Nvidia’s GTX760 is out and review embargoes have lifted. It’s a new card from the company and fits in between the GTX660 and replaces both the GTX670 and the GTX660 Ti. It’s destined to battle the AMD Radeon HD7870 and HD7950 but has one crucial feather in its cap – a better price/performance ratio than either of its competitors.
The GTX760 is the last new card from Nvidia for the rest of the year. The company is now only making the Geforce GTX780, GTX770 and GTX760 for the high-end market, with the rest of the Geforce 600 series from the GTX660 downwards carrying on as before. It’s quite a strange move but helps to avoid market saturation. Once stocks for the GTX660 and GTX650 Ti Boost deplete towards the end of the year, we can expect another entry from the Geforce 700 family in 2014.
Its the price which is really special. Launching at just US$250 (approximately R2,513.75) in the US, Canada, and Europe it not only offers the same performance as the Geforce GTX660 Ti and the Radeon HD7950, it’s also a good $50 cheaper than both. Its a value play from Nvidia and it’s going to be interesting to see how AMD handles it. They can either drop the prices for the HD7950 which would affect the prices of all the other cards, or they could drop the Never Settle bundles. Which move they will make isn’t certain.
Despite the fact that it has less shader cores and less texture units, the GTX760 has a larger memory interface at 256 bits, on par with the GTX680 and the GTX770. Nvidia’s weak spot in the GGTX660 Ti was the fact that its memory bus couldn’t keep up with its main competitor, the Radeon HD7870, once the resolution was increased to 1440p or higher.
The card’s design is very similar to its predecessors and the short PCB means that we’ll even see a GTX760 Mini from ASUS in future. The card’s cooler shroud extends beyond the PCB and puts the fan hanging over the edge of the card. Unlike the GTX770 and GTX780, this card won’t see the sexy reference cooler listed from the GTX Titan, which also means that it won’t run as cool or as quiet. The inclusion of two SLI fingers means that Nvidia has allowed for triple-SLI configurations, however.
In terms of benchmarks, it’s right on the exhausts of the Radeon HD7950. In fact there are many scenarios where it pulls slightly ahead, notably in games that carry Nvidia’s “The Way Its Meant To Be Played” slogan, which means that they are optimised for Geforce cards and unlock special options like the use of hardware-accelerated Physx.
Its on par with the GTX660 Ti as well, which just goes to show that almost every Kepler-based card Nvidia has designed is severely throttled by bandwidth issues.
Although many third-party brands are free to use the stock cooler design, Nvidia has opened the flood gates for better coolers at launch and many manufacturers have chosen to go straight to their own solutions instead. This opens up more headroom for overclocking because once you turn up the sliders inside the Geforce drivers, this little critter can sometimes overtake a Radeon HD7970. This is definitely a very scary little card.