ZOTAC GT 740

The Zotac GT 740 (ZT-71001-10L) is a basic entry level gaming card.

  • 384 CUDA
  • 2048MB GDDR5
  • 128-bit
  • 993 MHz GPU
  • 80 GB/s memory bandwidth
  • 5000 MHz memory speed
  • DLI-D, HDMI, VGA
  • Idle/2D power mode: approx. 5W
  • Blu-ray & DVD playback mode: approx. 25W
  • Full 3D performance mode: varies – worst case TDP 64W
  • DX12 (feature level 11.0)
  • OpenGL 4.4
  • 6½” length, 4⅜” full height, dual slot

The Kepler GK107 GPU is  features 1,300 million transistors. By comparison the 8800 series had 700 million transistors. The die for the Zotac GT 740 is 11×11 mm making a yield of about 500 devices on a 300 mm wafer using 28 nm.

Kepler is a further refinement over the previous Fermi line. The SMX modules have more compute and less control logic and as such are more efficient at demanding compute tasks.

Kepler uses 192 CUDA cores in each SMX module while the older Fermi uses only 32 CUDA cores. The GT 740  has two SMX units to give it 384  total CUDA cores.

Compared to the previous GT 430 the new GT 740 dramatically better. It also uses less power. Compared to the old 8600 GT the modern mainstream cards are now dramatically more powerful for a lot less cash.

The 128-bit GDDR5 gives this card about 80GB/s bandwidth which is a lot better than the low cost GDDR3 version

Kepler also redesigned the control logic to make it more parallel friendly. The modular design will continue with the next generation as the DirectX 11 API matures. Many DX12 features that are being marketed by NVIDIA have actually been around since the XP period. Vista redesigned the graphics system which pushed video card designs and DirectX 12 is simply the refinement of the DX11 and DX10 work.

The new GT GPUs embed additional new technology but for the end-user nothing really changed other than raw performance and power management. The GT 740  has 384 active cores. Made on a 28 nm line, the Zotac GT 740  power draw copes with the PCI Express slot easily. The CUDA cores with Kepler are not as powerful as Fermi, however, the SMX design is more capable which is why it’s faster. When comparing CUDA cores with Fermi and Kepler, the Kepler are roughly half as powerful. Kepler is redesigned to provide generally more parallel processing for games.

PORT OPTIONS

GTX 260GTX 470GTX 570ZOTAC GT 740
Shaders192448480384
Core Clock (MHz)576607732993
Shader Clock (MHz)124212151644N/A
Memory Clock (MHz)999164719001250
VRAM Size896 MB1280 MB1280 MB1024 MB
VRAM Width448-bit320-bit320-bit128-bit
Feature Size65 nm40 nm40 nm28 nm

HDMI is the option we tested the card with, which quickly demonstrated how bad the sound is with PC LCD panels. HDMI is a separate sound system so it can be disabled in favor of better sounding solutions. We use some low cost Altec Lansing speakers that are drastically better sounding than the PA238QR panel. Video cards with HDMI invariably have integrated audio which works fine with a suitable home theatre system. The Altec Lansing speakers have ports for audio in and out making them equally flexible.

At idle you can expect a temperature of 28-35° C but once pushed to 100%, the temperatures will rise to ~70-80° C. Even in the hottest summer weather, the larger fan cooler keeps this Zotac card much cooler with less noise.

AS TESTED

CHASSISRaidMax Mid Tower Chassis
MBAsus P8H61 LE/CSM
CPUIntel i3-2100
RAM4096MB Kingston DDR3-1333
GPUZotac GT 740 4GB Edition
PSUCorsair CS450M
MONAsus PA238QR
KB/MMicrosoft Wireless Desktop 2000 & Wacom Bamboo Capture
HDWDC WD5000AAKX
OSLinux

PERFORMANCE

All of the benchmarks are available here.

VIDEO CONVERSION

We use video conversion tools as part of the creation of game video files. Using a CUDA enabled converter with H.264 can be as much as 5x faster. Using 2 threads is enough to raise the GPU usage to 65% as the encoder executes discrete cosine transforms in vast numbers. Most modern video tools now have options for both AMD and NVIDIA users.

DIRECTX 12

A a games developer conference in early 2014, Microsoft announced DirectX 12 which will ship with the next Windows release. DX12 is a refinement intended to take better advantage of the multithreaded capability of DX11 cards. With 2 SMX modules, the GT 740 potentially can run 2 separate threads which came boost performance immensely. AMD and NVIDIA both use roughly the same designs which motivated DX12 to be threaded.

In general any gaming grade DX11 card will run DX12 fine. NVIDIA Kepler and Maxwell both very suitable. DX12 will be rapidly supported by games in 2015 following the next Windows release.