Zotac GTX680 SLI Review

Test Setup and Temperatures

Zotac GTX680 SLI Review

Test Setup

Zotac GTX680
nVidia GTX680
ForceWare 300.99
Intel Core i7-3960X @ 4.6GHz
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
Corsair AX1200W
Corsair GTX8
Corsair H100
Noctua NF-F12 Fans
Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Temperatures

Despite the two cards being so close together it's a testament to the quality of the current nVidia power management and cooling solution that our maximum temperature remains a pretty cool 77°C.

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Most Recent Comments

30-03-2012, 05:52:23

tinytomlogan


Are you interested in how well the latest nVidia card scales in SLI? Thanks to Zotac we can find out.

Continue Reading

30-03-2012, 06:14:04

Excalabur50
Nice review as always and it's still nice to see the brands evenly matched It's been awhile and as you have said many times in your reviews it don't matter which camp you want they are both as good as each other if you want Nvidia go that way if you want AMD go that way it great to see.

30-03-2012, 09:01:07

SieB
Some decent performance, I love how cool these 680s run as well, the fan doesn't even spin up much so they are also quiet. The scaling is bound to improve with new drivers as well, hopefully to around 80%+.

Now, where can I steal a pair of these cards form

30-03-2012, 09:44:50

Rastalovich
I don't understand the CPU limited quote, and I'll be glad when those oc-bench-score-being-slower-than-the-stock-card disappear off the comparison charts. Both the bios numbers the same on these ? (should be easy to see on the stickers)

30-03-2012, 09:47:35

yassarikhan786
Really nice review as always Tom. Not too impressed with the temps tbh. 77 C on an open test bench seems too hot imo, but since the fans don't really spin up making the cards uber quiet, it's a reasonable compromise.

30-03-2012, 13:09:00

dugdiamond
just imagine the fan power needed to cool these in a closed case ????

30-03-2012, 14:34:49

YogevSkill
AMD, Nvidia, comes down to specs at the end of the day, 3Dmark favor's the strong, and so do I.

SWeet review TTL. Thx.

30-03-2012, 15:07:03

VonBlade
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastalovich View Post

I'll be glad when those oc-bench-score-being-slower-than-the-stock-card disappear off the comparison charts.
We report the findings, for good, bad or indifferent. As long as cards continue to produce non-linear overclock results, we'll continue to have them in the graphs.

30-03-2012, 19:24:56

UkGouki
i would love a single card but sli is beastly wonder what quad sli results are like

30-03-2012, 20:49:26

Brutos
seem to do well in sli but think i will stick with the single card setup

31-03-2012, 07:27:41

Watsyerproblem
its nice to see what can be done now with this generation of cards, i was thinking a single 680 was overkill for any game. makes my 460 seem inadequate lol

31-03-2012, 08:35:10

HighlanderHD
If the 7970 is louder but cooler and the 680 is quieter but warmer, cant you just spin down the fan speed on the 7970 and have it quite and warmer just like the 680?

31-03-2012, 08:43:50

yassarikhan786
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlanderHD View Post

If the 7970 is louder but cooler and the 680 is quieter but warmer, cant you just spin down the fan speed on the 7970 and have it quite and warmer just like the 680?
Yeh you could and temps wise it would probably still be a little cooler

31-03-2012, 09:53:10

Grim_Reaper
Great review! As usual

Yep. 7970 seems a bit cooler, but a bit noisy (stock). The only difference between 680 is that AMD has no any useful/useless features like 680 has. Still I see no reasons for fanboy pee-war.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlanderHD View Post

If the 7970 is louder but cooler and the 680 is quieter but warmer, cant you just spin down the fan speed on the 7970 and have it quite and warmer just like the 680?
.

Or- you can spin up the 680 fan, to make it as noisy and cool as 7970 does

31-03-2012, 14:55:32

BKCXb
The reason the 680 preforms worse overclocked, is the overclock is to high for that load.

Just like Intel Speed Step

if the 680 has more headroom it overclocks higher(single thread apps), if it is loaded down (all cores active) it doesn't boost .

Somewhere there will be a line where a slight OC will let it boost to the max TDP, but pushing the OC just a few MHz more would cause the 680 to not boost at all, cutting performance.

Overclocking video cards just got harder, now you have to actually find a balance over your entire spectrum of applications and workloads instead of just find the highest stable MHz, because you could be cheating yourself out a bit of performance.

From Toms SLI videos the pair of 680s were never really at 100%, so they boost all they can, whatever Tom raises the base frequency, they still boost higher.

With a single card, it's workload is higher, so it doesn't boost as much, if at all.

31-03-2012, 19:00:49

Fredtrix
Good read, I like these overkill reviews

01-04-2012, 22:10:18

MaXiMiZe
Nice review. Good to see how AMD and Nvidia are so close, helps us guys.

20-04-2012, 05:48:43

grammaton_feather
Having owned a Zotac 680 for 2 weeks, first week air cooled, second week liquid cooled, overclocking it brings a big performance boost. I get 500mhz+ on the vram and at least 188mhz on the core. Running kombustor DX11 immediately shows the performance boost with the minimum fps, average and max increasing significantly.

The figures I wrote down from my OCing on air:

Kombustor DX11 default clocks = 216min, 229 average.

+175core/+500vram = 247min, 266 average.

That difference is enough to make gameplay smoother on BF3 ultra on the most demanding 64 player map: Damavand Peak.

Yes, agree, if the clocks are pushed too far it can actually reduce performance but it's so easy overclocking and you quickly establish what too far is using Kombustor Dx11 mode (gives you immediate feedback of the min, max, average).

It's also important to use the EVGA OC scanner to check for artifacts. Although I had the vram at 650mhz, artifacts show past 500mhz.

Have been as high as 247+ on the gpu core.

22-04-2012, 09:24:57

Anthrax27
Beasts.

08-05-2012, 06:10:35

roisugoi
mmm im fine with one card, for one 1080p 60hz monitor you dont need more power... now testing what grammaton_feather says, I hope I get the same results xD
Reply
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