Since their inception the GTX 770 has always been a great choice for PC gaming enthusiasts who need more power than 660/760 video card can offer, but cannot justify the premium which accompanies NVIDIA’s ‘flagship’ GTX 780 series. To put that another way they are for hardcore gamers who need more power than a GeForce ’60 can offer but don’t want to entirely want to break their budgets getting that additional power. This is how it has been for many generations and how it was originally with the GeForce 700 series.
With the release of the 780Ti and the ensuing downgrading of the ‘standard’ GTX 780, the 770s no longer seemed like the darling of the enthusiast community. Seemingly overnight those selfsame hardcore gamers on a budget could now afford the dethroned ‘vanilla’ GeForce GTX 780 cards. This meant that instead of getting a 1536 Cuda core enabled Kepler ‘GK104’ based card they could get a 2304 Cuda core Kepler GK110 card. Overnight the entire reason for the 770 seemed to evaporate and this has caught many manufactures flat footed.
It appears it did not catch PNY flatfooted as they simply improvised, adapted and overcame in such a manner to make any drill sergeant proud. Instead of trying to make a GeForce GTX 770 that competed against the 780 simply on its lower price, they went back to the drawing board -just like they did with their GeForce 780 XLR8 OC- and redefined what consumers can expect to get from a ‘mere’ GeForce GTX 770 card. Instead of trading $100 for a lot less performance, PNY is promising consumers that they can trade $70 for only a small dip in performance.
To do this PNY have binned their stock of GK104 chips and taken only the best for this OC2 Enthusiast Edition card. To these specially sorted chips they have applied a base clock speed of 1,150Mhz (with boost of 1202MHz) and paired this overclocked chip to double the standard amount of GDDR5 ram which has also been slightly boosted to an effective speed of 7,010MHz. To keep these hotter than usually components happy, PNY then gave their new creation a custom dual fan cooler. The end result of this hard work is the $420 PNY GeForce GTX 770 4GB XLR8 OC2 card.
If these specifications sound familiar it is because they are only matched by a few other models, such as MSI’s 770 ‘Lightening edition’ or EVGA’s 770 Dual Classified, and beaten by even fewer ‘halo’ models. However unlike most other factory overclocked 770’s, this card comes gift wrapped with a lifetime warranty. This combination of performance and warrant is what PNY are counting on to change the price vs. performance equation back to the way it was before the 780Ti hit like a thunderbolt.