Friday, 22 June 2012






NVIDIA announced its flagship single-Kepler GPU based graphics card in the new GTX 600 serie. It offers great performance at significantly reduced power consumption.Based on 28-nm TSMC manufacturing process the ZOTAC GTX 680 is clocked at 1006 MHz and house 3.54 billion transistors on the GPU. NVIDIA's dynamic overclocking algorithm works well and provides a nice speed boost for the card. , Nvidia have managed to cut down on the power requirement of Kepler, while keeping the costs to the lowest possible levels. Speed and efficiency were the main goals here and they’ve hit those targets spot on.

The GeForce GTX 680 is not at all an underpowered, but it's clear that, had it wanted, nVidia could have unveiled a product that packed more power.Notably, the GeForce GTX 680 must make do with a 256-bit memory interface at a time when its AMD rival (and, indeed, its own predecessor, the 580) stretches to 384-bit.


Shader Units:                 1536

ROPs:                             32

Graphiocs Processor:    GK104

Transistors:                    3500M

Memory Size:                2048 MB

Memory Bus Width:     256Bit

Core Clock:                   1006 MHz+

Memory Clock:             1058 MHz

Bus Interface:               PCI Express 3.0;

Display ports:               2x DVI; 1x HDMI , 1x Display Port

Design and Build 



ZOTAC  GTX 680  seem to have one of the best avilable in the market. Not only has NVIDIA retaken the performance crown with the GeForce GTX 680, but they have done so in a manner truly befitting of their drive for efficiency.The card is packaged in an good looking box, which highlights all the features of the card. The bundle, includes two Molex to 6-pin power connectors, DVI to VGA adapter, driver disk, installation manual and the best part is the Assassin’s Creed 3-game pack, which includes Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. ZOTAC seems to be one of the only board manufacturers that continue to bundle free games with their cards and has continued with the GTX 680. 




GTX 680 features a fully enabled GK104 GPU – unlike the first generation of Fermi products there are no shenanigans with disabled units here. This means GTX 680 has 1536 CUDA cores, a massive increase from GTX 580 (512) and GTX 560 Ti (384). There are some New features like GPU Boost, Adaptive V-Sync and some new Anti-Aliasing (AA) models. NVIDIA engineers completely reworked the memory subsystem for Kepler, enabling much higher memory clock speeds compared to prior GeForce GPUs. As a result of this effort, GeForce GTX 680 achieves memory speeds up to 6Gbps, the highest speed of any GPU in the industry. GPU Boost is similar to Turbo Boost, in the sense; the card will dynamically increase the clock speeds and voltages in a game, only if, it does not go beyond the set TDP. This keeps changing as you play the game and is built into Kepler itself, so it kicks in by default. Adaptive V-Sync can now be found in the Nvidia Control Panel and what it does is, dynamically toggle the V-Sync state depending on the frame rate. The two new AA modes (FXAA and TXAA) are said to offer similar quality levels as MSAA, but without the huge performance hit. 



The Zotac GeForce GTX 680 is a good product.The performance scores skew in favour of ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680.Despite the card not having a vapor chamber, like the GTX 580, the GTX 680 is just as silent as its predecessor. Nvidia have used a normal aluminium  heatsink and copper heat pipes for the cooling, in order to keep costs down and it works like a charm. In only one game title, BattleForge, was it a fraction of a frame behind the 7970, recording 68.0fps at a resolution of 1920x1200 against 68.2 for the 7970. However, in the 1680 x 1050 and 2560 x 1600 resolutions, it finished slightly ahead of the 7970, recording 80.2 and 47.7fps respectively, against 80.1 and 47.4fps for the 7970.In all the other games the GeForce GTX 680 won decisively.The card is whisper quiet on full load as well with the fan speed set to ‘Auto’. Temperatures are not too bad, either. The card idles at around 45 degrees Celsius and with FurMark running, it went to a maximum of 77 degrees Celsius. Not bad at all for a non-vapor chamber cooler.

One of the main reasons behind a jump in the number of CUDA cores is that NVIDIA have
decided to do away with the shader clock unit completely. In the Fermi architecture, the
shader clock operated at twice the base clock speed. So instead of having lesser number
of higher clocked units, NVIDIA now has more lower clocked units. In Kepler GPU,
you have a single base clock called the Graphics clock which at 1008 MHz on which all
the functional units within the GPU run at.

AMD’s competition of course is the recently launched Radeon HD 7970 and 7950.
Priced at $550 and $450, the GTX 680 sits right in between them in terms of pricing.
However with regard to gaming performance the GTX 680 is generally more than a
match for the 7970, which is going to leave AMD in a tough spot.

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