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Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti Review: GK110, Fully Unlocked

Results: Metro: Last Light

At every resolution, GeForce GTX 780 Ti is the fastest single-GPU graphics card you can buy. Granted, that distinction isn’t uncontestable—it’s only a couple of frames up on AMD’s Radeon R9 290X press board with its higher 40% fan speed, and could easily be challenged by a third-party board with better cooling. However, our retail card shows us that when Hawaii heats up and cannot be cooled fast enough, 780 Ti could be up to 22% faster at 2560x1440 as 290X drops below the performance levels of a vanilla GeForce GTX 780.  

Bumping up fan speed on the AMD card is going to help that. However, then you’re also messing with acoustics, and noise can be a big issue with the reference cooler, too.

I personally think the average frame rate chart is more telling than any of the frame rate over time graphics, if only because the spread between boards appears so tight. It is worth pointing out that the GeForce GTX 780 Ti doesn’t drop below 30 FPS at 2560x1440, while our retail R9 290X does flirt with this boundary.

These are the same frame time variance outliers observed in our Radeon R9 290 coverage. We have four different GPUs with varying memory configurations represented, so it’s unlikely that any one variable is to blame. More than likely, if we were to zoom in to 96th or 97th percentile numbers, similar worst-case conditions would crop up for the other cards, too.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.