Nvidia’s GTX 680 gets a makeover.
What do you get when you take a reference Nvidia GeForce GTX 680, improve its power delivery, increase the cooling capacity and overclock it by more than 70MHz? A serious gaming card.
The Gigabyte GTX 680 OC is one of the first custom cards on the market and as its name suggests, it’s been overclocked substantially over the reference model. Pushing the base clock from 1,000 MHz right up to 1,071MHz provides a sizable performance increase out of the box, but we think there’s more in the tank.
Nvidia has done a great job of reducing the thermal output of the GTX 680, a knock-on effect from lowering the power consumption. While the stock cooler does an acceptable job, Gigabyte’s Windforce 3X cooler not only lowers the temperature, but also significantly reduces the noise output.
To support the additional overclocking headroom provided by the upgraded cooling, Gigabyte has added an extra power phase, bringing the total number of phases to five. This additional phase helps to distribute any extra power drawn as a result of raising voltages and increasing clock speeds.
Across both the 3DMark 11 and Heaven benchmarks this card is a winner, outperforming the high-end AMD Radeon HD 7970 graphics card. Unfortunately, the inability to turn off tessellation from within the Nvidia driver slightly detracts from its appeal, denying the GTX 680 important additional fps.
Considering the additional features this card has over the reference design and mild price increase, we think the Gigabyte GTX 680 OC is great value for money.
- Windforce 3X fans keep the card cool
Pros: Overclocked 70MHz higher than the reference card.
Cons: Can’t turn off tessellation in the Nvidia driver.
Verdict: 8/10 (Editor's Choice)
Available from Gigabyte, retailing for $720.