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Home » Video
EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Video Card Review
Author: Gabriel Torres
Type: Reviews Last Updated: April 5, 2012
Page: 1 of 14
Introduction
Hardware Secrets Golden Award

The GeForce GTX 680 is the latest and greatest graphics processor from NVIDIA, using a new architecture called “Kepler,” a new manufacturing process (28 nm), a dynamic overclocking technology, and supporting the PCI Express 3.0 specification.

EVGA offers four different video cards based on the GeForce GTX 680; we summarize the difference between them in the table below. (All have 2 GB of GDDR5 memory.) The “SC+ w/Backplate” model comes with a plate protecting the solder side of the printed circuit board, a feature not available on the regular model. The “Hydro Copper” model comes with a cold plate for liquid cooling solutions. We reviewed the plain GeForce GTX 680, which uses the NVIDIA reference clocks.

Video Card

Part Number

Core Clock

Memory Clock (Effective)

Memory Transfer Rate

MSRP in the U.S.

EVGA GeForce GTX 680

02G-P4-2680-KR

1,006 MHz

6,008 MHz

192.2 GB/s

USD 500

EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Superclocked

02G-P4-2682-KR

1,058 MHz

6,208 MHz

198.7 GB/s

USD 520

EVGA GeForce GTX 680 SC+ w/Backplate

02G-P4-2684-KR

1,058 MHz

6,208 MHz

198.7 GB/s

USD 530

EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Hydro Copper

02G-P4-2689-KR

1,150 MHz

6,300 MHz

201.6 GB/s

USD 700

The GeForce GTX 680 is a dynamic overclocking technology that increases the graphic chip’s clock from 1,006 MHz up to 1,058 MHz when more processing power is demanded. Because of the new manufacturing process, the maximum power consumed by the video card dropped from 244 W on the GeForce GTX 580 (which uses the 40 nm manufacturing process) to 195 W, while processing power increased.

In the table below, we compare the main specifications of the video cards included in our review. Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review, do not include rebates, and are for the video cards with the configurations listed below (i.e., no factory overclocking). With the launch of the GeForce GTX 680, the price of the GeForce GTX 580 dropped from USD 500 to USD 420, and many users are speculating whether or not AMD will drop the price of the Radeon HD 7970.

Video Card

Core Clock

Shader Clock

Memory Clock (Effective)

Memory Interface

Memory Transfer Rate

Memory

Shaders

DirectX

PCI-E

Price

EVGA GeForce GTX 680

1,006 MHz

NA

6,008 MHz

256-bit

192.2 GB/s

2 GB GDDR5

1,536

11

3.0

USD 500

GeForce GTX 580

772 MHz

1,544 MHz

4,008 MHz

384-bit

192.4 GB/s

1.5 GB GDDR5

512

11

2.0

USD 420

Radeon HD 7970

925 MHz

925 MHz

5.5 GHz

384-bit

264 GB/s

3 GB GDDR5

2,048

11.1

3.0

USD 530-550

NVIDIA also offers a 3 GB version of the GeForce GTX 580 (currently around USD 490, down from between USD 530 and USD 590 in December 2011), but we didn’t have one to include in our comparison.

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our “AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table” and “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” tutorials.

Today, only the LGA2011 Core i7 processors (“Sandy Bridge-E”) have a PCI Express 3.0 controller. In our Radeon HD 7970 review, we discovered that, at this time, there is no difference between using a PCI Express 2.0 or a PCI Express 3.0 connection. We also discovered that if you are using a high-end video card, the CPU doesn’t affect gaming performance.

Now let’s take a complete look at the EVGA GeForce GTX 680.

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