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EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC 2GB Graphics Card Review

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 Superclocked

Date: June 17, 2014
Author(s): Rob Williams

On the lookout for a gaming GPU at around the $250 mark? Need it to handle games at 1080p in great detail or 1440p at good detail? EVGA has a solution for both of those needs. It comes to us in the form of the GeForce GTX 760 Superclocked – complete with ACX cooler. Read on to see how it compares to NVIDIA’s reference model.



Introduction

Remember the days when it felt like a requirement to shell out at least $400 for a graphics card in order to get an “excellent” gaming experience? I do. Not long after Techgage launched in 2005, I picked up a BFG (rest in piece) GeForce 6800 GT for about $400. That sucker sure did get hot, but it gave me the gameplay experience I was looking for. Not long after, I picked-up EVGA’s GeForce 7800 GT, and as evolution would have it, it too had the ability to give me the graphics performance I was looking for.

Today, though, I can honestly say that if I weren’t so spoiled with high-end graphics cards, I’d be able to get by on a $250-ish offering without crying about it (though admittedly, the 1440p resolution does favor beefier models). Today’s options are simply powerful, and EVGA’s GeForce GTX 760 Superclocked is a great example of that.

At the time of this article’s posting, NVIDIA’s GTX 760 retails for about $250, with EVGA’s Superclocked model carrying a well-deserved $10 premium. It’s “well-deserved” not only because of the clock boosts, but because of the use of EVGA’s ACX cooler, which as we’ll see later can make a big difference in temperature when compared to the reference model.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Card Overview

With its $249 SRP, the GTX 760 best competes against AMD’s Radeon R9 280, a card I haven’t yet had the chance to take a look at. However, it’s as if AMD sensed that I’d soon be posting this review, because I was shipped that very model last week. As I have an over-flowing queue and this article has been overdue as is, I decided to push this through now and follow-up very soon with my look at AMD’s card to see how both compare head-to-head.

Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves: Take a look at the photo above, and soak in what is EVGA’s ACX cooler. This is the first card I’ve been able to take a look at with this cooler, and after testing, I’m left impressed. It’s a double ball-bearing cooler that EVGA says features an increased heatsink volume of about 40%. Because of the high-quality fans, the company claims that the cooler will last an average of 12 years.

At the back of its GTX 760 SC, EVGA’s included dual DVI, an HDMI, and DisplayPort connections.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Display Connectors

At the other end of the card, we have the power connectors; 1x 8-pin, and 1x 6-pin. At reference clocks, a GTX 760 can get by with dual 6-pin connectors, but because of its overclock, EVGA’s deemed it more suitable to configure one of them as 8-pin. This is the kind of thing that makes NVIDIA’s Maxwell-based GTX 750 Ti look so amazing – that card is roughly half the card the GTX 760 is, but it doesn’t require a power connector at all.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Air Exhaust

Included in the box are a couple of stickers, a case badge, and the driver CD. The last item is somewhat moot since you’ll always want to grab the latest stable driver off of NVIDIA’s website, and EVGA’s Precision software off of its website.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 - Box

The GTX 760’s reference core clock is 980MHz; EVGA’s Superclocked boosts that to 1072MHz (with a 1137MHz boost). This particular card leaves the memory clock alone, at 6008MHz.

NVIDIA GeForce Series Cores Core MHz Memory Mem MHz Mem Bus TDP
GeForce GTX TITAN Z 2880 x 2 705 6144MB x 2 7000 384-bit 375W
GeForce GTX TITAN Black 2880 889 6144MB 7000 384-bit 250W
GeForce GTX 780 Ti 2880 875 3072MB 7000 384-bit 250W
GeForce GTX 780 2304 863 3072MB 6008 384-bit 250W
GeForce GTX 770 1536 1046 2048MB 7010 256-bit 230W
GeForce GTX 760 1152 980 2048MB 6008 256-bit 170W
GeForce GTX 750 Ti 640 1020 2048MB 5400 128-bit 60W
GeForce GTX 750 512 1020 2048MB 5000 128-bit 55W
GeForce GTX 660 960 980 2048MB 6000 192-bit 140W
GeForce GTX 650 384 1058 1024MB 5000 128-bit 64W

As mentioned above, the GTX 760 is best-compared to AMD’s R9 280, but as of the time of this article’s publishing, I didn’t have one of those benchmarked. That will soon be remedied, and you can expect a follow-up to this article in the next week. To make up for that lack, I do have a comparison to NVIDIA’s reference GTX 760.

With that said, let’s take a quick look at our testing methodology, and then dive right into the results.

Test System & Methodology

At Techgage, we strive to make sure our results are as accurate as possible. Our testing is rigorous and time-consuming, but we feel the effort is worth it. In an attempt to leave no question unanswered, this page contains not only our test-bed specifications, but also a detailed look at how we conduct our testing.

Test Machine

The below table lists our testing machine’s hardware, which remains unchanged throughout all GPU testing, minus the GPU. Each card used for comparison is also listed here, along with the driver version used.

Graphics Card Test System
Processors Intel Core i7-4960X – Six-Core @ 4.50GHz
Motherboard ASUS P9X79-E WS
Memory Kingston HyperX Beast 32GB (4x8GB) – DDR3-2133 11-12-11
Graphics EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB SC – GeForce 334.89
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB – GeForce 334.89
Audio Onboard
Storage Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD
Power Supply Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid 1300W
Chassis Cooler Master Storm Trooper Full-Tower
Cooling Thermaltake WATER3.0 Extreme Liquid Cooler
Displays ASUS PB278Q 27″ 2560×1440
Dell P2210H 22″ 1920×1080 x 3
Et cetera Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Notes About Our High-end System

The goal of our performance content is to show you as accurately as possible how one product compares to another – after all, you’re coming to us for advice, so we want to make sure we’re giving you the best possible information. Typically, one major step we take in ensuring that our performance results are accurate is to make sure that our test systems are void of all possible bottlenecks, so for that, high-end components must be used.

In the case of our graphics card test system, the processor chosen has six-cores and is overclocked far beyond reference clocks. Most games nowadays are not heavily CPU-bound, but by using such a chip, we feel that we completely rule it out as a potential bottleneck. The same can be said for the use of an SSD (as opposed to latency-ridden mechanical storage), and even our memory, which is clocked at the comfortable speed of DDR3-2133.

Why this matters to you: Our test PC is high-end, and it’s very likely that you’d encounter a bottleneck quicker than us. Our goals are to rid all possible bottlenecks, whereas yours is to build the PC you need. In our case, we need to go overboard to attain as accurate a representation of a graphic card’s performance as possible.

If your PC has at least a modern (~2-years-old) quad-core or better processor, and at least 8GB of fast memory (DDR3-1866+), that chances of you running into a bottleneck with today’s hottest game is admittedly low. If you’re using lower-end gear, you can absolutely expect that the rest of your system could be a bottleneck. It should be noted, though, that if you’re seeking out a lower-end graphics card, the importance of a bottleneck would of course be lessened.

Unfortunately, we’re not able to test a single card on multiple PC configurations; each single card we test takes at least 3 hours to test, with another 2 hours added on for each additional resolution, and at least another 1~2 hours for our Best Playable results (for up to 11 hours of mostly hands-on testing for a high-end model).

Please bear all of this in mind. If you’re unsure if your PC could prove to be a bottleneck, our comments section exists for such questions.

When preparing our test-beds for any type of performance testing, we follow these guidelines:

General Guidelines

To aid with the goal of keeping accurate and repeatable results, we alter certain services in Windows 7 from starting up at boot. This is due to the fact that these services have the tendency to start up in the background without notice, potentially causing inaccurate test results. For example, disabling “Windows Search” turns off the OS’ indexing which can at times utilize the hard drive and memory more than we’d like.

The services we disable are:

For further fine-tuning, we also use Windows’ “Classic” desktop theme, which gets rid of the transparency that can sometimes utilize a GPU in the background.

Vendor Favortism

Sometimes, either AMD or NVIDIA will work with a game studio to help their development process along. As history has proven, this often results in a game that is tuned better for one vendor over the other, although sometimes the tides can change over time, resulting in the competing vendor offering the better experience.

One of our goals is to provide as neutral a benchmarking suite as possible, so while it’s impossible to avoid games sponsored by either of these companies, we can at least make an effort to achieve a blended list. As it stands, our current game list and their partners are:

(AMD) – Battlefield 4
(AMD) – Crysis 3
(AMD) – Sleeping Dogs
(NVIDIA) – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
(NVIDIA) – Metro: Last Light
(NVIDIA) – Splinter Cell Blacklist
(Neutral) – GRID 2
(Neutral) – Total War: SHOGUN 2

With that, let’s move on to a quick look at the game settings we use in our testing:

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag Benchmark Settings

Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4 Benchmark Settings

Note: The “High” preset is used for multi-monitor configurations.

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 Benchmark Settings

Crysis 3 Benchmark Settings

Note: The “Medium” preset is used for multi-monitor configurations.

GRID 2

GRID 2 Benchmark Settings

GRID 2 Benchmark Settings

GRID 2 Benchmark Settings

Metro Last Light

Metro Last Light Benchmark Settings

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs Benchmark Settings

Sleeping Dogs Benchmark Settings

Splinter Cell Blacklist

Splinter Cell Blacklist Benchmark Settings

Splinter Cell Blacklist Benchmark Settings

Total War: SHOGUN 2

Total War SHOGUN 2 Benchmark Settings

Unigine Heaven

Unigine Heaven 4 Benchmark Settings

Game Tests: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Battlefield 4

Given the sheer number of titles in the Assassin’s Creed series, it’s a little hard to believe that the first game came out a mere six years ago. You could definitely say that Ubisoft hit the ball out of the park with this one. To date, we’ve never considered an AC game for benchmarking, but given the number of graphical goodies featured in the PC version of Black Flag, that trend now ends.

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - 1920x1080

Manual Run-through: The saved game starts us not far from the beginning of the game under a small church which can be climbed to synchronize with the environment. To kick things off, I scale this church and rotate the camera around once, making sure to take in the beautiful landscape; then, I climb back down and run all the way to the water (the top of this small church and the water can be seen in the above screenshot).

Note: For some reason, Ubisoft decided to cap the framerate to 60 FPS in Black Flag even if Vsync is turned off. For most games, this would ruin the chance of it appearing in our benchmarking, but because the game is graphically intensive, I’ve chosen to stick with it, as at higher resolutions, reaching 60 FPS is a perk that will belong only to high-end graphics cards.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (1920x1080)

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (2560x1440)

This is the begin of a trend; EVGA’s card has higher clocks than the reference GTX 760, but that is not going to result in substantial gains in most cases. Still, what’s impressive is that it’s giving us a performance boost with much-improved temperatures (which we’ll tackle on the final page).

While 43 FPS @ 1440p isn’t super impressive, it kind of is when you consider that the current-gen consoles run the game at 1080p with lower detail at 30 FPS. Overall, great performance from a $250 GPU.

Battlefield 4

Thanks to the fact that DICE cares more about PC gaming than a lot of developers, the Battlefield series tends to give us titles that are well-worth benchmarking. Battlefield 3 offered incredible graphics and became a de facto benchmark immediately, so it’s no surprise, then, that BF4 follows right in its footsteps.

Battlefield 4 - 1920x1080

Manual Run-through: The Singapore level is the target here, with the saved game starting us on an airboat that must be driven to shore, where a massive battle is set to take place. I stop recording the framerate once the tank makes its way to the end of this small patch of beach; in all, the run takes about 3 minutes.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Battlefield 4 (1920x1080)

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Battlefield 4 (2560x1440)

At 1440p, the settings I test with resulted in a painful experience. On the Best Playable page, you’ll be able to see that this can be easily remedied (hint: AO is a killer).

Game Tests: Crysis 3, GRID 2

When the original Crysis dropped in late 2007, it took no time at all for pundits to coin the phrase, “Can it run Crysis?“, almost to the point of self-parody. At the time, the game couldn’t have its graphics detail maxed-out on even top-of-the-line PCs, and in reality, that’s a great thing. I’d imagine few are opposed to knowing that a game could actually look better down the road as our PCs grow into them. As the series continued, Crytek knew it had a legend to live up to, and fortunately, Crysis 3 (our review) lives up to the original’s legacy.

Crysis 3 - 1920x1080 Single Monitor

Manual Run-through: There’s no particular level in Crysis 3 that I could establish was “better” for benchmarking than another, but I settled on “Red Star Rising” based on the fact that I could perform a run-through with no chance of dying (a great thing in a challenging game like this one). The level starts us in a derelict building, where I traverse a broken pipe to make it over to one rooftop and then another. I eventually hit the ground after taking advantage of a zipline, and make my way down to a river, where I scurry past a number of enemies to the end spot beneath a building.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Crysis 3 (1920x1080)

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Crysis 3 (2560x1440)

At 1080p and high detail, both GTX 760 models handle the game with relative ease. Things become more challenging at 1440p, but that’s to be expected for such a graphical game at such a high resolution.

GRID 2

For those who appreciate racing games that are neither too realistic nor too arcade-like, there’s GRID. In GRID 2 (review), the ultimate goal is to build a racing empire, starting from square one. Unlike most racing titles that have some sort of career, the goal here isn’t to earn cash, but fans. Whether you’re racing around Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina or tearing through a gorgeous Cote d’Azur coastline, your goal is simple: To impress.

GRID 2 - 1920x1080 Single Monitor

Manual Run-through: The track chosen for my benchmarking is Miami (Ocean Drive). It’s a simple track overall, which is one of the reasons I chose it, and also the reason I choose to do just a single lap (I crash, often, and that affects both the results and my patience). Unlike most games in the suite which I test twice over (save for an oddity in the results), I race this one lap three times over.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - GRID 2 (1920x1080)

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - GRID 2 (2560x1440)

GRID 2 might not immediately strike you as a graphically-intensive game, but in reality, it is when all of the bells and whistles are enabled. Like Crysis 3, 1080p is a breeze, whereas 1440p will require some changes.

Game Tests: Metro Last Light, Sleeping Dogs

Crysis has become infamous for punishing even top-end systems, but let’s be fair: The Metro series matches, if not exceeds its requirement for graphical horsepower. That was proven by the fact that we used Metro 2033 in our testing for a staggering three years – only to be replaced by its sequel, Last Light. I’m not particularly a fan of this series, but I am in awe of its graphics even at modest settings.

Metro Last Light - 1920x1080 Single Monitor

Manual Run-through: Because this game is a real challenge to benchmark with for both the reasons of variability in the results and the raw challenge, I choose to use the built-in benchmark here but rely on Fraps to give me more accurate results.

Note: Metro Last Light‘s built-in benchmark is not representative of the entire game; some levels will punish a GPU much worse than this benchmark will (namely, “The Chase”, which has lots of smoke and explosions). What this means is that while these settings might suffice for much of the game, there might be instances where the performance degrades enough during a certain chapter or portion of a chapter to force a graphics setting tweak.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Metro Last Light (1920x1080)

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Metro Last Light (2560x1440)

The sky’s the limit with regards to how much you want Metro: Last Light to bog-down your PC, but at the still great-looking “Normal” settings, the GTX 760 can handle the game just fine at 1080p, and doesn’t come too far behind our ideal 60 FPS goal at 1440p (though, it’s times like this when the “Note” above is important).

Sleeping Dogs

Many have called Sleeping Dogs (our review) the “Asian Grand Theft Auto“, but the game does a lot of things differently that helps it stand out of the crowd. For example, in lieu of supplying the player with a gazillion guns, Sleeping Dogs focuses heavily on hand-to-hand combat. There are also many collectibles that can be found to help upgrade your character and unlock special fighting abilities – and if you happen to enjoy an Asian atmosphere, this game should fit the bill.

Sleeping Dogs - 1920x1080 Single Monitor

Manual Run-through: The run here takes place during the chapter “Amanda”, on a dark, dank night. The saved game begins us at the first apartment in the game (in North Point), though that’s not where I begin capturing the framerate. Instead, I first request our motorcycle from the garage. Once set, I begin recording the framerate and drive along a specific path all the way to Aberdeen, taking about two minutes.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Sleeping Dogs (1920x1080)

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Sleeping Dogs (2560x1440)

Continuing the trend, the GTX 760 handles Sleeping Dogs just fine at max detail (with the exception of the useless “Extreme” anti-aliasing setting). At 1440p the performance is less-than-ideal, but later we’ll find out that a simple change can fix that right up.

Game Tests: Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Total War: SHOGUN 2

Tom Clancy is responsible for a countless number of video games, but his Splinter Cell series has become something special, with each game released having been considered “great” overall. The latest in the series, Blacklist, is no exception, and thankfully for us, its graphics are fantastic, and not to mention intensive. For those who love a stealth element in their games, this is one that shouldn’t be skipped.

RIP, Tom Clancy.

Splinter Cell Blacklist - 1920x1080 Single Monitor

Manual Run-through: From the start of the ‘Safehouse’ level in Benghazi, Libya, we progress through until we reach an apartment building that must be entered – this is where we end the FPS recording.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Splinter Cell: Blacklist (1920x1080)

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Splinter Cell: Blacklist (2560x1440)

At this point, we can definitively say that at 1080p, the GTX 760, and especially EVGA’s SC model, can handle any of today’s hottest games at high details just fine. 1440p begs for a bit more performance, but sometimes small changes are all that’s needed to fix that (the Best Playable page will tackle that).

Total War: SHOGUN 2

Strategy games are well-known for pushing the limits of any system, and few others do this as well as Total War: SHOGUN 2. It fully supports DX11, has huge battlefields to oversee with hundreds or thousands of units, and a ton of graphics options to adjust. It’s quite simply a beast of a game.

Total War: SHOGUN 2 - 1920x1080 Single Monitor

Manual Run-through: SHOGUN 2 is one of the few games in our suite where the built-in benchmark is opted for. Strategy games in particular are very difficult to benchmark, so this is where I become thankful to have the option of using a built-in benchmark.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Total War: SHOGUN 2 (1920x1080)

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Total War: SHOGUN 2 (2560x1440)

SHOGUN 2 helps wrap-up our gaming results with the same sort of deltas we’ve seen across them rest.

Next up, I’ll tackle our “Best Playable” results.

Best Playable: Single Display

For about as long as GPU-accelerated games have existed, an ideal performance target has been 60 frames-per-second. Owing thanks to this is the standard 60Hz monitor, which delivers its best result when the framerate matches its refresh rate. To make sure the monitor’s refresh rate and game’s framerate keep aligned, to avoid visible tearing, VSync should be enabled.

While I believe our Best Playable results will appeal to any gamer, they could especially prove useful to those intrigued by livingroom gaming or console replacements. The goal here is simple: With each game, the graphics settings are tweaked to deliver the best possible detail while keeping us as close to 60 FPS on average as possible.

Because our Metro Last Light and Total War: SHOGUN 2 tests are timedemos, and because this kind of testing is time-consuming, I am sticking to six out of the eight games I test with for inclusion here.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Minimum Average
EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC 46 57
Graphics Settings
& Ingame ScreenshotResolution: 1920×1080
Environment: Very High Shadow: Very High
Texture: High Reflection: High
Anti-aliasing: FXAA God Rays: High
Ambient Occlusion: Off Volumetric Fog: On
Motion Blur On
Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - Best Playable - EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 48 59
Graphics Settings
& Ingame ScreenshotResolution: 1920×1080
Environment: Very High Shadow: Very High
Texture: High Reflection: High
Anti-aliasing: FXAA God Rays: High
Ambient Occlusion: Off Volumetric Fog: On
Motion Blur On
Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - Best Playable - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760

Both GTX 760s can handle AC IV: Black Flag just fine at 1080p with ambient occlusion turned off. For some reason, EVGA’s card scored a bit lower, but that’s due to this being a manual run rather than a timedemo (it’s not that I’m poor at manually benchmarking; rather, it’s the fact that the game has many variables that come into play from one run to the next).

Battlefield 4
Minimum Average
EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC 45 61
Graphics Settings
& Ingame ScreenshotResolution: 2560×1440
Texture Quality: High Texture Filtering: High
Lighting: High Effects: High
Post Processing: High Mesh: High
Terrain: High Terrain Decoration: High
Anti-aliasing Deferred: Off Anti-aliasing Post: Off
Ambient Occlusion: SSAO
Battlefield 4 - Best Playable - EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 45 61
Graphics Settings
& Ingame ScreenshotResolution: 2560×1440
Texture Quality: High Texture Filtering: High
Lighting: High Effects: High
Post Processing: High Mesh: High
Terrain: High Terrain Decoration: High
Anti-aliasing Deferred: Off Anti-aliasing Post: Off
Ambient Occlusion: Off
Battlefield 4 - Best Playable - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760

With the reference-clocked GTX 760, I put all settings on High and disabled AA and AO. On EVGA’s card, I was able to enable SSAO while retaining the exact same framerate. Also, unlike AC IV, I was able to stick to the top 1440p resolution with BF 4.

Crysis 3
Minimum Average
EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC 43 63
Graphics Settings
& Ingame ScreenshotResolution: 1920×1080
Anti-aliasing: FXAA Texture: High
Effects: High Object: High
Particles: High Post Processing: High
Shading: High Shadows: High
Water: High Anisotropic Filtering: x16
Motion Blur: Medium Lens Flares: Yes
Crysis 3 - Best Playable - EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 39 61
Graphics Settings
& Ingame ScreenshotResolution: 1920×1080
Anti-aliasing: FXAA Texture: High
Effects: High Object: High
Particles: High Post Processing: High
Shading: High Shadows: High
Water: High Anisotropic Filtering: x16
Motion Blur: Medium Lens Flares: Yes
Crysis 3 - Best Playable - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760

It might not come as a huge surprise, but running Crysis 3 at 1440p on a $250 graphics card is hard. So hard, that I decided to bump down to 1080p and retain those High detail settings. For 1440p to become truly playable, you’ll need to disable too much.

GRID 2
Minimum Average
EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC 55 62
Graphics Settings
& Ingame ScreenshotResolution: 2560×1440
Multisampling: 4x MSAA Night Lighting: High
Shadows: Ultra Advanced Fog: On
Particles: Ultra Crowd: Ultra
Cloth: High Ambient Occlusion: Low
Soft Ambient Occlusion: Off Ground Cover: High
Vehicle Details: Ultra Trees: Ultra
Objects: Ultra Vehicle Reflections: Ultra
Water: High Post Process: High
Skidmarks: On Advanced Lighting: On
Global Illumination: Off Anisotropic Filtering: Ultra
GRID 2 - Best Playable - EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 61 68
Graphics Settings
& Ingame ScreenshotResolution: 2560×1440
Multisampling: 4x MSAA Night Lighting: High
Shadows: High Advanced Fog: On
Particles: Ultra Crowd: Ultra
Cloth: High Ambient Occlusion: Low
Soft Ambient Occlusion: Off Ground Cover: High
Vehicle Details: Ultra Trees: Ultra
Objects: Ultra Vehicle Reflections: Ultra
Water: High Post Process: High
Skidmarks: On Advanced Lighting: On
Global Illumination: Off Anisotropic Filtering: Ultra
GRID 2 - Best Playable - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760

At 60+ FPS, both GTX 760s handle GRID 2 great at 1440p, although EVGA’s card allowed me to boost the Shadow quality to Ultra (from High).

Sleeping Dogs
Minimum Average
EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC 61 73
Graphics Settings
& Ingame ScreenshotResolution: 2560×1440
Anti-aliasing: Normal High-res Textures: On
Shadow Resolution: High Shadow Filtering: High
Ambient Occlusion: High Motion Blur: High
World Density: Extreme
Sleeping Dogs - Best Playable - EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 54 66
Graphics Settings
& Ingame ScreenshotResolution: 2560×1440
Anti-aliasing: Normal High-res Textures: On
Shadow Resolution: High Shadow Filtering: High
Ambient Occlusion: High Motion Blur: High
World Density: Extreme
Sleeping Dogs - Best Playable - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760

As with most GPUs I’ve run through the Best Playable gauntlet, Sleeping Dogs is best-played when the anti-aliasing is degraded to Normal. Admittedly, this is just fine, since the game’s AA implementation is junk, at best.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Minimum Average
EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC 52 65
Graphics Settings
& Ingame ScreenshotResolution: 2560×1440
Texture Detail: Ultra Shadow: High
Parallax: On Tessellation: On
Texture Filtering: 16x Ambient Occlusion: Off
Anti-aliasing: FXAA
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist - Best Playable - EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 48 59
Graphics Settings
& Ingame ScreenshotResolution: 2560×1440
Texture Detail: Ultra Shadow: High
Parallax: On Tessellation: On
Texture Filtering: 16x Ambient Occlusion: Off
Anti-aliasing: FXAA
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist - Best Playable - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760

Wrapping-up, both GTX 760s handle the same graphical details, but as expected, EVGA’s card gives the FPS a little boost.

Synthetic Tests: Futuremark 3DMark, 3DMark 11, Unigine Heaven 4.0

We don’t make it a point to seek out automated gaming benchmarks, but we do like to get a couple in that anyone reading this can run themselves. Of these, Futuremark’s name leads the pack, as its benchmarks have become synonymous with the activity. Plus, it does help that the company’s benchmarks stress PCs to their limit – and beyond.

3DMark

While Futuremark’s latest GPU test suite is 3DMark, I’m also including results from 3DMark 11 as it’s still a common choice among benchmarkers.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Futuremark 3DMark

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Futuremark 3DMark 11 - Performance

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Futuremark 3DMark 11 - Extreme

Given what we’ve seen this entire review, it should come as no surprise that 3DMark highlights EVGA’s card as being a bit faster than the reference model. In some ways, it almost feels pointless to compare the two here, but at least these charts allow you to see how the cards fall into place amongst all of the others I’ve tested in our most up-to-date test suite (the GTX 770 and R9 280 will be added in the next GPU review).

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Unigine might not have as established a name as Futuremark, but its products are nothing short of “awesome”. The company’s main focus is its game engine, but a by-product of that is its benchmarks, which are used to both give benchmarkers another great tool to take advantage of, and also to show-off what its engine is capable of. It’s a win-win all-around.

Unigine Heaven 4.0

The biggest reason that the company’s “Heaven” benchmark is so relied-upon by benchmarkers is that both AMD and NVIDIA promote it for its heavy use of tessellation. Like 3DMark, the benchmark here is overkill by design, so results are not going to directly correlate with real gameplay. Rather, they showcase which card models can better handle both DX11 and its GPU-bogging features.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Unigine Heaven 4.0 (1920x1080)

Cheers, Unigine, for backing up the fact that EVGA’s card is a bit faster than reference, and much faster than the 750 Ti.

Power & Temperatures, Final Thoughts

To test graphics cards for both their power consumption and temperature at load, we utilize a couple of different tools. On the hardware side, we use a trusty Kill-a-Watt power monitor which our GPU test machine plugs into directly. For software, we use Futuremark’s 3DMark to stress-test the card, and AIDA64 to monitor and record the temperatures.

To test, the general area around the chassis is checked with a temperature gun, with the average temperature recorded. Once that’s established, the PC is turned on and left to site idle for ten minutes. At this point, AIDA64 is opened along with 3DMark. We then kick-off a full suite run, and pay attention to the Kill-a-Watt when the test reaches its most intensive interval (GT 1) to get the load wattage.

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Temperatures

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Power Consumption

The reference cooler NVIDIA uses on its GTX 760 isn’t nearly as impressive as the ones it uses on its GTX 770+, but for a mid-range card, that’s to be expected. Despite that reference card having a decent enough cooler, though, EVGA’s ACX blows it out-of-the-water, shaving 13°C off of the load and 3°C off of the idle.

Power-wise, both GTX 760s are about equal, with an expected bump to EVGA’s given the clock-boost.

Final Thoughts

I opened this article with a statement that today, a $250 graphics card is nothing to scoff at – something all of the results featured within the bulk of the pages in the article back up. NVIDIA’s reference-clocked GTX 760 can handle all of today’s games at good detail at 1080p resolution, and in many cases can handle 1440p as well (I’d wager that when we’re talking current-gen, you could expect to reliably run 1440p in half of the games out there while retaining good detail levels).

With that being the case, EVGA’s clock-boosted Superclocked card makes things even sweeter, albeit not by a huge margin. As the Best Playable page highlighted, there are some cases where EVGA’s SC card could handle a slight bump to a graphics setting, but for the most part you should treat this card as one that will give a slight performance boost in general.

In addition to that boost, EVGA’s ACX cooler managed to drop temperatures by a nice margin, and despite its higher clocks, it barely drew any extra power from the wall (+3 watts).

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC - Glamor Shot

At $249 SRP, NVIDIA’s GTX 760 is a fantastic card for anyone looking for higher-end 1080p gaming, or 1440p gaming in most non-FPS titles. Is EVGA’s Superclocked edition worth the extra $10? I’d say that it is. A much-improved cooler and higher clocks for a meager $10? That’s a no-brainer.

However, I can’t end this article without yet another reminder that an AMD Radeon R9 280 review is en route. That card is priced just about the same as this one, so I’m aiming to get that article up within the next week since it’s now kind of timely thanks to this one. Stay tuned.

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