GeForce GTX 680 2 GB Review: Kepler Sends Tahiti On Vacation

Temperature And Noise

Idle Temperature And Noise

Two years ago, when Nvidia led off with its Fermi-based GeForce GTX 480, the company was chided for egregious power consumption and correspondingly bad thermal output. Subsequently, it seemed to put more effort into augmenting its cooling solutions. The GeForce GTX 580 seemed to be the culmination of those improvements, enabling a single-GPU flagship that didn’t need to make its presence known.

A handful of engineering emphases, plus the benefits of 28 nm manufacturing, pay off here. The GeForce GTX 680 is quieter than any other high-end card at idle. And it doesn’t seem to require much airflow to stay cool; only the GeForce GTX 590 manages to hit a lower temperature after 10 minutes on the Windows desktop.

Load Temperature And Noise

More telling than idle performance, however, is a graphics card’s behavior under load. This is where the GeForce GTX 680 really impresses, achieving the lowest acoustic measurement in the bunch.

And although it remains quiet, the card’s cooler doesn’t allow temperatures to get out of control. AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 and 7950 both turn in lower thermal readings. However, the GTX 680 does outperform Nvidia’s other two tested cards.

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    Top Comments
  • borden5
    oh man this's good news for consumer, hope to see a price war soon
    44
  • Anonymous
    Hail to the new king.
    39
  • outlw6669
    Nice results, this is how the transition to 28nm should be.
    Now we just need prices to start dropping, although significant drops will probably not come until the GK110 is released :/
    34
  • Other Comments
  • Anonymous
    Hail to the new king.
    39
  • borden5
    oh man this's good news for consumer, hope to see a price war soon
    44
  • johnners2981
    Damn prices, in europe we have to pay the equivalent of $650-$700 to get one
    26
  • outlw6669
    Nice results, this is how the transition to 28nm should be.
    Now we just need prices to start dropping, although significant drops will probably not come until the GK110 is released :/
    34
  • Anonymous
    Finally we will see prices going down (either way :-) )
    23
  • Scotty99
    Its a midrange card, anyone who disagrees is plain wrong. Thats not to say its a bad card, what happened here is nvidia is so far ahead of AMD in tech that the mid range card purposed to fill the 560ti in the lineup actually competed with AMD's flagship. If you dont believe me that is fine, you will see in a couple months when the actual flagship comes out, the ones with the 384 bit interface.
    -5
  • Chainzsaw
    Wow not too bad. Looks like the 680 is actually cheaper than the 7970 right now, about 50$, and generally beats the 7970, but obviously not at everything.

    Good going Nvidia...
    26
  • Anonymous
    run the test on the same speeds then lets talk...
    -31
  • SkyWalker1726
    AMD will certainly Drop the price of the 7xxx series
    32
  • rantoc
    2x of thoose ordered and will be delivered tomorrow, will be a nice geeky weekend for sure =)
    20
  • scrumworks
    Nothing surprising here. Little overclocking can put Tahiti right at the same level. Kepler is actually losing to Tahiti in really demanding games like Metro 2033 that uses the latest tech. Pointless to test ancient and low tech games like World of Warcrap that is ancient, uses dx9 and is not considered cutting edge in any meter.
    -16
  • Scotty99
    scrumworksNothing surprising here. Little overclocking can put Tahiti right at the same level. Kepler is actually losing to Tahiti in really demanding games like Metro 2033 that uses the latest tech. Pointless to test ancient and low tech games like World of Warcrap that is ancient, uses dx9 and is not considered cutting edge in any meter.


    Sigh...

    WoW has had DX11 for quite a long time now. Also, go play in a 25 man raid with every detail setting on ultra with 8xAA and 16x AAF and tell me WoW is not taxing on a PC.
    23
  • yougotjaked
    Wait what does it mean by "if you’re interested in compute potential, you’ll have to keep waiting"?
    16
  • scrumworks
    Wow, now that I moved some more pages I see Kepler really sucks at computing. I think it's very surprising even if you claim otherwise! That how Kepler managed to barely overpass Tahiti in gaming because it's totally useless in computing apps. That is something that Tom's and folk usually praise in nvidia, their ability to be like supercomputers. I guess there is a totally different ring in the bell now and all the sudden computing doesn't matter.
    -12
  • dragonsqrrl
    Just throwing this out there now, but some AMD fanboy will find a way to discredit or marginalize these results.

    ...oh, wait.
    0
  • klausey
    Great to see nVidia jumping back into the game and forcing AMD to lower its prices accordingly. I was shocked to see the card actually available at the MSRP of $500 on launch day. I guess we'll see how long that lasts.

    For everyone suggesting that nVidia will release another true "flagship" beyond the 680, I think you are spot on, IF AMD gives them a reason to. There's no reason to push it at the moment as they already hold the crown. If, on the other hand, AMD goes out and makes a 7980, or 79070 SE card with higher clocks (more like what the 7970 can achieve when properly overclocked), I definitely see nVidia stepping their game up a bit.

    Either way, it's awesome to see both AMD and now nVidia taking power consumption into consideration. I'm tired of my computer room feeling like a toaster after an all nighter.
    24
  • rantoc
    yougotjakedWait what does it mean by "if you’re interested in compute potential, you’ll have to keep waiting"?


    He means waiting for the GK110, that will be a more of a compute card while this GK104 is more equiped towards gaming.
    18
  • EXT64
    Really disappointing DP compute, but a tradeoff had to be made and this card is meant for gaming, so I can understand their position. Hopefully GK110 is a real card and will eventually come out.
    13
  • Anonymous
    but will it run tetris with multiple displays?
    -7
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Oh yeah, team green strikes back! :D Now let's see what 660 Ti will be like, might suggest that to a friend.
    7