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Few concerns before I buy my GTX 680

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 13, 2012 10:24:26 AM

I'm going for a 680 instead of a 670 because a few of them are on sale. Initially, I was going for the EVGA GeForce TX 680 FTW LE 1006MHZ 2GB however have stumbled upon the Zotac GeForce GTX 680 AMP 1.1GHZ 2GB 6.6GHZ which is on sale for $500 (490 after rebate). This thing is 10% faster than stock 680 (which is 5% faster than stock 670) making it on average roughly 15% faster than stock 670, which is great, especially since this thing is on for $500.

It's much faster than the EVGA card, in fact is one of the fastest 680's and is compared to the ASUS GeForce GTX 680 Direct CU II 2 GB (in fact it even outperforms it in some games due to it's superior memory clock).



Before I get it, I'm concerned about a few things:

#1: Zotac? This appears to be a fairly new company, I have no idea if it's reliable or not, or if their customer service is decent. I'm not too worried about this, considering all companies have horror stories, I'm more cornered about their driver support and updates/fixes etc.

#2: "The card is too thick to be used in a 2-way SLI configuration if there’s only one other slot between the graphics PCI Express slots on the mainboard." source
What does this mean... I will be getting a ASUS Sabertooth Z77 and I most likely WILL be SLI'ing in the future, would this be a problem? Would this card fit in my HAF912?

#3: "We had some doubts about these results, though, so we replaced the default thermal interface with Arctic MX-4.... The GPU temperature lowered by as much as 13°C in the automatic regulation mode, so the GPU was only 65°C hot and the fans slowed down from 2220 to 1950 RPM." source
What is this Arctic MX-4, it appears to be "Thermal Compound" (is that the same as thermal paste?) and how would I go about applying this to my expensive GPU without ruining it. Or should I not worry about the 78°C temps when the fans are at 46% their full speed.

#4: this confuses me greatly, it said on the previous page it was hitting 78°C temps when the fans were at 2220 RPM and now it's saying the GPU is only 69°C hot and the fans rotate at 2040 RPM AFTER overclocking it to the max? What??

edit, this is also extreme interesting.

More about : concerns buy gtx 680

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a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 12:35:16 PM

1) Not sure either; I personally prefer Asus or MSi when it comes to GPU's. Driver support and updates have nothing to do with the card manufacturer; Nvidia still supply the drivers.
2) It means what it says; You will need two PCIe slots with at least two other slots between then to fit a second card. Looking at pictures of the Sabretooth, it appears to have 3 full length PCIe slots, two of which are closer together with only 1 slot between them, hence too close according to the review. The other one is further away, it appears visually to be 2x slots distance away.
3) Yes, thermal paste = thermal compound. You apply it exactly the same way as for a CPU, but only attempt this if the card runs too hot for your taste.
4) This is because they replaced the thermal paste after the first round of tests.
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September 14, 2012 6:12:56 AM

Herr_Koos said:
1) Not sure either; I personally prefer Asus or MSi when it comes to GPU's. Driver support and updates have nothing to do with the card manufacturer; Nvidia still supply the drivers.
2) It means what it says; You will need two PCIe slots with at least two other slots between then to fit a second card. Looking at pictures of the Sabretooth, it appears to have 3 full length PCIe slots, two of which are closer together with only 1 slot between them, hence too close according to the review. The other one is further away, it appears visually to be 2x slots distance away.
3) Yes, thermal paste = thermal compound. You apply it exactly the same way as for a CPU, but only attempt this if the card runs too hot for your taste.
4) This is because they replaced the thermal paste after the first round of tests.


I'm looking at the PCIe slots and theres only two PCIe 3.0 slots, this is where the cards would go right? They seem fairly far apart. The third is a PCIe 2.0, not sure about the difference.

Alright so should I got for that Arctic thermal paste for applying my heatsink onto my CPU? It seems like a good one.

I don't really have a "taste", what are the general temps that I should be concerned about? Also does overall airflow quality of your tower affect cooling the GPU at all?

Also what about using those washers, should I try that or would that be dangerous?
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a b U Graphics card
September 14, 2012 6:34:03 AM

3.0 has higher bandwidth than 2.0, and the 680 does support 3.0 so those would be the best slots to use.

Nvidia's website rates the 680's maximum temperature as 98C. Since the maximum temp achieved in the review you referenced was 78C, I would say you are quite safe.
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September 14, 2012 6:43:43 AM

Thanks, alright so the only thing left is to find out whether or not the card is SLI compatible when using the PCIe 3.0.
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September 16, 2012 10:19:40 AM

Best answer selected by thetechnoobguy.
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