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GeForce GTX 760 Review: GK104 Shows Up (And Off) At $250

Cinching Up Mainstream Gaming With GeForce GTX 760

Nvidia’s Kepler-based chips had their one-year birthdays earlier this year. Yet, with the introduction of its GeForce GTX 700-series graphics cards, the company fired a broadside at AMD using its highest-end GPUs, pushing performance up and prices down. At least through the fall of 2013, Nvidia plans to reload, and we aren’t expecting any other product launches.

From $1000 down to about $130, this assault leaves the Radeon family reeling. In the short term, AMD needs to drop its prices in response (we’re already seeing sub-$400 Radeon HD 7970s). But pretty quickly here, the company will have to answer back with a combination of higher performance, greater efficiency, and new features. We’ve heard rumblings, we are hopeful, but time is of the essence. AMD did hit a home run with its Never Settle: Reloaded game bundle, and that's something to think about if you don't already own Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Crysis 3, and BioShock Infinite.

When it comes to pure performance per dollar, though, Nvidia pinched hard in the mainstream segment with GTX 650 Ti, 650 Ti Boost, and 660, and then from the top with GTX 780 and 770.

Today, GeForce GTX 760 fills in the space between. It doesn't do anything revolutionary in terms of performance, trailing GeForce GTX 670 by a fair margin. But its legacy is going to be pushing those frame rates down to $250. At that price point, the 760 does battle where you'd expect to find Radeon HD 7870, GeForce GTX 660, and a couple of discounted Radeon HD 7950s. It’s about $30 less expensive than the cheapest GeForce GTX 660 Tis, too (no wonder that model is scheduled to disappear rather quickly).

A quick reference to Best Graphics Cards For The Money: June 2013 shows that Don is currently recommending the Tahiti-based Radeon HD 7870 for $250. With almost certainty, the GeForce GTX 760 will take that honor next month, displacing the Radeon HD 7950 with Boost at $300 in the process. Aside from the entry-level cards, this was really AMD’s last bastion in our monthly round-up of Tom’s Hardware-approved purchases.

The GeForce GTX 760 isn’t as sexy as the Titan, 780, or even 770 we reviewed most recently. Nvidia’s reference design is very GeForce GTX 670-like, and partners mostly seem to be introducing versions with axial fans that blow waste heat into your case (bummer). However, the card changes the balance of power at its $250 price point, besting more expensive AMD boards and even knocking older GeForce products out of the way. Although we’re dealing with a mature GPU and derived specifications, we’re led to the same conclusion we drew in The GeForce GTX 770 Review: Calling In A Hit On Radeon HD 7970?: GeForce GTX 760 is a card worth recommending, owing to the fact that it’s faster than pricier competition. Truly, this is the upper end of the spectrum for gaming on a 1920x1080 display, and it's more accessible than ever.

  • toddybody
    Damn I love nVidia
    Reply
  • SiliconWars
    This doesn't look faster than the 7950 boost to me. Maybe you should check your scores and update your conclusion to reflect reality?
    Reply
  • TheBigTroll
    it isnt supposed to be faster than the 7950. they are about the same
    Reply
  • pauldh
    11035777 said:
    This doesn't look faster than the 7950 boost to me. Maybe you should check your scores and update your conclusion to reflect reality?

    Re-read the conclusion in question below. He doesn't say it is faster, he says this card will replace Don's recommendation for best $250 card and displace the 7950 Boost. ie. Don won't be recommending a $300 card that trades blows or barely beats a $250 card. If both were to end up $250, things change.

    quote - "A quick reference to Best Graphics Cards For The Money: June 2013 shows that Don is currently recommending the Tahiti-based Radeon HD 7870 for $250. With almost certainty, the GeForce GTX 760 will take that honor next month, displacing the Radeon HD 7950 with Boost at $300 in the process."
    Reply
  • mapesdhs
    Chris, what is it about the GTX 580 that makes it so slow for the CUDA Fluidmark
    test, given it does so well for the other CUDA tests, especially iRay and Blender?

    Btw, I don't suppose you could include 580 SLI results for the game tests? ;)
    Or do you have just the one 580?


    My only gripe with the 760 is the misuse of a model number which allows one to
    infer it should be quicker than older cards with 'lesser' names (660, etc.) when
    infact it's often slower. I really wish NVIDIA would stop releasing products that
    exhibit such enormous performance overlap. Given the evolutionary nature of
    GPUs, and the time that has passed since the 600s launched, one might
    reasonably expect a 760 to beat the 670 too, but it never does. To me, the
    price drop is the only thing it has going for it. The endless meddling with shader
    numbers, clocks, bus width, etc., creates an utter muddle of performance
    response depending on the game. One really has to judge based on the
    individual game rather than any general product description or spec summary.
    I just hope Skyrim players with 660s don't upgrade on the assumption newer
    model names mean better performance, but I expect some will.

    Ian.

    Reply
  • tomfreak
    GTX760 is an upgrade for GTX460/560 user and of all of that u didnt throw in those cards to bench with. Seriously?
    Reply
  • Novuake
    Nice review as per usual Chris.
    Amazing performance at 250$. The 265bit memory interface does wonders for GK104.

    Now I am wondering if there will even be a GTX760ti, while there is a large enough gap in the product stack, I have a feeling there is a chance there may not be a "ti" version.
    Anyone know more?
    Reply
  • sarinaide
    AMD will have to release a new interim Radeon series, the existing family is not to outdated to be stretched to much longer.
    Reply
  • Mousemonkey
    For those of us who fold it ain't no show stopper is it? :lol:
    Reply
  • horaciopz
    So, maybe there will be an GTX 760 ti, for about 300 bucks with the peformance of a GTX 670... Uh? nVidia really should. This remembers the gtx 400 series and 500 series... nVidia is doing it all over again.
    Reply