When Titan released in February, it seemed likely that NVIDIA’s GeForce 700 series would be held off on for some time. Well, with today’s launch of the company’s mini-Titan – ahem, GTX 780, we’ve been proven wrong. Compared to the GTX 680, it offers a lot of +50%’s – but is it worth its $649 price tag?
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.
Taking the GPU scores into consideration only, 3DMark 11 puts the GTX 780 at 35% faster than the GTX 680 and HD 7970 GHz. 3DMark (2013) scales that back a bit, with GTX 780 still dominating, but only with a 15.5% advantage.
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 GTX 780 outperforms its GTX 680 by 17.6% and the HD 7970 GHz by 19.8%.