Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB Review (Page 3 of 14)

Page 3 - A Closer Look, Test System

The GV-N760OC-2GD GeForce GTX 760 2GB features the company's WindForce 3X cooler, featuring what the company calls the Triangle Cool Technology. We have first seen this in the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB we have reviewed last year. As its name suggests, this graphics card has a large heatsink with three 80 mm PWM cooling fans; used to dissipate the heat away from the graphics processor core as well as its memory chips. This process is accelerated by three direct contact copper heatpipes leading away from the center block to the large array of fins the right side. It extends slightly to the left as well, but a large chunk of the work is done by the radiator on the right. Gigabyte's Triangle Cool features fins with a special shaped structure and optimized angles to reduce air turbulence noise (Such a phenomenon is usually caused by straight perpendicular fins), which is essential to designing a silent cooling solution in addition to using quiet fans. The fans itself aim straight into the radiator. Meanwhile, as shown in our photo above, the cooler covers the entire length of the non-reference blue printed circuit board measured at 27.5 cm (Around 11 inches). The black heatsink carries a glossy finish for its plastic cover with the company's logo on every fan. The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB is manufactured at Gigabyte's facilities in Taiwan.

Turning the graphics card around, Gigabyte's signature blue solder mask can be seen more clearly. From an aesthetics point of view, I have never really liked Gigabyte's blue motherboards back in the days in my windowed case, but as far as graphics cards are concerned, that has never really been a problem for me. Like all modern midrange to high performance video cards, the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB occupies two slots, and the rear connector panel takes advantage of this configuration. One DVI-I port can be found at the top, with a HDMI and DisplayPort adjacent to it. A DVI-D connector is located on the secondary slot. This means you can plug in four displays concurrently without any separately purchased accessories -- cool. Internally, its SLI bridge connectors are located on the left side of the outer edge. And finally, I don't think I need to mention this, but just in case, the connection interface is PCI Express 3.0.

Four spring loaded screws with clear plastic washers are located on top of the board to hold the heatsink to the card. Once the four screws were unscrewed, the heatsink came off very easily. With its triple heatpipe and triple fan configuration, Gigabyte promises its WindForce 3X design runs considerably cooler than NVIDIA's reference stock heatsink. We will post actual temperature results shortly. Our photo above should provide a little more insight into the hardware used on Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 760 2GB card. One 6-pin and one 8-pin PCI Express power connector are still located on the outer edge of the board facing towards the side of the chassis -- but for its non-reference design, Gigabyte has 100% Japanese made solid state capacitors, ferrite core/metal choke, and lower RDS(on) MOFSET for improved reliability, lower power consumption, and lower heat output. Combined with its 2oz copper PCB, Gigabyte markets this as its Ultra Durable design. Every Gigabyte video card I have reviewed in the past has been used in production machines here at APH Networks, and I have never experienced any reliability issues at all.

The custom heatsink features direct heatpipe contact over the GPU core with thermal pads that go over the memory chips to provide additional cooling. The heatsink base has a fairly smooth finish with no excess thermal paste, so it makes pretty good contact with the GK104 chip during operation. With all these in mind, Gigabyte promises 10-30% lower power switching loss, 10-30% better overclocking capabilities, and 5-10% lower temperatures just purely due to electronics. We will see how it works out in just a moment.

In the center of it all is NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 760 GK104 "Kepler" graphics processor unit, which we have discussed in detail in the preceding page. This GPU is designed to run at a minimum of 980MHz with 1033MHz boost as aforementioned, but Gigabyte gave it a slight bump in the factory firmware to run it at 1085MHz base and 1150MHz boost; a modest 11% overclock. Our card came with eight Hynix H5GQ2H24AFR memory ICs for a total of 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory. That is 256MB per chip, running at 1602MHz (6008MHz effective), which is the same as NVIDIA's stock specifications. We will see how well it goes above that later on in our review in the overclocking section.

Our test configuration as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.50GHz
CPU Cooling: Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro (Noctua NF-F12)
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws-X F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL 4x4GB
Storage: SanDisk Extreme II 240GB
Chassis: Lian Li PC-B12
Power: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi Bravura
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional x64

Compared Hardware:
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB (980MHz core/1150MHz boost/6008MHz memory)
- Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB OC (1100MHz core/4800MHz memory)
- AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB (Stock reference)

Page Index
1. Introduction, Specifications, Bundle
2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 Architecture
3. A Closer Look, Test System
4. Benchmark: 3DMark
5. Benchmark: Battlefield 3
6. Benchmark: BioShock Infinite
7. Benchmark: Crysis 3
8. Benchmark: DiRT 3
9. Benchmark: Medal of Honor: Warfighter
10. Benchmark: Metro: Last Light
11. Benchmark: Unigine: Heaven 4.0
12. Power Usage, Temperature, Noise
13. Overclocking and Conclusion