Asus Mars 760 Review: Two GPUs In SLI; One $650 Graphics Card

Overclocking

It's typically more difficult to get two GPUs in CrossFire or SLI overclocked aggressively than it would be to run one processor at elevated frequencies. If anything, you're always going to be limited to the peak clock rates of whichever card is slower. 

I was surprised, then, to get our Mars 760 card running with a 185 MHz GPU Boost clock rate offset and a 742 MT/s memory data rate boost. Even more impressive, the reported 1257 MHz Boost clock setting was exceeded in both of the apps I experimented with (FurMark and Metro: Last Light), where I saw 1306 MHz under heavy load. Achieving those numbers required the Asus GPU Tweak utility, a 12 mV offset on the GPU, a 105% power target, and a fan speed manually dialed in to 80%.

Now, there is absolutely such a thing as vendors cherry-picking their best GPUs and memory for review samples. It happens all of the time, and we totally get the desire to put a best foot forward. I'm not saying that's what's happening here. But I would also caution our readers to consider our results knowing that we're benchmarking a review sample, and not a retail card. Your mileage may vary.

The result of our overclock is significantly more memory bandwidth than a stock GeForce GTX 690, with comparable shader processing power.

At least in this one application, the overclocked Asus Mars 760 achieves a frame rate that is almost identical to the vastly more expensive GeForce GTX 690. And again, while we obviously can't guarantee that retail boards will overclock as well as our sample, Asus has to be doing some sort of binning to get amenable GK104 processors able to stay under a certain thermal limit anyway. From what we've seen and heard in the real world, the Mars 760 is garnering a good reputation for overclocking well as a result.

This thread is closed for comments
55 comments
    Your comment
  • AMD Radeon
    i would like to see dual GTX 780 Ti in one card
  • vinhn
    @AMD Radeon, everyone would like to see it, not everyone would buy it, the market knows that, there's a reason why they would rather release the dual 760 rather than a 1600$ dual 780 Ti.
  • Immaculate
    Why an i5-2550K?
  • blackmagnum
    Bring on the Kepler cards already.
  • vertexx
    I'm not sure why you would even publish this review without a 780ti in the comparison.
  • Shneiky
    It was actually disappointing that there was no regular 760 SLI in there. It would have helped to see if the Asus's solution gives better results then regular 2 760s.
  • bemused_fred
    Looking at the way that various card configurations bounce around in the charts, with the ranking of cards varying from page to page, the only thing I'm taking away from this article is not to bother with dual-GPU set-ups. It seems their performance is entirely decided by how well-optimised the games are for Nvidia or AMD, and not their actual specs.
  • Raheel Hasan
    Too high price only $30 below 780ti, it should be around $550.
  • Adroid
    I'm confused why the 780 and 770 aren't shown here - especially since the 780 is at the same price point.
  • Au_equus
    without the gtx 780 ti, you are missing half the article, as ASUS, according to the price, was presenting this card as an alternative to the 780 ti at its price/performance. I stopped reading after the first BM.
  • cleeve
    1293856 said:
    I'm not sure why you would even publish this review without a 780ti in the comparison.


    That's why we included an OC'd titan to represent 780 Ti performance.

    Read the article. The memory was clocked identical to 780 Ti, and the core overclock was even calculated to simulate it as closely as possible.

    It's a valid representation. I see some of you don't agree and you certainly reserve the right to do that, but I'm quite satisfied with the results.
  • bloodroses75
    At least it's under $1000... these video card companies lately seem to think that people are made out of gold.
  • cleeve
    261161 said:
    I'm confused why the 780 and 770 aren't shown here - especially since the 780 is at the same price point.


    780 is not the same price point. The 780 Ti is, and we overclocked a Titan to simulate as per above.
  • Mousemonkey
    749236 said:
    Bring on the Kepler cards already.


    Really? :lol:
  • Adroid
    21257 said:
    261161 said:
    I'm confused why the 780 and 770 aren't shown here - especially since the 780 is at the same price point.
    780 is not the same price point. The 780 Ti is, and we overclocked a Titan to simulate as per above.


    Thanks, I stand corrected, and the 770, 780, and 780ti is what I would like to see compared to the Mars.

    My qualm with using a Titan for comparison is 1) The titan costs $300 more than the 780ti, and 2) The titan is slower.

    I usually read these type of articles from a perspective of "if I was going to purchase this Mars 760 or a comparitive other card at the $700 price point, what would I buy?"

    So I wouldn't buy a Titan for 300$ more and overclock it to try to get 780ti performance out of it. I would want to see how a 780ti overclocked compares to an overclocked Mars 760 - then make a choice from that.

    But, from strictly a performance consideration, I understand where you are coming from.

    Those of us who don't get the Nvidia sample cards to play with have to consider the price/performance factor ;)
  • cleeve
    261161 said:
    My qualm with using a Titan for comparison is 1) The titan costs $300 more than the 780ti, and 2) The titan is slower.


    The point is, is overclocked to *match* the 780 Ti.

    We tested it at stock, ***and then again overclocked to represent the 780 Ti***.

    It goes over this in detail in the article. Check the test system page :)
  • tristangl
    I dont understand how can 1 card with 2 GPU can cost more than 2 760It needs half the material... this shoul dbe selling for 450-500$
  • toddybody
    Yawn...not a great value when SC GTX 780's are at USD 499.99. Now, the GTX 790 will be something drool worthy :D
  • Mousemonkey
    302584 said:
    I dont understand how can 1 card with 2 GPU can cost more than 2 760It needs half the material... this shoul dbe selling for 450-500$


    You are paying for the complexities of sticking two GPU's and the SLi bridge on one card together with the larger HSF this requires, it shouldn't be that difficult to work that out surely?
  • tristangl
    You are still using less material, and buying 2 core on 1 card... this should be lower than 2 cards IMO
    Plus stability is always worst on dual GPU card

    Not my thing
  • clonazepam
    There's more R&D to make the PCB, the more advanced circuitry, the chip that bridges the two GPUs, custom cooler, power delivery... all that is done by Asus. For a couple 760s, all they do is use nvidia's reference design for the card, and the cooler may be reference or only a slight variation of something already gone through the design phase.It's just far more involved designing something like the MARS from the ground up.
  • Mousemonkey
    302584 said:
    You are still using less material, and buying 2 core on 1 card... this should be lower than 2 cards IMO Plus stability is always worst on dual GPU card Not my thing


    So why don't I see you ranting about the 7990?
  • CaptainTom
    Cool card. I wouldn't mind more double cards to add variety to the market...
  • Au_equus
    but when you buy gpus >$500 you waste money by not OC'ing. IMHO, a side by side comparison to a gtx 780 ti not OC'd and OC'd would be more relevant to justify the dual gtx 760's price point. Yeah, you can OC a titan to match a 780 ti's performance, but then you're looking at higher power consumption than a stock 780ti and 6GB of vram as opposed to 3GB of the gtx 780 ti (FYI @3x 1080p ultra/2xmsaa BF4 saturates 3GB on my 2x780ti setup).