Nvidia GeForce GTX 680
When Nvidia launched the Fermi-based 500 series graphics cards, they made positive changes from the previous generation cards, with engineering and designs to improve not only gaming horsepower but also power efficiency and temperatures. For the most part Nvidia succeeded, easily capturing the performance crown against the Radeon 6970, but AMD’s new 7970 premium card has been formidable, and stealing the title from the GTX 580.
But that was then, and now is now. And today marks the highly anticipated launch of Nvidia’s Kepler lineup, with the GeForce GTX 680 being the first out of the gate as the company’s flagship desktop card. We, like many others, expect big things from Kepler. But gaming horsepower is only part of the equation these days; lower power consumption and temperatures also tell the tale, and Nvidia is promising those as well. Fine and good, but we’re a demanding bunch and we want more. And to address that, Nvidia is introducing a new antialiasing technology, as well as Adaptive V-Sync, and Single GPU Surround multi-display support with Kepler. Sounds great, but we are a really demanding bunch these days. Wow us, Nvidia.
And so, then, something completely different: GPU Boost. We hate the game-changer cliché, but Nvidia has really re-wrote the rulebook here, and the "old" way of establishing clock speeds, monitoring temperatures, and even overclocking, are apparently but a distant memory with the launch of Kepler. Promising nothing short of a completely new direction in how a graphics card functions within a system, Nvidia is making big claims. And having now seen it up close, and spent time working with it directly, we’re inclined to agree. Things are indeed going to be different from here on out.
Is the GeForce GTX 680 fast? It certainly is, but that’s not really unexpected. So what’s really intresting and impressive? How about providing twice the performance per Watt? What about dynamically adjusting clock speeds, voltages, and power consumption hard-wired into the card? What about Base Clocks and Boost Clocks, and automatic overclocking out of the box? Oh, now those are the things that should really excite you. But just how much does all this juicy goodness cost? Only $499. Wait, what’s that sound we hear? Probably nervous chattering over at AMD.
There’s a boatload of information to cover here, so let’s dive in and take a good look at the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680.