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Picking a 780

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johnnyfive622
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2013/12/12 17:51:07 (permalink)
Hey guys,
 
It is long past time to upgrade my gtx 295. It's been a beauty, but retirement is here.  This will be going in my sig rig.  I currently game on a 27" 1920 x 1080 monitor.  In the not distant future, I will either upgrade to a 1440 or triple 1080s, so my new card needs to be beefy enough to support future growth.  Right now I am playing skyrim, bioshock infinite, and war thunder.  The card will be watercooled.  I want to stick with EVGA.  I am considering three options.
 
1.  vanilla GTX 780 with block ~$680 with block
2.  780 classified hydrocopper $720
3.  780 ti  ~$850 with block
 
With my resolution (now and future) and gaming choices, what do yall suggest?  I am currently leaning towards 2, as the price between it and the vanilla is not that great.  However, is the TI so much better to warrant the extra $130?  I know I won't use a kingpin in a way to justify it, and the classified is probably going to be more than I want to spend.
 
I appreciate your thoughts!
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    Sajin
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/12 17:56:54 (permalink)
    How long do you plan to keep the card / cards?

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    johnnyfive622
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/12 18:31:30 (permalink)
    I tend to keep cards for a long time.  Ive had the 295 since 2007 or so.
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    Sajin
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/12 18:41:17 (permalink)
    Go with the 780 ti. I would be worried about the 3GB of VRAM though as games at maximum settings may use it all up, especially future games since you're looking to keep them for a good while. You might consider going with a Titan.

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    johnnyfive622
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/12 18:59:35 (permalink)
    Would I be better off buying a 770 or the vanilla 780 and the upgrading in a year or 2?
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    Sajin
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/12 19:04:21 (permalink)
    johnnyfive622
    Would I be better off buying a 770 or the vanilla 780 and the upgrading in a year or 2?


    Yes, that would be the better option, but do you mind waiting is the question.

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    johnnyfive622
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/12 19:15:56 (permalink)
    I don't know that I mind waiting, if the 770 or vanilla 780 would be an improvement over my 295 (I don't doubt it!).  My question, I guess, is what would I be waiting for?  The 800 series?  Do we expect higher vram there?
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    Sajin
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/12 19:29:45 (permalink)
    On the higher end Maxwell chips there could be higher VRAM upto 8GB.

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    eduncan911
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/12 19:40:02 (permalink)
    I speak from the aspect of tri-monitors since 2008 at 5760x1080 resolution with 120 hz (3D Vision monitors).  
     
    Battlefield 3 hovers around 2.7-2.9 GB of ram at that resolution with everything on Ultra.
     
    Battlefield 4 peaks around 3.2 to 3.4 GB of ram with everything maxed out in single player, multiplayer has seen upwards of 3.6 GB of ram at times (why?  I don't know).  But, even 2x Titans can't handle BF4's new engine; so, I have to turn down the 4xMSAA down to 0xMSAA to keep the frame rates above 100 FPS (I want 120 FPS with my 120 Hz monitors).
     
    Skyrim with lots of bitmap texture mods has gotten up to 3.6 GB of ram depending on the scenes.  Usually hovers between 2.6 and 3 GB though.
     
    Point being: 3 GB is dated.  Yes, you'll live a nice long life with 3 GB today - knowing you have to limit your settings in the future though - which means you'll have to turn down graphics in order to save on Vram - which means you won't be able to fully utilize that GPU.  
     
    With that said, I wouldn't pay the premiums for the Ti.  My 780 Classified on stock BIOS beats out a stock Ti easily, according to 3dmark.  Being watercooled, you are in for a treat with the 780 Classified.  It's a great buy right now.
     
    But there is the saying that if you are going to buy a single GPU, and hold onto it for 5 years, you might as well go out on top so there is no buyer's remorse, right?  My problem with that is the premium Nvidia charges for the "top" GPU.  
     
    If you can hold out until April or May 2014, when the 800 series is released, you'll be able to pick up a new 780 Ti for about $550.  That is if you care about money.
     
     
    My last thought would be a used Titan with 6 GB of ram - this is what I did (sold my 780 Classifieds, went with Titans to sit on them for a long long time).  They are a great buy right now at around $600 to $700 (I saw one go for $530 on eBay).  You get the warranty with the card.  Then, pick up a waterblock.  I personally like EVGA's full-PCB waterblocks, but a lot of people want the EK blocks.  To each his own I guess.
     
    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=38204
     
    GTX 780 < GTX Titan < GTX 780 Ti
     
    And we are only talking 1 to 3% differences in each.  It's not a big deal, but you get 6GB of ram with the Titan to enjoy Skyrim like never you have never seen it before!  Trust me.. Install a few texture packs and be blow away compared to what the 896 MB GTX 295 can show you in Skyrim (I've had plenty of GTX 295s - it says 1.7 GB of ram, which is BS - it's only 896 MB per GPU frame buffer).
     
    I've loaded up a custom BIOS on my air-cooled ACX Titans, and it made a world of difference in stability and memory overclocking.  I just hate the heat that the ACX coolers dump into my chassis (I may switch to the stock reference coolers that I got with my used Titan deal).
     
    As of yesterday, I hold the Top 25 position for the fastest 2-way SLI in Firestrike Extreme (27th in Firestrike normal).  I'd say Titans can hold their own, save the premium price and go with 6 GB of ram.
    post edited by eduncan911 - 2013/12/12 19:43:16

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    FalconX79Dark
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/12 20:27:41 (permalink)
    Have read dozens and dozens of reviews on the 700 series and titan cards and no one has spelled it out as clearly as eduncan911 has in regards to the 3Gb issue.  For that very reason I am thinking about waiting for the Maxwell's, paying an arm and a leg for a Titan, or buying two 770 4Gb Classified in SLI which is faster than a single 780, single 780 Ti, or single Titan.  [link=http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/gtx_780_ti_sli_geforce_review,19.html]http://www.guru3d.com/art...geforce_review,19.html[/link]
     
    I thought the 770 SLI had a lot of advantages
     
    1) best performance/dollar.  Anything above 770 you are paying a performance premium.
    2) Inexpensive to add more cards
    3) future proof with 4 Gb
    4) price will continue to fall if you want a 3'rd or 4'th card
    5) currently on sale at some retailers.
    6) Time a 3'rd card purchase when they offer a new games promotion.
     
     
     
     
    post edited by FalconX79Dark - 2013/12/12 20:41:46


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    eduncan911
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 05:11:29 (permalink)
    About that 770 and lower series... They are just rebranded 680s with a slightly higher clock.  Look closely at the specs: they are 256 bit memory bus, not the 384 that is in the 780/Titan/780 Ti and look closely at the benchmarks of 680 vs 770.  This is why memory in the 670/680/760/770 are all 2 GB or 4 GB.  With the 384 bit bus, you start at 3 GB and 6 GB.  I haven't seen anything, but I'm hoping the Maxwell chip will be 512bit to compete with AMD.  If so, I'll skip the 800 series and go after a 980 or whatever it's called in April/May of 2015 (you can quote me on release dates, I've been tracking Nvidia for years now - they are like clockwork with a marketing release schedule).
     
    Side bar:  Nvidia really messed up with the 670 and 680 releases in the same chip - there was only like a 2 to 5% performance difference - with the 770 and 780 though, Nvidia learned from their lost sales in the 680s and made the new GPU flagship strictly a 780/Titan/780 Ti only to maximize profit - and just rebranded last year's 680 chip as a 770, so that the performance is far less than the 780.
     
    Don't get me wrong, a 770 is priced just right as a good buy, 4GB, and you are correct that SLI will beat any single card combo.  That's all I have been using until the 780 came out: 2x GTX 295s, 2x GTX 470s, 2x GTX 570s, 3x GTX 670s (now, I did have 3x GTX 580s at one point, so not completely x70).
     
    I always bought 1 card new, and the rest as used after prices dropped.
     
    3GB can get you pretty far today.  4GB can go a bit further, at the sacrifice of performance on the small memory bus.
     
    I personally had a need to purchase hardware this year as I won't have the opportunity next year.  So I set myself up for at least a few years.
     
    Just a last word about "waiting"... If you wait for the next best thing, you'll always be waiting.  nvidia's release cycle, with their marketing hype, really leaks the "next big thing" shortly after the last big thing.  So you'll always be waiting.  If you were considering $800 for a WC 780 Ti, then go for a used Titan and watercool it for the same price, and have 6 GB for the next 5 years.

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    johnnyfive622
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 05:13:14 (permalink)
    Thank you all for your responses. I really do not want to wait for the 800 series.  I was trying to make this decision a year ago with the 600 series and never could make up my mind.  My gpu is really struggling these days, and being Christmas time I should have some extra dough to burn.  I had thought about the sli 770s, but how well do they scale?  I seem to recall reading that two scale well but beyond that it drastically falls off.  I also seem to recall reading that the 4 gb 770s cannot truly utilize all 4 gb due to memory speed or something?  I like the idea of the titan and the ti, but I am put off by the cost of entry, especially if in a year or two they will be underpowered from a memory standpoint (at least the ti).  Dual 770s or a 780 seem to be the way to go.
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    eduncan911
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 05:14:32 (permalink)
    Oh, and stay away from 3-way SLI.  I haven't 3 different setups across 4 chipsets.  The micro-stutter is just so annoying.  That's the only reason I jumped from 3-way GTX 670s to my 2-way 780 Classifieds at the time - they were almost exactly the same performance (same FPS just about, before overclocking the Classified which I stopped doing cause I wanted a stable gaming experience).  Dropping back down to 2-way SLI after 3 years of 3-way SLI was a night-and-day difference is smoothness and stability in games.
     
     
     

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    eduncan911
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 05:55:45 (permalink)
    That's correct, the 256-bit memory can't fully utilize 4GB because of the speed of that bus is too slow.

    Same problem on the Titan really with it's 384-bit bus. But, it does use more than 4GB compared to the 3GB limit of yhe other cards. Especially if you overclock the memory! I run my Titans at 7,000 MHz in gaming, compared to the 6,000 stock speed. A proper backplate and custom thermal pads to keep the memory cool-er.

    Now, that is because of the way games handle the memory buffer. They need it in and out quick.

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    johnnyfive622
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 06:12:20 (permalink)
    So if the 4GB 770s don't really utilize the extra memory, and I am not willing to put down the scratch necessary for a titan, then it seems the 780 classified may be the way to go.  It will hold me for a few years at least, and may still be decently sellable when cards more apt to support 4k resolutions are available.  SLI would be an option too, if I decide to delay a future card purchase.
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    eduncan911
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 06:53:41 (permalink)
    Yep, that's why I originally said the 780 Classified (or 780 Ref) is a good buy right now - especially used - compared to the premium price of the 780 Ti.  It will last a while.  The 780 Ti will drop to the low $600, or high $500 in about March with rebates to prepare for the 880 coming out.  Nvidia always offers rebates and discounts a month or two just before the next-big-thing hits, and then all prices drop.
     
    Just remember that two cards with that EVGA ACX cooler will dump an inordinate about of heat into your chassis - far more than you'll realize.  The 780 Classifieds I bought was my first, and last, bet that "Oh, I think my chassis can handle it.  After all, I have two highspeed 6,500 RPM server fans for input."  While I was correct in that my server fans can handle the extra heat when they spin up, they have to spin up to about 3000 RPMs to keep the internal chassis under 50C.  And that's a bit loud for my whisper quiet office.
     
    Fyi, not to self promote but since you seem to be leaning towards the 780 Classified, I do have one for sale (see sig).  Just heed my warning about two.

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    johnnyfive622
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 09:31:42 (permalink)
    Thanks for all your feedback.  I will take a look at your listing, but as I mentioned I will be watercooling whatever I go forward with.
     
     
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    FalconX79Dark
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 09:46:04 (permalink)
    Thanks for the great information.  Look forward to reviewing all these points as they are very interesting.  Probably you have swayed me towards a Titan SC.  Can't seem to find any information on what improvement can be made by having a dedicated PhysX card with the Titan as opposed to having the Titan do the physx.  If down the road I upgrade from a Titan could the Titan than become a dedicated PhysX card?  I am really looking forward to PhysX as many games like Metro don't play well on AMD cards using the CPU for the PhysX calculations.  Do you foresee any price drops with the Titans in 2014?  Thanks for your advice.


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    eduncan911
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 10:36:16 (permalink)
     The only games I play that utilizes the GPU for PhysX is the Batman series (Arkham Asylum, Arkham Origins).  There are many others out there; but, I don't play them.  The Battlefield series and MWO do not.
     
    With that being said, any 400 series or higher GPU for PhysX would be great.  yes, there are faster PhysX scores with faster GPUs; but, games don't really utilize it much if at all.  Though I will say that Batman Arkham Origins really does start to use a lot of Nvidia PhysX in particles and I haven't fully tested its affect on the GPU - it's really heavy in that game.
     
    A Titan would seriously be overkill; but yes, you can use it as a PhysX card.  I don't think you'd want to enable Double Precision on the Titan for PhysX as DP is only used for larger Double calculations; but, that's a good test to see if it affects the PhysX calculations.  I'll try that in the coming week or so to see.  Interesting idea.  I kind of doubt they use integers that large though.
     
    For the record, I just use my Titans as the PhysX card.  Nvidia usually defaults to the "Primary" GPU for PhysX auto-assignment.  But I'll disable SLI, hook up all 3 displays to a single Titan, and try a few Batman benchmarks with the Titan itself as PhysX, versus using the 2nd Titan for PhysX, versus Double Precision enabled on the 2nd Titan for PhysX.  
     

     
    As far as price drops, the rumors of a Titan Black Edition / Titan 2 / Titan Ultra kind of thing are due around Feb/March 2014, for when the last Titan launched.  It's too early to speculate on Nvidia's Titan marketing scheduling, rebates, and price drops since the Titan was a new release for Nvidia in the middle of the normal 500, 600 and 700 release schedules (launched Feb 2013).  So the "Titan Ultra" may very well have been the 780 Ti, with more CUDA cores - Nvidia just cripples the Double Precision and FPU calculations and calls it a 780 Ti.  Just remember that the previous "Premium GTX" card was the GTX 690, the first $1000 card Nvidia had.  When the Titan was launched, in the first 3 months it outsold all of the GTX 690s every sold 1 year prior - and still selling strong.  There is no hint at Nvidia giving up that $1000 price mark for something new and exciting, and usually Feb/Mar (Q1) is due for that "next-big-thing."  I would wait for the 780 Ti noise to calm down, and for the next Nvidia marketing release come Feb/Mar.  If that does happen, for the next $1000 card, you can bet the Titans WILL drop in price.
     
    Here's a hint to know when a price drop is about to happen: rebates and discounts.  When you see NVIDIA offer a big rebate on, say, a Titan, or EVGA offer a big discount, you'll know a price drop is imitate along with a new "Announcement" of something bigger-and-better.  You can apply that logic to just about anything electronic in retail BTW - such as the Nexus 7 (which I followed closely, waiting for the Nexus 7 FHD) and currently the Nexus 10.  Rebates = liquidate stock, to make room for the next thing.
     
     
    For the record, I could not afford an arm, a leg, an eye ball and a kidney for a $1000 Titan, much less two of them.  I got a hell of a deal on two used Titan SCs, with ACX coolers and backplates.  I could only justify it by selling my 780 Classifieds off.
     
    Buying EVGA used is great because their warranty carries over with the product now (as of the 600 series and later).  The only catch is you don't get to "Step Up" if the "next big thing" comes out by buying used.  But considering what I got my Titans for, I can still sell them and make a few hundred dollars in the used market for profit.  I won't though.  
     
    So seriously considering buying used from a reputable source, like the EVGA Marketplace we have here.  I know of a Titan SC right now for sale by Szeged for around $650 or so in there I think.  I'd buy it myself for the ASIC rating, and sell the higher ASIC rated card I have here.  But I am all done with my upgrades, Dremels, etc for my current build.  Time for Xmas and back to building the house.
    post edited by eduncan911 - 2013/12/13 10:46:07

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    FalconX79Dark
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 10:54:36 (permalink)
    Thanks again for all the information.  Really interested in that PhysX test.  I don't know why but can't seem to find that information anywhere.  Metro is one of my favorite franchises and it plays in slow motion on my AMD 5970.  I think it will play much better on Nvidia.  They said back in 2009 that PhysX was dead but here we are in 2013 and Batman and Metro still use it.  Metro plays really poorly on my AMD 5970 even with a nice overclock.


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    #20
    eduncan911
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 11:03:10 (permalink)
    I'll see what I can do over the weekend or next week before my travels.

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    #21
    Rgallant
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 15:55:11 (permalink)
    ''I will either upgrade to a 1440"-  if sli is a option 2 x ref 780's @$500.00 + block's is what I went with ,ball park on paper $1200 with block's
    "1.  vanilla GTX 780 with block ~$680 with block"   -copper ek titan blocks I picked up for $99.00  x 2
     
    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/gtx_780_ti_sli_geforce_review,19.html
    done with canned [ low clocked]780sli marks[old drivers]  as they are not in every game ,but will give you some idea of  780 sli vs 780 ti @1440 , same vram and will hit the vram wall at the same time.
     just saying -stock out of the box my 780sli sc 941 boosted to 1097. @30c in heaven 4.
    -not in to high bench marks but 2 x 780 sli seem to be the best nv fps per $$$ for gaming at 1440 imo for me.

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    #22
    eduncan911
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 16:21:39 (permalink)
    Well, we were mostly talking about tri-monitor gaming - not a single 1440p monitor.
     
    But yes, 2x 780 is the best buy right now vs 2x 780 Ti's premium price for just a nudge higher - all at stock speeds.  Once you start overclocking, like the 780 Classified, you exceed the 780 Ti pretty quickly.

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    #23
    johnnyfive622
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 17:59:56 (permalink)
    I keep looking at the 780ti thinking it sure would be nice to have one of those in my case, especially a classified.  Not sure its + $250 nice, though.
    #24
    chrisdglong
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 20:45:35 (permalink)
    The 780 TI beats up all the games I throw at it on ultra settings. I can even play Tomb Raider on ultra without dipping below about 80 FPS. I even run it with TessFX hair. I went with 2x780 ACX at first and then returned them because they got up to 80c in a very well ventilated case. One card alone would not even break 70. The ACX's are great for a single card, but suck in SLI. I now have a single TI and it is pretty good actually. I was CPU bound with the dual 780's and a 3820 at 4.5... One TI seems to be a perfect match for my 3820.
    post edited by chrisdglong - 2013/12/13 20:48:15
    #25
    Solar Trans
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 23:05:44 (permalink)
    Wow I can't believe a 3820 at 4.5 would bottleneck just 2 780s.
    But OP go with the Ti, although if you keep your cards for that long it may be worth waiting until the 880 or buying a TITAN on eBay. I say this because very soon 3GB will be insufficient for 1080p and you could become VRAM limited (NOT fun. My two 570s at 950MHz were killer, but their 1.25GB of memory hurt really badly). Also, there's a fair bit of difference between the 780 and the 780Ti in pure core count. That's 507 less CUDA cores in the 780, (15% less than the 780Ti) so you'd need to push that 780 to 15% higher clock speeds just to (theoretically) match it's performance. With the 780 Classified under water I doubt you'll go anywhere beyond 1350MHz, but with the 780Ti reference you'll most likely get to at least 1200MHz (this would put the Ti still a few percent ahead). If I were you, I'd splurge on the 780Ti Classified HC (the Classies this generation are way worth the extra $50 for the performance gains) and you could hit similar clocks as the 780 but have 15% more performance. Way worth the money if you keep your cards for 5 years (but then again, as I said earlier more VRAM would be your best option so you may even be able to SLI in the future).
     
    Verdict:
    Get the 780Ti Classified HC or a TITAN HC on eBay (if you want that extra VRAM so you don't get bottlenecked as quickly).

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    #26
    chrisdglong
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/13 23:49:33 (permalink)
    Solar Trans
    Wow I can't believe a 3820 at 4.5 would bottleneck just 2 780s.
     

    I should have mentioned, at 1920x1080.
    #27
    Solar Trans
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/14 00:07:10 (permalink)
    Ah. Well considering most games use Single-Threaded performance, there isn't really gonna be a CPU that won't bottleneck those cards in some games at 1080p. If you maxed out Crysis 3 100% your CPU wouldn't be bottlenecked whatsoever. What games were you experiencing bottlenecks in?

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    #28
    Vlada011
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/14 02:51:54 (permalink)
    I would go on GTX780Ti SC or GTX780Ti Classified on your place.
    Better stronger chip than more video memory as 4GB on some GTX770. 
    With GTX770 even with GTX780 you need to turn off something, but GTX780Ti fabric overclocked is something else, you can play with every details. Anyway for 2 year you have enough time to save money and price difference between that two cards. Only in one case 2 years you play with Maxed Out and in other case you play 2 years and non stop half hours search for best settings. For next 24 months you will be fine with 3GB, maybe not for all texture mods but for settings in games enough. 
    GTX780Ti is for me best possible options and fabric OC mean lot, now more than ever. Cards are really pushed and 100MHz over fabric OC in gaming is nice overclock.
    I think games where you need 5GB of Video Memory will not show up until NVIDIA no prepared few models to support that.

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    #29
    Ahtlon
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    Re: Picking a 780 2013/12/14 09:42:24 (permalink)
    Well, I played some COD ghost mp and most graphic options on off.
    I had 2,880GB memory use on the GTX780TI SC.
    So if you are planning too keep this card for 2 a 3 years, I would say go fotr the Titan 6GB.
    Best option if you keep the card 1 year, go for the gtx780 or gtx770 and buy the new gtx ... at the end of 2014 or 2015.
    The new GTX I think should have 4GB, maybe 6GB, we have to wait and see.
     
    #30
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