GIGABYTE GTX680 Windforce 3x OC Review

Editor: Richard Weatherstone  Date: 14-05-12   2 Comment(s) - Join the discussion here
Introduction


Product on Review: GV-N680OC-2GD
Manufacturer and Sponsor: GIGABYTE
Street Price: £473.62inc. VAT (At time of review)

We've seen a few cards now with the Windforce cooler and each has impressed us with it's cooling ability and acoustic reduction of reference designs. The 3x Windforce cooler on the GTX680 has been used before, notably on the AMD HD7950 where it performed extremely well so we are hoping for similar results with the GTX680 it is tasked with cooling this time around.

It is easy to forget about the GTX680 with all the furore surrounding the exceedingly good GTX670 but the fact remains the GTX680 is still the daddy where outright performance is concerned. That performance however comes at a price and it is the price that has seen the GTX670 take the limelight. It could however be argued that the HD7950 and GTX670 are mid/high end cards in their own right but are still the peasants fighting over scraps from their masters table.



In recent reviews we have seen the GTX680 trade blows with the HD7970 with various games and benchmarks running slightly better on one or the other. What we did see however is that the overclocked HD7970 was fastest throughout so today we will be looking to see how well a factory overclocked GTX680 runs in comparison.

Factory overclocked to 1071MHz (1137MHz GPU Boost) on the core, it is perhaps a little on the conservative side and with the memory running at stock clocks of 1502 (6004MHz effective) we expect that GIGABYTE have left plenty of overclocking headroom for us to have some fun with the graphics card as the Windforce cooler dictates that temperatures and therefore thermal throttling shouldn't become too much of an issue which in-turn will allow the card to perform to it's highest ability without being diluted due to temperatures.

Here's what GIGABYTE had to say about their Windforce cooler:

GIGABYTE introduces WINDFORCE™, the latest cooling technology that differentiates the brand’s graphics cards from the rest. GIGABYTE understands that a fan is crucial to the graphics card, so only the fan with the most efficiency is selected for WINDFORCE™.

To qualify for WINDFORCE™, a cooling solution must be equipped with anti-turbulence inclined fans, ultra quiet PWM fan and pure copper heat pipe. Inclined fins help to reduce excessive heat and turbulence. Depending on its orientation, there are 4 types of inclined-fan designs: outward-inclined, 3D-inclined, parallel-inclined, and mirroring-inclined. Each type generates excellent exterior airflow for efficient heat dissipation from the interior GPU core.


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