Ti Boost. The cooler shouldn't win awards for either looks or performance, but should keep the chip ticking. The good GTX 760 cards should hence really be custom-designed ones.
GTX 660 Ti
| HD 7970|
|Memory Size||2048 MB||2048 MB||1536 MB||2048 MB||2048 MB||3072 MB||2048 MB||3072 MB||2048 MB||3072 MB|
|Memory Bus Width||192 bit||256 bit||384 bit||192 bit||256 bit||384 bit||256 bit||384 bit||256 bit||384 bit|
|Core Clock||980 MHz+||1000 MHz||772 MHz||915 MHz+||980 MHz+||800 MHz||915 MHz+||925 MHz||1046 MHz+||1050 MHz|
|Memory Clock||1502 MHz||1200 MHz||1002 MHz||1502 MHz||1502 MHz||1250 MHz||1502 MHz||1375 MHz||1753 MHz||1500 MHz|