Published on April 3rd, 2013 | by Tonberry King
Nvidia GeForce GTX 680
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 is a Kepler based card that is not only powerful, but also elegant. The GTX 680’s GK104 GPU utilizes over 2GB of GDDR5 ram running at 1GHz and is built using the 28nm production process which crams a large number of transistors into a small footprint.
Using the Kepler architecture, the GTX 680 manages to achieve energy usage of below 200w while operating at its base clock speed of 1,006MHz at 195w under a full load. These numbers are impressive given this is a high end graphics card.
Real World Performance
It is important to note that every manufacturer utilizes different components when it comes to the GTX 680. While the GK104 GPU remains largely unchanged across all manufacturer models, software over-clocking features and components like bigger heat pipes and more RAM will all have an impact on real world performance.
A great example of this is the ASUS GTX 680 (pictured below) which contains five all-copper heatpipes and a claimed 20% bigger dissipation area for maximum cooling (just make sure your rig has enough room for this beastly card). Then there are other cards that add more RAM (among other features) such as the EVGA GeForce GTX 680 FTW, which contains a massive 4GB of GDDR5 RAM. This particular card is great for running games on ultra settings above 1080p resolution on dual monitors. One of the GTX 680 crowd favorites continues to be the MSI GTX 680 Lightning. MSI is known for it’s award winning designs, and super high end components. The added benefit of being SLI compatible means all of these cards are somewhat future proof. If you are unable to play future games on ultra settings with a high frame rate, you can always drop another one of these bad boys in your rig.
The GTX 680 is a potent graphics card that utilizes an immense amount of modern technology to handle any modern game on ultra settings. This is one of the fastest Nvidia cards on the market, only second to the GTX Titan. Over-clocking performance will vary depending on cooling options. You’ll get solid performance regardless of which manufacturer you choose, however these cards all clock in at different prices based on the components they use. Choose one that matches your budget, remember you can always stack more of these cards in your rig if you ever need an increase in performance!
Summary: Not the fastest graphics card of 2013, but the GTX 680 is priced well and will easily play modern games at ultra settings. You can purchase two of these cards for the price of a single Titan GTX.