GeForce GTX 780 Review: The Titan Descendant

By on May 23, 2013, 8:00 AM

Recently Nvidia showed what they could really do with the GK104 architecture by beefing it up with more CUDA cores, texture units and ROPs creating the GK110. The GeForce GTX Titan is a monster that belongs to an entirely different league, crushing the GeForce GTX 680 as well as the Radeon HD 7970 GHz each and every way possible. But of course, with a $1,000 price tag it's comparing apples and oranges.

If anything, the Titan did show how much more complex and powerful Nvidia could make the current generation 28nm GPU without putting the TDP rating through the roof. It also meant that Nvidia could move to the next generation mainstream GPUs without having to completely redesign their architecture for the GeForce 700 series and that is exactly what they have done.

The new GeForce GTX 780 is based on a similar, albeit slightly cut down version of the Titan GPU, managing to keep many of the features that make the $1,000 graphics card great, such as the 384-bit memory bus.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 101

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Guest said:

That price!! Nvidia, please lower the price.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Someone's going to be broke.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What the price! Two $300 cards are faster by a healthy margin, and its not even new architecture, honestly disappointed with this thing. What happened to developing new architectures every couple years, it seems now they try to stretch out what they have as long as they can. I'm more interested in seeing what AMD comes out with to compete with this thing, I'm sure it won't be $650 and within a couple percent performance wise.

ddg4005 ddg4005 said:

I'll be sticking with my GTX 670s for the foreseeable future. They powerful enough to run every game in library at the max resolution with all the eye-candy turned on at very playable framerates.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

AMD only came up with re-branding their 7x series and call it 8x, the kind of "new" product AMD is good at making. HD 8970 is identical to HD 7970 in every respect.

However, looking at prices now, it seems that 2 x HD 8970 in Crossfire will offer the best money-to-performance value. One should be able to pick one up for under $400.

wastedkill said:

AMD only came up with re-branding their 7x series and call it 8x, the kind of "new" product AMD is good at making. HD 8970 is identical to HD 7970 in every respect.

However, looking at prices now, it seems that 2 x HD 8970 in Crossfire will offer the best money-to-performance value. One should be able to pick one up for under $400.

Pfft please the HD 9970 is miles more better and cheaper get that one!...

The 780 has what kind of drivers? I would prefer to see stable 100% working updated drivers for the reviews before taking the jump and saying its just 20-40% increase in speed as it could actually be 70% increase in performance with stable 100% working updated non beta/alpha drivers.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Pfft please the HD 9970 is miles more better and cheaper get that one!...

Why suggesting something you don't even know what you are talking about?

At present HD 9970 is a pure speculation, nothing more.

wastedkill said:

Pfft please the HD 9970 is miles more better and cheaper get that one!...

Why suggesting something you don't even know what you are talking about?

At present HD 9970 is a pure speculation, nothing more.

Says the person talking about a product which hasn't been released or benchmarked.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

says the person talking about a product which hasn't been released or benchmarked.

The product has been officially specced up, and it is 1-to-1 with 7970, so one should have reasonable expectations about its performance. As of lately, given how shameful it is to just re-brand products, while the competition makes real updates, there is a rumor the product may never see the light of day, postponing for the 9x series which is far away at present.

Lionvibez said:

The product has been officially specced up

I would like to see this can you provide a link of these official specs?

VitalyT VitalyT said:

I would like to see this can you provide a link of these official specs?

[link]

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Awesome card, a bit disappointed but not exactly surprised by the pricing. And to think AMD took a lot of flak for pricing the 7970 at $549 at launch...

PC nerd PC nerd said:

I love the Titan coolers. ******* badass.

RH00D RH00D said:

My theory for the high price is because Nvidia isn't going to getting any money from console contracts so they're charging us higher to make up for the loss. Hopefully the 760 prices are more appropriate because I really want one.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

I'm still rocking a 480 and game at 2560x1600 just fine, but without max settings. This may be exactly what we needs *my precious*.

Mavrickx888 Mavrickx888 said:

What happened to developing new architectures every couple years, it seems now they try to stretch out what they have as long as they can.

That's actually pretty much how its been for a while. New architectures have been being released about every 2 years. The G92 architecture went from 2006 to 2008, the whatever-the-architecture-name is for the 200 and 300 series went from 2008 to 2010, the Fermi architecture went from 2010 to 2012, etc.

I would assume this process takes a lot of time and effort from an R&D perspective. Factor in quality control, corporate input, marketing, and everything else that goes into designing this stuff and it seems to me that a completely new architecture every 2 years is really impressive.

Back on subject; I really really LOVE Nvidia, but I can't really justify the extra premium that they seem to run compared to AMD. Depending on the pricing of the next HD series, it looks like I'll be sticking with my OC'd 7950 for the forseeable future.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

My theory for the high price is because Nvidia isn't going to getting any money from console contracts so they're charging us higher to make up for the loss. Hopefully the 760 prices are more appropriate because I really want one.

Nonsense. When you have the most powerful part you can charge whatever you want. This card will hardly sell in the volumes of the consoles.

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

It's a nice card but it's overpriced & overkill for my 1080p setup.

JC713 JC713 said:

Any card above $500 is really a luxury. I consider the Titan a luxury card since the 690 is more powerful for the same price, yet if people want to show off, they buy a Titan. Good con TS.

JC713 JC713 said:

@Steve Why did you guys test with the 320.18 driver? Is it no different from the 320.14 version?

Guest said:

Damn, I was hoping this would push down the price of the 680 so I could get another one for SLI. I guess that won't be happening for a while.

Guest said:

I am confused about these reviews mostly due to the fact that the Radeon 7990 was shown as a bad alternative to a 7970 Crossfire and worse than the GTX 690. In these tests it appears pretty much a great card.

JC713 JC713 said:

Damn, I was hoping this would push down the price of the 680 so I could get another one for SLI. I guess that won't be happening for a while.

I think that will occur in a week when the 770 is released since it will basically be a modified 680 core.

I think nVidia just screwed the Titan though. 10% better performance for $350 more? Who would buy that?

Guest said:

9970 leaked specs(20nm)-

forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=378506

JC713 JC713 said:

9970 leaked specs(20nm)-

forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=378506

Yes it is already known that it will be 20nm. The rest is all speculation.

DarkMantle said:

I would like to see this can you provide a link of these official specs?

[link]

I think you missed the part where it says (OEM), this is similiar to what Nvidia did with their GTX 300 series. OEMs and M parts are the ones that are getting rebranded. I won't defend this kind of rebranding system coming from any brand but as a company we really don't know what kind of preassure OEMs put on AMD or Nvidia to buy new parts for their models if they don't plan to release new products on time for them to use.

Mavrickx888 Mavrickx888 said:

I am confused about these reviews mostly due to the fact that the Radeon 7990 was shown as a bad alternative to a 7970 Crossfire and worse than the GTX 690. In these tests it appears pretty much a great card.

In terms of sheer price to performance, sure Crossfired 7970 or SLI'd GTX 680s will outperform it, but with that you have to wrestle with the Crossfire and SLI technologies which can be a giant hassle. Like you said, for a "single" GPU solution, it's not bad... although there are other competitive solutions.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I am confused about these reviews mostly due to the fact that the Radeon 7990 was shown as a bad alternative to a 7970 Crossfire and worse than the GTX 690. In these tests it appears pretty much a great card.

The main issue with the 7990 isn't the stock performance just that it is at the whim of available Crossfire profiles, and in large part due to the almost non-existent overclocking headroom. The board will down throttle as soon as it reaches the boards max power- which it is fairly close to in stock trim. Any review of an enthusiast card has to take overclocking into account.

Add in the fact that the 7990 is mostly AWOL in stores and is selling for $50-100 over MSRP, along with two (higher performing) [link] , and the 7990 doesn't make a compelling buy.

Anyhow, interesting card. Fully expect to see a realignment of pricing once AMD launch VI, with every SKU dropping one tier in price and a fully enabled GK 110 replacing the present Titan. GTX 680/HD 7970 performance should/could be the new midrange by early next year.

Guest said:

You mentioned that the 780 would theoretically have 70% more performance than the 580. However you did not post the results of the 580 in the results at all.

Please re-update the charts to include it.

Guest said:

Agree with DB0 in this regard,

7990 malta OC is a bit disappointment due to TDP limit.May be some BIOS flash can do the trick though.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Looks like all that renaming was just nonsense. The 780 is clearly (and I've looked at several reviews) faster then a GTX 680 and noticeably so (2304 CUDA cores compared to 1536 mind you). In the 8 games I cared to see results in, the 780 also handled (dare I say it, flamesuit engaged) the 7970Ghz as well @1600p. I would like to see how the 780 handles PhsyX in BL2 at max settings.

Guest said:

He DB0,I have i5-2400 and hd 6990.I have metro last light amd patch installed.Can I activate advanced physx on amd card or CPU will do the work on MLL.

Kindly confirm me if you know something on this regard(MLL) div by zero.

Guest said:

Can somebody tell me why so many of my comments get deleted in techspot.Even recent I posted titan outsold year old 690 and even nvidia PR is surprised about it and moment after it got deleted.Damn.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Looks like all that renaming was just nonsense.

I think you'll find that the renaming furore will be reignited with Nvidia's next two releases. The GTX 770 (next week) will be a tweaked GTX 680 (with faster clocks especially memory, and the Boost 2.0 algorithm) followed by the GTX 760 Ti a little later using the same faster clocks/boost 2.0 to transform it from the GTX 670.

Pricing for both seems in line with the present boards ( $449 for the 770, and $299-349 for the 760 Ti), which should see prices of existing GTX 680/670 fall to at least where the HD 7970GE and HD 7950 are at present (if not a little lower).

@Guest

Re MLL and an AMD card. If PhysX is available it will be low level and CPU computed only. If Borderlands 2 is any indication you'd best leave that box unchecked in the game menu for all the image quality gain versus performance hit you'd likely incur.

Can somebody tell me why so many of my comments get deleted in techspot.Even recent I posted titan outsold year old 690 and even nvidia PR is surprised about it and moment after it got deleted.Damn.

Maybe a quirk with the link (if you posted one) ? This article I presume?

Guest said:

I also posted other gtx 780 reviews from Linus tech tips and techreport,and even it got deleted.What's happening to techspot forum discussions-it's open or not?

2 people like this |
Staff
Steve Steve said:

I also posted other gtx 780 reviews from Linus tech tips and techreport,and even it got deleted.What's happening to techspot forum discussions-it's open or not?

Its an open discussion for this review. We don't need links to other reviews that came to the same conclusion thank you. Also if you are going to post so many links you might consider registering, others will be more inclined to have a conversation with you.

veLa veLa said:

While the card is a monster, this is only an incremental upgrade. I think I can hold on to the GTX 670 for a while longer.

Guest said:

The card gtx 780 would look great if they price it around 450-500$ max.A 780 of $649 is only 20-25% faster than over a year old 400$ 7970 with 4 latest blockbuster games for free.650$ is a whooping ask as general trend of nvidia's ripping-off premium pricing to their customers.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I can't believe what I'm about to say, but I think I'm gonna buy this card. I'm done with mid-range cards, and high end GeForce cards dominate with performance AND the lowest frame times.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

This card is interesting and a nice add on for a new gen nvidia card. Though I feel it's a insult to those who bought the Titan because from the paper specs and the few benchmarks I've seen, it seems that the price to performance level of the 780 is wayyy better than the gtx Titan and I'm curious as to why they would put that performance so close and then charge this price. It's really insulting to those who spent the 1000 dollars for a Titan to now see something that will perform so close to it for 350 from the same company.

Also, the AMD 7990 overclocks just fine. Quit ranting on it, almost every person has been able to get a 1100 core on it with no effort at all. Stop bringing it up, talk about the card at hand which is the gtx 780 and its comparison to its company counterparts.

Back to 780:

Honestly, the clock speeds are lower this gen, but I would like to see some overclocking and once the drivers mature, we will see where it truly lies. But I think it's still a little too high. But I guess if they had gone any cheaper, Titan owners would have more to complain about with it.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It's really insulting to those who spent the 1000 dollars for a Titan to now see something that will perform so close to it for 350 from the same company.

Not really, people who spent $1k on a Titan would know what they're getting themselves into. The extra 3GB VRAM will probably come in handy in some insane 7680x4800 tri-SLI Titan setup, and the Titan also has much better compute performance.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Not really, people who spent $1k on a Titan would know what they're getting themselves into. The extra 3GB VRAM will probably come in handy in some insane 7680x4800 tri-SLI Titan setup, and the Titan also has much better compute performance.

Yes the 6gb is nice, but not worth an extra 350 dollars. The extra bit of computing power from the Titan, and the extra 3gb do not in my opinion now with the 780, justify 350 dollars. For Instance there are 4gb GTX 680s and a 6gb 7970 which both cost a lot less, and can perform very well on their own (Mind you titan will still be above em, but not by more than 1.4 times mind you if that).

Im just saying, the 780 is a nice card and has decent performance increase which will probably only get better with time and drivers. But I think that if I had bought a GTX titan, I would be furious to have this little tiny performance difference for 350 extra dollars. Plus since if you want to sli with more cards and you have a titan, your going to spend 3000 dollars minimum vs spending <2000 dollars to do the same 3 cards setup (Or more for 4) and you would not see that great a performance difference between them (Let alone enough to validate an extra 1000 dollar difference).

Honestly I think the 780 is a nice card, but with NVidia either way I want to say, they are jacking prices up faster and faster. So seeing this card like it is, if your going NVidia, theres pretty much no point anymore to the titan with this card being so close to it and 350 bucks cheaper.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

This card is interesting and a nice add on for a new gen nvidia card. Though I feel it's a insult to those who bought the Titan because from the paper specs and the few benchmarks I've seen, it seems that the price to performance level of the 780 is wayyy better than the gtx Titan

Rumours of a Titan LE have been around since before Titan launched. [link] . Titan owners knew what they were getting into.

and I'm curious as to why they would put that performance so close and then charge this price.

1. Halo effect. Titan is still the numero uno of single GPU cards. GTX 780 hasn't changed that.

2. Titan has a 1:3 FP64 rate, the GTX 780 is capped at 1:24

3. The extra 3GB as slh28 noted. High levels of full screen AA at high resolutions (with of without 3D) are going to eat into a 3GB framebuffer

Also, the AMD 7990 overclocks just fine. Quit ranting on it, almost every person has been able to get a 1100 core on it with no effort at all.

No one said it doesn't overclock. The point is that regardless of what input voltage you use and what clocks you set, the card is hard limited by the boards maximum power draw which downclocks the card. Don't believe me? there's PLENTY of evidence around: TPU...Tweaktown...Legit Reviews...G3D...Bit-tech...

Honestly, the clock speeds are lower this gen, but I would like to see some overclocking and once the drivers mature, we will see where it truly lies. But I think it's still a little too high. But I guess if they had gone any cheaper, Titan owners would have more to complain about with it.

Overclocking seems fine on the GTX 780 , and those numbers seem pretty much representative .

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Rumours of a Titan LE have been around since before Titan launched. [link] . Titan owners knew what they were getting into.

Rumors are Rumors, believing them has gotten us nowhere so hearing that a "Titan LE" was coming out did not mean anything till NVidia officially announces it because most of the time, rumors turn to be false or things change.

No one said it doesn't overclock. The point is that regardless of what input voltage you use and what clocks you set, the card is hard limited by the boards maximum power draw which downclocks the card. Don't believe me? there's PLENTY of evidence around: TPU...Tweaktown...Legit Reviews...G3D...Bit-tech...

As for overclocking the 7990, None of the Dual GPU cards ever overclock that far, It still is able to be overclocked, nuff said.

There are overclocks out there for the 780, yes that's true. What I am referring to is seeing more than a couple reviews with overclocks and as drivers mature what the overclocks will show.

My point is, the 780 is a nice card, its got a decent performance increase and seems like a nicely designed card. However the higher price on their top of the line GPU is getting old real fast, and the fact that the price per performance is much better than the titan and its so close to the titan that im shocked honestly. Yes 6gb makes a difference, but only on a very minute amount of setups ad even then, it still does not validate the price point when there are alternatives as I stated being the 4gb 680 and the 6gb 7970.

1 person liked this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Rumors are Rumors, believing them has gotten us nowhere so hearing that a "Titan LE" was coming out did not mean anything till NVidia officially announces it because most of the time, rumors turn to be false or things change.

Makes no sense. If Nvidia could sell a 14SMX enabled GPU what were the odds that they could also put out a 13 or 12SMX version? More to the point, 1. When have Nvidia (or AMD for that matter) NOT marketed a salvage part, and 2. What were the chances that anyone dropping $1K on a Titan wasn't aware that there was a possibility of a castrated version arriving later ?

There are overclocks out there for the 780, yes that's true. What I am referring to is seeing more than a couple reviews with overclocks and as drivers mature what the overclocks will show.

They already seem to show a reasonable potential. As for the "couple of reviews", there are plenty around...if you can be bothered doing some minimal research. The Gigabyte OC is showing a 12% performance bump for a 10.5% core OC, while the EVGA SC shows 15% improvement for a 12% core OC.

Drivers will show (presumably) gains against other cards. Drivers will not alter the percentage gain between a card in stock trim versus an overclocked one.

Not too shabby given that you're defending a card (the HD 7990) that produces maybe a 3% improvement with a 10% overclock.

Yes 6gb makes a difference, but only on a very minute amount of setups ad even then, it still does not validate the price point when there are alternatives as I stated being the 4gb 680 and the 6gb 7970.

Clock for clock there is little difference between a 2 and 4GB GTX 680, nor a 3 and 6GB 7970. These cards are architecturally limited (ROP especially), not especially limited by framebuffer.

As for the "minute amounts of setups" I think you'll find that the GTX Titan fits that demographic pretty well...unless you are telling me that the Titan is a prodigious seller in comparison with other cards.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Makes no sense. If Nvidia could sell a 14SMX enabled GPU what were the odds that they could also put out a 13 or 12SMX version? More to the point, 1. When have Nvidia (or AMD for that matter) NOT marketed a salvage part, and 2. What were the chances that anyone dropping $1K on a Titan wasn't aware that there was a possibility of a castrated version arriving later ?

They already seem to show a reasonable potential. As for the "couple of reviews", there are plenty around...if you can be bothered doing some minimal research. The Gigabyte OC is showing a 12% performance bump for a 10.5% core OC, while the EVGA SC shows 15% improvement for a 12% core OC.

Drivers will show (presumably) gains against other cards. Drivers will not alter the percentage gain between a card in stock trim versus an overclocked one.

Not too shabby given that you're defending a card (the HD 7990) that produces maybe a 3% improvement with a 10% overclock.

Clock for clock there is little difference between a 2 and 4GB GTX 680, nor a 3 and 6GB 7970. These cards are architecturally limited (ROP especially), not especially limited by framebuffer.

As for the "minute amounts of setups" I think you'll find that the GTX Titan fits that demographic pretty well...unless you are telling me that the Titan is a prodigious seller in comparison with other cards.

The reviews are fresh our of the barrel as the card has not been around long, hence why I said I was waiting ti hear what more people were saying more than a few review sites that got them right off the bat because when communities work together, you see things that others were not able to retrieve. A lot of these overclocks are just done for quick testing and not to push it to the full limits.

You could guess that (As you put it) a Castrated version of the card was coming, but this close in performance and this much cheaper (Which both I still stand by are overpriced). That's still an insult when you do the math on performance to price.

Again with the 7990, you really have some issues. Ok ill bite, the reviewers have seen in a range of 5-15% depending on the game for the 7990 which is around the 1100 on the core overclock that seems to be the popular point on that card that I hear for overclocking. Again dual GPU cards are meant to be space saving cards for people who don't want 4 cards but the performance (or close to) the performance of 4 cards. I would also like to mention you read those comparisons with the performance of the 7990 in these tests because now it would seem that card is pretty much the top or right below in everything including the Frame time buffering you care so much about.

The GTX Titans demographic may well be a small amount of people, but once again the performance it gives even being the top Single GPU out there is not much of a gain over the new 780 yet it costs a significant amount more (About roughly 1.5 times the cost) for a range of 10-15% difference. On the note of the 680 4gb version and the 7970 6gb version, the performance on the cards is not going to be really greater yes just because of the ram, but in a high def setup running multiple monitors etc, you will see those gains. You can pick up 2 GTX 680 4gb for ~1000 or 2 7970 6gb for ~1100 which will show a performance increase over the titan by a significant margin and while still maintaining the same price point. What im saying is, the 780 is still a bit too pricey, but its a way better buy than the titan and felt insulting given the price points to those who spent the money. For High monitor setups, you don't have to spend 1000 per GPU to run them and honestly both options for running at a 1000 dollar area will give you more FPS in gaming (Since im assuming your going to be gaming in these setups like I do) and another 1000 later for ~doubling the performance.

Guest said:

Techreport's test of 780 suggested 7970GHZ as best price to performance card among the cards that were tested on both frame rates and frame time.Amd finally got ahead of nvidia also in frame times besides frame rates when comparing among same gen cards(though I may also suggest human eye can't distinguish below 20-25ms frame time).They also concluded that amd has significant driver improvement on frame times tested on both fraps and fcat.7970 leads ahead of 680 in frame time.I still believe that far more can be squeezed out from graphics best architecture as GCN through drivers as it's ground up arc. unlike previous gen VLIW.

Guest said:

Ghost rider,

"You can pick up 2 GTX 680 4gb for ~1000 or 2 7970 6gb for ~1100 which will show a performance increase over the titan by a significant margin and while still maintaining the same price point."

Man Hate to say even 660ti SLI beats titan.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm pretty certain those willing to purchase a Titan, knows the pros and cons of single GPU vs dual GPU vs SLI configuration. If you don't want to or simply can't deal with dual GPUs or SLI configurations, the Titan will have great appeal as a single GPU solution. It's sad really that such an option will have a price premium, but thats marketing for you.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I'm pretty certain those willing to purchase a Titan, knows the pros and cons of single GPU vs dual GPU vs SLI configuration. If you don't want to or simply can't deal with dual GPUs or SLI configurations, the Titan will have great appeal as a single GPU solution. It's sad really that such an option will have a price premium, but thats marketing for you.

Firstly, I'd say that of the people I know -and those associates on forums, that purchased the Titan- none are disappointed that they did. They still own the fastest single GPU going, and even an overclocked 780 barely matches a stock Titan - which in itself is a capable overclocker.

The value of the card tends to depend on whether you look at it from "top down" or "bottom up". The GTX 780 is weighted against the cards above and below it ( note to ghostryder: I made no mention of pricing of the 780). The Titan is weighted against the Quadro cards- and in that light represents a pretty good option for application developers at $1K, but the 780 in turn seems to be weighted in the middle of where it should lie. If measuring against the Titan the card would be a $750 item...if measured against the HD7970GE/GTX 680 then closer to $550.

That in itself is a false economy since neither the 7970 or 680 justify their present pricetags. The HD 7950 at ~$280-310 doesn't offer 33% less performance than the 7970 at ~$400, and nor does the 670 (~$370) offer 20%+ lower performance than the usually $450 priced 680. Based solely on performance both the 7970 and 680 should be priced $40-50 lower than they are with the 780 slotting in at ~$500.

Of course the pricing is largely immaterial until the dust settles with the 770 and 760 Ti launches over the next couple of weeks, and whatever reaction this provokes from AMD.

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