Though it might seem a bit unusual to see NVIDIA let loose its GTX 770 a mere week after its 780 launch, here’s something to clear things up: $399. Built on GK104 (not GK110, like the 780), the GTX 770 is in effect a beefed-up GTX 680. It boasts 700 series features, NVIDIA’s latest cooler, and of course, a savings of about $100.
Although we generally shun automated gaming benchmarks, we do like to run at least one to see how our GPUs scale when used in a ‘timedemo’-type scenario. Futuremark’s 3DMark 11 is without question the best such test on the market, and it’s a joy to use, and watch. The folks at Futuremark are experts in what they do, and they really know how to push that hardware of yours to its limit.
Similar to a real game, 3DMark 11 offers many configuration options, although many (including us) prefer to stick to the profiles which include Performance, and Extreme. Depending on which one you choose, the graphic options are tweaked accordingly, as well as the resolution. As you’d expect, the better the profile, the more intensive the test. The benchmark doesn’t natively support 2560×1600, so to benchmark with that, we choose the Extreme profile and simply change the resolution.
Interestingly, the GTX 770 outperforms AMD’s HD 7970 GHz in 3DMark 11, but it falls just a bit behind in 3DMark (2013). A 3% 3DMark decline for a 12.5% price decline seems fair, however.
Unigine Heaven 3.0
While Futuremark is a well-established name where PC benchmarking is concerned, Unigine is just beginning to become exposed to people. The company’s main focus isn’t benchmarks, but rather its cross-platform game engine which it licenses out to other developers, and also its own games, such as a gorgeous post-apocalyptic oil strategy game. The company’s benchmarks are simply a by-product of its game engine.
The biggest reason that the company’s “Heaven” benchmark grew in popularity rather quickly is that both AMD and NVIDIA promoted it for its heavy use of tessellation, a key DirectX 11 feature. Like 3DMark Vantage, the benchmark here is overkill by design, so results here aren’t going to directly correlate with real gameplay. Rather, they showcase which card models can better handle both DX11 and its GPU-bogging features.
Wrapping up our performance-testing, NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 770 once again slots in just behind the GTX 780.