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.
|Case||Level 10 GT|
|CPUs||Intel i7 4770K @ 4.7GHz|
|Motherboards||ASUS Maximus VI Formula|
|Ram||Patriot Viper 32GB (4x8GB) 2133Mhz 11-11-11Quad-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|
Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 4GB Video Card
AMD Radeon R9-290X 4GB Video Card
AMD Radeon R9-280X 3GB Video Card
AMD Radeon R9-270X 2GB Video Card
331.70 (GTX 690, TITAN,780 Ti, 780, 770, 760)
Catalyst 13.11 Beta 8 (R9-290X, R9-280X, R9-270X
|PSU||Thermaltake Toughpower XT 1475W Gold|
|Mouse||Tt eSPORTS Theron Gaming Mouse|
|Keyboard||Tt eSPORTS Meks G1 Illuminated|
Do note we actually purchased a retail 290X card from Newegg just to test against the 780 Ti you see today. This is due to AMD marketing not sampling a card to us for testing, so this 290X sample is exactly like you can get from retail outlets as you read this.
Synthetic Benchmarks & Games
We will use the following applications to benchmark the performance of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti video card.
|Unigine Heaven 4.0|
|Batman Arkham City|
|Batman Arkham Origins|
|Dirt 3 Showdown|
|Metro Last Light|
|Sniper Elite V2|
Here you can see that the 290X is a quite powerful model jumping ahead at the lower res 3D11 benchmark and even beating the TITAN but the 780 Ti struts its stuff at the Xtreme preset with a nice jump over the 290. It is worth noting that the 290X got quite hot and noisy during the Xtreme testing likely due to the higher load.
The new Firestrike and Firestrike Extreme benchmarks really can put a hurt even on the most powerful graphics cards and as you can see here that the 780 Ti pulls ahead a bit of both the TITAN and the 290X
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.
First thing first here is that the 290X really ramped up here on the MAX mode but it did allow quite a bit more performance as you can see it throttled pretty heavily in Quiet mode. The 780 Ti once again pulls out a clear advantage here.
Sleeping Dogs being an AMD Marketed game I expected a bit of an advantage here and the 290X gets pretty close but overall the Ti pulls a narrow win here.
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. Here the 290X pulls a decent score but the 780 Ti simply trounces it by over 9FPS which honestly is the only true comparable result; otherwise the fan would have to be set on super high to get the MAX performance scale. Looking at the result even on MAX, it only gained a single FPS average for gain.
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. Here being an Nvidia based title I expected a bit of an advantage here but the 780 Ti pulls right next to the TITAN and once again pulls a 10 FPS lead on the 290X
Batman Arkham Origins
This is the newest installment to the Arkham series Batman games and in order to ensure an even playing field I disabled Nvidia Physx and Nvidia based AA sticking with a standard high AA variant to ensure as equal loading as possible. The 780 Ti pulls over 50 FPS here which shows that the time spent by Nvidia engineers in house with game developers is very well spent.
Tomb Raider once again is a heavily pushed title by AMD and with TressFX even after all of this time shows major issues like the hair looking like it was experiencing electro shock therapy to it just looking odd. Here the 290X comes up almost on par with the Ti in MAX “there’s a vacuum cleaner in my chassis” mode. However in quiet mode it drops off a bit and loses to the Ti by a little over 3FPS
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. Once again we disabled the Nvidia technology PhysX to ensure even results and playing field. the TI pulls a win over the MAX mode by 3FPS solid and 7 FPS in quiet mode which is quite ice while still staying nice and cool.
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, with the top end cards we are testing today we see a almost 150 FPS mark for the Ti and the 290X is sitting around 112 for the MAX loud mode and 106, almost 107 FPS for the not as loud quiet mode.
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 Ti once again shows up to impress pulling a over 10 FPS lead on the MAX 290X and 15FPS on the not so MAX mode.