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 over a year ago, 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 has been 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 now we see the GTX 760, which strives more for the mid-range performance crown, with a retail price of $249 for the reference model. 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 you’ll see in the overclocking section of this review. 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:
While the reference design is 2GB of GDDR5, it appears some board partners will be hitting shelves with 4GB, so expect these models for those who want a bit of extra punch for higher resolutions. The GTX 760 reference will be $249, while we expect 4GB models for about $50 more. Custom cooling will be offered by various partners as well, and we’ll be looking at the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Windforce in our other launch day review, and it comes at only $10 than the reference design for a custom cooler and factory overclock.