PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition Video Card Review

It has been 13 years since we last reviewed a PNY brand video card, but today ends that streak. We have the PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition video card, and will put it to the test against both a Radeon R9 290X and a Radeon R9 290 in our full game suite. We'll push its limits with overclocking, and check out PNY's cooling design.

Introduction

PNY Technologies is famous for its memory, including flash memory cards, USB flash drives, and SSD drives. It was established in 1985 and aims toward gearing consumers with high-quality consumer graphics cards, and professional graphics cards, among other computer hardware.

We have not reviewed a video card from PNY since back in 2001, when we looked at the PNY Verto 500 GeForce3 500 Ti video card. A quick look at this video card compared to the PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition shows how far PNY and video card design have come in the last 13 years. With a renewed interest, and focus on enthusiast video cards we are taking a look again at what PNY has to offer gamers today.

On our test bench today is the PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition (VCGGTX7803XPB-OC) video card. This video card is currently selling for $498 on Amazon with Prime Shipping.

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The PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition's current price $498, has it sitting in the middle of the AMD Radeon R9 290 and AMD Radeon R9 290X. On the high-end, the AMD R9 290X sits at the lowest $549. The AMD Radeon R9 290 ranges from $399-$489.

It will be interesting to see where this NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 GPU based video card lines up in terms of performance with pricing in-between AMD's latest and fastest high-end video cards. This is not the faster GeForce GTX 780 Ti, but rather the GTX 780. The GTX 780 has 2,304 CUDA Cores versus 2,880 on the GTX 780 Ti. The GeForce GTX 780 also uses 6GHz memory on a 384-bit memory bus, while the GTX 780 Ti uses 7GHz memory, meaning more memory bandwidth on the GTX 780 Ti. The advantage the PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition has is a high factory overclock which is faster than the clock speed on the GTX 780 Ti by a fairly high margin.


PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition

PNY offers two GeForce GTX 780 video cards, a stock version and an overclocked version. This is the overclocked version we are reviewing, the PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition. PNY ships this video card with a base clock speed of 1006MHz and boost clock speed of 1059MHz. That clock speed is higher than even a GTX 780 Ti's 875MHz base clock and 928MHz Boost Clock. The memory is also overclocked to 6.2GHz GDDR5. This is compared to a reference GeForce GTX 780 that operates with a boost clock of 900MHz. Not bad considering we are assured this overclock out-of-box. We will be overclocking the PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition further. We will be using MSI Afterburner because PNY does not have its own overclocking utility.

Aside from the factory overclock, the PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition features a unique cooling system. PNY's cooling system does an exceptional job in our testing. The first feature we see comprising this cooling system are the three fans mounted on the front face. The two outside fans are slightly smaller in diameter with larger individual blades. The middle fan is larger in diameter with several smaller blades.

These three fans are in charge of cooling the three heatsinks directly below. The largest of the three is directly over the GPU. There are 4 copper heat pipes that directly contact the GPU. These heat pipes extend through the three finned-array heatsinks that are slightly elevated above the board and its components. Structurally the card feels mostly stable, but the end of the heatsink opposite of the I/O panel, has more flex in it than we'd like.

PNY offers a one year warranty with optional lifetime for the original purchaser upon completion of a registration form on PNY's website. This is definitely something you'll want to do, it's hard to pass up a lifetime warranty these days.

The PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition can be yours for $498 on Amazon with Prime Shipping. You can read more about the PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition's specifications and features here.


PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition Pictures

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The PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition ships in a rather large box. Included in the accessory package was a quick install guide, a driver CD, and a VGA to DVI connector.

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The overall design of the PNY GTX 780 XLR8 OC Edition flows together very nicely. It sports a black and yellow color scheme. The fan housing is screwed on securely to the heatsink. The two outside fans feel pretty sturdy in the fan housing, but the middle fan can be easily pushed and moved. At the end of the video card, the heatsink is elevated above the PCB. There is nothing connecting the heatsink and fan housing directly to the PCB this far out. We could almost pry it apart if we tried.

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The rear I/O panel houses a dual-link DVI-I and DVI-D connector, a display port and an HDMI connector. Along the top of the video card is the 8 pin PCI-E and 6 pin PCI-e power connectors, which PNY recommends a 600W minimum power supply to function correctly. It measures 12 inches in length, 1.5 inches wide, and 4.5 inches in height. Aside from the end with the elevated heatsink that feels like it could pry apart, the build quality is strong and well crafted.

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