ZOTAC GTX680 2GB 'Kepler' Review

👤by Richard Weatherstone Comments 📅01-04-12
Before we get down and dirty with the new Kepler core, let's take a quick overview of the GTX680's specification:

Model ZT-60601-10P

PCI Express 3.0* x16 (Compatible with 1.1)
Chipset Manufacturer NVIDIA®
GPU GeForce® GTX 680
Core clock 1006 MHz (base) - 1058 MHz (boost)
Stream Processors 1536
Shader Clock 2012 MHz

Memory Clock 6008 MHz
Memory Size 2 GB
Memory Interface 256-bit
Memory Type DDR5

DirectX DirectX® 11
OpenGL OpenGL® 4.2

VGA (With included DVI-to-VGA adapter)

Tuner None
Max Resolution 2560 x 1600
RoHS Compliant Yes
SLI Supported Yes (3-way)
Cooler With fan (dual-slot)
Dual-Link DVI Supported Yes
Windows® 7 Capability Certified for Windows® 7 with DirectCompute support

Driver Disk
User Manual
DVI-to-VGA adapter
2 x Dual MOLEX to 6-pin PCIe power cable
TrackMania 2 Canyon 3-Day Game Pass
Game Bundle ZOTAC Assassin’s Creed® 3-Game Pack


Firstly, comparing the GTX680 with it's forbear, the GTX580 we see that there are some significant changes. Immediately identifiable are the amount of stream processors which have tripled. from 512 to 1536. The ROPs have however dropped 25% but to compensate the core and memory clockspeeds have been massively increased, with the GTX680 being the clocked slightly above the 1GHz mark.

The battle everyone wants to see though is the GTX680 vs HD7970 and comparing the two cards against one another is a good place to start. On paper at least, the GTX680 appears to have the slight upper hand. Sacrificing a gigabyte of GDDR5 and running with the 256-bit interface, the GTX680 cannot hope to compete in total bandwidth available losing out to both the HD7970 and HD7950 by a fair margin despite having a much higher memory overclock. The tables are however turned when we study the texture fillrate where the GTX680 comes out on top.

One area where NVIDIA are shouting from the rooftops is the power consumption area. with a max power draw of 195W compared to 250W of the HD7970, the GTX680 should save a few more yards of the Brazillian rainforests (and of course cut your electricity bill) than the HD7970.

Price wise there is little to choose between them. The GTX680 is a little more expensive yet only because of the recent price drops of the HD7900 series. At launch, the HD7970 was significantly more expensive.

Overall, looking at the specifications you would be forgiven for thinking that Kepler is not the GPU everyone was hoping for. Sure it has faster clockspeeds but how does that transpire to performance when the core hardware (stream processor count, memory size) is not as impressive as AMD's?

It's time to take a look at Kepler and see what trickery the NVIDIA techs have in store for us...

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