|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Graphics Performance|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 22 March 2012|
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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Kepler Video Card Performance
The world's most powerful GPU consumes less electricity and runs cooler than all competing graphics solutions.
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by NVIDIA.
Of the many platforms available for gamers to enjoy video games, there's no question that the highest quality graphics come from PC. While game developers might not consider PC gaming as lucrative as entertainment consoles, companies like NVIDIA use desktop graphics to set the benchmark for smaller more compact designs that make it into notebooks, tablets, and smartphone devices. NVIDIA's Kepler GPU architecture is an example of this, delivering unprecedented performance while operating cooler and consuming far less power than previous flagship discrete graphics cards. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 video card equipped with a 28nm GK104 Kepler GPU, and compares it against the best DirectX 11 video cards available. Featuring their new NVIDIA GPU Boost technology, the GeForce GTX 680 video card can dynamically adjust power and clock speeds based on real-time application demands.
NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680 is the first graphics card designed around their next-generation Kepler GPU architecture, which adopts key aspects from the previous Fermi architecture. Building from the 32-core Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) from Fermi on the GeForce GTX 580, NVIDIA optimized Kepler with twice the performance per watt using an innovative 192-core streaming multiprocessor (referred to as SMX) that exchanges a double speed processor clock for more processor cores. Utilizing eight SMXs, the GeForce GTX 680 Kepler GPU boasts 1536 total CUDA cores which manage shader, texture, geometry, and compute tasks. A reengineered memory subsystem reduces pipeline penalty for these many cores, and allows the GTX 680 to reach memory speeds up to 6.0 Gb/s. Combined, these GPU architecture improvements offer impressive performance gains while improving overall power efficiency, yet they actually represent only a small portion of new technology for this launch.
In addition to a new and improved Kepler GPU architecture and NVIDIA GPU Boost technology, the GeForce GTX 680 video card ushers in refinements in the user experience. Smoother FXAA and adaptive vSync technology results in less chop, stutter, and tearing in on-screen motion. Overclockers might see their enthusiast experiments threatened by the presence of NVIDIA GPU Boost technology, but dynamically adjusting power and clock speed profiles can be supplemented with additional overclocking or shut off completely. Adaptive vSync on the other hand, is a welcome addition by all users - from the gamer to the casual computer user. This new technology adjusts the monitor's refresh rate whenever the FPS rate becomes too low to properly sustain vertical sync (when enabled), thereby reducing stutter and tearing artifacts. Finally, NVIDIA is introducing TXAA, a film-style anti-aliasing technique with a mix of hardware post-processing, custom CG file style AA resolve, and an optional temporal component for better image quality.
NVIDIA targets the top-end enthusiast segment with their premium GeForce GTX 680 discrete graphics card, which includes only the most affluent PC gamers. In order to best illustrate the GTX 680s performance, we use the most demanding PC video game titles and benchmark software available. Video frame rate performance is tested against a large collection of competing desktop graphics products, such as the AMD Radeon HD 7970 (Tahiti). Crysis Warhead compares DirectX 10 performance levels, joined by newer DirectX 11 benchmarks such as: 3DMark11, Batman: Arkham City, Battlefield 3, and Unigine Heaven 3.
GeForce GTX-Series Product Family