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

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Swolern

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[citation][nom]bystander[/nom]TXAA has not yet been released. It is supposed to be added to drivers at a later date.[/citation]

Thats when Nvidia will pick up even more performance speed with AA. Love it!

Great article! Thanks for the hard work Angelini. Dont let those trolls, that say your benchmarks are favored, get to you. The 7970 owners are just pissed cause they feel they got ripped off. Hopefully AMD can comeback and sooth some of those wounds with some better drivers.
 

esrever

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take out wow, skyrim and crysis 2 would make this review look a lot different but either way its not bad to include them.

Crysis 2 is horrible benchmark tho since it was created to artificially decrease fps with stupid gpu loads that didn't improve image quality.

Wow has always been an nvidia game since AMD can't seem to code drivers worth crap in that game.

skyrim is just such an overrated game for gpu benchmarking imo, just seems like nvidia cherry picked the game to optimize drivers for since it and BF3 are 2 of the biggest games 680 beats out the 7970. The game really isn't gpu demanding until you throw in massive AA at high rez. Not exactly a good benchmark in that sense.
 

_Pez_

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I liked this review. nicely done ! I can see that there's little to zero difference between both cards. but for now I will keep on my SLI gtx580 setup.- and wait for something more powerful and worthy that shows the sli perfomance of a gtx 580 sli in one single card... crossing fingers to see something like that..
 

mattmock

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I like to see the noise benchmarks for OC and OC+SLI/Crossfire. I find that even in a high airflow case, overclocking dual gpus either overloads the cooling systems or causes the GPU fans to get very loud.
 

monsta

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[citation][nom]I am a PC[/nom]It is quite clear that the Radeons are more powerful but that once again the Nvidia favoring benchmark suite once again favors Nvidia.[/citation]

Fool
 

general lee

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Both companies still need to work with their multi-gpu driver support. If I spend 1000$ on GPUs I'd expect them to work. At the moment there's too many games and settings where multi-gpu doesn't work. Add to that micro-stutters and increased noise and power consumption and multi-gpu doesn't seem like all that good of an idea.
 

welshmousepk

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Great article! this has pretty much swayed me from getting a 680 to a 7970.

Given that when overclocked the 7970 outperforms the 680 in most benchmarks, and is a fair bit cheaper in my country (and more importantly, is available), it seems a bit of a no brainer. I imagine it won't be long before the AMD cards get more OCing headroom, and my WC loop would just love to have ago at that.
 
G

Guest

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What about 1900x1080 res in Bf3?? With aa on? Because as I read many revievs rom Yurp and States thers something really strange what I see here.
 

nekromobo

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Chris please also add on AMD driver the software version, e.g 8.95.5 or something similar..

also the new 12.3 - 8.95.5 gives upto 80% boost to MSAA.
 

shin0bi272

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Im gonna guess its the AA but our friend "chip in a box" posted in the previous 680 review that in sli (even quad) hardwareinfo.com found at 5760x1080 in BF3 the crossfired 7970 was beating the 680... your review says differently though. Still this isnt bad for nvidia for a midrange card at least.

Here's the pic he posted

 

raidenfox123

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[citation][nom]masterofevil22[/nom]Nvidia MAX'd their new card out of the gate and AMD left theirs woefully underclocked...wtf are these two companies doing? Trying to create confusion?? OC'd 7970 ftw..[/citation]

This is wrong, NVidia did not max there card out at all. Its running at a TDP of 175w under load where the max for a double 6pin is 225w..
 
Chris yet another fantastic review! Thank you!

You might want to do a '3D' review and benchmarks. Typically, nVidia (3D Vision) is a lot easier and the frame rates are cut roughly in half. While most folks only run a single monitor there are indeed folks that do run 3 monitors and 2/3/4-WAY CF/SLI.

Further, everyone must remember the nVidia drivers are very immature so I expect significant improvements in many games over the next few weeks as newer drivers become available.

[citation][nom]shin0bi272[/nom]... (even quad) hardwareinfo.com ...[/citation]
Yeah, I saw that review as well, and as I mentioned in a prior review from Chris...I'm in a 'holding pattern' until the 4GB versions (non-reference cards) of the GTX 680's are available.

My best guess on 5760x1080, which I do run (5900x1080), that this (several games) is a vRAM bottle issue of 3GB vs 2GB. Further, some games just scale in an oddball way especially noticeable with lower resolutions e.g. 1920x1080. BF3, AVP, Metro 2033, etc can and do vRAM bottleneck especially under higher details and higher xAA.

Review 3/4-WAY CF/SLI - http://nl.hardware.info/reviews/2641/nvidia-geforce-gtx-680-quad-sli-review-english-version
 

Maximus_Delta

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Good review and follow up to the discussions that have erupted on the forums since the initial reviews of the GTX 680.

I am glad you have back tracked a bit and better reflected what is a rather minimal performance gap between the two cards factoring in CrossFire / SLI scaling and enthusiast overclocking. I have 2 x 7970s (waterblocks on order) gaming at 2560 x 1440 and I did feel they were better than the initial GTX 680 review implied.

Lets hope both cards keep on getting better as the drivers mature. BF3 is the only game I have that dips below 60fps on B2K maps and that's with all the sliders in Catalyst pushed to max quality ontop of the games max quality settings. It will be interesting to see how these cards continue to stack up against each other over the next 18-36 months (the time frame I imagine most people are buying for) when we have more demanding games that can place greater stress on the cards. I am struggling to understand why AMD went with 3GB of VRAM and a 384 bit bus width when NVidia is showing it doesn't matter currently...
 

bardacuda

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[citation][nom]_Pez_[/nom]I liked this review. nicely done ! I can see that there's little to zero difference between both cards. but for now I will keep on my SLI gtx580 setup.- and wait for something more powerful and worthy that shows the sli perfomance of a gtx 580 sli in one single card... crossing fingers to see something like that..[/citation]

The GK110 may end up in that range so you might not have to wait too long.

The 680 looks great but in a way it's disappointing....I was hoping GK104 would end up being branded as a 660ti or 670 and be in the ~$350 range :( but I guess AMD already set the price/performance bar so nVidia can't justify charging much less than a 7970 when it matches up performance-wise.

I really don't want to pay $200-$300 for GK106/107 if it's going to have even less memory bandwidth and capacity so hopefully GK110 will drive prices down. *fingers crossed*
 

walropodes

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Do you guys plan on doing an Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 benchmark where you render the "Paladin sequence" like you did with the 480 and 580? I'm curious to see how it fares against those cards as the 680's GPU compute performance seems to not be as good as the 580's
 
vRAM 2GB vs 3GB vs etc - typically not an issue on 2560x1440 or 2560x1600, but on 5760x1080 yep it's a problem. Look at the Review 3/4-WAY CF/SLI link above and you'll see the vRAM bottleneck.

Example, look at the 4th bench from the top - http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/06/28/msi_n580gtx_lightning_xe_3gb_sli_video_card_review/10 then translate that into even a higher resolution. I am struggling with this problem for some time and specifically have been waiting. Based on what I've seen I'm not jumping from one problem to another until 4GB cards are available (in my case).

Just wait till you see 4K monitors and these cards, either of them, they'll struggle to provide playable frame rates.
 

Marcus52

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About Crysis 2 results, you said:

"We didn’t have any issues benchmarking at 5760x1080, although two GeForce GTX 680s wind up marginally (but probably not noticeably) faster than twin 7970s."

That statement is only true for DX9; DX11 results show the SLI'd GTX 680s pumping out a 33% increase in frame rate over Crossfired Radeon 7970s.

;)
 

Marcus52

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"The good news is that this game isn’t laid out very well to play across three screens. Getting it workable requires a fair bit of UI modification, so the number of folks playing WoW at 5760x1080 is probably already pretty small (the number playing at 5760x1080 and using CrossFire even more so). However, AMD’s cards cannot run in DirectX 11 mode with CrossFire and Eyefinity active.

That fact alone cannot explain why two Radeon HD 7970s do so poorly at 5760x1080, though. We’ll have to assume this is a bug in AMD's driver."

Many people already heavily modify the UI, since there are many great addons to do that with, and the UI that comes with the game is rather limited and plain. I suggest those that would run at 5760x1080 would be even more open to tinkering with a setup to suit their needs than someone running on a single monitor.

I get the impression that AMD doesn't care all that much about competing for the WoW player's business.

;)
 

Ifni

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From what I have read elsewhere the clock offset is not the way to get a good overclock on the nvidia cards, which might be why there was minimal gain overclocking that way, there was some european vendor talking about a 2Ghz base clock sku they are working on for the 680. It probably won't make it to the states but that sounds like winning to me.
 
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