So far the GTX780Ti has proven itself to be the weapon of choice if you're looking for the best single GPU performance available. As good as it is out of the box, it flies particularly well once a decent overclock is in place.
However, we're aware that not everyone is comfortable poking around with their £500+ purchase, and that's where a factory overclocked card can really start to shine.
To this end today we're looking at the Gigabyte GTX780Ti GHz edition, a factory overclocked card that comfortably passes the 1GHz barrier at stock, and with the Windforce cooler in place has the potential to go even further with the nVidia GPU Boost 2.0 technology.
By now you're all very familiar with the GK110 GPU, so let's crack on.
The two big changes for the GHz Edition are the inclusion of the Gigabyte Windforce cooler, and that big factory overclock that pushes the GPU to 1085MHz out of the box. This isn't far from the best manual overclocks we've obtained so hopefully the results should back up this potential performance.
|Chipset||GeForce GTX 780 Ti|
|Memory Clock||7000 MHz|
|Process Technology||28 nm|
|Memory Size||3072 MB|
|Memory Bus||384 bit|
|Core Clock||Base / Boost clock 1020 / 1085 MHz|
|Card Bus||PCI-E 3.0|
|Digital max resolution||4096 X 2160(via a single HDMI connector and not supported with two DVI connectors)|
|Analog max resolution||2048 x 1536|
|Card size||L=292mm, W=129mm, H=43mm|
|Power requirement||600W (with two 8-pin external power connectors)|
One of the things we've often commented about the Windforce cooler is that it doesn't appear to be designed for the card that it's applied to, and with the GTX780Ti this problem continues. On a lower end card you can expect some overhang or things not quite lining up properly, but on the most expensive card you can purchase it's a bit much to have everything a little skewiff.
At least the branding is there so anyone glancing into your case is left in no doubt that you have a high end GPU installed. There is plenty of space around the fins to expel air too, so this should be a cool card.
Of course if anyone looks in from above they'll wonder what exactly you have, as for some completely unfathomable reason Gigabyte have seen fit to print the model name upside down. We're sure the CPU is delighted to have something to read, but it's not much use for the rest of us and makes you wonder about the quality control.
The Windforce cooler is a good combination of well braced and yet with plenty of vents too. There shouldn't be any airflow or thermal warping issues here.
At the business ends of the GHz Edition everything is as you would be expecting, with two 8pin power inputs and the regulation nVidia DisplayPort/DVI/HDMI output options.
Gigabyte GTX780Ti GHz Edition
Intel Core i7-3960X @ 4.6GHz
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
Corsair Dominator Platinum
Corsair Neutron GTX
Windows 7 x64
Given that our best GTX780Ti overclocks have been around the 1100/1200 mark, the 1085/1150MHz of the Gigabyte shows that a factory overclock can get very close to a manual one, without any of the faffing about necessary to reach that stage. It's a great choice if you just want to fit and forget.
The Windforce cooler works very well, keeping the card cool and quiet under all scenarios. Very impressive.
Starting as we mean to go on, and the Gigabyte GHz Edition is a match for our manually overclocked GTX780Ti's.
Batman Arkham City
Batman Arkham City is endlessly consistent and without even looking you know that the GHz Edition manages to hit the 61FPs limit happily.
New to the party, and riddled with bugs at the moment, BattleField 4 certainly looks gorgeous and runs beautifully on the GHz Edition, far ahead of the reference GTX780Ti.
Continuing the trend of being the best 'out of the box' card on the market, the Windforce GHz Edition is spectacular in what is still one of the best games around.
Crysis 3 takes every ounce of performance it can get and the slightly lower than optimum clock speeds of the GHz Edition lose a couple of frames per second when compared to our other GTX780Ti's. It's still hugely impressive with 60FPS at 1080P.
Far Cry 3
It's always nice to have a surprise and Far Cry 3 provides it today, with the GHz Edition the best performing card we've seen in both the 1080P and 1440P resolutions. Hugely impressive results from the Gigabyte card.
Hitman is always a performance hog and things are no different on the Gigabyte Windforce, with the GHz Edition capable of extremely good scores, just nothing that particularly stands out when compared to other high end offerings.
Another title that has always demanded more clock speed and more performance, Metro 2033 shows the benefits of a manual overclock when compared to a factory one. However, Last Light performs admirably on the GHz Edition, within a single frame of the higher clocked GTX780Ti's.
Resident Evil 6
The endless consistency of Resident Evil 6 continues with the Gigabyte card. Capcom might not be able to produce the most enjoyable playing experience any more, but there is no doubt that their optimisation is second to none.
As we would expect there is very little between the three GTX780Ti's in Sleeping Dogs. Of course the GHz Edition is just a case of sticking it in your rig, so it's easily the hassle free choice.
Although not quite up there with the overclock we obtained from our reference nVidia sample, the Gigabyte with its 104/73 FPS in the two resolutions is up there with our manual overclocked Palit version. Impressive stuff.
Unigine is always consistent at extracting exactly the performance relating to the clockspeed and here is no different with the GHz Edition almost perfectly matching it's 'near but not quite the best' clocks. Still well over 60FPS even at [email protected] though.
Unigine Valley is similar to Heaven, in that the card with the highest clock speed will always win out, so the Gigabyte ends up about third on our single GPU chart.
3D Mark Vantage
We could hardly have imagined when it was released that one day a card would appear that would happily bust 50000 P Score in Vantage. So whilst it might be the result we anticipated, it doesn't stop our jaw hitting the floor every time. Outstanding performance.
3D Mark 11
In 3D Mark 11 the GHz Edition is almost point for point identical to the Palit GTX780Ti overclock. For a plug and play option the Gigabyte card is outstanding.
Finally 3D Mark with the brutal Fire Strike Extreme test and the 5795 points scored by the GHz Edition is only just behind our manual overclocks with the GTX780Ti.
That you should buy a GTX780Ti if you can afford one is hardly news. After all we want the best possible performance whenever we can get it, and the GTX780Ti is a ridiculously capable card, able to break records wherever it finds them and without any weak spots at all.
It's not just the stock performance that impresses, but the GK110 certainly takes full advantage of an overclock to ramp up the frame rate to new heights. We know that for many people, ourselves included, finances are tight enough that it's easy to become nervous when faced with the prospect of overclocking your latest shiny purchase. No matter how easy it is these days, or how hard it is to break your card, nonetheless it's still a remote possibility and that can lead to people leaving their product at stock and not getting the full benefit of it.
The Gigabyte GTX780Ti GHz Edition perfectly dispenses with all the stress and hassle of that procedure by coming equipped with a very healthy overclock out of the box. It's the best of both worlds. You get the incredible GTX780Ti, and the extra performance that an increase in clock speed can bring, without any of the worries about warranty voiding or even just the time it takes to get a stable overclock. The benchmark scores and framerates perfectly match the clock speed increase too, with the GHz Edition placing just behind our manual overclocks in nearly every single test, and at the top in one or two.
The only problems are cosmetic. The Windforce cooler never seems to fit any PCB it's placed upon, and whilst the GHz Edition is just about the best we've seen it's easy to wonder why they didn't just move it a couple of mm to the left so there wasn't any overhang. Although left and right aren't things that appear to exist in the Gigabyte factory as the backplate has the "GHz Edition" screen print backwards. It's facing the motherboard. To say it's annoying is an understatement. How this passed even a cursory inspection is beyond us. It very nearly ruins an otherwise outstanding product.
Fortunately the many qualities of the Gigabyte GTX780Ti GHz Edition are enough that this irritating flaw is merely that, not deal breaking, just annoying. If you ignore it then you're getting a cool, quiet, high performance card with none of the worries or stress that might come from having to manually overclock it. The performance is staggering, and for a "fit and forget" option it's up there with the best we've ever seen, and for that reason the Gigabyte GTX780Ti GHz Edition is awarded our OC3D Performance Award.
Thanks to Gigabyte for supplying the GTX780Ti GHz Edition for review. Discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.