First off, a bit of background about Nvidia’s lineup for those who may be living under a rock and unfamiliar.
When Nvidia’s Kepler GTX GeForce 680 launched amidst much hype and fanfare, it was a revolutionary step forward from the days of Fermi. The changes and advances were significant in just about every facet, and the popularity of Kepler is a testament to its own success. So where to go from there? Moving forward, the 700 series was the next natural step for Nvidia, but the advances were evolutionary, a stepping stone ahead, and not quite the giant leap we saw when Kepler launched.
Then came the GTX 770, a bit further down the performance and price ladder, and then we saw the GTX 760, striving for the mid-range performance crown. Interestingly, Nvidia made the GTX 760 is the last in the GeForce lineup for the Kepler generation, creating a mixture of 700 series cards at the top end, and 600 series cards at the budget end of the lineup. So that left a bit of a vacuum of new products at the lower-tier range of the performance charts, and that brings us to Maxwell.
Maxwell strives to fill that gap in the budget-oriented performance, and does so with a few new features and architectural updates. Maxwell moves down to 28nm process, with a die size of 148mm2, thus increasing the density of the transistors over the previous generation. Another main difference between Kepler and Maxwell is the larger L2 cache in the new chip. Lastly, the overarching improvement is the power efficiency; GM107 is highly touted for its lower power consumption, as the GTX 750 Ti won’t require supplemental PCI-E power (for reference or non-overclocked models). This means it’ll have a maximum 75W TDP, only drawing power from the motherboard itself. So for anyone looking for lower power HTPC or gaming card, the GTX 750 Ti might be your new best friend.
There are Stream Multiprocessors with Maxwell (referred to as “SMM”), five in total. Each SMM has 128 CUDA cores, down from Kepler’s 192, for a total of 640 in Maxwell on the GTX 750 Ti.
With 2GB of GDDR5 on a 128-Bit bus, the Gigabyte card some with clocks of 1033MHz Core, 1350MHz Memory, and 1111MHz Boost. This card is overclocked, though it’s not very aggressive, which is a bit surprising given the additional power connector available (as we’ll soon see).
With the features tour now complete, let’s look at the Gigabyte GTX 750 Ti Windforce itself.