Beating The Titan At Its Own Game
Our first look at the GeForce GTX 780 was based on a stock card that ran at Nvidia's reference specs, but it still delivered impressive results, providing on average 24% more performance than the GTX 680 and 16% more than the HD 7970 GHz Edition.
Those impressive results were somewhat mitigated by the card's $650 retail price -- a 38% premium over the GTX 680. However for potential GTX Titan buyers, the GTX 780 remained highly attractive, being 35% cheaper while sacrificing ~14% overall performance.
We didn't have enough time to test overclocking in our original GTX 780 review, but we knew factory overclocked samples would follow soon and we're pleased to have finally tested one. Few of said factory overclocked cards are as potent as Palit's GTX 780 Super JetStream, which managed to outpace the GTX Titan with performance gains of 10-15% over the standard 780.
Palit's claim to deliver Titan-like performance is highly accurate. We often found the Super JetStream to be slightly faster than the Titan, and perhaps just as important, it was able to keep quiet operation under full load which was a pleasant surprise.
Complementing our standard 1920x1200 and 2560x1600 tests, we ran some benchmarks on triple monitor configurations consisting of 5760x1200 and 7680x1600 resolutions. We were able to test dual GTX 780 Super JetStream SLI cards against standard GTX 780s as well as a pair of HD 7970 GHz Edition Crossfire cards. Surprisingly, most of the games weren't playable at 7680x1600.
Despite packing a massive amount of GPU power, Palit's GTX 780 Super JetStream SLI combo requires a reduction in visual quality to achieve playable performance when running games such as Battlefield 3, Crysis 3 and Metro: Last Light. For whatever it's worth, at the slightly lower but still extreme 5670x1200 resolution, it was possible to enjoy highly playable performance in most of the games tested.
On an unrelated note, we were surprised to see how well the HD 7970 GHz Edition Crossfire combo stood up in many of the triple monitor tests. While they were stomped in games such as Tomb Raider and Crysis 3, titles including Battlefield 3, Dirt 3 and even Max Payne 3 provided surprising results that you may want to go back and at least skim through if you skipped ahead to this conclusion.
If you haven't already reached the same conclusion yourself, it's safe to say that anyone looking into a GTX 780 or Titan should check out the Palit GTX 780 Super JetStream for Titan-like performance at a discount. Not only did Palit's aftermarket solution meet or beat the GTX Titan in many of our tests, but it did so while consuming about 3% less power and running a couple of degrees cooler. Assuming Palit doesn't go crazy with pricing (should be $50 or less premium over a standard-clocked GTX 780), this is a real winner if you're willing to go the extra mile in building your PC gaming rig.
Pros: GTX Titan-like performance at what should be a serious discount, custom cooler is quiet and efficient. If there's a way to future proof a PC gaming machine, this is likely it.
Cons: A bargain for Titan shoppers, but still a pricey card for most.