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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Graphics Card E-mail
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Written by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 23 May 2013
Table of Contents: Page Index
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Graphics Card
First Look: GTX 780
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: Crysis Warhead
DX11: 3DMark11
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Batman Arkham City
DX11: Battlefield 3
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 3.0
Temperature and Power Consumption
GeForce GTX 780 Conclusion

VGA Power Consumption

In this section, PCI-Express graphics cards are isolated for idle and loaded electrical power consumption. In our power consumption tests, Benchmark Reviews utilizes an 80-PLUS GOLD certified OCZ Z-Series Gold 850W PSU, model OCZZ850. This power supply unit has been tested to provide over 90% typical efficiency by Chroma System Solutions. To measure isolated video card power consumption, Benchmark Reviews uses the Kill-A-Watt EZ (model P4460) power meter made by P3 International. In this particular test, all power consumption results were verified with a second power meter for accuracy.

The power consumption statistics discussed in this section are absolute maximum values, and may not represent real-world power consumption created by video games or graphics applications.

A baseline measurement is taken without any video card installed on our test computer system, which is allowed to boot into Windows 7 and rest idle at the login screen before power consumption is recorded. Once the baseline reading has been taken, the graphics card is installed and the system is again booted into Windows and left idle at the login screen before taking the idle reading. Our final loaded power consumption reading is taken with the video card running a stress test using graphics test #4 on 3DMark11. Below is a chart with the isolated video card power consumption (system without video card subtracted from measured combined total) displayed in Watts for each specified test product:

Video Card Power Consumption by Benchmark Reviews

VGA Product Description

(sorted by combined total power)

Idle Power

Loaded Power

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 SLI Set
82 W
655 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 Reference Design
53 W
396 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 Reference Design
100 W
320 W
AMD Radeon HD 6990 Reference Design
46 W
350 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 Reference Design
74 W
302 W
ASUS GeForce GTX 480 Reference Design
39 W
315 W
ATI Radeon HD 5970 Reference Design
48 W
299 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Reference Design
25 W
321 W
ATI Radeon HD 4850 CrossFireX Set
123 W
210 W
ATI Radeon HD 4890 Reference Design
65 W
268 W
AMD Radeon HD 7970 Reference Design
21 W
311 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Reference Design
42 W
278 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Reference Design
31 W
246 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 Reference Design
31 W
241 W
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Reference Design
25 W
240 W
ATI Radeon HD 6970 Reference Design
24 W
233 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465 Reference Design
36 W
219 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Reference Design
14 W
243 W
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 11139-00-40R
73 W
180 W
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 Reference Design
85 W
186 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Reference Design
10 W
275 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Reference Design
9 W
256 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 Reference Design
35 W
225 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (216) Reference Design
42 W
203 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 Reference Design
58 W
166 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Reference Design
17 W
199 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Reference Design
18 W
167 W
AMD Radeon HD 6870 Reference Design
20 W
162 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Reference Design
14 W
167 W
ATI Radeon HD 5850 Reference Design
24 W
157 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST Reference Design
8 W
164 W
AMD Radeon HD 6850 Reference Design
20 W
139 W
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT Reference Design
31 W
133 W
ATI Radeon HD 4770 RV740 GDDR5 Reference Design
37 W
120 W
ATI Radeon HD 5770 Reference Design
16 W
122 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 Reference Design
22 W
115 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Reference Design
12 W
112 W
ATI Radeon HD 4670 Reference Design
9 W
70 W
* Results are accurate to within +/- 5W.

This section discusses power consumption for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 video card, which operated at reference clock speeds. Our power consumption results are not representative of the entire GTX 780-series product family, which may feature a modified design or factory overclocking by some partners. GeForce GTX 780 requires an 8-pin and 6-pin PCI-E power connections for normal operation, and will not activate the display unless proper power has been supplied. NVIDIA recommends a 600W power supply unit for stable operation with one GeForce GTX 780 video card.


In our test results the GeForce GTX 780 consumed a mere 10W at the lowest idle reading, and 275W under full load with fan operating at 100%. NVIDIA's average TDP is specified as 250W. This positions the GTX 780 among the least power-hungry top-end video cards we've tested under load, but much more impressive that it's achieved by a flagship GTX-series product. If you're familiar with electronics, it will come as no surprise that less power consumption equals less heat output as evidenced by our thermal results below...

GeForce GTX 780 Temperatures

This section reports our temperature results subjecting the video card to maximum load conditions. During each test a 20°C ambient room temperature is maintained from start to finish, as measured by digital temperature sensors located outside the computer system. GPU-Z is used to measure the temperature at idle as reported by the GPU, and also under load.

Using a modified version of FurMark's "Torture Test" to generate maximum thermal load, peak GPU temperature is recorded in high-power 3D mode. FurMark does two things extremely well: drives the thermal output of any graphics processor much higher than any video games realistically could, and it does so with consistency every time. Furmark works great for testing the stability of a GPU as the temperature rises to the highest possible output.

The temperatures illustrated below are absolute maximum values, and do not represent real-world temperatures created by video games or graphics applications:

Video Card Ambient Idle Temp Loaded Temp Max Noise
ATI Radeon HD 5850 20°C 39°C 73°C 7/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 20°C 26°C 65°C 4/10
AMD Radeon HD 6850 20°C 42°C 77°C 7/10
AMD Radeon HD 6870 20°C 39°C 74°C 6/10
ATI Radeon HD 5870 20°C 33°C 78°C 7/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 20°C 27°C 78°C 5/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 20°C 32°C 82°C 7/10
ATI Radeon HD 6970 20°C 35°C 81°C 6/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 20°C 32°C 70°C 6/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 20°C 33°C 77°C 6/10
AMD Radeon HD 6990 20°C 40°C 84°C 8/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 20°C 26°C 73°C 4/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 20°C 26°C 62°C 3/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 20°C 26°C 71°C 3/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 20°C 26°C 75°C 3/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 20°C 30°C 81°C 4/10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 20°C 28°C 80°C 3/10

As we've mentioned on the pages leading up to this section, NVIDIA's Kepler architecture yields a much more efficient operating GPU compared to previous designs. This becomes evident by the low idle temperature, and translates into modest full-load temperatures. While NVIDIA's reference design works exceptionally well at cooling the GK110 GPU on GeForce GTX 780, consumers should expect add-in card partners to advertise unnecessarily excessive over-cooled versions for an extra premium. 80°C after ten minutes at 100% load is nothing at all, and is nowhere close to this card's 95°C thermal threshold.



# Caring1John 2013-05-23 12:18
Pity the bias shown towards Nvidia resulted in the exclusion of the newly released AMD 7990, which I believe would be a true competitor being in the same price bracket.
Try the tests again when you include that card and we'll see how smug Nvidia is then.
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# RE: Caring1Austin Downing 2013-05-23 12:28
You guys really find a way to say we are biased every time. If we don't have one NVIDIA card in a test then obviously we love AMD, and if we don't have one AMD card obviously we are biased towards NVIDIA.

He is a idea, perhaps we don't have a 7990 because AMD never saw fit to send us one. I am sure if you would like to send Olin a card he would gladly test it.
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# RE: RE: Caring1Caring1 2013-05-23 19:00
I hardly think the bias shown towards Nvidia in this revue has anything to do with the exclusion of any particular card.
I really don't care one way or another which brand is the better, so i'm definitely not a "fan boy" of either camp.
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# RE: RE: RE: Caring1Olin Coles 2013-05-23 22:19
Um, so why do you think there is any bias then? You do realize it's just benchmark results and FPS numbers, right? Kind of hard to bias that.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Caring1Caring1 2013-05-24 04:38
Yes, the stats don't lie.
I was talking about your conclusion which doesn't even admit the existence of the 7990.
and ranks the GTX 780 against the lesser 7970, which is apples and oranges.
If you were unable to test the 7990, then why not admit it like you did with the Titan which you state was not tested.
For example:
"GeForce GTX 780 lacks direct competition from another graphics card. The closest available competing solution comes in the form of AMD's Radeon HD 7970, which as you might have seen from the benchmark results, hardly compares. In fact, the only real competition that can stand up to GTX 780 is the GeForce GTX TITAN (not tested), and the dual-GPU GTX 690. There were rare occasions when the dual-GPU AMD Radeon HD 6990, such as in Metro 2033 and Aliens vs Predator, but otherwise AMD has nothing to compare against GTX 780 (as well as GTX TITAN, and GTX 690).
Synthetic benchmark tools offer an unbiased read on graphics products, allowing video card manufacturers to display their performance without special game optimizations or driver influence. Futuremark's 3DMark11 benchmark suite strained our high-end graphics cards with only mid-level settings displayed at 720p, yet GeForce GTX 780 produced higher FPS results than every graphics card AMD produces".
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Caring1Austin Downing 2013-05-24 06:24
So, he left out one sentence and therefore he must be biased? Seems like a pretty strawman argument.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Caring1Olin Coles 2013-05-24 07:30
You honestly think the Radeon HD 7990, a dual-GPU $1050 video card, is the direct competition for a $650 single-GPU GeForce GTX 780? Seriously? I can hear AMD calling you back to the first to sing Kumbaya with the rest of the boys.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Caring1Olin Coles 2013-05-24 07:33
PS: GeForce GTX TITAN has one single GPU, so of course I'm going to mention it as competition for the #2 best-performing single GPU video card (GTX 780). Methinks you lack an understanding of these products, and what makes apples and oranges different.
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# RE: Caring1Olin Coles 2013-05-23 12:32
If you have one to loan for testing, I'll gladly pay for shipping and include it. Otherwise, we have no intention of purchasing a product that we've been intentionally excluded from receiving from manufacturers. AMD wouldn't even give us a media briefing on the product details, which is telling.
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# RE: RE: Caring1Caring1 2013-05-23 18:57
Tom's Hardware has a review of the 7990 which compares it a to number of cards, including Nvidia.
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# RE: Caring1Pigbristle 2013-05-23 12:34
While I do agree with some bias towards nvidia by this reviewer, I have to disagree with your 'same price bracket quote' The 7990 seems to be around 250 more expensive. Therefore not a true competitor.
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# no Titan either. whats your point?sean 2013-05-24 04:47
they didnt include the Titan, either. There is no point in comparing this card to the flagships, from either company.
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# Idiot.Alex 2013-07-04 08:15
Or, since you are clearly an AMD fanboy, you should maybe go look at some 7990 articles, seeing how they are biased aswell. It is just the way it works man. Not only that, but who the # cares. If you like AMD, go buy AMD, if you like Nvidia guess what? GO BUY NVIDIA. The truth is, both manufacturers have ups and downs. AMD can't Crossfire for # right now, so for anybody who is interested in bridging, AMD is 100% useless. Nvidia has horrible game packages right now, so for anybody who is poor and can't afford games, Nvidia is 100% useless to you. There is going to be company bias anywhere you go, this community is full of fanboys and illogical morons. Do yourself a favor and find yourself a AMD review if that is what you are looking for.
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# Really ? at 1920nyein 2013-05-24 00:11
benching those GTX780 high end card on 1920x1080 is ridiculous.
the person who buy GTX780 will not be playing on Full HD.
They want on 2560 or surround.
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# RE: Really ? at 1920Luay 2013-05-27 01:45
Unless it's a 120hz++ display.
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# Really ?Alex 2013-07-04 08:23
I own a 780, and quite often I disable Nvidia surround and play 1920x1080. I enjoy multitasking sometimes, and to be quite honest Nvidia surround is not that special. Unless you like dealing with stretch marks and fish-eye effect. From what I have seen it is a massive pain in the arsenal for me to have to adjust resolution of games. Even with Widescreen Fixer, the games look horrible and are still stretched beyond my enjoyment. Maybe me buying the 780 was a mistake. Or maybe when Next-Gen games come out. I might actually be able to play them at 1920x1080. Because truth be told, your 560ti or whatever you think is fine for 1920x1080, Is going to be garbage for games like BF4 or higher.
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# RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Graphics CardChris 2013-05-24 06:40
It seems that we're looking at 20% faster (or thereabouts) than a 680 GTX depending on which game you look at.

From a performance standpoint, it's a modest upgrade over the 680/7970 and well, in terms of price to performance, not really an upgrade at all. You can get a 7970 these days for under $400 US/CAD, so a card that performs 20% faster is a pretty hard sell. Of course, as you get into the higher end, the law of diminishing returns comes into play.

It's basically a cut down Titan, brought to an "affordable" price point for the general public.

What this card needs is something like an MSI GTX 780 Lightning, namely something with better cooling and a better PCB. On that note, Olin is there any word that something like that will happen?
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# RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Graphics CardOlin Coles 2013-05-24 07:36
MSI hinted on a production product arriving in June. No word on pricing, however.
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# RE: RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Graphics CardChris 2013-05-24 09:08
I'm expecting a ~$100 premium over the reference, which hopefully will be cheaper. Let's face it though, for those that wanted price:performance, this card is not going to be it.

But the real reason why I like the MSI series of cards Lightning/Hawk/PE, is due to the cooler and better PCB. They usually do tend to overclock better as well, although OC is always no assurance.

It seems right now, for $350 less than the Titan, you lose ~10% of core performance, 3gb of VRAM (no big deal unless you're playing a super high resolutions), and that's about it. But the Titan was always a hard sell to the general public.

This card, to be honest, is not a great value either. 20% faster, but for about 60% more than the 7970 - it's diminishing returns for sure. I guess I'm a bit disappointed that it's been about 18 months since the 7970 has come out and there haven't been the performance gains at a competitive price point that I would have liked to see.
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# RE: RE: RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Graphics CardAlex 2013-07-04 08:27
You are saying the gtx 780 is bad for price to performance? How about comparing it to the titan. With a MILD overclock, the 780 beats a stock titan. So for $300 less, you basically get same performace as a titan, same look, same cooling. It is good value for money if you were previously in the market for a Titan (which if anybody still buys a titan, they are completely stupid.)
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# Is the GTX 780 Waterproof ???...Tangldweb 2013-05-24 08:23
I ask because I figure this would be the BEST Overall card for these AMD people whom Cry everytime their poor cards get the [email protected]%& kicked out of them as with the 650ti Boost. I mean my 650ti boost couldnt take this kind of Humidity on a Good Day so I'm figuring the AMD cards MUST be waterproof. So I must agree that not using the AMD'S obviously waterproof cards such as the 7990 in this reveiw is Highly Biased,.. even though I Rarely use my Desktop in the Pool !!! There's always one in the Crowd. Hehe. And I'd link other reveiws that back up these numbers but needless to say,.. Good Technical Reveiw as always. Cheers
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# RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Graphics CardTrajan Long 2013-05-25 05:44
I can't believe that AMD fanbois are whining about the 7990, a Crossfire solution which doesn't get almost half its fps numbers to the screen due to runt frames, resulting in herky jerky stuttering. Many sites have exposed this and currently refuse to recommend Crossfire until this is fixed, including Hardocp, Tech Report, Hardware Canucks, PC Perspective.
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