The OS we use is Windows 8 Pro 64bit with all patches and updates applied. We also use the latest drivers available for the motherboard and any devices attached to the computer. We do not disable background tasks or tweak the OS or system in any way. We turn off drive indexing and daily defragging. We also turn off Prefetch and Superfetch. This is not an attempt to produce bigger benchmark numbers. Drive indexing and defragging can interfere with testing and produce confusing numbers. If a test were to be run while a drive was being indexed or defragged, and then the same test was later run when these processes were off, the two results would be contradictory and erroneous. As we cannot control when defragging and indexing occur precisely enough to guarantee that they won’t interfere with testing, we opt to disable the features entirely.
Prefetch tries to predict what users will load the next time they boot the machine by caching the relevant files and storing them for later use. We want to learn how the program runs without any of the files being cached, and we disable it so that each test run we do not have to clear pre-fetch to get accurate numbers. Lastly we disable Superfetch. Superfetch loads often-used programs into the memory. It is one of the reasons that Windows Vista occupies so much memory. Vista fills the memory in an attempt to predict what users will load. Having one test run with files cached, and another test run with the files un-cached would result in inaccurate numbers. Again, since we can’t control its timings so precisely, it we turn it off. Because these four features can potentially interfere with benchmarking, and and are out of our control, we disable them. We do not disable anything else.
We ran each test a total of 3 times, and reported the average score from all three scores. Benchmark screenshots are of the median result. Anomalous results were discounted and the benchmarks were rerun.
Please note that due to new driver releases with performance improvements, we rebenched every card shown in the results section. The results here will be different than previous reviews due to the performance increases in drivers.
|CPUs||Intel XEON E5-2687W|
|Motherboards||ASUS Rampage IV Extreme|
|Ram||Kingston HyperX Beast 64GB (8x8GB) 2133Mhz 11-12-11 Quad-Channel Kit|
|CPU Cooler||Custom Liquid Cooling|
|Hard Drives||8x Western Digital RE4 2TB 7200RPM 3Gb/s Hard Drives (Raid 5)|
|SSD||3x Kingston HyperX 240GB SATA III 6Gb/s SSD|
|GPU||Gigabyte GTX 780 Windforce OC OC 3GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 4GB Video Card
|GeForce Drivers||320.14 (GTX 680, 690 and TITAN)
320.18 (GTX 780, 770)
|PSU||Thermaltake Toughpower XT 1475W Gold|
|Mouse||Tt eSPORTS Theron Gaming Mouse|
|Keyboard||Tt eSPORTS Meks G1 Illuminated|
Synthetic Benchmarks & Games
We will use the following applications to benchmark the performance of the Gigabyte GTX 780 Windforce OC Graphics Card
|Far Cry 3|
|Unigine Heaven 4.0|
|Batman Arkham City|
|Dirt 3 Showdown|
|Metro Last Light|
|Sniper Elite V2|
Here you see that the Windforce 780 pulls some very respectable numbers due to its out of the box clock. I can honestly say that this card comes close to the TITAN which is not bad for a card that is almost $300 less.
In 3DMark Firestrike and extreme the Windforce card once again is not far behind the TITAN and is quite a bit ahead of the reference 780.
Unigine Heaven 4.0
Unigine Heaven is a benchmark program based on Unigine Corp’s latest engine, Unigine. The engine features DirectX 11, Hardware tessellation, DirectCompute, and Shader Model 5.0. All of these new technologies combined with the ability to run each card through the same exact test means this benchmark should be in our arsenal for a long time.
Heaven shows the Windforce 780 at just 0.1FPS behind the TITAN which is excellent and shows this card is a great value pending you do not run in a resolution or loading needing the extra 3GB of framebuffer the TITAN offers.
Far Cry 3
Moving over to Far Cry 3, we used a pre-determined path and re-ran each card to monitor average FPS across the complete run. Each run was completed multiple times to ensure continuity and accuracy. Here we see the Windforce card get a nice jump on its reference brother and comes in just under a single FPS below the TITAN again.
Even after many years, Metro 2033 is still one of the most demanding DX11 video games available to really push the limits of your system. The Windforce model simply tears thru the gaming performance and we see similar results just behind the flagship TITAN GPU.
Batman Arkham City
Batman Arkham City is a fun game and utilizes FXAA fully. It is nice to see the full screen anti-aliasing getting picked up by popular titles. When it comes to performance the Windforce 780 sits neck and neck with the TITAN which is only a small step ahead of the reference 780 but the way I see it to match the TITAN is a nice feat.
Crysis 3 is much like the original Crysis in that playing it at max settings is painful for even the highest end hardware. The Windforce 780 pulls over 1 FPS gain on the reference but the TITAN definitely gets the lead here as Crysis 3 uses more VRAM than pretty much any game I have seen.
Metro Last Light
Here we have Metro Last Light which is a brand new game added to our testing platform as it just came out. If you thought Metro 2033 was stressful you have seen nothing yet. The particles and lighting, as well as the PhysX effects all add up to an amazing looking game that can put a stun even the most powerful system in its tracks. Here the Windforce 780 shows the same with only 0.31 FPS separating it from the TITAN.
Sniper Elite V2
Sniper Elite V2 is a fun game which, when first released, was quite stressful but still playable on most higher end cards. By now, most cards have surpassed it, and all of the cards we are testing here today break the 60 FPS mark for average. The Windforce 780 pulls a sizable gain here over the reference model and that is likely due to the nice out of the box clock.
Dirt 3 Showdown
Dirt 3 Showdown is a visually beautiful game with excellent lighting and overall motion blurring creating a real visual spectacle of a game. The Windforce 780 easily pulls playable framerates exceeding 80 FPS on average which means there should be no jumpiness or stutters during gameplay even at maximum settings.