Introducing The GeForce GTX 780

Featured Stories, Hardware Introducing the GeForce GTX 780 | GeForce

GeForce GTX 780 Graphics Card

In March 2012 the GeForce GTX 680 revolutionized GPU design, introducing countless new software, hardware, and architectural innovations that drew universal praise. Enabling this revolution was Kepler, our new GPU architecture that reduced power usage by 49 Watts when compared to the previous-generation GeForce GTX 580. This unprecedented improvement in efficiency had a second, significant benefit, in that it dramatically reduced heat output. Combined with a new and improved heatsink and fan, temperatures were reduced so considerably that performance could be ramped up by a massive 35%.

Contributing to this sizeable improvement in performance was GPU Boost, a new Kepler-exclusive feature that maximized frame rates in each and every game. Before GPU Boost, performance and power usage had to be capped to prevent overly-demanding synthetic benchmarks from damaging graphics cards. With GPU Boost, this problem was solved by continuously monitoring and adjusting clock speeds and GPU voltages, allowing GPUs to use every last ounce of performance in all applications and games, without exceeding safety or comfort limits.

In February 2013, we introduced the world to the GeForce GTX TITAN, a supercomputer-class GPU utilizing the latest iteration of Kepler, called GK110. Loaded with a brand new cooling system, an exciting new look, and a new, more effective version of GPU Boost, the GTX TITAN broke every record, claimed every crown, and wowed the world with its computational prowess.

Today, we’re unveiling the GeForce GTX 780, a new best-in-class enthusiast gaming graphics card. Available now from all e-tailers and retailers at a recommended retail price of $649, the GK110-powered GeForce GTX 780 features the same desirable styling as the GeForce GTX TITAN, has 50% more memory and 50% more CUDA Cores than the GeForce GTX 680, and is on average 35% faster than its predecessor.

Side view of the new GK110-powered GeForce GTX 780
Introducing the new GK110-powered GeForce GTX 780.

Specifications GeForce GTX TITAN GeForce GTX 780 GeForce GTX 680
Chip GK110 GK110 GK104
CUDA Cores 2688 2304 1536
Base Clock 837 MHz 863 MHz 1006 MHz
Boost Clock 876 MHz 900 MHz 1058 MHz
Memory Configuration 6 GB 3 GB 2 GB
Memory Speed 6.0 Gbps 6.0 Gbps 6.0 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth 288 GB/s 288 GB/s 192 GB/s
Power Connectors 1 x 6-pin
1 x 8-pin
1 x 6-pin
1 x 8-pin
2 x 6-pin
Outputs DL-DVI-I
TDP 250 W 250 W 195 W
SLI Options 3-way 3-way 3-way
Price $999 $649 $499

GeForce GTX 780 Performance

Making great use of its increased memory bandwidth, extra CUDA Cores, and faster, more efficient GK110 Kepler GPU, the GeForce GTX 780 is on average 35% faster than its predecessor at 1920x1080. However, as our benchmarks show, performance increases by up to 51% at 1920x1080 and 2560x1600.

Game Performance for the GeForce GTX 780 vs. GTX 680 at 1920x1080.

At 1920x1080, the GTX 780 handled the newly-released, performance-intensive Metro: Last Light with ease, hitting a speedy 54 frames per second in the game’s demanding benchmark, with Tessellation and PhysX enabled. Compared to the GTX 680, the GTX 780 was 25% faster, and in the equally-demanding Battlefield 3 it was 35% faster.

Game Performance for the GeForce GTX 780 vs. GTX 680 at 2560x1600.

At 2650x1600, GK110’s architectural improvements shine, enabling the GTX 780 to run 36% faster in Battlefield 3, 29% faster in Crysis 3, and 22% faster in Metro: Last Light.

GeForce GTX 780 SLI Performance

In SLI multi-GPU configurations, the GTX 780 is equally strong, improving frame rates by up to 93% when compared to single-GPU performance.

Game Performance for the GeForce GTX 780 vs. GTX 780 SLI at 2560x1600.

In Metro: Last Light, SLI increased frame rates by 83%, allowing for the use of 2x Supersampling Anti-Aliasing at 2560x1600, with every other setting enabled and maxed out. At an effective resolution of 3584x2240, Metro: Last Light delights with detail not exposed at lower resolutions, as shown by our interactive comparison below.

Click to view the interactive demo of Metro: Last Light.
To learn more about Metro: Last Light and the technology powering its jaw-dropping visuals, check out our Metro: Last Light Graphics & Performance Guide.

Further enhancing the SLI experience is our latest multi-GPU frame metering technology, which minimizes stuttering and other multi-GPU issues that have discussed at length on hardware sites in recent weeks. With our SLI evaluation tool, called FCAT, we’ve been able to fine-tune SLI, ensuring that our GK110 Kepler GPUs offer the best multi-GPU experience to date.

Next-Generation Construction

The new GeForce GTX 780 uses the same advanced design as the GeForce GTX TITAN. This isn’t just for show; our new-generation design allows the GTX 780 to run cooler and quieter than its predecessor, even at higher speeds, while adding 50% more memory and 50% more CUDA Cores.

The GeForce GTX 780 has the same high-quality styling as the GeForce GTX Titan.

On the Printed Circuit Board (PCB), on which all components are placed, we introduced an aluminum baseplate to help transfer heat away from the GPU and other board components, and on GPU itself we’ve applied a new thermal interface material from renowned Japanese firm Shin-Etsu. Twice as effective as the thermal grease applied to GTX 680 GPUs, this seemingly small change allows us to push the GTX 780 harder and faster, and to reduce fan speeds when idle.

Printed circuit board of the GeForce GTX 780.

To collect the heat emitted by the GPU and VRAM, a high-performance copper vapor chamber has been placed in contact with the GPU. Like the GTX TITAN’s vapor chamber, its process of controlled evaporation cools the card faster and to a better degree than any conventional heatsink and heatpipe combo. This vapor-chambered heat is then dissipated by a large, dual-slot aluminum heatsink that’s equipped with an extended fin stack that covers the entire area occupied by the GPU and VRAM; not just the area above the vapor chamber as on previous GeForce GTX graphics cards. This increases the cooling area and overall performance of the cooling system by a significant degree.

Fan, vapor chamber, and cooling system of the GeForce GTX 780.

Finally, to remove the collected and dissipated heat, a rear-mounted fan constructed from an acoustic-dampening material blows it out through the exhaust at the rear of the computer’s chassis, and away from the card’s components.

Close-up of the rear-mounted fan of the GeForce GTX 780.

The GTX 780’s stunning exterior is comprised of cast aluminum, which dissipates heat more effectively than plastic. The fan, meanwhile, is surrounded by an injection-molded material that dissipates heat and reduces fan noise, and a clear polycarbonate window allows owners to monitor dust buildup in the nickel-plated heatsink fins.

Cast aluminum exterior and nickel-plated headsink fans of the GeForce GTX 780.

On the exterior edge, the GeForce GTX logo is illuminated by LEDs. Using third-party tools, their intensity can be manually adjusted, or be set to brighten and dim automatically with the level of GPU utilization, adding a neat effect to windowed cases.

The LED logo is illuminated and brightness levels can be customized.

Together, these features and changes make the GeForce GTX 780 considerably quieter, and cooler than previous-generation GPUs, like the GeForce GTX 680.

On the software side, the GTX 780 packs-in a new adaptive temperature controller, reducing noise by keeping the GPU's fan speed at a more consistent level. Previously, GPU fans would reduce to a minimum speed when GPU usage and temperatures were sufficiently low. As temperatures raised once more, fans would noisily kick into high gear to bring temperatures back down. In contrast, the GTX 780's fan software minimizes the number of noticeable fan speed changes, making the user experience far more pleasant.

The new adaptive temperature controller minimizes fluctuations in fan speed.
Our new adaptive temperature controls minimize fan speed fluctuations, making for a quieter, more pleasant user-experience.

GPU Boost 2.0: Temperature’s The Limit

In the days of the GeForce GTX 580, GPU speed was held back by synthetic benchmarks that pushed power usage to the limit, far beyond the levels typically seen when playing games. This ‘worst case scenario’ forced us to throttle speeds, leaving spare performance on the table. With the introduction of Kepler in 2012, a new hardware-software feature called GPU Boost solved the problem by continuously monitoring power usage, enabling GPUs to use every last ounce of performance without exceeding safety or comfort limits.

With GPU Boost, every application and game runs at a guaranteed, minimum Base Clock speed. If there’s extra power available a Boost Clock is enabled, increasing clock speeds until the graphics card hits its predetermined Power Target (170 Watts on the GTX 680, for example). This dynamic clock speed adjustment is controlled by GPU Boost 1.0, which monitors a whole slew of data and makes real-time changes to speeds and voltages several times per second, maximizing performance in each and every application.

GPU Boost guarantees every application and game runs at a minimum Base Clock speed.
GPU Boost 1.0 enabled GPU owners to direct all available power to game performance for the very first time.

Having acquired data from hundreds of thousands of end-users in the year following the GTX 680’s release, NVIDIA’s engineers determined that GPU temperature was in fact a more common inhibitor to performance than power consumption. Subsequently, they developed GPU Boost 2.0 for GK110 Kepler GPUs, which increases the Boost Clock until the GPU hits a predetermined Temperature Target (80C on the GTX TITAN and GTX 780).

GPU Boost 2.0 delivers even faster clock speeds.
GPU Boost 2.0 increases performance to an even greater extent, compared to GPU Boost 1.0.

GPU Boost 2.0’s other major advancement is the introduction of full user-control. Now, GTX TITAN and GTX 780 owners can tweak the Boost behavior by increasing or decreasing the Temperature Target via third-party software, like EVGA Precision X. This enables users to manually change the Temperature Target, limiting or maximizing performance.

Combined with a watercooling setup that keeps temperatures low at all times, this feature is particularly powerful, allowing GPU Boost 2.0 to wring every last drop of performance out of the GPU.

Users can manually change the Temperature Target, limiting or maximizing performance
Temperature Target places performance controls back in the hands of users.

Overvolting: Extra Overclocking For The Brave

GeForce GTX 780 owners who wish to push their cards to the limit will enjoy the new GPU Boost 2.0 controls discussed above, but for the most enthusiastic end-user we have one final addition of note: overvolting controls. Accessible through aforementioned third-party applications, overvolting allows users to push GPU usage beyond safe limits, increasing performance yet further.

Performance increases with overvolting.
Overvolting can increase performance by a substantial degree, if you're willing to use it.

Please be aware that overvolting may void the graphics card’s warranty, and that continued overvolting may cause the GPU’s silicon to degrade at an advanced rate, ultimately causing the GPU to die a premature death through electromigration. As such, we don’t recommend the use of overvolting, but at the same time we don’t wish to put artificial limitations on products you pay for.

Display Overclocking: Unleashing Your Monitor’s Potential

Many PC gamers play with VSync enabled to avoid unsightly image tearing that occurs when the frame rate is higher than the monitor’s refresh rate. Most monitors are locked to 60Hz, limiting the max VSync frame rate to 60 frames per second. Thing is, 60Hz is a hang-up from the olden days of cathode ray tube technology, but we stick with it, simply because.

Unhappy with this stall in technological advancement, our engineers looked inside today’s LCD and LED-backlit screens, and discovered that many support higher refresh rates. For that reason, we’ve developed Display Overclocking, which allows GeForce GTX 780 owners to quickly and easily overclock their refresh rates via the same third-party tools that control GPU Boost 2.0. And of course, Display Overclocking works with Adaptive VSync too, allowing games to be played at 80Hz or more on a “60Hz” screen, without tearing, and without the stuttering associated with normal VSync.

Increase your frame rate with V-Sync on.
Display Overclocking works on faster 120Hz and 144Hz displays, too.

GeForce Experience: The Easiest Way To Optimize Your Games

GeForce Experience is NVIDIA's new application that can automatically keep GPU drivers up to date, and can optimize game settings with a single click, simplifying the process of getting the most from your PC, and your games. Great for those who want to spend time gaming, not tweaking, GeForce Experience recommends the best possible settings for your specific system configuration, allowing you to jump straight into a game without having to change options, drag sliders, or pick between one of eight similarly-named settings in an acronym-laced dropdown.

GeForce Experience’s recommended game settings are based on the speed of your CPU and GPU, and are designed to keep you gaming at a fluid frame rate even in the most demanding, action-packed moments of a game.

Today, we’re launching GeForce Experience 1.5 as part of the GeForce 320.18 WHQL driver, which includes full support for the GTX 780. v1.5 supports over 70 of the most popular English and Chinese titles, improves support for multiple system configurations and resolutions, and can tell you whether your system supports NVIDIA Shield PC game streaming.

GeForce Experience can simplify your life, too, notifying you of new driver releases and downloading them automatically should you so desire. This feature can also automatically download GeForce Experience support for entirely new titles, as well as new SLI and 3D Vision profiles, ensuring you receive the optimum experience whenever you load up a game.

To get started with GeForce Experience, download the new 320.18 WHQL drivers, or the standalone GeForce Experience installer.

ShadowPlay: A Revolution In Game Capture, Coming Soon To GeForce Experience

Capturing footage from your favorite games can reduce frame rates quite considerably at native resolutions, in addition to reducing level and texture load speeds if capturing to the hard drive holding the game. Furthermore, some apps record using uncompressed formats, filling your drive with gigabytes of data.

If you own a GeForce GTX 600 or 700 Series GPU, you’ll soon have a new option for creating high-quality captures, courtesy of an upcoming GeForce Experience module we’re calling ShadowPlay. Completely free to use, ShadowPlay leverages the H.264 encoder built into Kepler graphics cards to record max quality, native resolution gameplay footage that is compressed and encoded on the fly, before being automatically saved as a YouTube-friendly .mp4.

ShadowPlay settings within the GeForce Experience interface.
ShadowPlay promises to revolutionize game footage capture by leveraging the high-speed, integrated Kepler encoder that also powers NVIDIA Shield PC game streaming. And because it's a dedicated hardware encoder, you'll be able to capture gameplay footage continuously without tanking your framerate.

In addition to traditional game capture, ShadowPlay users can activate Shadow mode, which continually records and saves the latest action to a user-definable buffer. If you pull off an outrageous mid-air maneuver in Battlefield 3, simply hit a predefined hotkey and your moment of glory is instantly saved to a .mp4, ready for publication on YouTube.

Perfect for the majority of gamers who don’t require a capture of every single second of action, ShadowPlay’s innovative new mode ensures you never again say, “I wish you could have seen that!” With ShadowPlay enabled, every special moment can be captured and quickly shared, demonstrating your pro-gaming skills to your best friends.

Conclusion: A New High-End King Is Crowned

Featuring the same technologies, advancements and innovations as its big brother, the GeForce GTX TITAN, the $649 GeForce GTX 780 is the perfect GPU for the enthusiast gamer who demands smooth frame rates when gaming at high resolutions, using ultra settings.

Compared to its predecessor, the GTX 680, the GTX 780 is 35% faster at 1920x1080 and 2560x1600, the most popular gaming resolutions. In SLI, the introduction of a second GPU increases performance by up to 85%, allowing for the use of every single game setting and 2X SSAA at 2560x1600, in the newly-released Metro: Last Light. And with FCAT, we have fine-tuned the SLI experience to create the smoothest, most responsive multi-GPU solution seen to date.

With more memory bandwidth, more VRAM, more CUDA Cores, and more all-round speed, the GTX 780 is the high-end GPU of choice for the next-generation of games, arriving on shop shelves this Holiday. Paired with a recent Quad Core CPU, GTX 780 owners will exceed the level of fidelity and performance seen on upcoming consoles, guaranteeing superior experiences in the coming wave of multi-platform next-gen titles, beginning with Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Watch_Dogs.

Exploded view of the GeForce GTX 780 graphics card.

Supporting the GTX 780’s class-leading hardware are several software features that give users complete control over performance. GPU Boost 2.0 allows users to define the overall speed of their GPU through one easy-to-use Temperate Target, Overvolting controls allow users to push the GTX 780 to the limit, Display Overclocking enables users to get the absolute most from their monitors, and GeForce Experience automatically optimizes the latest and greatest games with a single click.

All of the above is in addition to the features we introduced alongside the GTX 680, like Adaptive VSync for smoother, stutter-free gaming, advanced TXAA temporal anti-aliasing, and single-GPU 3+1 Surround multi-monitor support. And, as with every NVIDIA GPU from recent years, GPU PhysX is supported in leading games like Metro: Last Light, as is 3D Vision.

If you’re looking for the latest, greatest thing, or an upgrade from an older GPU that will get you ready for the next generation, the $649 GeForce GTX 780 is the clear choice, with class-leading performance and an unbeatable, innovative feature set.

The GeForce GTX 780 is available now at all e-tailers and retailers. To locate stockists head on over to our dedicated GTX 780 homepage.