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    Categories: Graphics Cards

Zotac NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB

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Introduction

Today I’m testing the Zotac GTX 780, NVIDIA’s consumer graphic cards flagship. This version of the GTX780 is a reference design, so let’s see if Zotac can make it live up to our dreams.

Specifications

  • Interface: PCI Express 3.0* x16 (Compatible with 1.1)
  • GPU: GeForce® GTX 780
  • Core clock: 863 MHz (base) – 900 MHz (boost)
  • Stream Processors: 2304
  • Memory Clock: 6008 MHz
  • Memory Size: 3GB
  • Memory Interface: 384-bit
  • Memory Type: GDDR5
  • DirectX: DirectX® 11.1
  • OpenGL: OpenGL® 4.3
  • DVI X 2 (DVI-I and DVI-D)
  • HDMI-Ports X 1
  • DisplayPort-Ports X 1
  • VGA (With included DVI-to-VGA adapter)
  • Max Resolution: 2560 x 1600
  • SLI Supported: Yes (3-way)
  • Slots: 2

Box and Bundle

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The Zotac GeForce GTX780 comes in a typical boxing with enough basic information about the product.

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Similar to the front, the back also shows many of the features of the card.

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The inside of the box holds a protective black card board box.

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Once opened up, we find what we’re looking for neatly packaged.

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The bundle includes:

  • CD driver
  • Installation guide
  • DVI to VGA adaptor
  • Two Molex to 6 pin adaptors
  • Splinter Cell Compilation

Physical Layout

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For this GTX780, Zotac uses the NVIDIA reference cooler design.

 

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It runs off a PCI-E3.0 connector, backwards compatible to lower PCI-E version, but for a card like this it is generally advisable to use minimum recommended version of 3.0

 

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The exhaust, showing a large heatsink

 

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Something cool about this card is that it has “GEFORCE GTX” written in green LED, so when turned on you can enjoy a little colour show.

 

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The connector side of the card sports another exhaust, DVI-D, DVI-I, HDMI, and a Display Port connector.

 

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The wondrously magnificent backside of this graphic card, clearly showing the two SLI-connectors for triple-SLI.

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Compared to a Sapphire HD7870, the GTX780 has a very reasonable length for a top-segment card.

Testing

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Test Rig

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 3570K @ 3.40GHz
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z77E-ITX
  • RAM: Crucial BallistiX 2x8GB DDR3-1600 CL9
  • Storage: Samsung 830 Pro 256GB SSD
  • PSU: Silverstone SST-ST60F-SG 600W
  • CASE: Silverstone Sugo SG08

Latest driver was downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.

Methodology

For graphics card testing, here at XSReviews our aim is to provide a set of clean, reliable benchmarks. For each test, the test was repeated three times and then an average taken or where results were inconsistent, tests were continued until two concordant results were reached.

The benchmarks consist of a mixture of games and synthetic benchmarks; game testing is carried out through a specifically designed benchmark suite for that particular title or by using a time demo and the utility FRAPS to record the frame rates. The following software was used in the testing of the graphics cards:

  • 3Dmark Vantage
  • Furmark – for temperature testing
  • Unique Heaven 4.0
  • Lost Planet

3Dmark Vantage

3DMark Vantage is the industry standard performance benchmark for DirectX 10 gaming PCs. It includes two graphics tests, two CPU tests and six feature tests. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark Vantage is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 10 under game-like loads.

The results of Vantage are typically hard to interpret, especially in this case where we don’t have reasonable comparison material. In all fairness, on the most extreme settings possible, at a resolution of 1440p, the GTX780 manages to hold its own with very reasonable framerates. 1080p is cake for the GTX780.

Unigine Heaven

“Heaven Benchmark is a DirectX 11 GPU benchmark based on advanced Unigine™ engine from Unigine Corp. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. Interactive mode provides emerging experience of exploring the intricate world of steampunk.”

A same note can be made about Unigine’s Heaven benchmark. Even though hard to interpret, it is clear that at the most extreme preset available, the GTX780 gets off with nearly 60FPS on average, which is a great number. Running the same benchmark on 1440p resulted in rather unwatchable results, with an average of around 20-25FPS. No game realistically requires the performance the Heaven benchmark puts on a graphics card at the moment, though.

Lost Planet

A decade has passed since the first game, and the face of E.D.N. III has changed dramatically. Terra forming efforts have been successful and the ice has begun to melt, giving way to lush tropical jungles and harsh unforgiving deserts. Players will enter this new environment and follow the exploits of their own customized snow pirate on their quest to seize control of the changing planet.

Test A: The primary purpose of Test A is to give an indication of typical game play performance of the PC running Lost Planet 2. (i.e. if you can run Mode A smoothly, the game will be playable at a similar condition).  In this test, the characterfs motion is randomized to give a slightly different outcome each time.

Test B: The primary purpose of Test B is to push the PC to its limits and to benchmark the maximum performance of the PC. It utilizes many functions of Direct X11 resulting in a very performance-orientated, very demanding benchmark mode.

In both the playability test and the DirectX 11 test, the GTX780 leaves no one wondering; it is an undisputed winner with very acceptable framerates.

Thermals

We check the temperature after the computer has been on for 30 minutes, this is the idle temperature. The typical load temperature is when in playing games on high settings. The Furmark section is dedicated to the extreme burn-in test from Furmark, which puts more pressure on your graphics cards than realistically done by any game or application.

In a normal situation, the Zotac GTX780 is both inaudible and at a very reasonable temperature, at less than 40% fan speed. Under typical load, the card its fan becomes slightly audible, but this is far from annoying, and starts at around 45% fan speed. In Furmark, the card reached no more than 82 degrees Celcius, and the fan speed stayed at 55%, which was audible, but far from a vacuum cleaner. Testing the card at 100% fan speed made me worried my little ITX system would fly out of the window.

Conclusion

The GTX780 AMP! has proven itself to be an excellent reference card, with a very quiet cooler that has no trouble taking the heaviest load on this GPU.

The card does start to make some noise when running tests made to work your card to the max, but in gaming you’ll likely rarely hear the card unless you’re really into silent computing.

This Zotac card sells for around €545, and at that price it is actually the cheapest GTX780 on the Dutch market. Sadly, the AMD R9 290X is around the corner, and it will supposedly be faster and cheaper than the GTX780 reference. Nonetheless, we are looking at a great card here.

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Flashy looks
  • Very quiet
  • Runs cool

Cons

  • Comparatively expensive, at the point of writing.

 

XSReviews.co.uk awards the Zotac GTX780 3GB 8/10 stars.

 

Albert Vogd :