MSI GTX780 Gaming Review
When you're at the high end of hardware the differences between each model or choice become a case of knowing exactly the features that are important to you and making your decision based upon which satisfies those demands the best.
As you can see from our testing, the MSI GTX780 Gaming has a hell of a lot going for it and was, more often than not, the ultimate performer when it comes to single GPU overclocked benchmarks. So what are the pros and cons then?
Looks are, of course, subjective. One persons hideous abomination is another's aesthetic triumph. How else do we explain those couples we see where it's clear who is slumming it and who has risen above their own level of beauty. We have to say that we very much like the MSI Gaming. It isn't solely a slave to function, and has just enough design touches to make it a pleasant thing to gaze upon. Of course the design is, to some degree, reliant upon the design of the Gaming Motherboards from MSI, but taking its design cue from the best looking 'board on the market isn't a bad thing.
Out of the box performance is very good. It's worth noting that the Gigabyte Windforce did just edge the MSI by a couple of frames in those tests in which a difference could be seen, so if you're very much a plug and forget type gamer then you might, just, be better off with the Gigabyte. Although of course either of them will provide an exceptional experience. Overclocking definitely favours the MSI. Quite often it gave us the highest result we've ever seen from a single GPU solution. The effort required to make the most of the MSI GTX780 Gaming is small, but you unquestionably reap the rewards. The 3D Mark scores were particularly responsive to our overclock and broke new ground in places.
Cooling is very good. By using just two fans, compared to the three of the Windforce, it's not a surprise to see a couple of degrees difference under extreme loading. However, nearly any choice of third party cooler will be better than the reference model and the Twin Frozr is as good as it's ever been here. The most stunning part is the silence. Using auto fans we never saw it spin above 56%, and you'd need to pass 70% before you could hear it, even with no other noise. So it's safe to say that the MSI Gaming will satisfy even the most noise-phobic user.
There is one feature that we couldn't test and that was the software which, when combining the GTX780 Gaming with a MSI Gaming motherboard should enable you to overclock, or power save, your entire system in a single click. We can't recommend the card based upon this because we haven't been able to test it, but if it proves as good as it should be then it might be the edge that tips the balance.
In summary the MSI GTX780 Gaming is an exceptional card, brutally fast, easy to overclock, quiet, looks great and the results back up the paper performance. It would be impossible not to recommend it as it's the best GTX780 around at the moment. For that reason alone it wins the OC3D Gold Award.