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GeForce GTX 680, Part 2: SLI, 5760x1080, And Overclocking

Test System And Benchmarks

Test Hardware
ProcessorsIntel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E) 3.3 GHz at 4.2 GHz (42 * 100 MHz), LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
MotherboardGigabyte X79-UD5 (LGA 2011) X79 Express Chipset, BIOS F9
MemoryG.Skill 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-1600, F3-12800CL9Q2-32GBZL @ 9-9-9-24 and 1.5 V
Hard DriveIntel SSDSC2MH250A2 250 GB SATA 6Gb/s
GraphicsEVGA GeForce GTX 680 2 GB
Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 2 GB
2 x AMD Radeon HD 7970 3 GB
AMD Radeon HD 7950 3 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6990 4 GB
Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 3 GB
Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB
Power SupplyCooler Master UCP-1000 W
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriverNvidia GeForce Release 301.10 (For GTX 680 performance in MediaEspresso)
Nvidia GeForce Release 300.99 (For GTX 680)
Nvidia GeForce Release 296.10 (For GTX 580 and 590)
AMD Catalyst 12.2
Games
Battlefield 3Ultra Quality Settings, No AA / 16x AF, 4x MSAA / 16x AF, v-sync off, 1920x1080 / 2560x1600 / 5760x1080, DirectX 11, Going Hunting, 90-second playback, Fraps
Crysis 2DirectX 9 / DirectX 11, Ultra System Spec, v-sync off, 1920x1080 / 2560x1600 / 5760x1080, No AA / No AF, Central Park, High-Resolution Textures: On
Metro 2033High Quality Settings, AAA / 4x AF, 4x MSAA / 16x AF, 1920x1080 / 2560x1600 / 5760x1080, Built-in Benchmark, Depth of Field filter Disabled, Steam version
DiRT 3Ultra High Settings, No AA / No AF, 8x AA / No AF, 1920x1080 / 2560x1600 / 5760x1080, Steam version, Built-In Benchmark Sequence, DX 11
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimHigh Quality (8x AA / 8x AF) / Ultra Quality (8x AA, 16x AF) Settings, FXAA enabled, vsync off, 1920x1080 / 2560x1600 / 5760x1080, 25-second playback, Fraps
3DMark 11Version 1.03, Extreme Preset
HAWX 2Highest Quality Settings, 8x AA, 1920x1200, Retail Version, Built-in Benchmark, Tessellation on/off
World of Warcraft: CataclysmUltra Quality Settings, No AA / 16x AF, 8x AA / 16x AF, From Crushblow to The Krazzworks, 1920x1080 / 2560x1600 / 5760x1080, Fraps, DirectX 11 Rendering, x64 Client
SiSoftware Sandra 2012Sandra Tech Support (Engineer) 2012.SP2, GP Processing and GP Bandwidth Modules
CyberLink MediaEspresso 6.5449 MB MPEG-2 1080i Video Sample to Apple iPad 2 Profile (1024x768)
LuxMark 2.064-bit Binary, Version 1.0, Room Scene
  • tacoslave
    amds driver team needs to get off its ass i mean look at those crossfire results thats downright pitiful .
    Reply
  • bystander
    tacoslaveamds driver team needs to get off its ass i mean look at those crossfire results thats downright pitiful .What is wrong with their crossfire performance?

    You do have to look at the high resolution benchmarks to see actual crossfire results, as 1080p benchmarks are being bottlenecked by the CPU.
    Reply
  • I am a PC
    It is quite clear that the Radeons are more powerful but that once again the Nvidia favoring benchmark suite once again favors Nvidia.
    Reply
  • Would like to see CUDA compute instead of openCL stuff. Something like Blender/Cycles benchmark.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    I am a PCIt is quite clear that the Radeons are more powerful but that once again the Nvidia favoring benchmark suite once again favors Nvidia.If you were to hand-pick a suite to favor AMD, what would it include? :) You did notice the Radeons doing really well in Battlefield and Metro, right?
    Reply
  • cangelini
    AgonothetaWould like to see CUDA compute instead of openCL stuff. Something like Blender/Cycles benchmark.Our Blender test is being working on right now--currently we're only utilizing the Tiles/Cycles engines for CPU reviews.
    Reply
  • My MSI 7870 came with Catalyst 12.3, so why use 12.2 if 12.3 is out there?
    Reply
  • weatherdude
    You know, I'm starting to wonder what the Tom's Hardware labs are like. I hope it has something to keep the staff sane as they run tests over and over again.

    Anyways, looks like the competition in the GPU world is going strong right now. To me both the GTX 680 and Radeon 7970 are fine pieces of work. The general compute performance of Tahiti is really really good though so will AMD really reduce the prices significantly below the GTX 680?

    Great review as usual. All your hard work is appreciated.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    sniper13xMy MSI 7870 came with Catalyst 12.3, so why use 12.2 if 12.3 is out there?Because it's not?
    Reply
  • cangelini
    weatherdudeYou know, I'm starting to wonder what the Tom's Hardware labs are like. I hope it has something to keep the staff sane as they run tests over and over again.Anyways, looks like the competition in the GPU world is going strong right now. To me both the GTX 680 and Radeon 7970 are fine pieces of work. The general compute performance of Tahiti is really really good though so will AMD really reduce the prices significantly below the GTX 680?Great review as usual. All your hard work is appreciated.If ever you're in Bakersfield, CA, you're welcome to drop by and check the lab out. It's like a gamer candy store, literally stacked with graphics cards higher than I can reach!
    Reply