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.

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

    Good going Nvidia...
  • run the test on the same speeds then lets talk...
  • SkyWalker1726
    AMD will certainly Drop the price of the 7xxx series
  • rantoc
    2x of thoose ordered and will be delivered tomorrow, will be a nice geeky weekend for sure =)