Previous generations of Geforce reference designs featured relatively noisy coolers, thus making non-reference cards with custom cooling a lot more appealing. This is no longer the case but there is a caveat though. In case the factory overclock is not enough and you really want to push the card to its limits, the reference cooler will be a lot louder than Phantom cooler. In terms of the performance the Phantom cooler still manages to stand out as a better solution to the reference cooler.
That’s where the Phantom really shines, as it is just as quiet as the reference cooler even with a nice overclock. Furthermore, it allows more overclocking headroom. Our additional 130MHz overclock resulted in an overall performance gain of 11 percent.
The GTX 780 Phantom GLH has 3GB of GDDR5, while the Titan ships with 6GB. Unless you have some very specific requirements, 3GB should be more than enough for comfortable gaming. The Titan isn’t much faster in 2560x1600 tests than the GTX 780 Phanotm GLH and it only makes sense for extreme resolutions and multi-monitor setups. It is a niche product, a thoroughbred, while the GTX 780 is a workhorse.
The only big issue we have with the GTX 780 Phantom GLH, and all new high end cards for that matter, is the price. The GTX 780 originally launched at €650, which was a bit more than its direct predecessor. Prices have gone down a bit and now a reference card can be bought for €570, while the Phantom GLH can be yours for €600. We can only hope that AMD’s new Hawaii cards will lead to a price war, as high-end cards are simply too expensive.
Our pet peeves aside, Gainward has done an outstanding job. The new Phantom cooler impressed us both in terms of performance and low noise, while the overall performance of the GTX 780 Phantom GLH is exceptional. The GTX 780 Phantom GLH has enough power to make your gaming silky smooth for quite a while.
Now it’s AMD’s turn. We’re waiting to see what the red team plans to unveil in Hawaii.