Everything We Know about the NVIDIA GTX 680
Table of Contents
- Kepler GPU Architecture
- GPU Boost & Adaptive V-Sync
- Antialiasing Solutions
- SLI & Multiple Monitor Gaming
- Benchmarking in Brief
One of the GTX 680′s features is GPU Boost, which dynamically increases clock speed to improve performance. Rather than running the GPU at a clock speed based on the most demanding application, GPU Boost monitors power consumption in real time and automatically adjusts the clock speed based on the power consumption of the currently running application. For instance, if a game only requires 150 watts of power, GPU Boost will increase the clock speed by 100 MHz or more from its base of 1006MHz, translating into improved performance.
Based on tests run by AnandTech on a review unit, the GPU Boost increases sequentially, following nine 13MHz intervals to take the card from 1006MHz to 1110MHz, with each interval requiring higher voltage. The card’s target power usage is 170W, and it’ll boost the clock speed to meet that target. However, temperature was found to be a limiting factor: tests showed the card could only maintain 1110MHz if the GPU temperature was below 70C, which is unsustainable on the stock GTX 680. Benchmarks reveal that GPU boost improves performance by an average of 3%, and by no more than 5%.
Rather than take away from overclocking, GPU Boost actually increases your overclocking options. With the 680, overclocking is effectuated by manipulating the GPU Boost’s power target by -30% to +32% and the use of a GPU clock offset. Each factor can be adjusted separately, and the the GPU clock offset has a greater impact than altering the power target, but it is by manipulating both that this card’s true overclocking potential is unlocked.
V-Sync is the currently popular solution to screen tearing; however, it causes massive FPS drops when the frame rate dips below the monitor’s refresh rate. With the 680′s new Adaptive V-Sync, V-Sync is automatically disabled while the frame rate is below the monitor’s refresh rate, preventing the dramatic FPS drops typically observed.