Closer Look: GeForce GTX 760
GeForce GTX 760 is a mainstream-market discrete graphics card for desktop computer systems, available for $249.99 online (Amazon | Newegg). NVIDIA has built the GeForce GTX 760 for hardware enthusiasts and gamers wanting to play PC video games at 1920×1080 with their maximum graphics quality settings. GTX 760 also supports the following NVIDIA technologies: GPU Boost 2.0, 3D Vision, CUDA, DirectX 11, PhysX, TXAA, Adaptive VSync, FXAA, 3D Vision Surround, and SLI.
The GeForce GTX 760 is a is a dual-slot video card that measures 10.5″ long and 4.4″ wide and will fit into nearly all mid-tower computer case enclosures with room to spare. GeForce GTX 760 shares an identical size profile with GeForce GTX 660 Ti and GTX 670, but measures shorter than NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 570, GTX 580, and GTX 770, as well as AMD’s Radeon HD 6970, and HD 7970 (each 10.5″ long).
In addition to a new and improved NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 technology, GeForce GTX 760 also delivers refinements to the user experience. Smoother FXAA and adaptive vSync technology results in less chop, stutter, and tearing in on-screen motion. Adaptive vSync technology adjusts the monitor’s refresh rate whenever the FPS rate becomes too low to properly sustain vertical sync (when enabled), thereby reducing stutter and tearing artifacts. Finally, NVIDIA TXAA offers gamers a film-style anti-aliasing technique with a mix of hardware post-processing, custom CG file style AA resolve, and an optional temporal component for better image quality.
Fashioned from technology developed for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN, engineers adapted a slightly tweaked design for GeForce GTX 760. A single rearward 60mm (2.4″) blower motor fan is offset from the surface to take advantage of a chamfered depression, helping GTX 760 to draw cool air into the angle-focused fan shroud. This design allows more air to reach the intake whenever two or more video cards are combined into close-proximity SLI configurations. Add-in card partners with engineering resources will likely incorporate their own cooling solution onto GTX 760, although there seems little benefit from eschewing NVIDIA’s cool-running reference design.
GeForce GTX 760 offers two simultaneously functional dual-link DVI (DL-DVI) connections, a full-size HDMI 1.4a output, and a DisplayPort 1.2 connection. Add-in partners may elect to remove or possibly further extend any of these video interfaces, but most will likely retain the original reference board engineering. Only one of these video cards is necessary to drive triple-displays and NVIDIA 3D-Vision Surround functionality, when using both DL-DVI and either the HDMI or DP connection for third output. All of these video interfaces consume exhaust-vent real estate, but this has very little impact on cooling because the 28nm Kepler GPU generates much less heat than past GeForce processors, and also because NVIDIA intentionally distances the heatsink far enough from these vents to equalize exhaust pressure.
As with past-generation GeForce GTX series graphics cards, the GeForce GTX 760 is capable of two-card “Quad-SLI” configurations. Because GeForce GTX 760 is PCI-Express 3.0 compliant device, the added bandwidth could potentially come into demand as future games and applications make use of these resources. Most games will be capable of utilizing the highest possible graphics quality settings using only a single GeForce GTX 760 video card, but multi-card SLI/Quad-SLI configurations are perfect for extreme gamers wanting to experience ultra-performance video games played at their highest quality settings with all the bells and whistles enabled across multiple monitors.
Specified for 170W Thermal Design Power output, the Kepler GPU in GeForce GTX 760 operates much more efficiently than NVIDIA’s previous generation GPUs. Since TDP demands have been reduced GTX 760 runs cooler during normal operation, and has move power available for Boost 2.0 requests. NVIDIA has added a painted “GeForce GTX” logo along the exposed side video card, which differs from the backlit version that comes with GTX TITAN/780/770. GeForce GTX 760 requires two 6-pin PCIe power connectors for operation, allowing NVIDIA to recommend a modest 500W power supply for computer systems equipped with one of these video cards.
By tradition, NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX series offers enthusiast-level performance with features like multi-card SLI pairing. More recently, the GTX family has included GPU Boost application-driven variable overclocking technology – now into GPU Boost 2.0. The GeForce GTX 760 graphics card keeps with tradition in terms of performance by producing single-GPU frame rates more efficiently than any other product at its price-point. Of course, NVIDIA’s Kepler GPU architecture adds proprietary features as well, such as: 3D Vision, Adaptive Vertical Sync, multi-display Surround, PhysX, and TXAA antialiasing.
GeForce GTX 760’s GK104 graphics processor ships with 6 SMX units: good for 1152 CUDA cores clocked to 980 MHz that boosts to 1033 MHz. The Boost Clock speed is based on the average GeForce GTX 760 card running a wide variety of games and applications. The memory subsystem of GeForce GTX 760 consists of four 64-bit memory controllers combined to create a 256-bit lane, which produce 192.26 GB/s bandwidth from 2GB of GDDR5 memory operating at 6008 MHz data rate. GTX 760’s fill rate reaches 94.1 GigaTexels per second across the backwards-compatible PCI-Express 3.0 compliant graphics interface.
GTX 760’s exposed printed circuit board reveals a much smaller PCB then the video card profile suggests. Past GeForce products generally use a shroud to cover the entire length of the circuit board, but with GeForce GTX 760 the PCB measures only 7.0? of the 9.5? card length, adding a 2.5? extension to support the cooling fan. Because of the optimized Kepler GPU, GeForce GTX 760 does not benefit from any surface heatsink or cooling plates.
In the next section, we detail our test methodology and give specifications for all of the benchmarks and equipment used in our testing process…