According to both sides of the battle, this will likely be the last graphics card release we see for the enthusiast community for quite a while, so where does that leave the GPU landscape?
NVIDA definitely feels that they are being aggressive with the GeForce GTX 760 and its price point, going right after AMD and its claims of value via game bundle. In my testing, the GTX 760 at reference speeds is just a bit faster than the Radeon HD 7950 3GB with Boost, so it is obviously even faster than the HD 7950 without the Boost technology. Most of the time those performance gaps are very small and in a couple of instances the HD 7950 Boost was faster (DiRT 3 and Sleeping Dogs @ 2560×1440). For single GPU performance, I think it would be fair to call the battle between the combatants a virtual tie.
What is not a tie though is the multi-card scenario as NVIDIA’s SLI technology continues to dominate over the CrossFire implementation we saw in our 13.6 public beta drivers. With frame pacing as the key issue for user experience in multi-GPU scenarios, NVIDIA has the leg up still and will likely have it for at least another month. AMD has publicly posted that it plans to release a frame pacing improvement driver to the public on July 31st and I am eagerly awaiting our opportunity to test it and put it through our Frame Rating process. Trust me guys, no one wants to see AMD address these multi-GPU performance issues more than we do and if AMD can improve on the results we saw with the prototype driver released with the HD 7990, they should be in good shape.
When we pit the new GTX 760 against the GTX 770 the performance difference is quite noticeable. In some cases we saw gaps as small as 18% (Skyrim) and as large as 35% (Sleeping Dogs) so NVIDIA seems to have avoided the issue of the GTX 680/GTX 670 where price differences did not match up with the performance differences. The GTX 760 is definitely a step down from the GTX 770 when it comes to the gaming experience it provides but it also has a sizeable price advantage as well.
Pricing and Availability
Available today starting at $249, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 card is going to shake things up a bit. If you agree with our performance estimates of near-parity between it and the Radeon HD 7950 Boost card, then AMD is in a $50 hole as the HD 7950 Boost currently sells for $299. With the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition going for $220 as well, the $30 price increase to jump up to the performance level of the GTX 760 is an easy decision.
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB – $249
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2GB – $399
- AMD Radeon HD 7950 Boost 3GB – $299
- AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Editiong 2GB – $210
AMD definitely still has a feather in its cap with the game bundles; the Radeon HD 7950 Boost will come with Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. The question is whether or not you as a buyer see the same value in those games that AMD does. Do you already own them? Are you uninterested in them? If so then the bundle doesn’t mean much for you unless you like gifting games!
As a reviewer, after doing testing with the GeForce GTX 760 but not yet knowing the price point (why the GPU vendors do this to us beyond me…) I was guessing that NVIDIA would take the standard route and set the MSRP at $299. Just 3 days before the NDA though they told me it would actually sell at $249 and I have to admit as a consumer that I was really excited. Not only does the GeForce GTX 760 offer some awesome performance for gamers running single display configurations but NVIDIA was willing to potentially start a pricing battle with it, a solid $50 under the Radeon HD 7950 Boost.
Will AMD drop prices on its cards? Usually by now I would have known if they were going to, so my first guess is that they will not. As a company they have invested a lot of money in the game bundle packages and they need to impart the value that the Never Settle campaign offers gamers. As a gamer though, it’s great to have options like we have today and the GeForce GTX 760 might just be the best release of the generation.
EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SC 2GB