With the wonderful GTX780 and GTX770 fresh in our memory, it's time to take a look at the mid-range GTX760.
The GTX780 was based around a slightly reduced Titan core and the results bore out that extraordinary performance. The GTX770 was a tweaked version of the GTX680, and retained the excellent frame-rates we saw there. Today's review, the GTX760, is a rebadged GTX670.
The GTX670 was a superb card for the money, giving great performance at a relatively affordable price. The big change with the GTX760 is the price drop. Expected to hit the market at £210, it should be the choice for the majority of gamers on a budget.
So where have nVidia managed to save money to enable such a price cut? As far as we can see it's just in the amount of CUDA cores. The GTX670 has 1344 cores, whereas the GTX760 has one shader block disabled giving us a total of 1152 CUDA Cores. This fits it between the GTX660 and GTX670 in terms of pure cores, so let's see if the performance takes a hit.
The GTX760 is clearly based around the older architecture, not utilising the excellent and aesthetically attractive new cooler, but staying with the old black plastic affair.
If you've seen any of the 6xx series then you've seen the GTX760. A single DisplayPort, HDMI and two DVIs provide the outputs, but otherwise it's very much a rebranded 6 series.
Intel Core i7-3960X @ 4.6GHz
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
Corsair Dominator Platinum
Corsair Neutron GTX
Windows 7 x64
The original GTX670 we managed to overclock to 1045/1110 with the memory remaining at stock. So the refreshed version with clock speeds of 1105/1158 and an extra 150MHz (600MHz effective) on the GDDR5 should help reclaim some of the performance lost from the reduced number of cores.
The GPU Boost 2.0 technology does its job in keeping the card within the temperature threshold, although with the stock cooler still being quite average this will probably declock our overclock a little bit in the more extreme benchmarks.
3D Mark Vantage
Obviously the main comparison card will be the GTX670 that the GTX760 sort of replaces. nVidia suggest it's a replacement for the GTX660, which it theoretically is with the x60 part, but we know beneath the cooler beats a theoretical GTX665. Got that?
3D Mark Vantage is our first test and the GTX670 gave us 33000 and 18000, whereas the GTX760 rocks in with 37701 and 19376 in the Performance and eXtreme tests respectively. A decent start.
3D Mark 11
The GTX760 keeps its performance a shade above the earlier card, although by a greatly reduced margin. Our overclock brings a fair bit of extra speed with the P score rising from 8640 to 9446 and the X score up from 2925 to 3229.
The latest version of 3D Mark is recent enough that we have fewer comparisons. It certainly whips the GTX650Ti Boost as we'd expect, and equally the pricier GTX770 has a huge advantage. Still our overclock can make a difference with the benchmarks at the resolutions you're likely to run, Cloud Gate and Firestrike moving from 26147 to 27310 and 5769 to 6323 respectively.
As the oldest benchmark in our suite, Alien vs Predator is the one with the biggest back catalogue of results. The first thing to note is that the GTX760 gives the same 88.6 FPS average whether at stock or overclocked. For comparison the GTX670 was nearer 100FPS and the HD7870 is around the same performance as the GTX760, albeit for much less money.
Batman Arkham City
Since the drivers and patches caught up with the requirements of Batman Arkham City, we've seen very few cards that can't run it flat out and the GTX760 is no exception. Hopefully Arkham Origins will prove a sterner test.
We're big fans of the HD7870 LE here, and in Bioshock Infinite you can see why. The LE gave us 96.7 FPS average, whereas the GTX760 is only capable of 62FPS. Still enough to provide smooth gameplay, just not jaw-dropping.
With everything on maximum the GTX760 makes a decent fist of Crysis 3, with 32FPS average in both stock and overclocked trim. That's higher than the GTX650Ti Boost SLI arrangement, although 10FPS behind the GTX770.
Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 is another title where the GTX760 is 10FPS behind the GTX770 only only half a frame behind the GTX670. 33FPS is just on the edge of playable, largely thanks to the slower pace of the Far Cry games as a whole.
Resident Evil 6
Around 9500 points in the Resident Evil 6 benchmark rates the GTX760 as very smooth. The benefits of the outstanding job that Capcom do in porting their titles to the PC platform.
The latest adventures of Agent 47 require a very beefy system to run smoothly, as demonstrated by the 35FPS average on the GTX770 and 30FPS average on today's card, the GTX760.
If Sleeping Dogs is your game of choice then the HD7870 again proves that it's a very affordable option, matching the 40FPS average we see on the GTX760. The extra performance of the GTX770 definitely makes a difference, being 20% better than the GTX760.
Finally we wave goodbye to Metro 2033 and the GTX760 sums up the nVidia results in this particular title, giving a fairly average 36FPS, nearly identical to the GTX670.
Metro Last Light
If anyone was hoping that the new Metro title would see a big boost in performance will be sad to see that, on the GTX760 at least, it's even more demanding. 24FPS at stock and 26FPS when overclocked aren't exactly jaw-dropping scores.
Considering that the GTX650Ti Boost gave us 42FPS then it's quite disappointing that the GTX760 is only able to bring 45FPS to the table. To put that into perspective the GTX770 was just a hair over 60FPS.
Things look better for the GTX760 in CatZilla, with a nearly linear performance gap between the various cards in the nVidia range. Pricier = better seems to be the mantra.
Moving on to Unigine Heaven and the GTX760 is nearly indistinguishable from the GTX670. 69FPS at stock and 77FPS on the overclock are pretty decent, and proof that if you're careful with the level of anti-aliasing then the GTX760 can provide a smooth experience.
Ramping up the anti-aliasing naturally drops the performance, but not as much as we'd expect. 47 and 52 on the stock and overclocked respectively, which is only 9 and 4FPS behind the GTX770.
Unigine Valley highlights both the strengths and weaknesses of the GTX760. 20 FPS behind the GTX770 without anti-aliasing but only 7 behind when the 8xMSAA is employed.
The GTX760 is a bit of a mixed bag, and how you feel about it definitely depends upon where you're viewing it from.
If you focus solely upon the nVidia numbering scheme and consider the GTX760 a replacement for the GTX660, then you'll be pleasantly surprised. For the fairly affordable sum of £210 you're getting a card that performs well in every scenario. If you're careful with your choice of settings then you can make any game, even Crysis 3, playable. Overclocking brings a little extra performance to the table, depending entirely upon the demanding nature of the title. Because the cooler is the older 6 series reference model it isn't capable of keeping the card as cool as we'd like and so the GPU Boost 2.0 often reduces the overclock slightly to maintain the temperatures. Naturally a better, third-party, cooler should allow the overclock to shine a little more. Although even still you're not able to bridge the gap to the model above, in this case the GTX770.
However, we know that the GTX760 isn't really a replacement for the GTX660. Because it has an extra block of CUDA Cores it's actually a halfway house between the GTX660 and GTX670. The results reflect this, with some of the best GTX660s (the Gigabyte Windforce for example) or the best GTX670s (MSI Power Edition) able to beat it out in our results. Also the card is already reflecting its mid-range price-point in the latest titles, so you're not going to be future-proofing yourself. It's more of a stop-gap until the next generation.
So if you're looking to upgrade from a GTX 6xx card, then you're better off skipping this particular model. If, however, you're still on a 5 series, then the GTX760 has enough performance to make it a worthwhile purchase. If you're in the market for a graphics card for an entirely new system then the GTX760 should be high up on your list. It combines good performance at a good price, although we'd wait for a third-party cooler to unlock some of the better overclocking ability. We would also like to point out that the Radeon HD7870LE not only comes in at £60 or so less than the GTX760, but it also comes with the four games as part of the AMD Never Settle bundle, so could provide better value for money if you're starting from a clean slate.
All in all the nVidia GTX760 is a solid but unspectacular offering, that brings exactly the amount of 3D performance you'd expect to find for £210, and for that reason we award it our OC3D Gamers Choice.
Thanks to nVidia for supplying the GTX760 for review. Discuss our findings in our OC3D Forums.