This was an interesting evaluation for us in revisiting a 2013 evaluation. We have seen that the 290X is still being optimized by AMD as its architecture is unchanged with the current 390X. Partly by being 2-1/2 year old architecture, and partly by having more vRAM, the 290X has turned out to be generally more “future proof” for playing today’s latest modern PC games. However, we can clearly see that the Kepler GTX 780 Ti still is in the same class as the 290X and it runs 2013 games just as fast or faster in 2016, although it has fallen further behind the Maxwell 980 series with the very latest games. It also appears that 3GB of vRAM is sufficient for its target resolutions of 1920×1080 and 2560×1600 or 2560×1440. None of today’s single GPUs are well-suited for 4K resolutions with maximum details, and we await Nvidia’s new Pascal architecture and AMD’s Polaris.
It is clear that the latest generation of DX11/12 games are far more demanding on video cards, but especially regarding vRAM usage. The GTX 780 Ti is rarely limited by its 3GB of vRAM, and when it happens, the frame rates will often improve dramatically by lowering a few settings. It is clear that Nvidia has not neglected Kepler, but they are clearly more focused on Maxwell performance as it is their current architecture.
Stay tuned, there is a lot coming from us at BTR. We are making preparations to report live from Nvidia’s GTC next Monday. And don’t forget to check BTR forums. Our tech discussions are among the best to be found anywhere!