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May 30, 2013

Hands-On: 3072 core Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 SLI Setup

Today, just a week after the launch of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 GPU NVIDIA launched another awesome GPU: the GeForce GTX 770. I was fortunate enough to get early access to a couple of reference cards, and in this post I’ll give you an overview of this new GPU and also share my first-hand experiences gaming with a dual GTX 770 SLI setup.

GTX 770 Close Angle Connectors 1200

NVIDIA GTX 770 reference graphics card – a very serious looking piece of gear (click to enlarge)

The GTX 770 offers performance that’s relatively close to what the new top-of-the-line GTX 780 offers, but at a more affordable price-point:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 MSRP: (3GB) $649.00
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 MSRP: (2GB) $399.00

The introduction of the GTX 770 offers a compelling option for PC gamers that want outstanding DirectX 11 gaming experiences and maximum value for their hardware spend. The GTX 770 shares much of the same technology and features with the GTX 780 including:

  • Enhanced internal water cooling design
  • Super-quiet operation with new adaptive temperature controller technology
  • SLI support
  • GPU Boost 2.0

The GTX 770 does offer faster memory (7Gbps) compared to the GTX 780 (6Gbps). This is the first graphics card in production to offer blazing fast 7Gbps memory speed!

GTX 770 Liquid Cooling Hero Reflection 1200

The GTX 770 liquid/air cooling system helps keep temperatures down and runs very quiet (click to enlarge)

Here are some specs for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770: (full list HERE)

  • CUDA Cores: 1,536
  • Base Clock: 1,046 MHz
  • Boost Clock: 1,085 MHz
  • Single Precision: 3.2 Teraflops
  • Memory Configuration: 2GB or 4GB 256-bit GDDR5
  • Memory Speed: 7.0 Gbps
  • Power Connectors: 6-pin + 8-pin
  • TDP: 230W
  • Outputs: 2x DL-DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2
  • Bus Interface: PCI Express 3.0

When I read through these specs, I was really looking forward to using the GTX 770 to run some DirectX 11 games on Windows 8. But for this test I would have double the capabilities listed above because I had two cards on-hand. Two GTX 770’s in SLI mode are definitely better than one!

GTX 770 Side By Side Green Back 1200

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 cards used for testing just prior to installation in my gaming PC (click to enlarge)

As expected, installation was easy. I had plenty of PCIe power connectors available, and it took just a couple minutes to insert the two GTX 770 cards and connect the SLI cable. Following boot I installed the 320.18 drivers and was off and running.

GTX 770 SLI Setup in PC 1200

Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 setup – 3072 cores of GPU processing capability (click to enlarge)

Before firing up any games I enabled SLI mode via the NVIDIA Control Panel so that I could use both cards for maximum performance.

NVIDIA GTX 770 SLI Configuration

SLI-mode configuration in the NVIDIA Control Panel

The games I decided to test with this setup were BF3 and Crysis 3. I ran 1920×1080 display resolution on a single display so that I could see how the most popular PC gaming display configuration would perform with the dual GTX 770 setup.

I tested each of these games with the settings that I had configured previously for my old video card, and gameplay looked good. I was curious to see what the GeForce Experience app would recommend for optimized graphics settings, so I ran it to compare “current” versus “optimized” graphics settings for these games.

GeForce Experience Crysis 3 crop

GeForce Experience display for Crysis 3 graphics settings

After clicking “Optimize” in the GeForce experience app, I launched Crysis 3 to see what gameplay would be like with optimized settings.

Crysis3 advanced graphics settings

Crysis 3 advanced graphics settings set by the GeForce Experience app

Crysis 3 looked awesome, and I was averaging about 85fps with this setup, peaking at over 100fps. It was obvious that increasing the display resolution would be possible with this setup without sacrificing the gameplay experience.

crysis3 very high 1920x1080 95fps

Crysis 3 screenshot with FRAPS indicating 95 fps (click to enlarge)

For my second test, I ran BF3 with optimized settings via the GeForce Experience app, again at 1920×1080 resolution.

BF3 graphics settings

BF3 optimized graphics settings

Just like with Crysis 3, BF3 gameplay was awesome and FRAPS indicated fps values averaging about 120 fps and peaking at close to 200 fps.

BF3 ultra 1920x1080 159fps

BF3 running with Ultra graphics settings and showing PhysX in action

During the testing of these games, I didn’t even hear the fans on the GTX 770 cards, and the overall experience was great. The performance was awesome, and I’m looking forward to more “testing” with the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770. Want to know more about the GTX 770? Check out the official NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 product page. Starting today you can purchase graphics cards based on the GTX 770 GPU, so check with your favorite local or online retailer for more specifics.

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