The Geforce GTX 770 is Nvidia’s second 700-series card, but it bears more than a passing resemblance to the 600-series, or the GTX 680 to be exact. Nvidia is at least trying to be hones about it, as it clearly states that the card is supposed to replace the GTX 670 rather than the GTX 680. It is 65 percent faster than the 570, making it sort of a replacement for the GTX 570. GTX 770 boasts a twofold increase in performance per watt compared to the GTX 570 and it also support four external displays rather than just two.
The reference GTX 770 also features a much better cooler than the GTX 680, but sadly it doesn’t really deliver much of a performance gain over the old card. In case you’ve got a GTX 680 there is no reason to upgrade, other than the superior cooler. Looking at AMD’s offering, the GTX 770 should be a couple of percent faster than the HD 7970 GHz Edition, but the differences may prove negligible with new drivers or a pinch of overclocking. We’ll try to put it head to head with the HD 7970 GHz Edition shortly.
The Gainward GTX 770 Phantom is a pretty nice piece of kit. The Phantom cooler is very quiet and it is a great alternative to the reference Titan derived cooler. The clever fan removal system is also a nice touch, especially if you tend to clean your rig often. Some may say it’s gimmicky, but we quite like it and feel it’s an interesting idea. The only downside is that the cooler is pretty big, but for non-SLI setups this really doesn’t make much of a difference.
In terms of performance, the 104MHz factory overclock makes sense if you are into 2560x1600 gaming, but even at reference clocks the GTX 770 has plenty of muscle for 1080p. The Phantom is rolling out today and it costs a bit more than reference cards. The first listings put the price at 400 euro.