Nvidia has yet another success in the form of its latest 700 series GPUs. Kepler (the 600 series) was a big hit in any case and the new 700 series refines it further, adding lower power requirements, new features and, of course, more performance. We already saw what the GTX 780 is capable of and now it’s time to take a look at the GTX 770, a card that will eventually replace the GTX 670. ZOTAC promptly sent us its AMP Edition for review so we can see how much of a performance difference you get as compared to the stock card.
Design and build
ZOTAC has done away with the stock cooler and has gone with its own “Dual Silencer” cooler. The custom cooler has an open air design and features a large aluminium heatsink that’s cooled by two fans, instead of one. While the orange fans are definitely more eye catching, they also introduce fan noise. The stock cooler, on the other hand, uses vapour chamber technology and a blower-style fan, which is a lot quieter and dispenses hot air directly outside the chassis.
Good design and build
Connectivity wise we have two DVI ports and full-sized HDMI and DisplayPort. There are exhaust vents at the back, but it’s frankly not of much use because of the open air design. The ports for power are also re-arranged a little. You also have SLI support. The card is very long at around 10.5 inches, so make sure you have plenty of room in your chassis.
The GTX 770 is pretty much identical to the GTX 780, right down to the last ROP. Based on the same GK104 silicon, the GTX 770 packs in 1536 CUDA cores or shaders, 32 ROPs and a 256-bit memory bus, just like the GTX 680. What’s changed is the much faster 1753MHz memory (7012MHz effective), which is the fastest GDDR5 memory to date. This being the AMP Edition, ZOTAC has bumped up the clocks a little more out-of-the-box. The core now runs at 1150MHz (1045MHz on stock) and the memory is clocked at 7200MHz, so it’s a very good bump all round. Other features are similar to what you get in the GTX 780, such as GPU Boost 2.0, advanced AA modes (TXAA and FXAA) as well as full support for SHIELD and Shadow Play.
The dual-slot cooler
As a bonus, ZOTAC also bundles a Splinter Cell compilation pack that includes full version of Double Agent, Conviction and a download key for the yet to be released game, Blacklist.
Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz
Motherboard: GIGABYTE P67A-UD3R
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (4GB x 2) @1600MHz
Storage: Plextor PX-256M2S SSD (boot drive), WD Velociraptor 300GB (secondary)
PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro 1000W
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
3DMark is a computer benchmarking tool created and developed by Futuremark Corporation to determine the performance of a computer's 3D graphic rendering and CPU workload processing capabilities. The latest version makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. We used the “Performance” preset for this benchmark.
Battlefield 3 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and is based on the new Frostbite 2 game engine. The game only supports DX10 and DX11, which enables enhanced in-game destruction with Destruction 3.0, creating more refined physics than its predecessor and quasi-realtime radiosity using Geometrics' Enlighten technology. The game is a visual treat and a nightmare for graphics cards, which makes it perfect for our test. We used the “Ultra High” preset, Post AA – High, Blur – Full, Field of View – 90, Level – “Fear no Evil”.
Crysis 2 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Crytek and is based on the new CryEngine 3. Just like the first iteration of the game, Crysis 2 continues to be one of the best looking shooters to date. The settings used for this benchmark were “Ultra High” preset in Adrenalin, DX11 and High-resolution texture patch.
Dirt 3 is a rallying video game and the third in the Dirt series of the Colin McRae Rally series, developed and published by Codemasters. The game is extremely scalable and features DX11 tessellation effects. We used the built-in benchmark tool, along with “Ultra” quality preset.
Metro 2033 is a first-person shooter video game that continues to bring even the toughest graphics cards down to their knees. The game has a lot of DX11 eye-candy, which really puts a strain on any GPU. All DX11 features were enabled for the benchmark and we used the “Tower” level for our test.
Verdict and price in India
ZOTAC has priced the AMP Edition of the GTX 770 at Rs.31,990, which is not bad considering it’s a lot cheaper than a GTX 680 and quite a bit faster as well in some games. The GTX 770 offers all the features of last year’s flagship with added performance for a cheaper price, which makes it good value. ZOTAC also has a 4GB variant, but that’s only useful if you’re going for a multi-monitor setup.
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