[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

We compared two video cards that compete against each other on the high-end segment, the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 (GV-N770OC-2GD) and the ASUS Matrix Platinum (R9280X-P-3GD5), both coming with a factory overclock. Let’s see which one is the best.

Although the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 and the AMD Radeon R9 280X are high-end GPUs, both they are not the most high-end chip each manufacturer has to offer. NVIDIA has the GeForce GTX 780 and some other more powerful chips, while AMD also offers the Radeon R9 290 and the R9 290X.

The stock configuration for the GeForce GTX 770 include 1,536 cores running at 1,046 MHz (1,085 MHz maximum turbo clock) and memory running at 7.01 GHz effective clock (224.3 GB/s bandwidth), connected to the GPU through a 256-bit bus. The Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD video card runs at 8.7% higher clock rate, with its cores running at 1,137 MHz (1,189 MHz turbo clock), while the memory still runs at 7.01 GHz.

On the other corner of the ring, the standard Radeon R9 280X has 2,048 cores running at 850 MHz (1 GHz maximum turbo clock) and memory running at 6 GHz effective clock (288 GB/s bandwidth), using a 384-bit bus. The ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 video card comes with a 11.8% higher clock rate, with its cores running at 950 MHz (1,100 MHz turbo clock) and memory running at 6,400 MHz (6.7% higher than stock). Keep in mind that the Radeon R9 280X chip is actually a renamed Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition GPU.

For this review, we tested each card with its default clock and then re-tested it underclocked to the stock configuration, so you can compare them to the standard models.

In the table below, we compare the main specifications for the video cards included in our review. The prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review and do not include rebates.

Video Card Core Clock Turbo Clock Memory Clock (Effective) Memory Interface Memory Transfer Rate Memory Shaders DirectX Price
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD 1,137 Mhz 1,189 MHz 7.01 GHz 256-bit 224.3 GB/s 2 GiB GDDR5 1,536 11 USD 330
GeForce GTX 770 1,046 MHz 1,085 MHz 7.01 GHz 256-bit 224.3 GB/s 2 GiB GDDR5 1,536 11 USD 320
ASUS MATRIX Platinum 950 MHz  1,100 MHz 6.4 GHz 384-bit 307.2 GB/s 3 GiB GDDR5 2,048 11.2 USD 310
Radeon R9 280X 850 MHz 1,000 MHz 6.0 GHz 384-bit 288 GB/s 3 GiB GDDR5 2,048 11.2 USD 290

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our “AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table” and “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” tutorials.

Now let’s take an in-depth look at the tested cards.

[nextpage title=”The Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD (part 1)”]

Figure 1 unveils the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770, part number GV-N770OC-2GD. It is 11-inch (280 mm) long, and has a big cooler with three 80 mm fans.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 1: the Gigabyte GTX 770 (GV-N770OC-2GD)

Figure 2 shows top of the Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD video card. It occupies two slots and requires one six-pin and one eight-pin auxiliary power connectors.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 2: top view

The connector side of the card is shown in Figure 3. It has one DVI-I, one DVI-D, one HDMI and one DisplayPort outputs.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 3: connectors

In Figure 4, you can see the solder side of the video card. Notice that the cooler is a little longer than the PCB, which is 10.1″ (255 mm) long.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 4: solder side

[nextpage title=”The Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD (part 2)”]

The Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD uses a “Windforce” cooler with three 80 mm fan. It has two 8 mm and four 6 mm heatpipes, and touches the memory chips and the voltage regulator transistors. According to Gigabyte, this cooler can dissipate up to 450 W.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 5: Cooler removed

The video card uses a voltage regulator with eight phases for the GPU and two phases for the memory chips. The voltage regulator circuit uses a digital design and is controlled by an NCP4208 chip. All capacitors are solid.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 6: voltage regulator

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 7: voltage regulator

The reviewed video card uses eight Samsung K4G20325FD-FC28 GDDR5 chips, each one storing 2 Gbits of data, comprising the 2 GiB of memory available on this video card. These chips can run up to 7 GHz. On this video card, they are accessed at 7 GHz, which means there is no margin for increasing the memory clock within the characteristics of the chips. You can, however, increase the memory clock beyond their limits.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 8: memory chips

[nextpage title=”The ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 (part 1)”]

Figure 9 unveils the ASUS Matrix Platinum, which is part of the ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) series and uses a Radeon R9 280X GPU. Its part number is R9280X-P-3GD5. It is 11.2-inch (284 mm) long.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 9: the ASUS Matrix Platiunum (R9280X-P-3GD5)

Figure 10 shows top of the ASUS Matrix Platiunum video card. It occupies three slots and requires two eight-pin auxiliary power connectors. The logo at this side lits in changing colors that give a visual indication of the GPU load level.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 10: top view

The connector side of the card is shown in Figure 11. It has four DisplayPort, one DVI-I, and one DVI-D outputs. The card comes with one DVI-HDMI adapter. This video card supports up to six monitors.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 11: connectors

In Figure 12, you can see the solder side of the video card, which is covered by a metal plate.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 12: solder side

[nextpage title=”The ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 (part 2)”]

At the edge of the card there are four buttons and a series of LEDs. Two buttons are for manual voltage adjustments, and the green, yellow, and red LEDs indicate the GPU core voltage. There is one “safe mode” button that resets all clocks and voltages to their default values. The fourth button instantly sets the fans at maximum speed, which is useful if you are trying an extreme overclocking. There are also several voltage monitoring points and connectors on the card.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 13: buttons and LEDs

The ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 uses a cooler with two 100 mm fans and five 8-mm heatpipes. Under the GPU cooler, there is a second (passive) cooler that touches some of the memory chips and the voltage regulator transistors.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 14: GPU cooler removed

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 15: memory and voltage regulator cooler removed

The video card uses a voltage regulator with 16 phases for the GPU and four phases for the memory chips. The voltage regulator circuit uses a digital design and is controlled by an Digi+ ASP1211 chip. All capacitors are solid.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 16: memory chips

The reviewed video card uses 12 SK hynix H5GQ2H24AFR-ROC GDDR5 chips, each one storing 2 Gbits of data, comprising the 3 GiB of memory available on this video card. These chips can run up to 6 GHz. On this video card, they are accessed at 6.4 GHz, which means the memory is already clocked above the nominal clock of the memory chips.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280XFigure 17: memory chips

Before seeing the performance results, let’s recap the main features of thes tested video cards.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications “]

The main specifications for the Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD include:

  • Graphics chip: GeForce GTX 770 running at 1,137 MHz
  • Memory: 2 GiB GDDR5 memory (256-bit interface), eight Samsung K4G20325FD-FC28 GDDR5 chips running at 7.01 GHz QDR
  • Bus type: PCI Express 3.0 x16
  • Video Connectors: one DVI-D, one DVI-I, one DisplayPort, and one HDMI
  • Cables and adapters that come with this board: power adapter
  • Number of CDs/DVDs that come with this board: one
  • Games included: none
  • Programs included: Gigabyte OC Guru II
  • More information: https://www.gigabyte.com
  • Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 330.00

The main specifications for the ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 include:

  • Graphics chip: AMD Radeon R9 280X running at 950 MHz
  • Memory: 3 GiB GDDR5 memory (384-bit interface), 12 SK hynix H5GQ2H24AFR-ROC GDDR5 chips running at 6.4 GHz QDR
  • Bus type: PCI Express 3.0 x16
  • Video Connectors: four DisplayPort, one DVI-D, and one DVI-I
  • Cables and adapters that come with this board: power adapter, DVI-HDMI adapter
  • Number of CDs/DVDs that come with this board: one
  • Games included: none
  • Programs included: ASUS GPU Tweak
  • More information: https://www.asus.com/
  • Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 310.00

 * Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Video resolution: 1920×1080 @ 60 Hz

Driver Versions

  • AMD video driver version: Catalyst 14.3
  • NVIDIA video driver version: 335.23

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin. Thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

[nextpage title=”3DMark”]

3DMark is a program with a set of three benchmarks: Ice Storm, Cloud Gate, and Fire Strike.

The 3DMark Ice Storm benchmark measures DirectX 9 performance. Since it is compatible with very low-end systems, we ran it in the Extreme mode, which uses the 1920×1080 resolution and high quality textures.

The 3DMark Cloud Gate benchmark measures DirectX 10 performance. It runs at 1280×720 resolution.

And the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark measures DirectX 11 performance, and is aimed on high-end gamer PCs. It runs at 1920×1080 resolution.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280X 

3DMark – Ice Storm Extreme Score
ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 100,129
Radeon R9 280X 99,321
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD 104,866
GeForce GTX 770 104,737

On the Ice Storm Extreme benchmark, the Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD was 4.7% faster than the ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5.

 

 Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280X

3DMark – Cloud Gate Score
ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 19,077
Radeon R9 280X 18,703
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD 19,321
GeForce GTX 770 19,043

On the Cloud Gate benchmark, both the cards showed the same performance level.

 

 Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280X

3DMark – Fire Strike Score
ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 6,962
Radeon R9 280X 6,609
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD 6,898
GeForce GTX 770 6,617

On the Fire Strike benchmark, both the cards performed the same.

[nextpage title=”Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag”]

Released in 2013, Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag uses the AnvilNext DirectX 11 engine. We adjusted the resolution at 1920×1080, setting all image quality options to the maximum and disabling “vsync,” then played the first mission of the game, measuring three times the number of frames per second using FRAPS. The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

 Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280X

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag FPS
ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 35
Radeon R9 280X 31
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD 42
GeForce GTX 770 39

On Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, the Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD was 20% faster than the ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5.

[nextpage title=”Battlefield 4″]

Battlefield 4 is the latest installment in the Battlefield franchise, released in 2013. It is based on the Frostbite 3 engine, which is DirectX 11. In order to measure performance using this game, we walked our way through the first mission, measuring the number of frames per second three times using FRAPS. We ran this game at 1920×1080, setting overall image quality at “ultra.”

The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280X 

Battlefield 4

FPS
ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 69
Radeon R9 280X 63
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD 65
GeForce GTX 770 62
 
On Battlefield 4, the ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 was 6% faster than the Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD.

[nextpage title=”F1 2013″]

F1 2013 is a car racing game released in 2013, based on the Formula One championship and using the EGO 3.0 engine.

We tested the performance in this game using the built-in performance test, using “ultra” quality settings and 8F16XEQAA.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280X 

F1 2013

FPS
ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 82
Radeon R9 280X 78
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD 87
GeForce GTX 770 83

On F1 2013, the Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD was 6% faster than the ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5.

[nextpage title=”Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon”]

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is the most recent addition to the popular FPS franchise. It was released in 2013.

It is based on the Dunia 2 engine, which is DirectX 11. In order to measure performance using this game, we played the first mission three times, measuring the number of frames per second using FRAPS. We ran this game at 1920×1080, setting overall image quality at “ultra.”

The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

 Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280X

Far Cry Blood Dragon

FPS
ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 39
Radeon R9 280X 36
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD 34
GeForce GTX 770 33

On Far Cry Blood Dragon, the ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 was 15% faster than the Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD.

[nextpage title=”Metro Last Light”]

Metro Last Light is a first-person shooter horror game that uses the 4A Engine, launched in 2013.

In order to measure performance using this game, we played the introduction of the game, measuring the number of frames per second three times using FRAPS. We ran this game at 1920×1080, setting overall image quality at “very high”, with SSAA 4X.

The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280X 

Metro Last Light

FPS
ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 29
Radeon R9 280X 26
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD 22
GeForce GTX 770 21

On Metro Last Light, the ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 was 32% faster than the Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD.

[nextpage title=”Splinter Cell Blacklist”]

Splinter Cell Blacklist is an action/stealth game launched in 2013, based on the LEAD (Unreal 2.5) engine.

In order to measure performance using this game, we played part of the “Safehouse” mission, measuring the number of frames per second three times, using FRAPS. We ran this game at 1920×1080, setting overall image quality at “high.”

The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

Geforce GTX 770 vs. Radeon R9 280X 

Splinter Cell Blacklist

FPS
ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5 85
Radeon R9 280X 78
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD 97
GeForce GTX 770 91

On Splinter Cell Blacklist, the Gigabyte GV-N770OC-2GD was 14% faster than the ASUS R9280X-P-3GD5.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

Both the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 (model GV-N770OC-2GD) and the ASUS Matrix Platinum R9 280X (model R9280X-P-3GD5) are great video cards. Both ran all the six very recent games we tested at highest quality settings, with good framerate (except for Metro Last Light, which seems to be very demanding at its highest settings).

The ASUS Matrix Platinum has several overclocking features, such as voltage adjust buttons, but the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 has an excellent overclocking software included, which means both cards may please gaming enthusiasts and overclockers alike. And both come overclocked, and, thus, are faster than the reference models.

Comparing our results, there is no way to tell which video card is the best. They performed the same way in the 3DMark, and each one was faster in three of the six games we used. We have to call it a technical tie.

So, if you want to buy one of them and you have one specific game in mind, look for the card that performed better in that particular game. But if you want to play more games, just buy any of them, since both the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 (model GV-N770OC-2GD) and the ASUS Matrix Platinum R9 280X (model R9280X-P-3GD5) are excellent video cards.