The preparations for the release of Nvidia’s new flagship graphics card have been rather fast, skipping the phase of a couple of months of rumors, info leaks and discussions of different versions of specifications. Contrary to some skeptical predictions, Nvidia has managed to introduce its new top-end solution quickly, and largely because the company had released the special GeForce GTX Titan before. The new GeForce GTX 780 is just based on the Titan design and uses the same GK110 GPU.
Why do we call the GeForce GTX 780 the flagship product if we know beforehand that the Titan is even faster? Well, the Titan is an image-making product which is extremely expensive and has a very small target audience. The GeForce GTX 780, on its part, is a fast but standard graphics card. As its name suggests, it is meant to lead Nvidia’s new product line-up. There’s also one more reason for calling the GTX 780 a flagship product but we’ll explain it in the course of this review.
Specifications and Architecture
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 specifications are listed in the following table in comparison with the specs of the reference Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan and GeForce GTX 680:
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 is based on the same GPU as the Titan: the GK110 chip with Kepler architecture. One SMX subunit is turned off, however, in its GPU, so the total number of CUDA cores is reduced from 2688 to 2304, or by 14%.
The number of texture-mapping units is reduced from 224 to 192 but the number of raster operators has remained the same at 48. The GPU works at a somewhat higher clock rate: 863 MHz in 3D applications (up to 902 MHz in boost mode). The memory clock rate is still 6008 MHz but the new card has 3 rather than 6 gigabytes of it, which affects its price and PCB design. On the other hand, the GeForce GTX 780 has the same power requirements as the Titan: 250 watts at peak load. A 600-watt PSU is recommended for a computer with one GTX 780 inside.
Its recommended price is $649, which is 30% higher compared to the GeForce GTX 680 ($499 – but the actual retail price is lower now) and 35% lower compared to the Titan.