Graphics card makers show off hot-clocked GeForce GTX 760s

You may have noticed that Nvidia launched a new mid-range graphics card this morning: the GeForce GTX 760. We've posted an in-depth review using a reference model provided by Nvidia. Some board vendors will be offering similar reference designs of their own. Most are pushing hot-clocked variants with varying degrees of customization, though.

Let's start with Asus, whose GeForce GTX 760 DirectCU II OC is slated to sell for $260. This card has base and Boost frequencies of 1006MHz and 1072MHz, respectively. There's 2GB of RAM onboard, and its 6 GT/s transfer rate matches the stock configuration. The circuit board and cooler do not, however.

Asus' custom PCB is peppered with higher-grade electrical components. The cooler is also an Asus design. It sports dual fans, each of which is double-sealed against dust ingress. Four copper heatpipes link the GPU slug to aluminum radiator fans. Asus claims the cooler makes 20% less noise than the reference design while also keeping GPU temperatures 8°C cooler.

The DirectCU II is the only GTX 760 card on the menu for Asus right now. EVGA will have several offerings, the most exciting of which is the Superclocked ACX variant pictured below.

Despite carrying the same $260 MSRP as the Asus card, this puppy is clocked a fair bit higher: 1072MHz base and 1137MHz Boost. Its 2GB of GDDR5 RAM has the same 6 GT/s data rate, though.

EVGA employs its own ACX cooler, which uses double-ball-bearing fans with a 12-year rated lifespan. The cooler supposedly lowers GPU temperatures by 15% compared to the reference design. EVGA claims the ACX design is quiet, too, but the firm doesn't get into specifics on that front. It does, however, indicate that the card is 9.5" long—about an inch longer than the Asus.

$260 seems to be a popular price for GeForce GTX 760 cards with higher-than-stock frequencies. Gigabyte's OC card costs just as much as the Asus and EVGA cards. At 1085MHz base and 1150MHz Boost, its clock speeds are closer to the latter's. Again, though, the memory speed is unchanged.

Gigabyte's triple-fan WindForce cooler adds some length, stretching the card to 10.6"—the same length as the WindForce-equipped GeForce GTX 680 we have in-house. Most mid-tower enthusiasts chassis should have no problem accommodating the card; the ATX specification allows for motherboards up to 9.6" long, and cases typically leave more than an inch of clearance.

MSI's entry is called the GeForce GTX 760 Gaming. Fancy electrical components abound on this custom solution, which has the same clock speeds and memory configuration as the Gigabyte card. The $260 price tag is identical, too.

MSI's Twin Frozr II cooler features dual 100-mm fans and the usual assortment of heatpipes. Although there's some ventilation in the I/O plate, the cooler doesn't really channel airflow toward it. None of these cards feature blower-style coolers like the reference design.

At 10.2", the GeForce GTX 760 Gaming is a little bit shorter than the Gigabyte card. All the contenders put their PCIe power connectors along the top edge, so cabling shouldn't impede clearances.

The final stop on our alphabetical tour through GeForce GTX 760 solutions is Zotac's AMP! Edition. This specimen has the highest frequencies of the bunch; the GPU is clocked at 1111/1176MHz, and the memory transfer rate is 6.2 GT/s. Yep, the memory is a whole 0.2 GT/s faster than on the alternatives.

Despite having what appears to be a shorter circuit board, the Zotac card is listed as 10.1" long. Looks like that measurement was taken from the tip of the fan shroud, which extends a fair bit past the end of the underlying heatsink and card. That's probably nothing a few minutes with some tin snips can't fix. As you might expect, the asking price for the AMP! Edition is $260.

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