Nvidia GTX 700 Series: Is It Worth It?

Nvidia's latest line of graphics cards are certainly more powerful than its previous offerings, but they haven't made last year's cards obsolete.


Nvidia’s GTX 700 graphics cards are enticing. The graphics giant hit a home run when it released the Kepler based 600-series cards in 2012, and with the retail inception of the GK110 GPU in the GTX 780 and GTX Titan cards this spring, their portfolio of high-end hardware continues to look better than ever.

Of course, not everyone can afford a single piece of hardware that costs $650 or $1,000. Fret not: The GTX 780 and GTX Titan are champions in their category, but there’s no reason to believe their relative power makes other 700-series cards bad investments. For that matter, the 600-series shouldn’t be discounted either.

GeForce GTX 780, $650
The best-in-class 700-series card packs the same GK110-laced punch as the $1,000 Titan with a few tweaks: less RAM and fewer CUDA cores, but slightly faster clock rates on the GPU.

GeForce GTX 770, $399
You won’t find the GK110 here; inside the GTX 770 is the same GK104 from the 600-series. This card surpasses the GTX 680 with faster clock rates, RAM, and increased memory bandwidth, but at the cost of increased power consumption.

GeForce GTX 760, $249
Nvidia’s barebones 700-series card is less than half the price of the top-of-the-line GTX 780, and it shows, but it’s hard to beat in terms of raw value, giving the GTX 670 a serious run for its money.

GeForce Card GPU CUDA Cores Base/Boost clock Mem. Config. Mem. Clock Mem. Bus Mem. Bandwidth TDP Power
GTX 660 (OEM) GK104 1152 823/888 MHz 2 GB GDDR5 6.0 Gbps 192-bit 134 GB/sec 140 W
GTX 670 GK104 1344 915/980 MHz 2 GB GDDR5 6.0 Gbps 256-bit 192.2 GB/sec 170 W
GTX 680 GK104 1536 1006/1058 MHz 2 GB GDDR5 6.0 Gbps 256-bit 192.2 GB/sec 195 W
GTX 760 GK104 1152 980/1033 MHz 2 GB GDDR5 6.0 Gbps 256-bit 192.2 GB/sec 170 W
GTX 770 GK104 1536 1046/1085 MHz 2 GB GDDR5 7.0 Gbps 256-bit 224.3 GB/sec 230 W
GTX 780 GK110 2304 863/900 MHz 3 GB GDDR5 6.0 Gbps 384-bit 288.4 GB/sec 250 W
GTX Titan GK110 2688 837/876 MHz 6 GB GDDR5 6.0 Gbps 384-bit 288.4 GB/sec 250 W

With a GTX 780, GTX 770, and GTX 760 in hand, we’ve run the tests. There were some surprises, but as expected, the mid-range offers the best bang for your buck. Still, the budget-conscious GTX 760 is a worthy contender at the $250 price point.

GeForce GTX 760
24.00 FPS
GeForce GTX 770
29.33 FPS
GeForce GTX 780
34.82 FPS
With max settings at 1080p, the three cards didn't differ too much from one another when benchmarking Metro: Last Light. That said, the GTX 780 is the only one that exhibited consistently tolerable frame rates with all the visual bells and whistles enabled.
GeForce GTX 760
64.54 FPS
GeForce GTX 770
77.28 FPS
GeForce GTX 780
89.66 FPS
The good news for Bioshock fans is that any of the currently available GTX 700 cards run Bioshock Infinite above 60 FPS. It may not be as feature-rich as Metro: Last Light, but it's a good example of a contemporary, big-budget PC game. As it stands, there's nearly a 30% performance gap between GTX 760 and GTX 780 in Bioshock Infinite.
GeForce GTX 760
65.53 FPS
GeForce GTX 770
81.1 FPS
GeForce GTX 780
90.71 FPS
Individual models in Total War: Shogun 2 aren't as impressive as the other games in this list, but an incredibly long draw distance, coupled with the sheer number of troops and environmental elements, keep it relevant in these tests. The results are nearly on par with the Bioshock Infinite tests, with a larger gap between the GTX 760 and GTX 770.

*Benchmarks were run at 1920x1080 with max. settings, on a Windows 7 PC with an Intel Core i7 3770 3.4/3.9GHz CPU, Corsair Vengeance LP DDR3 1600 RAM, and a GigaByte Z77X-D3H motherboard.

The difference in price between the GTX 760 and GTX 770, compared to the GTX 770 and GTX 780, is nearly uniform. However, the performance gap is smaller for the latter option. Therefore, where value is concerned, the GTX 770 is the best compromise of cost and performance. For $250, the GTX 760 remains a good deal for a capable graphics card, but one that may only remain relevant in the short term.

So, where does that leave the 600-series? With so many variations from third party manufacturers in the wild, it's difficult to narrow down averages of price and features across the board for each 600-series card. To form a general idea of your options, we compared the prices for "vanilla" versions of the GTX 680, GTX 770, and GTX 660 from EVGA.

Starting at the top, EVGA's GTX 680 currently costs $489. It's roughly comparable to the $400 GTX 770, which features greater memory bandwidth and faster clock rates. Knowing this, anyone considering a GTX 680 should move on to the GTX 770. The only downside to the GTX 770 over the GTX 680 is its larger power requirements.

The $320 EVGA GTX 670 shares some specs with the GTX 760, but it packs more CUDA cores, albeit with slower overall clock rates. Is the difference in the CUDA shader cores worth the extra $70 that the GTX 670 costs? Not really. The GTX 760 is really for people without flexible budgets. If you're considering spending an extra $70 for a minor upgrade in performance, you may as well drop $80 more for an even bigger boost with the GTX 770, a card which bests the GTX 680 in performance and price.

And then there's the GTX 660. Outside of memory bandwidth, which takes a notable hit on the GTX 660, the GTX 660 and the GTX 760 aren't that dissimilar. EVGA currently sells the plain GTX 660 for $200, with the GTX 770 going for $250. The 20% difference in cost, compared to the relatively larger gap in memory bandwidth (30%) makes the GTX 760 the obvious better value.

The high-end GTX 780 brings the best of the GTX Titan to the 700-series, but it's price tag--like the Titan--puts it in a class of its own. Still, it's a good option for anyone who can afford a $650 graphics card. For everyone else, the rest of the current GTX 700 lineup are great options compared to comparable cards in the 600-series, and though Nvidia hasn't upped the bar for performance as much as it did with the introduction of the 600-series, the GTX 700 cards are a better value overall.

Written By

Discussion

320 comments
constantin
constantin

Why isn't Crysis 3 a benchmark game ?

spindie
spindie

If you don't like reading novels please skip

Almost every-other video card i've owned has been a switch between nvidia and ati, so i am far from being a fanboy. i just buy whatever gives me the best performance for the best price at the time.

But lately i have noticed that AMD cards seem to produce a smoother overall experience than nvidia even if the framerates are exactly the same. What started me noticing this was when i upgraded to an EVGA gtx-570 after owning a sapphire radeon 4870 for 5 years.. Although the fps and benchmark scores of my new gtx-570 blew my older 4870 out of the water.. the radeon just always seemed to provide a more fluid experience overall. The nvidia had higher framerates but it didn't just downright play along well with all games.So I figured perhaps just the gtx-570 just wasn't a very good card so i upgraded to a GTX-680.. Thats when my suspicions were confirmed. Every game i played i would experience something different! like one game would run smooth but get jittery in certain areas of the map, another game would start to micro-hitch if i looked in certain areas or at certain textures/graphic effects (despite an extremely high framerate).. And the absolute worst was trying to play older games with the nvidia cards! Even with all power saving features disabled, the nvidia cards would not take older games very seriously and the core clock would not come out of its power saving states like 300mhz, 500mhz, instead of the full 1000mhz core. I did HOURS of research and others had this same problem.. 

Both my gtx-570 and gtx-680 would experience micro micro stuttering in certain areas in killing floor when many enemies were displayed on screen.. like seriously?? KF?. With almost every older game i just experienced something different with the nvidia cards. And kf was just one example of many. 

So i chalked it off as a loss and decided to go with the AMD sapphire 7950 3gb edition and wow, i have never had a better card in my life, it just works with every game old or new! and you just KNOW what performance you are going to expect from a game before you even launch it. It just seemed like in order for a newly released game to work well with an nvidia card, nvidia HAS to release a new update to make the drivers work with that game.. Whereas AMD cards just downright work with all games first, THAN they can gracefully make some optimization tweaks to the drivers at their own pace later if they life.  I mean how good could the nvidia drivers possibly be if every update they release claims to "increase borderlands performance by 35%, increase crysis3 performance by 50% improve bioshock infinite performance by 40%".. I mean come on seriously nvidia?? If your drivers were good from the get go than they would not have to be adjusted to the needs of every single game? Than on the other-hand you have the AMD drivers which improve all games performance by only 3-4% which sounds much more reasonable in my opinion.. This shows me that the card works with all games right from the start and do not require any alterations

waraga
waraga

Get a titan king of the ring  

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

i have nothing against AMD but i prefer Nvidia, their drivers are less problematic and their cards give you more extras, like software they release (PhysX GeForce Experience, Tech Demos) and they kinda seem to know what gamers want AMD seems sorta desperate, but i want both companies to succeed.

games_are_fun71
games_are_fun71

Peter, I think you made a typo in the second last paragraph saying that EVGA sells the GTX 770 for $250. I think you were talking about the GTX 760.

arkadiyk
arkadiyk

no gtx 690? my more than 1 year old 690 @ 1150/6500 mhz still a beast and can handle crysis 3 and metro last light max settings in 4k  @ 60 fps without anti aliasing!

ssj2los
ssj2los

But what if I already own a 670? Should I just get another 670 for SLI or move to a single card in the new 700 series? Should I get two 760s for sli for $500 or should I just grab another 670 for $340 and wait for 800 series? is $160 for two 760s over two 670s worth it?

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

This is a nice analysis. Thanks Pete.

gufberg
gufberg

I'm trusting my 670 to last me this generation too. I may look into AMDs 8000 series once that hits around christmas though. 

Hashwell + Geforce 700 series just doesn't seem like a huge leap in performance. 



IJONOI
IJONOI

Be interesting to see the difference between the 690 + 790 when it's announced. TBH though, current games are most likely not gonna be able to the most out of them. Might need proper benchmark testing instead.

wizardboyus
wizardboyus

 so are these the cards people will be using for ps4/xbox one level fideltity? i'm interested in  upgrading, but not if i have to shell out $650 to stay relavant...funny thing is that my gtx 230 in my desktop played last light on medium settings with an fps from 22-30, so if these cards aren't gonna be relevant with next-gen titles (i.e. next-gen multiplatform games that will be coming to pc) then i don't see the point in upgrading at the moment...the new systems are coming out soon and i have a feeling there will be an "800 series" or something to either equal the power of ps4/xbone or surpass it...guess i'll just have to take a closer look at all the specs again

Vegamyster
Vegamyster

Devs need to focus on better optimized games.

My 3 year old laptop with a ATI 5650 & AMD P940 CPU can run BF:BC2 Multiplayer on Mid settings at about 25-40 fps, the Vietnam expansion looked just as good but i could run it on high settings 40-60 fps.

SuperXShnaayin
SuperXShnaayin

Its days like today that im happy to be a PC gamer

Monsta1217
Monsta1217

i recently purchased a GTX 770 SC and its well worth the money 

MAD_AI
MAD_AI

Considering the Maxwell series is a year or so away and it's a new microarchitecture design and not a a die shrink and will have it's own integrated ARM CPU and a bigger VRAM pool, I would say it's not really worth it if you can hold off, if not then get the 760 to bridge the gap between your current GPU until the 800 series hits the market. Not to mention that even the 700 series doesn't fully support DX11.1 or 11.2 on the hardware level.

As far as I'm concerned my 570 GTX can play Metro Last Light with all the bell and whistles on high averaging a 40FPS so I'm going to wait for the Maxwell series.

Silv3rSt0rm82
Silv3rSt0rm82

Geforce 700 will be better than 600 serie simply cause it's on its second phase.

Nvidia (and actually most of the hardware companies) use a "Tick-Tock" marketing strategy like Intel does.

You develop a new architecture with ridiculous raw power and ask huge prices for them on it's 1st "step".

Then the following serie is a fine-tuned version of the previous one. You work on making them suck less energy, less heat and you clock them a bit higher and get to release them to retail at more reasonable prices.

Always time your upgrades for the "Tock" cycle and you'll get more mature and better developped hardware at a better price! Advice from an IT/Salesman here! =)

griffy2013
griffy2013

"Is it worth it?"  Maybe if they made some games that were worth playing.

hitomo
hitomo

as the Benchmark games Show - no one Need such Cards as Long as pc games are only direct ports from consoles ... this will not Change even with next gen ... ist just too weak

eddieham13
eddieham13

Bitch please, I can get 60FPS on my AMD XFX 6870. Nobody actually needs the latest graphics card.

dbzee_cool
dbzee_cool

It's the same thing repeating over from the 8/9-seiries. I had a 8800GTX, and when the 9800GTX came out.. it was actually inferior! .... odd.  

TerminalError
TerminalError

Why should anyone fork out $650 for a GTX 780?

It's criminal. I think most people will stick with the GTX600 series for now if they have a degree of sense.

sgtZipper
sgtZipper

In 5 years from now more people will own, and game on, a tablet a console. It's not a popular thing to say, but it's the truth and you can already see it happening. This means game developers will slowly forget about pc and move on to other platforms, where they can sell more units and are less affected by piracy. Pc gaming will become a niche :-(

justinx9
justinx9

@spindie  is physx a big deal in games? cause physx will help the game look more realistic. correct me if i'm wrong nvidia has lower power consumption than AMD cards

arkadiyk
arkadiyk

@ssj2los dual sli is probably your best bet, if you can sell that 670 and get two 770s or even 760s in sli is even better option, plus 2 760s beat a gtx titan at 1/2 the price.

Hobbes444
Hobbes444

@ssj2los  

just wait till your 670 can't do what you want it to do then get another for SLI.  Dual SLI is better than a single.

gufberg
gufberg

@wizardboyus You're running the game on something like a 1024 by 768 resolution. Thats why you're getting almost playable framerates despite your GFX. 

Regarding specs the 500/600 series is already more powerful than next-gen consoles.

IJONOI
IJONOI

@wizardboyus 680+ blows away the next gen consoles. Only problem is PC optimization. 

and since the next gen are basically using PC type hardware, that hopefully won't be an issue anymore.

Seriously in comparison to PCs the next gen consoles are still pretty far behind the curve.

razor_rj
razor_rj

@Vegamyster i think with this generation this will be solved or at least atenuated, i always said our current gen of vid cards should give us much better performance, if you go by their raw use in scientific simulations and such, dont tell me  game only runs 30 on that shit, i have an older pc with a GT 9600 that my father uses, that card is what 6, 7 generations behind ? and it can still take on battlefield on most medium and high, at 1080 giving it a stable 30~fps with the RIGHT drivers, not the latests. so my 780 should be giving me much better perfomance. its like crysis, to this day not a single card or even in sli can run that game with all bell and whistles, so WTF ? poor optimzation

frozenux
frozenux

@MAD_AI  i have a 590 GTX here and i have pretty much the same plan.

TerminalError
TerminalError

@Silv3rSt0rm82 So are you saying to wait for the 800 series next? (I have the 680) 

What about regarding processors? I just got the 3770k and its fantastic. Haswell seems like a farce?

maitkarro
maitkarro

@griffy2013 Oo, since when nvidia makes games. Also if you don't like any of the games why the heck are you in here even.

gufberg
gufberg

@hitomo What are you talking about? Unless your insist on only playing a select handful of AAA games that isn't an issue. 

There are tons more PC exclusive games out there than console exclusive games. We have alot of games that aren't ports. 

Hobbes444
Hobbes444

@eddieham13  

These cards are worth an upgrade say from a GTS 450 or GT 520 for something like, you built your PC with a crap GPU and now have money to upgrade 

BravoOneActual
BravoOneActual

@TerminalError Yeah, it's a lot of money, but the x80's are always meant to be the flagship model for the enthusiast masses.

The 780 is out of my income tax bracket, but I actually see the value over a 770 if one were in it for a three year commitment... but then again x80 buyers are probably bound to be constant upgraders.

I tell you this, though:  If I bought a Titan, I'd be jolly well pissed right about now after the 780's nigh on Titan-like performance for almost half the cost.  It's almost an outright betrayal.

Hobbes444
Hobbes444

@sgtZipper  

Right, you know the developers use this thing called a Software Development Kit (SDK) to develop games for consoles. Guess what they work on? a PC. PC gaming will live forever. The next consoles are essentially locked down PCs. They run on custom oses with an x86 (PC!) CPU.

eddieham13
eddieham13

@sgtZipper If that happens, I'll kill myself. Or destroy as many tablets as possible and then kill myself.

NbAlIvEr10000
NbAlIvEr10000

@sgtZipper Wow, not to shed more light on your comment, but you're totally misguided.  You do realize ALL games are created on PCs to begin with.  No, and I mean NO, hardcore gamer will ever want to conform to tablet gaming only....... thats just ludicrous to even consider it.  Tablet gaming is all about portability....that is the only reason its becoming popular, cuz everyone has their heads in their fucking cellphones these days.

konohasappy
konohasappy

@sgtZipper What the fuck did you just smoke? True gaming will never cease to exist. Of course tablet gaming will become more popular, but gaming on consoles and pc will still be there.

ssj2los
ssj2los

@arkadiyk @ssj2los 760 is on par with a 660ti tbh. Two 670s would be better than two 760s. Maybe they'll release a 760ti and two of those might perform better than two 670s. I might just wait too see if they release 760ti and/or drop the price of the 670s. No need to rush into things. I'll wait and see how my single 670 runs next gen games and determine what upgrade path I should take then, if one at all. By then 670 should be cheaper at least.

lonewolf1044
lonewolf1044

@TerminalError @Silv3rSt0rm82 

I am in no rush to get the 4770K and I have the 3770K as well, I do not see any major difference in processing. However, being I am getting a new system in the fall I might pick one up. Thegood thin g about the 4770K it not that expensive as the 3770K was.

Silv3rSt0rm82
Silv3rSt0rm82

@TerminalError @Silv3rSt0rm82 Actually with a 680 you should be able to skip 2 generations depending on your tolerance to FPS dropping around 30~40 at times...

I have a GTX570 and I'm thinking about getting the 770 around christmas.

Your best bet is often to aim at the second-to-top card from its generation.

Price is even MUCH MUCH lower for a ±10% performance drop...

My GTX570 still pretty much cut it but a couple of games do put it to the test...

I got it for 350$ more than 2 years ago!

I was very tempted by the 670 but I knew it wouldn't be worth the upgrade.

770 tho is better than 680 so in the end, I'm glad I waited.

TerminalError
TerminalError

@BravoOneActual Yeah, I think if you can afford it, sure, go for it.

I bought a 680 and am pretty happy with that - I'm a student so these things basically cost me blood haha. But there is no way in hell even if I had waited longer, that i'd be able to fork out for a 780.

But you are right, the fact that the performance is better than a Titan is disgusting. I'd feel pretty betrayed if I had bought one of those so I better shut up! Especially with the huge amount of hype that was put around the Titan.

I just hope the 800 series isn't going to cost even more. At Least the 680 was around £350 max...

ManosHandsOFate
ManosHandsOFate

@AggrandizedUser @ManosHandsOFate All I did was prove your statement false. I did what I set out to do. BTW, that list was set before the 760's release. Again, now you know.    :)

maitkarro
maitkarro

@petez34 @maitkarro I know what he meant, I was just being bleh, as he is is in a gaming site saying there are no games worth those graphics, 770 is outperforming 680 and is priced the same so...