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Nvidia GeForce GTX 680

Posted March 21, 2012 by Jake in Video Cards







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by Jake
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Meet Kepler

When Nvidia’s Fermi cards launched amidst much hype and fanfare, it was a move forward from the 400 series, but not nearly as far as many had hoped. In hindsight, perhaps Fermi was more of a stepping stone to Kepler, not unlike Windows Vista to Win 7. As we’ll see, Kepler is a significant improvement in hardware technology, performance, features, and software across the board.

Below is an image of the Kepler block diagram. It actually doesn’t look too dissimilar from Fermi on the surface, and the diagram illustrates 8 SMX, 1536 CUDA cores, 8 Geometry Units, 4 Raster Units, 128 Texture Units, 32 ROP units, and a 256-bit GDDR5 bus.

Below is a detail of the SMX, with each cluster containing 192 CUDA cores, 16 Texture Units, and Polymorph Engine 2.0.

Kepler certainly brings performance improvements, but the 28nm manufacturing process also reduces heat output from about 880 BTUs found Fermi’s GTX 580 to 660 BTUs now in the GTX 680. However, perhaps the most significant improvement, is that Kepler brings twice the Performance Per Watt when compared to Fermi. In a word, that’s nothing short of awesome. Lower power consumption appears to be a hallmark of Kepler, and that’s particularly encouraging. Killer performance is one thing, but killer performance at considerably lower power consumption is something special.

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One Comment


    So, Nvidia has killed overclocking. The max OC you’ll ever attain depends solely on the luck of the draw as to how well your individual GPU performs.
    No more benchmarking, so no need to buy any FutureMark programs when all you’re doing is checking to make sure your card performs up to spec. Use only the “Free” program downloads since you can no longer OC and have no reason to buy these “Paid For”, used-to-be OC diagnosing programs.
    I feared something like this would happen when Nvidia locked the voltage on the 5xx series and I was right.
    Welcome to the bland future of videocards. Overclocking is now officially dead. What a bloody shame.

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