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Is there something wrong with my GTX 680?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 13, 2013 2:26:31 PM

My Specs:

Intel Core i5 2500k OC'd to 4.3 GHz
Galaxy Nvidia GTX 680 2GB
16GB RAM


So I bought the GTX 680 because I can't stand low frames and I want to play everything on Ultra, but I really don't get very good performance with it. In Far Cry 3 with everything cranked up as high as possible, I only get around 35 frames and in Planetside 2 I get around 30 with everything on High, and that's with PhysX disabled! I also get bad performance in Borderlands 2, although much better without PhysX. Fine if I have something set wrong, but if this is just how the games perform then what is the point if a $500 card can't run them?

I have my Nvidia control panel on the "Let the 3D application decide" setting and I'm running driver version 314.22.

It seems my friends with cheaper ATI cards get much better performance. I'm considering switching because this is just getting on my nerves.

More about : wrong gtx 680

April 13, 2013 2:33:55 PM

Don't take this the wrong way, but your expectations for a GTX 680 are silly. What resolution are you playing on? How much vram does your 680 have? If you are playing on 2560x1440 (or x1600), a single 680 will not be able to max games out. Far Cry 3 is a very demanding game and I would recommend playing with low antialiasing if you wany better FPS. Far Cry 3 is a much better optimize game for AMD cards, so expect lower performance than a 7970. Also, Borderlands 2 with PhysX maxed out is rediculously demanding (either that or the coding is horrible), so I would not recommend playing with that unless you've got 2 or 3 680s.

Just to put things into perspective, I have 2 GTX Titans running in SLI and I get roughly 65FPS on Far Cry 3 on average with MSAA x8 at 2560x1440. Considering 2 Titans > 3 680s... you get the picture. My advice is either lower your expectations or spend more money. That's really all you can do.
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April 13, 2013 2:37:30 PM

I have a 680 and I think yours is performing fine, I game @ 1080 and play all my games almost all maxed out just fine. Some games though like farcry3 willkick its ass. Same thing with the witcher uber sampling. Just be happy gaming with what you got, you get eye candy and pretty decent frame rates, or spend more money LOL
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April 13, 2013 2:40:12 PM

I can play far cry 3 on max settings with a my GTX 670 with no lag, so....

Just so you know, you could have saved 100 bucks and got a 670, it's only 5% slower basically(680 is a bad choice).

One thing to try is to check if Windows is set to high performance in power options too I remember trying to play borderlands after a fresh Windows install last year and my FPS wasn't very good for some reason then I found out it was that.

Bad performance in borderlands 2? I'm getting 60-70fps on absolute highest settings with physics enabled. Sounds like something is wrong for you. Planetside 2 is kind of sluggish for me though still.

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April 13, 2013 2:44:03 PM

TheOnlyShad0w said:
My Specs:

Intel Core i5 2500k OC'd to 4.3 GHz
Galaxy Nvidia GTX 680 2GB
16GB RAM


So I bought the GTX 680 because I can't stand low frames and I want to play everything on Ultra, but I really don't get very good performance with it. In Far Cry 3 with everything cranked up as high as possible, I only get around 35 frames and in Planetside 2 I get around 30 with everything on High, and that's with PhysX disabled! I also get bad performance in Borderlands 2, although much better without PhysX. Fine if I have something set wrong, but if this is just how the games perform then what is the point if a $500 card can't run them?

I have my Nvidia control panel on the "Let the 3D application decide" setting and I'm running driver version 314.22.

It seems my friends with cheaper ATI cards get much better performance. I'm considering switching because this is just getting on my nerves.


Even if it is a 500$ card, you are only getting the performance of a 400$ card, which would be the 7970. It will max out most games in 1080p with low AA. If you are playing at 1440p, things will be completely different. You'll need at least 2 cards to max out games at that resolution.

No point in spending more money now, if you're not horribly impatient :) 
Wait for the new series of cards, and be happy with what you currently have.
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April 13, 2013 3:19:10 PM

Try turning off your FPS counter. Do the games play smoothly, in your subjective experience? FPS counters are for benchmarks or for troubleshooting (if you feel like the game isn't performing well enough and want to test whether this-or-that image-quality setting is worth the performance penalty). In my experience, keeping the FPS counter active while you play, as a matter of course, is a mistake. It can lead you to conclude that there's a problem when there really isn't one.

That bit of self-indulgent rambling out of the way, I have to echo other posters: at what resolution are you playing? Just because you have nVidia's top-of-the-line GPU (more or less), it doesn't follow that you'll get spectacular FPS in every title and under all circumstances. More information is required.

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April 13, 2013 3:34:08 PM

You wouldn't happen to have AA up all the way do you? AA is one of the hardest things to render even with a $400+ video card.

Turn it down to 2x and see how it plays.
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April 13, 2013 5:39:42 PM

More Specs:

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3
PSU: 750 Watt OCZ

Now I have no clue if this could cause a problem, but I have my OS running off of my main drive, a Crucial m4 128GB, and my games running off of a second drive, a Seagate Momentus XT 500 GB. No idea if that could cause some slow down.

I run my games at 1080p. Turning off the FPS counter might be a good idea. Also, I have MSI Afterburner running on my second disaplay and I noticed that in Planetside 2 with PhysX enabled, 100% of the GPU was being used, but with PhysX disabled I was still getting low frames but only around 60% was being used. What could possibly be doing that?

I realize my expectations are a little high, but should it really cost someone more than $500 in graphics cards to be able to run most high end games on highest settings? As much as I love PC gaming, I really am considering moving to PS4/Xbox 720 because of this.

Edit: Also, is there anything to be said about overclocking the GPU?
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April 13, 2013 6:21:14 PM

Did you try what I mentioned, set Windows power settings to high performance?

Running games off a second drive(mechanical) wont lower frames per second. Planet side may not run totally well because of how many people are actually on the servers playing, it can be really laggy at times for all of us.

You should try the graphics card in another slot and reinstall the graphics driver. A gtx 680 should be able to run most games well, which it sounds like it's not for you.

In borderlands 2, what kind of FPS are you getting with everything set to max?

Someone above mentioned AA too, that can severely degrade performance on any card, turn it down to x2 or off and see if that helps too.
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April 13, 2013 6:51:29 PM

Sorry, yes, I have Windows in High Performance.

I guess I was wrong about borderlands, it's running at 80 FPS in combat now, but I think I had Nvidia control panel in "performance" mode, not let the application control it.

So here's the problem, I switched to using the "advanced 3D settings" and set it to my preference, including Antialiasing set to 4x, Vsync On, Occlusion to Performance, and basically everything else off or application controlled. Then I launched PS2 and got quite a bit better performance but then I launched Borderlands 2 with those settings and got frames dropping down to 50. Is there no way to use custom settings on some apps and "let the 3D application decide" by default?

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April 13, 2013 7:09:14 PM

Ok so why would you want Multi-display acceleration set to "multiple disaplays" instead of single display if you're just running games on one display? Also, why wouldn't you want to use tripple buffer?
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April 13, 2013 7:19:02 PM

TheOnlyShad0w said:
Ok so why would you want Multi-display acceleration set to "multiple disaplays" instead of single display if you're just running games on one display? Also, why wouldn't you want to use tripple buffer?


Shouldn't make a difference for that setting, I just leave it default.

I don't use Vsync ever so I just leave those default, if you want to use vsync you can enable it.

I wouldn't use it anyway read this: http://www.tweakguides.com/Graphics_10.html
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April 13, 2013 7:20:15 PM

TheOnlyShad0w said:
More Specs:

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3
PSU: 750 Watt OCZ

Now I have no clue if this could cause a problem, but I have my OS running off of my main drive, a Crucial m4 128GB, and my games running off of a second drive, a Seagate Momentus XT 500 GB. No idea if that could cause some slow down.

I run my games at 1080p. Turning off the FPS counter might be a good idea. Also, I have MSI Afterburner running on my second disaplay and I noticed that in Planetside 2 with PhysX enabled, 100% of the GPU was being used, but with PhysX disabled I was still getting low frames but only around 60% was being used. What could possibly be doing that?

I realize my expectations are a little high, but should it really cost someone more than $500 in graphics cards to be able to run most high end games on highest settings? As much as I love PC gaming, I really am considering moving to PS4/Xbox 720 because of this.

Edit: Also, is there anything to be said about overclocking the GPU?


In PC gaming, you'll have to pay more for the better experience. The big question is, what is the performance that you want? Define "running high end games on the highest settings." Technicially, 4k is the max for resolution, 120hz is the max at that resolution, maxed graphics settings technicially includes full antialiasing. You would need 4 GTX Titans for such an experience, which is a $4,000 graphics solution (not to mention you will need a 1500W PSU or multiple high-end PSUs).

Obviously that's the top of the mountain and 99% of PC gamers will not fork out that kind of money. Thus, you will never truly "max out" games. Relatively speaking, on a 1920x1080 resolution, a casual max out is full graphics settings with little to no antialiasing at close to 60fps. You will not achieve that with a single 680, as you see withFar Cry 3. If you turn up antialiasing, it gets a lot worse. Bottom line is, you have a nice setup, most gamers are not running such a nice GPU solution. However, your solution is far from an enthusuiast or super enthusiast. Hopefully that puts things into perspective.

PS4 and Xbox 720 are inferior pieces of hardware to your current build. Hell, a mid-range2010 PC would kill them. They will still run games at 720p and 30fps, which is absolute fecal matter. Consoles are meant for casual gamers who are a little step above people who play Angry Birds. Thus, such hardware is not to be taken seriously as an alternative to PC gaming. When the PS4's GPU specs are given in tflops, you know it's garbage.
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April 13, 2013 7:25:43 PM

The fact is that console games are optimized for a specific set of hardware and the games end up looking good (actually looking pretty bad at the end of this generation) while still offering a reliable experience. I do realize PC gaming is superior, it's just so irritating some times. I'm really starting to get in to PS2, but it really turns me off that I have to turn down settings and still don't get solid 60 fps.
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April 13, 2013 7:33:28 PM

TheOnlyShad0w said:
The fact is that console games are optimized for a specific set of hardware and the games end up looking good (actually looking pretty bad at the end of this generation) while still offering a reliable experience. I do realize PC gaming is superior, it's just so irritating some times. I'm really starting to get in to PS2, but it really turns me off that I have to turn down settings and still don't get solid 60 fps.


Well you need to consider a few things there:

There are so many people playing on that server and will really bring down your FPS.

You won't get this game on a console because it simple cannot handle it, nor can a Ps4.

You're really left with two choices in the end, go with PC gaming and play at 1920x1080p and higher at 60fps for most games or go with a console that can play games right away at 30fps at 720p with inferior controls for shooters and rts.

There is a premium for PC gaming and the overall better experience, you will never truly max out a game like mentioned above though.

A GTX 680 during a large battle should net you 45-60fps on max settings too.

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April 13, 2013 7:48:22 PM

TheOnlyShad0w said:
The fact is that console games are optimized for a specific set of hardware and the games end up looking good (actually looking pretty bad at the end of this generation) while still offering a reliable experience. I do realize PC gaming is superior, it's just so irritating some times. I'm really starting to get in to PS2, but it really turns me off that I have to turn down settings and still don't get solid 60 fps.


"Good" is a subjective notion in this instance. What I can tell you is console graphics do not use antialiasing, PhysX, or any DirectX11 features. In fact, the "settings" for console games would be a step lower than the lowest presets on PC games. Let's also not forget about resolution, which is a very big deal. 1440p is 400% of 720p, which is what many enthusiasts play on. With that said, you get worse graphics, lower resolution, and lower framerates on consoles. That's in terms of visuals, I haven't even gotten into the other aspects of the gaming experience (such as load times, processing, modding, etc.), which I will refrain from.
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April 13, 2013 7:50:15 PM

TheOnlyShad0w said:
The fact is that console games are optimized for a specific set of hardware and the games end up looking good (actually looking pretty bad at the end of this generation) while still offering a reliable experience. I do realize PC gaming is superior, it's just so irritating some times. I'm really starting to get in to PS2, but it really turns me off that I have to turn down settings and still don't get solid 60 fps.


In online games, the major slowdowns are typically the CPU's fault -- and frankly no CPU will eliminate that problem entirely. Depends on the game, depends on the (virtual) population, and so on and so forth, but if you notice chronic slowdowns in an online game when lots of other players show up, then chances are your GPU isn't the problem.

I'm not totally convinced that everything on your end is working as intended, though. You might try a clean install of your drivers just for giggles. Or maybe you've just hit an unusually demanding setting of some sort. Far Cry 3 is a bit of an outlier in and of itself, for example. I don't have any personal experience with that game, but there might be a few settings in FC3 that carry a disproportionate performance penalty.

A good example, as a previous poster noted, is the Witcher's ubersampling -- which purportedly brings any computer system to its knees, but doesn't offer any spectacular image-quality benefits relative to more lenient AA settings. Hell, when Batman: Arkham City launched, almost no one could get the game to run smoothly with DX 11 features enabled, and trust me, those DX 11 features amount to almost zero in terms of visual quality. (Tessellation only even appeared in the Poison Ivy map, for instance.)

In general, a GTX 680 or even a GTX 670 or lower ought to give you good performance @ 1080p with high image-quality settings. There will always be exceptions; sometimes a game is just poorly coded. Sometimes you need to wait for a driver update. Sometimes your expectations may be too high for this-or-that reason. Sometimes you've got VSYNC enabled and you're 1 FPS shy of meeting the crucial 60 threshold consistently.

All of those things can be disappointing, but none of them mean that you can't have a very nice experience at 1080p even with a GPU much less expensive than a GTX 680. Certainly a better experience than you'd get on a console.
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April 13, 2013 8:55:02 PM

gridironcj said:

"Good" is a subjective notion in this instance. What I can tell you is console graphics do not use antialiasing, PhysX, or any DirectX11 features. In fact, the "settings" for console games would be a step lower than the lowest presets on PC games. Let's also not forget about resolution, which is a very big deal. 1440p is 400% of 720p, which is what many enthusiasts play on. With that said, you get worse graphics, lower resolution, and lower framerates on consoles. That's in terms of visuals, I haven't even gotten into the other aspects of the gaming experience (such as load times, processing, modding, etc.), which I will refrain from.


Trust me, I know and realize all of that. I have an Xbox 360 right now because many of my friends don't have a PC at all, let alone the money to get into it. PC is the best platform over all, but there's something to be said for the closed system that is console gaming.
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April 13, 2013 9:19:11 PM

So I just went ahead and changed my Nvidia control panel to the settings you suggested, edogawa, then cranked everything up to high and even turned on PhysX (in Planetside 2) then shut off my fraps FPS counter (like Fulgurant suggested), while still running MSI Afterburner on my second screen for monitoring purposes (but so I can't stare at it while actually playing). I was getting 60 fps in non-combat zones and dips down to 40-35 frames in-combat, but it was playable and almost noticeable because there was no way for me to see an actual number, then I started recording to stress it even more and it was still playable. I think all I really needed was to not be seeing the FPS all this time. I'll play some more tomorrow and see what happens.
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April 14, 2013 2:58:18 AM

TheOnlyShad0w said:
So I just went ahead and changed my Nvidia control panel to the settings you suggested, edogawa, then cranked everything up to high and even turned on PhysX (in Planetside 2) then shut off my fraps FPS counter (like Fulgurant suggested), while still running MSI Afterburner on my second screen for monitoring purposes (but so I can't stare at it while actually playing). I was getting 60 fps in non-combat zones and dips down to 40-35 frames in-combat, but it was playable and almost noticeable because there was no way for me to see an actual number, then I started recording to stress it even more and it was still playable. I think all I really needed was to not be seeing the FPS all this time. I'll play some more tomorrow and see what happens.


Glad to hear you're (tentatively) happier about your performance, now.

Another random thought just occurred to me; I apologize if it was already covered and I missed it: are both of your monitors hooked up to the GPU? I ask because there's a small chance that you might get a tiny boost out of using your i5's integrated graphics for the secondary monitor. Haven't messed with nvidia's multi-monitor support myself for ages now, but back in the day it used to be a bit of a resource hog.

Of course, if you ever plan to game on the secondary monitor, this idea is a no-go; just thought I'd toss it out there. Can't hurt to try if you're willing.
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April 14, 2013 4:53:09 PM

So today I uninstalled all my drivers and moved my card to my other PCI slot. Then I did some more testing in Planetside 2 with Nvidia control panel set to "let the app decide" and I think I'm getting better performance with that setting. I also think that overclocking this card makes it run worse (at least using MSI Afterburner) because doesn't it have some sort of overdrive feature? Anyway, I set everything to high, turned down shadows to low, and turned off PhysX and in large battles I was getting drops only to around 53 frames, which is pretty good, and I totally happy with it.

Thanks for the help guys!
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April 14, 2013 4:58:10 PM

TheOnlyShad0w said:
So today I uninstalled all my drivers and moved my card to my other PCI slot. Then I did some more testing in Planetside 2 with Nvidia control panel set to "let the app decide" and I think I'm getting better performance with that setting. I also think that overclocking this card makes it run worse (at least using MSI Afterburner) because doesn't it have some sort of overdrive feature? Anyway, I set everything to high, turned down shadows to low, and turned off PhysX and in large battles I was getting drops only to around 53 frames, which is pretty good, and I totally happy with it.

Thanks for the help guys!


Glad to hear that then, that is good news. Happy Gaming. :D 

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