Everything We Know about the NVIDIA GTX 680
NVIDIA’s GTX 680 may have arrived almost three months later than its direct competitor, the Radeon HD 7970, but it’s faster, quieter, cooler, and at $499.00, fifty dollars cheaper. It can also jump, color, and spell better than its Radeon adversary.
We’ve been blown away by the GTX 680, which has claimed the title of the highest performing single-GPU card, and have compiled this compendium of information on its ins and outs.
Let’s begin with a teaser trailer showcasing NVIDIA’s famous tech demo character, Dawn:
Notice the fine hairs on her cheek? She’s come a long way since 2002.
Table of Contents
- Kepler GPU Architecture
- GPU Boost & Adaptive V-Sync
- Antialiasing Solutions
- SLI & Multiple Monitor Gaming
- Benchmarking in Brief
Kepler GPU Architecture
The GTX 680 comes with NVIDIA’s new Kepler architecture, which has been designed for optimal performance per watt and maximum performance in the latest DirectX 11 games. The GPU consists of four GPCs, eight next-generation Streaming Multiprocessors (SMX), and four memory controllers. Each GPC has a dedicated raster engine and two SMX units, resulting in a total of 1536 CUDA Cores for this card — triple that of the GTX 580, which has 512. With an operating data rate of 6008MHz, the GTX 680 offers the highest memory clock speeds of any GPU and is the industry’s first 6Gbps GDDR5 product.
The Kepler SMX streaming multiprocessor delivers twice the performance per watt relative to the previous generation’s Fermi SMX. Using an ultra-wide design with 192 CUDA cores, the GTX 680 outperforms the Fermi-based GTX 580. While most high-end graphics cards require 8-pin and 6-pin PCI-E connectors, the GTX 680 only requires two 6-pin connectors because the card draws no more than 195 watts of power, 20% less than the 244 watts required by the GTX 580.
The result? The 680 runs cooler, quieter, and consumes less power. It is the highest performing GPU to date, and it is also the most efficient in terms of power consumption.
At GDC 2011, it took three GTX 580s to run Epic’s Samaritan demo (above), consuming 732W of power, generating 2500 BTUs of heat and 51 dBA of noise. This year’s GDC saw a single GTX 680 do the same job for less, consuming only 195W of power, generating 660 BTUs of heat and 46 dBA of noise.