Gigabyte Nvidia Geforce GTX680 WindForce

Discussion in 'Hardware Reviews' started by dimentionalrift, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. dimentionalrift

    dimentionalrift New Member

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    Well hello again everybody...somebody?...anybody!?...(forever alone :( )...

    No I just kidding, I have a girl... :heh:

    Anyway, on to the next piece of hardware, the GTX680.
    I'll start from the decision that brought me to switching from AMD back to Nvidia.
    At first, back when the Geforce 88xx series ruled the market I bought a Gigabyte-made, 640MB 8800GTS (the old one with the G80 core and 320bit memory interface).
    For some reason it got so hot all the time that I had to play games with my case open and a 20 inch fan (yes, 20 INCHES, as in 50 F***ING CENTIMETERS) pointed at the system running at 60% power, though I don't know how much rpm that was...it was just really loud, like a small plane...
    Eventually I grew tired of the whole operation I had to conduct every time I wanted to play C&C Generals, So I built a new computer for myself.
    With some guiding I found all the parts I thought were good and built the thing.
    If I remember correctly it looked something like this:

    CPU - AMD Phenom 9950BE
    CPU Cooler - Gigabyte Pro Power II (I think)
    MoBo - Gigabyte 790FX-DQ6
    Memory - 2x2GB DDR2 Kingston 800MHz
    GPU - Sapphire Radeon HD4870X2

    Anyway, the PC worked great, I could max out most of my games and some play on high with good frames...but it wasn't long before problems began to appear.
    The Graphics card started overheating, and glitch, the driver failed quite often, sometimes with a blue screen and a system crash...I went to a lab so could check it out, and they told me that the card was somehow flawed and that I should send them the rest of the system to check for damage in other areas...
    Turned out that the card's power connectors were acting up and that the PSU was somehow behind it.
    But more importantly was that the rest of the system was working fine, only the card died for some reason...
    By that time more and more demanding applications were coming out, and the CPU was just to weak to handle them, so I had to build a new PC just over 2 years apart from the one I had.
    I went back to Intel, whom I left around the time Pentium 3 was going strong for cost-related reasons.
    Got a 1366 i7, an X58 Gigabyte mobo, and an HD5970...for some reason I thought that dual GPU cards were the best out there and I wanted the best.
    But the same story that happened to the 4870X2 started happening here...the driver failing, over heating to the point where I had to take manual control over the fan speed through the Catalyst program...
    It then hit me that perhaps the whole thing was happening because of the fact that these two card were dual GPU cards - I never had such a problem before (apart from the bad 8800GTS), and maybe it was time to go back to my roots - strong and resilient yet humble.
    A single GPU was the way to go...
    Then a buddy showed me all the new toys Nvidia had now, I checked out the specs and bechmarks of the GTX6xx series and saw that a stock clocked GTX680 was just a bit under twice the strength of my 5970...and I knew I found a viable replacement, one that hopefully won't let me down, the way its predecessors did...
    I got a pretty god deal for a Gigabyte OC version, putting it at an average of 105% stronger than the 5970, and now I'm pretty happy!

    Now for the item itself:

    For pros I can name a lot, but probably the important ones are: the core, clocked at over 1GHz, 2GB of memory dedicated to a single core (and not split in half like it was before) at such a high clock that even the 256bit width isn't really a bottleneck, 3 angled fans rotating in succession to create a wind-tunnel-like effect to cool it really well even at low rpm and prolong the build up of dust inside, on the PCB and a 100W less on the TDP - 200W compared to 295W of the 5970.
    The only down side was...oh I forgot - for the first time ever I have in my possession a piece of hardware about which I have nothing bad to say! Take that AMD!!!

    Bottom line, the card is amazing, a bit expensive though, but amazing nonetheless.
    If you can't afford it, and still want to experience the power, then you might want to check out the GTX660 and GTX670 cards - both also good, with the 670 only 5%-15% short of the GTX680 in almost all modern applications and games.

    I can't really think of anything else to add, so I'll leave it up to anyone who decides to visit this thread.

    Next review will be coming soon...
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  3. Kaizen

    Kaizen Yes Award Winner!

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    If you have GTA4 DR then could you try playing the stock game with the enb settings at various supersampling levels?

    The only chance I had to try was back when I owned an AMD and it choked the gpu.
  4. Squall-Leonh@rt

    Squall-Leonh@rt Maybe I'm a Lion

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    GTA4 doesn't play well on Kepler gpu's atm
  5. Kaizen

    Kaizen Yes Award Winner!

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    That's a shame, GTA at SSAA is one of the only real reasons to own a top end GPU
  6. Squall-Leonh@rt

    Squall-Leonh@rt Maybe I'm a Lion

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    indeed it is.
    unfortunately the GTA4 precompiled shaders just don't play nice with the nvidia d3d9 recompiler.
  7. dimentionalrift

    dimentionalrift New Member

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    I have to point out that I finished GTA4 on my previous build, and I didn't really like the game, so I don't have an incentive to install it again just to see if it works better and looks better...was waiting for Armored Kill to come out to see how it deals with massive scale destructible maps, and borderlands 2 is said to have pretty big environments too...

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