It’s been just over a month since we published our GTX 650 Ti review based on the reference card provided by Nvidia. The GPU was their 1080p sweet spot card. It was a fantastic solution for 1080p-bound gamers looking for a solution on the cheap. yet now Nvidia and their army of supported end card partners have unleashed the GTX 760 video cards. A mid-range enthusiast card is somewhat of an oxymoron. But the concept does apply to the new GTX 760 and especially this enhanced model from Gigabyte. For more see our best gaming laptop video card list.
The Gigabyte WindForce GTX 760 is the company’s take on the new addition to the 700 series. It’s based off a core design that gone unused until now. This is the same GK-104 chip at 28nm. However, the 760 is missing two streaming processors for a total of 6 instead of the 8 used in the past. It makes way for 1152 CUDA cores. Yet the card features 256-bit GDDR5 memory. Gigabyte has gone in and amped up a few bells and whistles when compared to the design reference sent to them from Nvidia. It still features 2GB of onboard RAM. But the Windforce clock speeds are now 1085Mhz base clock, which can Boost to 1150Mhz. The reference vanilla GTX 760 models will hit 980Mhz and boost to 1033Mhz comparatively.
On the subject of Boost, the GTX 760 is making use of Nvidia’s Boost 2.0 tech. This time out the feature will consider temperatures. If the card maintains a sub 80-degrees then it can more easily achieve its highest base clock on load. With this card and its elevated clock speed, that will be a real boon to gamers looking to eke out as much muscle for their sub-$300 GPU buy.
Enhanced clock speeds are sure to test that sub-80 mandatory temp threshold. To combat this Gigabyte has armed the WindForce GTX 760 with a triple fan design. This is something the company does well using this beefy heatsink and trio-fan design of several past 600 series models. This also an average size GPU. It measures 275mm in lenght and is only 43mm high. So you have no problem fitting it in variety o ATX and mid-ATX cases.
You’ll need a minimum of 500w on your power supply to give this puppy ample juice to perform. The Gigabyte WindForce GTX 760 is PCIE 3.0 compliant and supports display connection types of DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. With the latest drivers (318.20 WHQL) you can download the most recent version of GeForce Experience. It works great with the 760 and makes tailoring your graphics settings a snap. We’ve mentioned this application before. It scans your systems for games and then adjust in-game graphic settings accordingly for the most optimal performance as it pertains to your computer rig. It’s actually a really cool program, which makes playing PC games as painless as console games. Shadowplay is another feature available to 600 series card owners and above. It will use the H.624 encoder found on those to record and capture gameplay much the way Fraps and MSI Afterburner will do–but with less FPS-loss than those programs. Sadly Shadowplay is not available until sometime in July. But we’ll do a piece on it specifically then.
The new WindForce 760 from Gigabyte deserves a round of applause. This single sub-$300 card is hitting well above 60 frames per sec in nearly every test we threw at it. Only Crysis 3 (shocker there) is able to pull the FPS below the 60-point sweet spot. Moreover, giving the unit a mild overclock can unearth 10- 15% performance boosts while maintaining stability and low temps. Idle temperature is in the low 30s while max load can exceed 80 degrees. But using MSI Afterburner or Evga Precision you can manually kick up the fans to compensate nicely and keep things in the sub-80s during load and intense gaming. This will help the card hold on to those high boost clock speeds.
Bottom Line: It’s a winner from every angle. The Gigabyte WindForce GTX 760 (GV-N760C-2GD) is a marvelous performer for coin-conscious gamers. It’s the new 1080p champion that actually does incredibly well at 1440p and above. The triple fan WindForce design keeps things cool and relatively quiet. But with a cooling system titled “WindForce” you can expect some audible trade off when things get intense. I should also note, this card will support Nvidia Shield for gaming streaming from a 600 series-equipped CPU to the inbound Android Mobile device set to launch in July.