Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 Review
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 video card drops neatly into the $249 price bracket with solid overall performance.
(3.5 out of 5)
- Faster than the GTX 660, though it’s not a direct replacement for that card
- Outperformed by the somewhat more expensive Radeon 7950, which ships with a full game bundle
Nvidia has spent the last few months busily refreshing its GPU lineup, starting with the top-end
Comparing the 600 and 700 families can get confusing, depending on whether you compare by price point or by card features. At the top of Nvidia’s current stack, there’s the GTX Titan—a $1,000 card based on the GK110 GPU. The
The Nvidia GTX 760 continues this trend. It has 1,152 cores, 96 TMUs, and 32 render output units (ROPs), as compared to 960 cores, 80 TMUs, and 24 ROPs on the old GTX 660. Price is also up, to $249 from $199. The card we tested is a 2GB GPU—Nvidia expects this to be the most common configuration, though manufacturers have the option to include 4GB if they see fit. Unlike the higher-end cards, all of which have borrowed the GTX Titan’s cooler design, the GTX 760 keeps the plastic-shroud and styling of the 600 family. One difference between the GTX 660 and the new GTX 760 is the power requirements— the newer card requires a pair of six-pin PCIe connectors, where the 660 only needed one.
Since Nvidia is keeping the Nvidia GTX 660 on the market, the new GTX 760 serves as an additional price point rather than an attempt to lift Nvidia’s margins by raising the price of its midrange card. The closest AMD competitor to the new GTX 760 that we had on hand is the
Our performance comparisons were done using an
In Civilization V’s “Late Game View” benchmark test, the GTX 760 was slightly behind the newer Nvidia GTX 770, at 87fps vs. 89fps. The AMD Radeon 7950 also hit 89 fps, which puts all three solutions in an effective three-way tie. Shogun 2: Total War, on the other hand, showed some differences—the GTX 760 hit 39fps here, slightly ahead of the more-expensive AMD Radeon 7950 at 37.5fps, but far behind the Nvidia GTX 770, at 50fps.
In Metro 2033 and its sequel, Metro: Last Light, AMD pulled slightly ahead. The GTX 760′s score of 29fps in Metro 2033 and 26fps in Metro Last Light was slightly behind the AMD Radeon 7950′s 32fps and 27fps, respectively. The GTX 770 hit 33fps in both tests, but you’ll want to adjust video details downwards on all these cards if you’re aiming for a smooth frame rate. The AMD Radeon 7950 led the Nvidia GTX 660 in BioShock Infinite (63fps to 57fps), and the Nvidia GTX 770 sped past both, at 71fps. In DiRT 3, the AMD Radeon 7950 turned in a score of 92fps while the GTX 760 hit 84fps.
Hitman: Absolution also favored the AMD Radeon 7950—the GTX 760 scored 29fps in the game’s built-in benchmark test, compared to 34.5fps for the AMD solution. Again, the Nvidia GTX 770 is well ahead, at 44fps, as we’d expect given the price delta ($249 vs. $399).
According to Nvidia, the GTX 760 is the last new GPU release for the next several months. In this case, the company isn’t retiring the old Nvidia GTX 660, which will continue at $199. Overall, the GTX 760 drops neatly into the gap between the $399 GTX 760 and the GTX 660—it’s more expensive than the $199 card, but offers more GPU cores, more raster outputs, and higher clock speeds. It’s also priced to come in just under AMD’s Radeon 7950.
The AMD 7950, however, isn’t particularly threatened by this new launch. While the two cards trade shots in several titles, the AMD solution is faster in five of the six games we tested. That’s more-or-less as it should be, given that it’s also more expensive. Like the Nvidia GTX 770, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 is best characterized as an incremental improvement to a strong product line. The AMDHD 7950 is a strong alternative for slightly more money (and the Never Settled bundle), but if you’re an Nvidia fan with a card from the GTX 400 or 500 era, this is a strong option as an upgrade that won’t break the bank.
By Joel Hruska, PCMag