March 22, 2012
Time to upgrade? Nvidia releases GTX 680
Is it time to upgrade your outdated graphics? Are you an enthusiast that has to have the latest and greatest? The GTX 680 may be for you. Nvidia has released its newest GPU code named Kepler. The GTX 680 is their latest high end video card with low to mid range cards to follow.
The GTX 680 runs at a clock speed of 1.06Ghz with 1536 CUDA Cores and 2Gb of GDDR5 RAM clocking in at 3Ghz (6Ghz effective). it supports DX11, Open GL 4.2, 3D vision, 3 way SLI, Physx, FXAA and TXAA, Nvidia Surround with support for 3 surround monitors and a fourth accessory monitor, Nvidia adaptive Vsync and Nvidia GPU boost.
GPU boost is a new tech that works alot like CPU turbo boost, it measures the load on the GPU and will adjust the clock speed accordingly to maximize performance and frame rates while also minimizing power draw and heat. You may have seen FXAA available is some previous games but TXAA is entirely new, it combines MSAA, temporal filtering and post processing for extreme image fidelity. Nvidia is also taking on AMD’s eyefinity, the GTX 680 supports a 3 monitor set up on just one GPU with the option for a fourth accessory monitor. Physx has been ramped up a bit as well, you may have noticed that a new Physx version was available with the latest driver release, this is no doubt meant to be in conjunction with the new 600 series GPU’s. As usual Nvidia has managed to keep the card’s size to a minimum measuring in at 10″ long, typical for most of Nvidia’s high end cards making it an easy fit into smaller cases.
For the power conscious out there the GTX 580 requires a 550w PSU with two 6 pin connectors and a maximum power draw of 195W.
The GTX 680 seems to pack alot of punch but it comes at a price (as it always has), $500 USD. This pricing is right in line with previous high end cards and can be a bit hard to swallow, however for the cost, albeit a bit over priced, you do get alot out of the card’s tech, and in my opinion Nvidia’s build quality is second to none. And if you’ve been on the green team for a while this price tag is no surprise, to be honest I was bit surprised it wasnt $50-100 more.
If you happen to be in the market or are interested in upgrading this isnt a bad choice if you’ve got the coin, otherwise if you dont mind doing without Physx and some of the newer tech Nivida is coming up with AMD is a great option for less money.