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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Graphics Performance E-mail
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Written by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 22 March 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Graphics Performance
First Look: GeForce GTX 680
NVIDIA Kepler GPU Details
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: Crysis Warhead
DX11: 3DMark11
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Batman Arkham City
DX11: Battlefield 3
DX11: Gugila GroundWiz RTS
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 3.0
Temperature and Power Consumption
GeForce GTX 680 Conclusion

VGA Power Consumption

In this section, PCI-Express graphics cards are isolated for idle and loaded electrical power consumption. In our power consumption tests, Benchmark Reviews utilizes an 80-PLUS GOLD certified OCZ Z-Series Gold 850W PSU, model OCZZ850. This power supply unit has been tested to provide over 90% typical efficiency by Chroma System Solutions. To measure isolated video card power consumption, Benchmark Reviews uses the Kill-A-Watt EZ (model P4460) power meter made by P3 International. In this particular test, all power consumption results were verified with a second power meter for accuracy.

The power consumption statistics discussed in this section are absolute maximum values, and may not represent real-world power consumption created by video games or graphics applications.

A baseline measurement is taken without any video card installed on our test computer system, which is allowed to boot into Windows 7 and rest idle at the login screen before power consumption is recorded. Once the baseline reading has been taken, the graphics card is installed and the system is again booted into Windows and left idle at the login screen before taking the idle reading. Our final loaded power consumption reading is taken with the video card running a stress test using graphics test #4 on 3DMark11. Below is a chart with the isolated video card power consumption (system without video card subtracted from measured combined total) displayed in Watts for each specified test product:

Video Card Power Consumption by Benchmark Reviews

VGA Product Description

(sorted by combined total power)

Idle Power

Loaded Power

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 SLI Set
82 W
655 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 Reference Design
53 W
396 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 Reference Design
100 W
320 W
AMD Radeon HD 6990 Reference Design
46 W
350 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 Reference Design
74 W
302 W
ASUS GeForce GTX 480 Reference Design
39 W
315 W
ATI Radeon HD 5970 Reference Design
48 W
299 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Reference Design
25 W
321 W
ATI Radeon HD 4850 CrossFireX Set
123 W
210 W
ATI Radeon HD 4890 Reference Design
65 W
268 W
AMD Radeon HD 7970 Reference Design
21 W
311 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Reference Design
42 W
278 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Reference Design
31 W
246 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 Reference Design
31 W
241 W
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Reference Design
25 W
240 W
ATI Radeon HD 6970 Reference Design
24 W
233 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465 Reference Design
36 W
219 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Reference Design
14 W
243 W
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 11139-00-40R
73 W
180 W
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 Reference Design
85 W
186 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Reference Design
10 W
275 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Reference Design
9 W
256 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 Reference Design
35 W
225 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (216) Reference Design
42 W
203 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 Reference Design
58 W
166 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Reference Design
17 W
199 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Reference Design
18 W
167 W
AMD Radeon HD 6870 Reference Design
20 W
162 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Reference Design
14 W
167 W
ATI Radeon HD 5850 Reference Design
24 W
157 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST Reference Design
8 W
164 W
AMD Radeon HD 6850 Reference Design
20 W
139 W
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT Reference Design
31 W
133 W
ATI Radeon HD 4770 RV740 GDDR5 Reference Design
37 W
120 W
ATI Radeon HD 5770 Reference Design
16 W
122 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 Reference Design
22 W
115 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Reference Design
12 W
112 W
ATI Radeon HD 4670 Reference Design
9 W
70 W
* Results are accurate to within +/- 5W.

The GeForce GTX 680 accepts two 6-pin PCI-E power connections for normal operation, and will not activate the display unless proper power has been supplied. NVIDIA recommends a 550W power supply unit for stable operation with GTX 680, which should include both required 6-pin PCI-E connections without the use of adapters.

If you're familiar with how electronics function, it will come as no surprise that less power consumption equals less heat output, evidenced by our results below...

GeForce GTX 680 Temperatures

This section reports our temperature results with the GeForce GTX 680 under idle and maximum load conditions. During each test a 20°C ambient room temperature is maintained from start to finish, as measured by digital temperature sensors located outside the computer system. GPU-Z is used to measure the temperature at idle as reported by the GPU, and also under load. Using a modified version of FurMark's "Torture Test" to generate maximum thermal load, peak GPU temperature is recorded in high-power 3D mode. FurMark does two things extremely well: drives the thermal output of any graphics processor much higher than any video games realistically could, and it does so with consistency every time. Furmark works great for testing the stability of a GPU as the temperature rises to the highest possible output.

The temperatures illustrated below are absolute maximum values, and do not represent real-world temperatures created by video games or graphics applications:

Video Card Idle Temp Loaded Temp Loaded Noise Ambient
ATI Radeon HD 5850 39°C 73°C 7/10 20°C
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 26°C 65°C 4/10 20°C
AMD Radeon HD 6850 42°C 77°C 7/10 20°C
AMD Radeon HD 6870 39°C 74°C 6/10 20°C
ATI Radeon HD 5870 33°C 78°C 7/10 20°C
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 27°C 78°C 5/10 20°C
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 32°C 82°C 7/10 20°C
ATI Radeon HD 6970 35°C 81°C 6/10 20°C
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 32°C 70°C 6/10 20°C
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 33°C 77°C 6/10 20°C
AMD Radeon HD 6990 40°C 84°C 8/10 20°C
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 26°C 75°C 3/10 20°C

As we've already mentioned on the pages leading up to this section, NVIDIA's Kepler architecture yields a much more efficient operating GPU compared to previous designs. This becomes evident by the extremely low idle temperature, and the modest loaded temperature. What's even more impressive than these results is how quiet GeForce GTX 680 operates, barely changing levels from silent to almost silent as it reaches full load. Even with an open computer case exposing the video card, it's difficult to hear the blower fan make any noise at all. While NVIDIA should be proud of updating their product line with the fastest graphics processor on the planet, I'm happy they also made it one of the most quiet-running flagship video cards ever tested.



# RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Kepler Video Card Performancedanwat1234 2012-03-22 07:43
I hope all of you buying these high end GPUs put them to good use when your not gaming! Folding@home or another distributed computing project, do your part to help science!
Peace out
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# RE: RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Kepler Video Card Performancebob 2012-03-23 02:05
I hope you are joking. These gpu are bad for gpgpu like boinc. 7970 are great!
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# RE: RE: RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Kepler Video Card PerformanceOlin Coles 2012-03-23 08:37
Based on what factual evidence? I notice the 7970 couldn't even run a DirectX 11 tessellation test, so how will it compete with GPGPU tests?
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# On what Evidence! Are You Blind, Deaf, Stupid & Insane?tophat killer 2012-03-27 09:55
REady any, and I mean any direct compute review of kepler and tahati,
tahati beats gk104 by 10 to over 500%. Nv castrated direct computer in gk104.
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# Is there going to be a difference?Christopher Fields 2012-03-22 08:04
I have 2 GTX 580's in SLI and they are water cooled. After months of rumors you guys have seemed to clear things up. I read things like "3 Times more powerful than a GTX 580 OC" to "The Card will be 8-9" Long".

I guess my question is this. My monitor is a 60Hz LED 32" 1920x1080 with a 5ms refresh rate. I play Battlefield 3 100% of the time. If I buy this card will my experience be any different?

I can prob answer this one Nvidia makes great products and the nice thing is when you buy a top end card you can usually skip a generation and wait for the next knock out contender. I would say if you have a GTX480 Series to upgrade. But if you have a Single GTX580 then put on the brakes and wait for the next show.

This of course is just my opinion. This is a great article, I always like reading your stuff Olin. Thanks for the time & effort you guys put into these reviews.
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# RE: Is there going to be a difference?Olin Coles 2012-03-22 08:27
As a BF3 player myself (Das Capitolin), I can say that you're not going to SEE a significant difference between an overclocked GTX 580 and the new GTX 680. That being said, Active vSync is something worth considering, as are the extremely low sound levels and heat output. Since you've already purchased the 580's, I see no solid reason to upgrade. But if someone's deciding between the two, the GTX 680 easily wins my vote.
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# RE: RE: Is there going to be a difference?Christopher Fields 2012-03-22 08:49
I added you Olin, S1W3A3T7
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# Very good POWReSeRe 2012-03-22 12:35
i'm talking about skiping 1 generation GPU (and usually CPU too). Yes that's my philosophy either.
now i'm BF3in' w/ 460 1Gb SLI on an (pretty old but excellent LCD) EIZO 1600/1200. high settings (not ultra). Actually i could go ultra BUT with a drastic tweak down AA and other 1, maybe 2 settings.
In BF3 my nick: mantuitoru.

Once again, good review.
Long live the competition, anyway. in this case nVidia vs AMD.
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# gk110godrilla 2012-03-22 08:43
I'm going to wait for gk110 chip according to fudzilla will be out by July , currently using classified gtx 580 ultra.
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# RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Kepler Video Card Performanceroy 2012-03-22 10:04
Good card and excellent review! I love the low power usage and the new tech(txaa,adaptive v-sync,28nm,gpu boost,etc). A little concerned by the 256mb memory bus.
I wanna upgrade but until Nvidia (must have Phys-x) releases a single gpu card that can run Metro 2033 at max settings (4xAA,16xAF,very high quality,advanced DOF on and phys-x on) and average 60fps at 1920x1200 I guess I am stuck with my GTX480 sli for a long while.
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# RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Kepler Video Card Performanceclaydough 2012-03-22 13:34
at 3x the cuda cores than the card that was supposed to replace the 560ti that was supposed to be released first the benchmarks do not even seem to reflect the numbers of that affordable version? :(

Rumors however that this is the card was supposed to replace the 560ti but the performance was so good that they just gave it the 680 designation is very unsettling...

What happened to the consumer friendly mid powered card that was supposed to be released first?

What the heck happened to the Kepler super powered card?

Better than 480 to 580 but is this just another incremental release or hardware without drivers?

Or worse yet...
Did we just get version screwed?
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# RE: RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Kepler Video Card PerformanceOlin Coles 2012-03-22 16:16
I don't recall NVIDIA ever making a statement on Kepler, it's roadmap, or what it was intended to replace. In other words, consider the source.
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# RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Kepler Video Card Performanceclaydough 2012-03-22 13:50
Maybe the rumors of gtx 780 were true?
If this is the replacement for the gtx 560ti..
and the gtx780 is coming out at the end of this year...
Then that would be fine with me!
If the following gtx 780 benchmarks are real:

Like I said in next gen console/xbox 720 article:
Anything without the benefit of present day maxwell development is sure to lead to a another very console limiting 10 year cycle!
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# This..luay 2012-03-23 10:26
AMD replaced their mid-end product names with the higher end when they released their 6000 series, so not a first or even second time it has been done. This is a 560ti replacement and it will be marketed to death as a high-end product now and mid-end after July with a price reduction when the 580 replacement comes around.
If this card sells well, console makers should take note and try to cut a deal with Nvidia instead of AMD. I think this is why MS and Sony were not publicizing any future commitments of delivering next-gen consoles..
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# RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Kepler Video Card PerformanceDoug Dallam 2012-03-22 14:40
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Reference Design

Load: 243 W


Also consider, extrapolating from your price comparison of other nVidia top end offerings, the GTX295 also came in at 500+ USD. That's pretty incredible.
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# awesomecube 2012-03-22 19:50
If i buy this card, it means i will have to buy a new motherboard, LG2011 which means ill have to buy a new CPU and of course, the newest RAM. so all in all, the only thing i get to keep is my SSD and HDD. At the same time, i will also get a bran new case. so... the games i currently play and will play in the future dont require this much power.

this is what happens when devs dumb down the #ing games for consoles. people like me that used to upgrade every other cycle are now holding off and keeping their system alot longer. Means less PC part sales. =/ hope # will get better for us.
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# RE: awesomeDavid Ramsey 2012-03-22 19:54
You don't have to buy an LGA2011 motherboard to use this will work fine in any PCI-E x16 slot in older motherboards.
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# RE: RE: awesomecube 2012-03-22 19:58
but they must have PCI Express 3.0 right?
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# RE: RE: RE: awesomeOlin Coles 2012-03-22 20:02
Just like PCI-E 2.0 is backward compatible with PCI-E 16x, PCI-E 3.0 is backwards to 2.0 and 16x as well.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: awesomecube 2012-03-22 20:03
yeah, but what about later on when games do take advantage of 3.0, if ever... then ill have to buy a new mobo for that.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: awesomeDavid Ramsey 2012-03-22 20:08
That's a long way off in the future. Current games don't come anywhere near to saturating a PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: awesomecube 2012-03-22 20:34
can you please go to the forums under hardware. I posted a question and need some help.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: awesomeclaydough 2012-03-26 13:30
I like to emphasize the only factor keeping any hardware pipe from melting away from saturation is compromise and economics. The artist and imagination exists today for any game that is possible with tech at the end of the 21rst century. Creativity is both cpu and gpu limited!

The game that is possible in your lifetime is only limited by the rate of hardware acceptance. ( keep buying till cinematic levels of hyper real realtime rendering is possible... after that wait until holograms become a reasonable reality? )
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: awesomeChristopher Fields 2012-03-26 13:35
WTF? Holograms?..................I think we are a way off from gaming on holograms, lol, 3D Gaming has just barely been breaking the surface their Spock, lol. But it would be cool. PS beware of SUPER NERDS!!!!
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# MrSteven 2012-03-24 14:50
I find it hard to believe that this is the replacement for the GTX 560ti when it costs 430. Ouch! Budget card my ass!
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# Bought 2: Selling Bothkzinti1 2012-03-27 23:02
I realized that this is merely a replacement for mid-range cards.
Even though it beats the best of the 5xx series, it's still only a mid-range card.
The REAL high performers will be out in a couple of months.
Nvidia's hype-machine got me once again.
I should know better by now.
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# AdamAdam 2012-04-01 16:03
I have one of these on order. Had 2 GTX 480 in SLi. This one card should easily beat them. My GTX 480 ran under water @ 900/1800/1848. They would out bench a stock 580 as they were the same GPU. Just tweaked a little.

This is a whole NEW GPU. Like Fermi was. The 670 has already been annouced and waterblock manufactors are shipping the bocks. Expect theor next release to be a lower version. Also Laptops are shipping with mobile versions. Check nVidia's homepage.

The next release will be the 780. Time range anything from 6 - 12 months. AMD could influence this.

I have my waterblock on order. I will also be SLi'ing them from about 2 months in.
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# RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Video Card Performancestelios 2012-05-14 21:56
i did a test to see where im at with those settings and i got 46.7fps gtx580 @962Mhz compared to 39 is a 20% increase in performance and gtx 680 is 56fps compared to a stock gtx 580 is 41%increase in performance but compared to gtx 580 oc in my case 22-23% performance increase pretty good if u ask me
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# RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Graphics Performanceramin 2012-11-11 07:42
NVIDIA?s newest flagship card(680) is superior to the HD 7970 in almost every way. Whether it is performance, power consumption, noise, features, price or launch day availability, it currently owns the road and won?t be looking over its shoulder for some time to come.
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# RE: RE: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Graphics PerformanceDavid Ramsey 2012-11-11 09:38
Hm, no, not necessarily. The 7970 is superior in some games (as these benchmarks show), and NVIDIA still can't match the 7970's lower power usage, especially in multi-card setups where Radeons not being used are all but disabled-- sub 5-W power consumption, fan stopped, etc.-- when they're not needed (i.e. if you're not playing a game.)

Still, I'd agree GTX680 performance is better overall, and they still own the world in GPGPU.
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