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Gaming components

Can a GTX 770 run 4k?

Why are we talking about a 7 year old GPU anyway? Is GTX 770 still good?

No, the minimum you require for playing games at 4k is a single Nvidia GeForce 780Ti. But there are caveats. First of all, what games are you going to be playing? Second, do you have the 4GB VRAM version of the GTX 770? Are you about to purchase an outdated GTX 770 due to budget concerns? Let’s see each aspect in detail.

But first, an overview of 4k and GTX 770 in general.

Playing at 4k on a GTX 770 video card

If you happen to already have a GTX 770 and a 4k monitor and you have no choice whatsoever, then know that the GTX 770 video card can indeed run most games at 30 or less FPS at 4k resolution with medium or low settings.

Anti-aliasing up to 4x and no AAA titles – that’s the keyphrase.

Overclocked 770 with 4GB VRAM connected via a DisplayPort is more than enough for streaming 4k video and even doing video editing. But for gaming, expect it to deliver sub-optimal performance.

Technically, the GTX 770 can run at 4096×2160 (4k) over HDMI at a 24Hz refresh rate. Over DisplayPort, the same is upscaled to 4k at 60Hz. Besides, the maximum supported resolution in the specs sheet is 4096×2160 anyway (for VGA it’s half that).

1. What games are you going to be playing?

This is the single most important factor when it comes to answering the question of whether or not a GTX 770 can run 4k. If you’re going to be playing modern AAA titles, then simply no. Even at low settings, you will suffer from extremely low framerates which is not ideal at all.

With a 4GB VRAM, you can expect to hit 20 FPS or above, but a 230W video card is simply not enough to render 4k frames of modern AAA games with their lifelike effects at high FPS.

If you play games that are not as demanding and you don’t have that itch to set the shadow quality to ultra (and a lot of other things to ultra), then yes, you can effectively achieve 20-30 FPS on many smaller games.

2. Do you have the 4GB VRAM version of the GTX 770?

You need the 4GB of 770 to get to that comfortable framerate of 30 on a 4k display with non-AAA games. The standard memory configuration of the 770 is 2GB GDDR5.

And remember, VRAM doesn’t stack, so two GTX 770 with 2GB each are still a 2GB VRAM, not 4. You need the 4GB variation and to overclock it. That being said, two 770 will indeed improve performance, just not the VRAM size (so games that require more VRAM will still suffer).

Apart from that, the bells and whistles like PhysX, TXAA, G-Sync, DirectX 12 support, FXAA, etc. might or might not improve your overall gaming experience.

But even with all that, it’s probably better to turn off anti-aliasing and hit 30 FPS comfortably.

3. Are you about to buy a GTX 770 and thus asking this question?

The AMD Radeon R9 290 video card.
The AMD Radeon R9 290.

If you are planning on buying a budget GPU for 4k gaming, then please don’t buy the GTX 770. The AMD R9 290 is way better, almost as good as the GTX 780, and comes for a lesser price.

And to those asking is the R9 290 still good, I say it’s good if the alternative is 4k gaming on a GTX 770.

R9 290’s specs can be read here.

By Carolyn Smith

Carolyn, otherwise known as "0lyn" informally, is a backseat gamer. She'd rather teach someone how they missed an opportunity or how to better pace through a game than play the game herself. It's not the fear of the collapse of her authority, one that she's made after countless hours, she affirms.