The simple fact right up front here is that the GeForce GTX 760 continues what we saw with the launch of the new lineup from Nvidia in the GTX 780 and 770 products. Improving upon its 600-series predecessors in nearly every regard, from performance and features, to temperatures versus power approach, this new lineup is impressive.
We wondered by Nvidia was stopping their new Kepler lineup with the GTX 760, and part of the reason became evident during testing. The 760 nearly matches the previous-gen 670, while easily beating the 660 Ti, so this new card would effectively cannibalize Nvidia’s current lineup. That means the 660 Ti, 670, and 680 are effectively end-of-life. To get a budget-oriented Nvidia card, you’re looking at a GTX 660 or 650 Ti. Another reason we suspect, is there simply isn’t enough profit margin to be made by this hotrod chip architecture in the budget realm. Feeding pearls to swine, as it were, doesn’t rake in the profits.
With the healthy factory overclock, as well as the ability to push things even higher manually, the MSI GTX 760 HAWK easily thrashes the competition’s Radeon 7950 without breaking a sweat, and very nearly matches the 7970 in a few instances.
With the triple voltage abilities backed by the improved power design and solid components, the GTX 760 HAWK overclocks like a champ, achieving a 20% increase on the reference design (we expect better results from board partners). However, it must be mentioned that you’ll experience diminishing returns because of the healthy “free” overclock already built into the card.
MSI has the GTX 760 HAWK set to retail for about $299, and while it’s not the cheapest 760 card out there, it’s arguably the very best out there. Considering the high caliber components, low temperature and noise potential, and stunning overclocking ability, it’s very well positioned to gain marketshare in that critical mid-range segment. This certainly puts AMD in a very tough spot because there is nothing in their product lineup that can come close to Nvidia’s current stable of cards on a performance-to-price point. Nvidia now rules the roost for performance with the golden trifecta of the GTX 780, 770, and 760. While AMD may respond with price drops, we think that may not be enough, as the framerates and innovative features here are just too good to pass up. Unless you’re an AMD fanboy, the GTX 760 is clearly the better option.
Nvidia continues to impress in its newest Kepler lineup, and the MSI GTX 760 HAWK is one of the best in class, showcasing an excellent combination of sleek styling, innovative features, top quality, and outstanding performance.
MSI GTX 760 HAWK