NVIDIA GTX 780 Review: GK110 on a Diet
Who should buy the GTX 780?
Assuming you have the cash, the GTX 780 is worth serious consideration for anyone still using one single-GPU GTX 500 series card or older, or anyone using a single-GPU AMD Radeon 6000 series card or older. If you bought your last video card in late 2010-early 2011, the next generation is here, and it’s time to upgrade.
Who should skip the GTX 780?
- If you have a dual-GPU card like the GTX 590, GTX 690, or Radeon 7990.
- If you have an SLI or Crossfire setup that’s been assembled with cards released in the last 12-14 months.
Any dual-GPU card, be it the GTX 590 or something released afterwards, is going to match or exceed the GTX 780. The same can be said for any SLI setup using GTX 600 series cards, high-end Radeon 6000 cards in Crossfire, and 7000 series cards in Crossfire. If you’re using one of the aforementioned solutions, the GX 780 simply isn’t worth the upgrade.
Is the GTX 780 worth $649.99?
The GTX 780 is a fantastic piece of hardware. When playing at 1920×1080, which is the go-to resolution for desktop gaming PCs, the 780 will play virtually any game on High settings at 60 fps or better. Brand new titles like Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite – both of which are gorgeous games – can be completely maxed out, and the 780 will keep the numbers above 60 fps. Crysis 3 is the only title to truly give the 780 pause, and that’s to be expected from the latest in the Crysis franchise.
All that aside, spending $650 on any card is extremely hard to justify. For starters, the GTX 780 release is going to push down the price on 600 series cards, so finding a very capable GTX 680 for under $400 won’t be terribly difficult. Furthermore, if you’re already using some sort of 500/600 series or 6000/7000 series card in your gaming PC, picking up a second of the same model would likely give you the same performance found the in GTX 780, but for far less money.
As is normal with flagship card releases, the GTX 780 is for enthusiasts with money to burn. If you have an extra $650 to spend on PC hardware right now, you won’t be disappointed by the GTX 780. But with current card prices presumably dropping, and more, less expensive cards in the GTX 700 family probably on the way, exercising restraint for a few weeks might be the best course of action.
- Play virtually any title on High/Ultra settings at 1080p and 60+ frames per second.
- Very quiet for a high-end video card
- GeForce Experience, ShadowPlay, and GPU Boost 2.0 are all great (and free) value adds
- Anyone with a dual-GPU 590, 690, 6990 or 7990 should skip it.
Anyone with an SLI or Crossfire setup from 2011-2012 won’t see much, if any, performance gains.