Kepler: The Return
First off, a bit of background about Nvidia’s Kepler and current lineup releases 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 are more modest; it’s now evolutionary, a stepping stone ahead, and not quite the giant leap we saw when Kepler launched.
So, how did we get here? After the 600 series lineup had matured, we saw the launch of Nvidia’s GTX Titan. Turns out that Titan was the answer to our collective and confused “Why?” as far as Nvidia’s product lineup goes, but it seems we didn’t know it at the time. In hindsight, it now makes sense because the GeForce GTX 780 was more of an improvement and refinement of Titan, not the GTX 680.
Then came the GTX 770, a bit further down the performance and price ladder, and then we finally saw the GTX 760, striving for the mid-range performance crown. Interestingly, Nvidia has informed us the GTX 760 is the last in the GeForce lineup for this generation, creating a mixture of 700 series cards at the top end, and 600 series cards at the budget end of the lineup. So don’t expect any secret releases in the Fall 2013 leading up to Christmas, contrary to what you may have heard in the rumor mill.
As for the chip architecture of the GTX 760, the CUDA cores sit at 1152, from 6 SMX units, while the GTX 760 also provides 2GB of GDDR5 in a 256-bit bus. The core clock speed is 980MHz Base Clock. The GPU Boost clock is 1033MHz, but remember, this is the minimum you can expect to achieve; higher speeds are absolutely possible as discussed earlier. The memory, meanwhile, runs at 1502MHz effective speeds. Peak bandwidth is 192.3GB/sec.
Here’s an image that shows a bit more detail on the particulars:
As you can see, the MSI GTX 760 HAWK comes with a factory overclock of 1111MHz on the Core, while most other specs remain the same as the reference. However, that only tells part of the story though, so let’s continue on with a discussion about GPU Boost 2.0 to delve a bit deeper and find out what this card is capable of doing.