For those interested in NVIDIA’s latest GTX 700 series but are unable or willing to part with $400+, the company’s third and final launch (until the fall, at least) should interest you. It’s the GTX 760, comes in at $249, is built upon the GK104 architecture, and happens to offer some great performance for your hard-earned buck.
For this article, I picked three special games to benchmark thanks to their popularity; Borderlands 2, Metro: Last Light and BioShock Infinite. I had hoped to get a couple of others in, such as Hitman Absolution and Far Cry 3, but due to various hassles, I ended up scrapping them. However, the games that are here are quite good both from a graphics and gameplay standpoint.
For this game, I wanted to test with a place that featured a lot of PhysX, to see how the GTX 780 compared specifically to the GTX 680. So, I loaded up Frostburn Canyon, took a left and went up and over the bridge to do battle with a number of enemies there. For some reason, this is an area that utilizes PhysX a lot more than others, so it’s a great place to take in all of the eye candy. Details are completely maxed out for this game.
At our mega-high resolution of 5760×1080, Borderlands 2 didn’t run amazingly well, but I admit I’m extremely impressed at how it did run. We’re dealing with a $249 GPU, after all. Reducing PhysX effects to low will help out quite a bit if that resolution is your goal. Max detail at 4098×768 runs great, however.
While I normally shy away from built-in benchmarks or timedemos, I’ve opted to use them for this game, and the next, on account of me never having played either (thus, no saved game). Fortunately, the built-in benchmark with Metro: Last Light is quite good, and thorough. Graphics options are mostly maxed, with the overall detail level sitting at High (not Very High), along with the Tessellation at Normal.
This game is brutal on GPUs, there’s no questioning that. The mid-range GTX 760 can’t even get by at 1080p at high detail, but to be fair, only the GTX 780 manages that (at more than twice the price). In some ways, it’s nice to have a game that can sport detail settings so high, that current setups – even the highest-end ones – are not going to run them ideally. This is especially true when every other game released for the PC is a console port.
Jamie raved over this game and for good reason. It’s an epic adventure, and it has some stellar graphics, chock-full of eye-candy. Of course, it was worth benchmarking, especially since the game perfectly supports multi-monitor out-of-the-box (cheers, Irrational Games!) Here, we simply use the built-in benchmark utility, with the graphics options all cranked in-game.
1080p proved to be no problem as far as BioShock Infinite is concerned. Things get iffy when moving on up, but as graphically gorgeous as this game is, it’d be unreasonable to expect it to perform amazingly at multi-monitor resolutions on a $249 GPU.