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PNY GeForce GTX 780 XLR8 OC Review

PNY GeForce GTX 780 XLR8 OC 3GB Review

Manufacturer: PNY
UK price (as reviewed):
£395.74 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): Currently unavailable

With the AMD R9 290-series cards forcing rather dramatic price drops for Nvidia's high-end products and Nvidia also attempting to increase its value proposition with its new Pirates, Heroes and Spies games bundle, now is the perfect time to take a look at what the green team's board partners can come up with. The card we're looking at today is PNY's GTX 780 XLR8. While £400 is still a lot to pay for a GPU, it's a more realistic price than the GTX 780 has ever seen, and PNY's card is one of the fastest and cheapest GTX 780 cards on the market, which certainly bodes well.

Bundled with the card are the usual DVI-VGA and dual molex to PCI-E power adapters, but what you'll really be saying bye bye to £400 for is the GTX 780 GPU. As a reminder, this GPU is a 7.1 billion transistor one made on a 28nm process. As a slightly cut down GK110 (the same GPU featured in GTX Titan and the GTX 780 Ti), it boasts 2,304 stream processors and 194 texture units as well as 48 ROPs. It also has access to 3GB of GDDR5 via a 384-bit bus. As ever, you'll find much more information on it in our original GTX 780 review.

PNY GeForce GTX 780 XLR8 OC Review
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At stock speeds, the GTX 780 runs at 863MHz, with a boost clock of 900MHz and a memory speed of 1.5GHz (6GHz effective). For the GTX 780 XLR8, PNY has increased the core clock speed to a whopping 1,006MHz, which brings the boost clock to 1,059MHz. This is almost a 17 percent increase over stock speeds, far more than we're used to seeing and one that means PNY has one of the fastest GTX 780 cards available. As a reference, we were only able to get our vanilla GTX 780 to 1,023MHz, and that was enough to surpass GTX Titan's performance, so PNY's card is certainly in good standings.

The large GPU overclock is complemented by a modest memory speed increase too. The GTX 780 XLR8 memory runs at 1.55GHz (6.2GHz effective), bringing the total memory bandwidth up from 288GB/sec to 298GB/sec.

PNY GeForce GTX 780 XLR8 OC Review
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Although the GTX 780 XLR8 uses the stock GTX 780 PCB, its length is extended from 267mm to 300mm thanks to the cooler's overhang. It uses the standard selection of dual DVI ports alongside a HDMI connection and one DisplayPort. There's nothing of interest on the rear side of the PCB, and the card draws power through the usual 6-pin/8-pin PCI-E combination.

The card feels very solid as the outer shell of the cooler is all metal, and this has been finished in black with yellow racing stripes. The cooler isn't fully enclosed, however, so you can expect the majority of hot air to be exhausted back into your chassis. This means adequate case ventilation is a must, especially if you're pairing up two or more of the cards. The GTX 780 XLR8 is cooled by a triplet of downdraft fans, which are partly to blame for the extended length, and the two smaller fans flank the larger middle one on either side.

PNY GeForce GTX 780 XLR8 OC ReviewPNY GeForce GTX 780 XLR8 OC Review
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The chunky aluminium cooler is only held in place with four screws around the GPU, but we'd prefer it to be a little more secure than this. The biggest heatsink sits directly on top of the GPU, while four nickel-plated copper heat pipes feed two smaller heatsinks to the side. All three of the fans are wired up and powered by the board's single fan header.

PNY GeForce GTX 780 XLR8 OC Review
Click to enlarge

Underneath the cooler you'll find the stock GTX 780 PCB with dual SLI connections and a 6+2 phase power delivery system. PNY has opted for Samsung GDDR5 memory chips, which carry the part number K4G20325FD-FC03 and are all on the front side of the PCB. All of the MOSFETs and memory modules are cooled via thermal pads and a fairly thin black metal plate. Oddly, this plate doesn't actually make contact with the main heatsink, but airflow from the trio of fans above should still be enough to dissipate its heat.

Specifications

  • Graphics processor Nvidia GeForce GTX 780, 1,006MHz boosting to 1,059MHz
  • Pipeline 2,304 stream processors, 194 texture units, 48 ROPs
  • Memory 3GB GDDR5, 6.2GHz effective
  • Bandwidth 298GB/sec, 384-bit interface
  • Compatibility Direct X 11, OpenGL 4.3
  • Outputs/Inputs Dual Link DVI-I, Dual Link DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort
  • Power connections 1 x 8-pin PCI-E, 1 x 6-pin PCI-E, top-mounted
  • Size 300mm, dual slot
  • Warranty Three years