When NVIDIA launched their first consumer GK110 card back in February with the GeForce GTX Titan, one of the interesting (if frustrating) aspects of the launch was that we knew we wouldn’t be getting a “complete” GK110 card right away. GTX Titan was already chart-topping fast, easily clinching the crown for NVIDIA, but at the same time it was achieving those high marks with only 14 of GK110’s 15 SMXes active. The 15th SMX, though representing just 7% of GK110’s compute/geometry hardware, offered the promise of just a bit more performance out of GK110, and a promise that would have to wait to be fulfilled another day. For a number of reasons, NVIDIA would keep a little more performance in the tank in reserve for use in the future.

Jumping forward 8 months to the past few weeks, and things have significantly changed in the high-end video card market. With the launch of AMD’s new flagship video card, Radeon R9 290X, AMD has unveiled the means to once again compete with NVIDIA at the high end. And at the same time they have shown that they have the wherewithal to get into a fantastic, bloody price war for control of the high-end market. Right out of the gate 290X was fast enough to defeat GTX 780 and battle GTX Titan to a standstill, at a price hundreds of dollars cheaper than NVIDIA’s flagship card. The outcome of this has been price drops all around, with GTX 780 shedding $150, GTX Titan being all but relegated to the professional side of “prosumer,” and an unexpectedly powerful Radeon R9 290 practically starting the same process all over again just 2 weeks later.

With that in mind, NVIDIA has long become accustomed to controlling the high-end market and the single-GPU performance crown. AMD and NVIDIA may go back and forth at times, but at the end of the day it’s usually NVIDIA who comes out on top. So with AMD knocking at their door and eyeing what has been their crown, the time has come for NVIDIA to tap their reserve tank and to once again cement their hold. The time has come for GTX 780 Ti.

  GTX 780 Ti GTX Titan GTX 780 GTX 770
Stream Processors 2880 2688 2304 1536
Texture Units 240 224 192 128
ROPs 48 48 48 32
Core Clock 875MHz 837MHz 863MHz 1046MHz
Boost Clock 928Mhz 876Mhz 900Mhz 1085MHz
Memory Clock 7GHz GDDR5 6GHz GDDR5 6GHz GDDR5 7GHz GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 384-bit 384-bit 384-bit 256-bit
VRAM 3GB 6GB 3GB 2GB
FP64 1/24 FP32 1/3 FP32 1/24 FP32 1/24 FP32
TDP 250W 250W 250W 230W
Transistor Count 7.1B 7.1B 7.1B 3.5B
Manufacturing Process TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm
Launch Date 11/07/13 02/21/13 05/23/13 05/30/13
Launch Price $699 $999 $649 $399

Getting right down to business, GeForce GTX 780 Ti unabashedly a response to AMD’s Radeon R9 290X while also serving as NVIDIA’s capstone product for the GeForce 700 series. With NVIDIA finally ready and willing to release fully enabled GK110 based cards – a process that started with Quadro K6000 – GTX 780 Ti is the obligatory and eventual GeForce part to bring that fully enabled GK110 GPU to the consumer market. By tapping the 15th and final SMX for a bit more performance and coupling it with a very slight clockspeed bump, NVIDIA has the means to fend off AMD’s recent advance while offering a refresh of their product line just in time for a busy holiday season and counter to the impending next-generation console launch.

Looking at the specifications for GTX 780 Ti in detail, at the hardware level GTX 780 Ti is the fully enabled GK110 GeForce part we’ve long been waiting for. Featuring all 15 SMXes up and running, GTX 780 Ti features 25% more compute/geometry/texturing hardware than the GTX 780 it essentially replaces, or around 7% more hardware than the increasingly orphaned GTX Titan. To that end the only place that GTX 780 Ti doesn’t improve on GTX Titan/780 is in the ROP department, as both of those cards already featured all 48 ROPs active, alongside the associated memory controllers and L2 cache.

Coupled with the fully enabled GK110 GPU, NVIDIA has given GTX 780 Ti a minor GPU clockspeed bump to make it not only the fastest GK110 card overall, but also the highest clocked card. The 875MHz core clock and 928MHz boost clock is only 15MHz and 28MHz faster than GTX 780 in their respective areas, but with GTX 780 already being clocked higher than GTX Titan, GTX 780 Ti doesn’t need much more in the way of GPU clockspeed to keep ahead of the competition and its older siblings. As a result if we’re comparing GTX 780 Ti to GTX 780, then GTX 780 relies largely on its SMX advantage to improve performance, combining a 1% clockspeed bump and a 25% increase in shader harder to offer 27% better shading/texturing/geometry performance and just 1% better ROP throughput than GTX 780. Or to compare things to Titan, then GTX 780 Ti relies on its more significant 5% clockspeed advantage coupled with its 7% functional unit increase to offer a 12% increase in shading/texturing/geometry performance, alongside a 5% increase in ROP throughput.

With specs and numbers in mind, there is one other trick up GTX 780 Ti’s sleeve to help push it past everything else, and that is a higher 7GHz memory clock. NVIDIA has given GK110 the 7GHz GDDR5 treatment with the GTX 780 Ti (making it the second card after GTX 770 to get this treatment), giving GTX 780 Ti 336GB/sec of memory bandwidth. This is 17% more than either GTX Titan or GTX 780, and even edging out the recently released Radeon R9 290X’s 320GB/sec. The additional memory bandwidth, though probably not absolutely necessary from what we’ve seen with GTX Titan, will help NVIDIA get as much out of GK110 as they can and further separate the card from other NVIDIA and AMD cards alike.

The only unfortunate news here when it comes to memory will be that unlike Titan, NVIDIA is sticking with 3GB for the default RAM amount on GTX 780 Ti. Though the performance ramifications of this will be minimal (at least at this time), will put the card in an odd spot of having less RAM than the cheaper Radeon R9 290 series.

Taken altogether then, GTX 780 Ti stands to be anywhere between 1% and 27% faster than GTX 780 depending on whether we’re looking at a ROP-bound or shader-bound scenario. Otherwise it stands to be between 5% and 17% faster than GTX Titan depending on whether we’re ROP-bound or memory bandwidth-bound.

Meanwhile let’s quickly talk about power consumption. As GTX 780 Ti is essentially just a spec bump of the GK110 hardware we’ve seen for the last 8 months, power consumption won’t officially be changing. NVIDIA designed GTX Titan and GTX 780 with the same power delivery system and the same TDP limit, with GTX 780 Ti further implementing the same system and the same limits. So officially GTX 780 Ti’s TDP stands at 250W just like the other GK110 cards. Though in practice power consumption for GTX 780 Ti will be higher than either of those other cards, as the additional performance it affords will mean that GTX 780 Ti will be on average closer to that 250W limit than either of those cards.

Finally, let’s talk about pricing, availability, and competitive positioning. On a pure performance basis NVIDIA expects GTX 780 Ti to be the fastest single-GPU video card on the market, and our numbers back them up on this. Consequently NVIDIA is going to be pricing and positioning GTX 780 Ti a lot like GTX Titan/780 before it, which is to say that it’s going to be priced as a flagship card rather than a competitive card. Realistically AMD can’t significantly threaten GTX 780 Ti, and although it’s not going to be quite the lead that NVIDIA enjoyed over AMD earlier this year, it’s enough of a lead that NVIDIA can pretty much price GTX 780 Ti based solely on the fact that it’s the fastest thing out there. And that’s exactly what NVIDIA has done.

To that end GTX 780 Ti will be launching at $699, $300 less than GTX Titan but $50 higher than the original GTX 780’s launch price. By current prices this will put it $150 over the R9 290X or $200 over the reprised GTX 780, a significant step over each. GTX 780 Ti will have the performance to justify its positioning, but just as the previous GK110 cards it’s going to be an expensive product. Meanwhile GTX Titan will be remaining at $999, despite the fact that it’s now officially dethroned as the fastest GeForce card (GTX 780 having already made it largely redundant). At this point it will live on as NVIDIA’s entry level professional compute card, keeping its unique FP64 performance advantage over the other GeForce cards.

Elsewhere on a competitive basis, until such a time where factory overclocked 290X cards hit the market, the only real single-card competition for GTX 780 Ti will be the Radeon HD 7990, AMD’s Tahiti based dual-GPU card, which these days retails for close to $800. Otherwise the closest competition will be dual card setups, such as the GTX 770 SLI, R9 280X CF, and R9 290 CF. All of those should present formidable challenges on a pure performance basis, though it will bring with it the usual drawbacks of multi-GPU rendering.

Meanwhile, as an added perk NVIDIA will be extending their recently announced “The Way It’s Meant to Be Played Holiday Bundle with SHIELD” promotion to the GTX 780 Ti, which consists of Assassins’ Creed IV, Batman: Arkham Origins, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and a $100 SHIELD discount. NVIDIA has been inconsistent about this in the past, so it’s a nice change to see it included with their top card. As always, the value of bundles are ultimately up to the buyer, but for those who do place value in the bundle it should offset some of the sting of the $699 price tag.

Finally, for launch availability this will be a hard launch. Reference cards should be available by the time this article goes live, or shortly thereafter. It is a reference launch, and while custom cards are in the works NVIDIA is telling us they likely won’t hit the shelves until December.

Fall 2013 GPU Pricing Comparison
AMD Price NVIDIA
  $700 GeForce GTX 780 Ti
Radeon R9 290X $550  
  $500 GeForce GTX 780
Radeon R9 290 $400  
  $330 GeForce GTX 770
Radeon R9 280X $300  
  $250 GeForce GTX 760
Radeon R9 270X $200  
  $180 GeForce GTX 660
  $150 GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost
Radeon R7 260X $140  

 

Meet The GeForce GTX 780 Ti
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  • fewafwwaefwa - Thursday, November 07, 2013 - link

    sterven.. Reply
  • althaz - Thursday, November 07, 2013 - link

    G-Sync a game-changer, seriously? I admit to not having seen it in action, but it seems like a small advantage at best and something nobody in the whole world has a monitor that supports it at worst. Reply
  • MonkeyM - Sunday, November 10, 2013 - link

    780 isn't nearly as overprice as the ti. It's 500 now, not 650. Which, in all honesty, is a pretty fair price for a card that draw almost 70 watts less than the 290 or 290x. Badly overpriced? False. Overpriced? That's more than fair for the Ti, but a bit of a stretch for the 780. Meagre gain is also bullshit. You get the last 3 missing SMX's, an extra 1,000Mhz on the GDDR5's clock, and you also get a sizable 576 more stream processors. Other than those, it's a fair comment. I do wish they would feel the need to drop prices more, but you certainly get consistency when you buy from big green... Reply
  • Da W - Thursday, November 07, 2013 - link

    Hey look, an Nvidia Fanboy! So happy to get a few framerate advantage like if he owned the company or worked for it.
    WHO GIVES A DAMN?
    At the end of the day i'm looking at performance/price/temperature/noise. That being said, living in Canada, every degree of heat my videocard produce, i save in heating bill.
    Reply
  • euskalzabe - Thursday, November 07, 2013 - link

    hahahaha... I totally understand, that is one of the reasons I still keep my GTX470: the heat it provides during cold Chicago winters is a plus until I move elsewhere next year and buy a 8xx Maxwell :) Reply
  • EzioAs - Thursday, November 07, 2013 - link

    The GTX 780ti is also quite power hungry and loud and you would know that if you read the review Reply
  • Wreckage - Thursday, November 07, 2013 - link

    I'm guessing you ignored the "uber mode" setting for the 290x, it is off the charts compared to the 780ti.

    Nothing I said in my above post is wrong. I think it's the truth that is upsetting people.
    Reply
  • EzioAs - Thursday, November 07, 2013 - link

    You also didn't clarify that it was the Uber mode...and it is still one the charts.

    Without the "uber mode", the 290X is still quite close to the GTX 780ti in terms of gaming performance, power consumption and noise.
    Reply
  • TheJian - Thursday, November 07, 2013 - link

    You must not be reading anywhere but here, and even then, 290x isn't close:
    Oddly Anandtech doesn’t seem to know it has special tech in it that allows better OCing – power balancing (unbalancing?). You guys not using it or something? :)

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2013/11/...
    “A new power management feature for the GTX 780 Ti related to clock speeds and overclocking in particular is called Power Balancing. A card like the GTX 780 Ti draws power across three rails: the PCI-Express lane and the two additional PCI-E power connections. Power is balanced between the three but can become unbalanced when overclocking and possibly limit your overclocks if you max out one rail while having headroom elsewhere. Power Balancing simply allows the balance to be maintained when overclocking, potentially allowing for higher overclocks than previous GK110 cards, on top of the already higher clock speeds.”
    They only hit 1152, but in practice saw it hitting 1230. Mem hit 1950!
    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/geforce_gtx_7...
    More on power balancing. They hit 1276 boost 7948mem.

    http://www.legitreviews.com/nvidia-geforce-gtx-780...
    1289 OC/1900 mem

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1JOhT015ww
    Linustechtips, as always both cards Oc’ed to the wall. He mentions Over 1200 core (not sure if that’s base or boost). But as you can see when both 780ti/290x are clocked to max 780ti dominates everything. Benchmarks at 8:35 or so. Also note Luke says 1080p will still be tough in upcoming games like star citizen etc as he shows. Pretty much a landslide by 15-25% “crushing everything” Luke says. He actually discusses 1080p and shows Farcry 3 (55avg, 290x hits 47avg)/Crysis 3 (50fps vs. 40fps 290x) maxed not hitting above 55fps and at 2560 shows they don’t even hit 30fps avg and this is OC’ed to the max and already kicking the crap out of AMD here (24fps crysis3 for 290x max oc’ed). So if you like to MAX everything in your game, these both are not even playable in crysis 3 or farcry3 at 2560 and many other games. You will constantly be turning stuff down at 1600p, so not quite sure how anyone can say these cards are overkill for 1080p when as he notes games like star citizen will no doubt slow you down even more than Crysis 3 (same engine, later game, well duh). You’ll need 20nm to max 2560 or always run things on low, medium etc like anandtech does. You can play there but with how many sacrifices?

    http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/nvidia_gtx...
    1304 OC/1940 mem
    Note also these guys show the quiet mode dropped 290x to 669mhz!

    While Anandtech still uses very few games and a useless warhead game:
    Games 780 wins or dominates in 2560 ALL vs. UBER 290x (of course all worse for quiet mode, note bit-tech only does 1080p and 5760):
    Skyrim (bit-tech w/hires texture packs, techpowerup without)
    Assassins Creed 3 (techpowerup, 5.3%)
    SplinterCell Blacklist (techpowerup, blows away 690, crushes UBER 36%, also same shown at overclockersclub even 5760)
    Battlefield 3 (techpowerup, legitreviews, overclockersclub 1080/5760)
    Battlefield 4 (bit-tech, but barely, same 1080p, tweaktown shows big loss? But guru3d shows big win@2xMSAA…LOL – guru3d shows losses below)
    Batman Arkham City (overclockersclub at both 1080/5760)
    Tombraider (legitreviews, techpowerup, tweaktown etc)
    WOW Mysts of Pandaria (techpowerup, over 25% faster, over 20% 5760)
    StarCraft 2 HOS (techpowerup, over 15%, beat 690 too)
    Diablo 3 (techpowerup, over 15%, 20% in 1080p also)
    COD Black Ops 2 (techpowerup 17%, again over 22% in 1080p also)
    Sleeping Dogs (techpowerup)
    Crysis 3 (techpowerup, bit-tech)
    Bioshock Infinite (Techpowerup, bit-tech etc – everyone I guess)
    Phantasy Star online 2 (tweaktown, 17%+, even beats 1065mhz OC 290x)
    Lost Planet 2 (tweaktown, over 34%! Same vs. 1065mhz 290x, same 1080p)
    F1 2012 (tweaktown, beats 1065mhz 290x also, all resolutions)
    Dirt Showdown (tweaktown tie 2560, but wins 1200p/1680x1050)
    Far Cry2 (tweaktown, anyone play this? Still they show it over 10% NV)
    Guild Wars 2 (techreport, dominated by old 780, so 780ti will be better)
    Medal of Honor Warfighter (guru3d 17%).

    Maybe there's a reason anandtech has chosen their games? Still waiting for the NVIDIA PORTAL.

    The point here? Gsync, GeforceExp, Physx, Cuda, streaming, shadowplay, lower noise, power, heat, 3 AAA games, massive OCing and all the games above with some major victories (BEFORE and overclock). This is without mentioning all the driver issues, including AMD admitting they have a current problem with “VARIANCE” with 290/290x and will fix that with a driver supposedly in response to Tomshardware article, Techreport etc about retails perf being lower than press cards. For anyone thinking $700 is a rip-off, I suggest you look at the numbers/features above. On top you need a new fan or wait for better models before I'd even touch 290x/290 due to noise.

    Only disappointment I can see as a buyer, is no full DP. Titan still has that and 6GB, though nobody can show a game using more than 3GB and run into the problem while being OVER 30fps. To force this into a problem (not sure you can, skyrim modded out?), you will be CRAWLING in fps.
    Reply
  • Galidou - Thursday, November 07, 2013 - link

    Wow dude, hardcore fan or working for nvidia or I don't know, took the time to find every link, type that to make us realise this: nvidia's reference cooler is amazing like before, we know how GTX 780 ti pushed to the max performs(i don't think custom coolers will go much past 1300mhz on the core), 290x reference cooler is crap(like we didn't already know) and for that we still don't know how it performs pushed to the max.

    Oh and maybe YOU didn't chose your games for comparison... And yes it is close, from your carefully handpicked games it's averaging 15-20% faster while costing 28% more.

    700$ is not a ripoff for totl performance but still too much for 99.8% of us(pc gamers that still use 1080p monitors).

    For the 3gb argument, did you travel in the future, 2 years from now if the games will never use more? Skyrim with a couple mods goes close to 2gb in 1080p!! Heavily modded over 2gb easily.i'm right now on the limit of mods with my GTX 660 ti 2gb, sometimes it suffers from a little lack of memory...
    Reply

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