You can't have a GTX 680 because they were all sent to hardware reviewers!

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 29, 2012 - 03:52 PM |
Tagged: GTX 680 GC, gtx 680, geforce, galaxy, factory overclocked

There is only one thing worse than reading a review of an amazing GPU that you would love to buy if you could find it in stock; reading a review of several of these cards in SLI.  That's right, while you can't find a GTX680 in stock, [H]ard|OCP has a pair of overclocked Galaxy GTX 680 GC's which they are running in SLI, powering multiple monitors at a resolution of 5760 x 1200.  Not only that but they are getting good enough frame rates to play the games.  The only bad news is that the overclocked Galaxy card does not perform that much better than the stock card, however in [H]'s opinion the custom design is well worth the $30 premium.

H_Gal_680dc.jpg

"We've got two customized GALAXY GeForce GTX 680 GC video cards which boast a substantial boosted clock speed. We'll test these cards in SLI and compare these to stock GTX 680 SLI and Radeon HD 7970 CFX performance. If you want the best SLI performance, you will want to check this out."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

NVIDIA claims GTX 680 sales outpace GTX 580

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 29, 2012 - 01:56 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 680, GTX 580, GK104, fermi

During the annual investors meeting with NVIDIA top-brass and the powers that hold the money on Wall Street, an interesting slide was presented in a somewhat veiled answer to the questions we (among many others) have had to the availability and yields of their latest Kepler GPUs.

image001.png

At first glance, the graph would seem to validate claims that the stock and shipping rate of the new GeForce GTX 680 is simply unable to keep up with higher than expected and higher than normal demand.  The line on the bottom represents the GTX 580 (both lines are mislabeled as GT rather than GTX) launch, the top the GTX 680 with the lower axis represented as weeks after launch.  The vertical axis is labeled as "Units Sold Out Globally" but there are no numbers attached to it, making things incredibly vague.  

When I asked for clarification all I was really given was that "it means sales of boards from AICs to distributors, system builders, e-tailers and retailers."  This indicates that we are talking about boards either on Newegg.com, at Fry's or being sold through system builders like Maingear and Puget Systems. 

04.jpg

NVIDIA's GTX 690 - one of the Kepler based cards MIA

The term "sold out" gave me a bit of pause - but when questioned "is it fair to translate 'units sold out globally' to 'units sold globally'?" I received an affirmative. 

If we take NVIDIA's information as it is presented, then we see that after six weeks of product availability, the GTX 680 has sold and shipped at a rate 60% higher than that of the GeForce GTX 580 which launched in November of 2010.  If that is true then we can agree with NVIDIA that demand is much higher for the GTX 680 than any other flagship GPU launch in recent memory and the continued stock and availability problems for Kepler are buyer created and strictly an NVIDIA yield issue.  

NVIDIA has told me many times that they would obviously love to have more GTX 680s to sell to consumers as having them out of stock is only costing themselves money.  How long it will take NVIDIA to balance out capacity with demand has yet to be seen though, so you can continue to check out our sort-of-weekly updates on GPU stock.

Source: NVIDIA

Graphics Card (GPU) Stock Check - May 23rd, 2012

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 23, 2012 - 02:43 PM |
Tagged: stock check, radeon, nvidia, HD 7970, hd 7950, hd 7870, hd 7850, hd 7770, hd 7750, GTX 690, gtx 680, gtx 670, geforce, amd

Due to popular request, I am going to try to keep our readers up to date on the current availability of graphics cards and pricing on the market.  With the recent price drops from AMD, the frequent out-of-stock status of the GTX 680 cards and the release of the GTX 670, I thought this would be a great summary of the current situation.

04.jpg

NVIDIA's highest end offering, the GTX 690

We will try to post new updates weekly or maybe more frequently as we see fit.  Newegg is our partner of choice for this today, so let's see what we have.

AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series

Radeon HD 7970 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $469

Radeon HD 7950 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $389

Radeon HD 7870 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $329

Radeon HD 7850 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $249

Radeon HD 7770 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $129

Radeon HD 7750 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $109

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600 Series

GeForce GTX 690 4GB - No Stock
Starting at $999

GeForce GTX 680 2GB - No Stock
Starting at $499

GeForce GTX 670 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $399

In short, nearly two weeks later, nothing has changed.  For NVIDIA neither the GeForce GTX 690 can be found nor can the GTX 680 - a card that launched more than two full months ago.  To say we are disappointed in the capability for NVIDIA to keep up their end of the bargain would be an understatement and explains why we STILL have not used the GTX 680 card in our Hardware Leaderboard!!  The GTX 670 remains in stock though with four models available at Newegg including an overclocked MSI model for hte $399 MSRP.  Considering this might be our new favorite GPU, that is good news at least. 

AMD is still doing great on availability with the Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 widely available for the price of $469 / $389 with a set of three free games including DiRT Showdown and Dues Ex: Human Revolution.   

If you are looking for our latest graphics reviews to judge the performance of the above cards, here you go:

Get right to the gaming, AMD vs NVIDIA showdown

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 18, 2012 - 12:52 PM |
Tagged: gtx 680, gtx670, hd7970, amd, nvidia

Ryan pitted the GTX670 and GTX570 against each other to show that in terms of gaming performance the GTX670 is a viable upgrade. [H]ard|OCP did something similar, testing the GTX670 and 680 against the HD7970 in a gaming performance showdown.  For those who are only interested in gaming performance they've assembled a great breakdown of four popular games at a variety of resolutions and both at stock clocks and the best OC they could manage.  The results are clear, for gamers it is NVIDIA with the clear win, with the GTX670 being a better value than the HD7970 and the GTX680 being a better performer.

a_winner_is_you_1024.jpg

"Wondering how the GeForce GTX 680 and GeForce GTX 670 compare to the Radeon HD 7970 and Radeon HD 7950 at stock frequencies as well as overclocked? You ask for it and we have done just that. Hold onto your hard earned cash and take note of just how the new GeForce GTX 670 compares with the rest of the competition."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Graphics Card (GPU) Stock Check - May 10th, 2012

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2012 - 10:38 AM |
Tagged: radeon, nvidia, HD 7970, hd 7950, hd 7870, hd 7850, hd 7770, hd 7750, GTX 690, gtx 680, gtx 670, geforce, amd

Due to popular request, I am going to try to keep our readers up to date on the current availability of graphics cards and pricing on the market.  With the recent price drops from AMD, the frequent out-of-stock status of the GTX 680 cards and today's new release of the GTX 670, I thought this would be a great summary of the current situation.

02.JPG

NVIDIA's latest offering, the GeForce GTX 670

We will try to post new updates weekly or maybe more frequently as we see fit.  Newegg is our partner of choice for this today, so let's see what we have.

AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series

Radeon HD 7970 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $479

Radeon HD 7950 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $399

Radeon HD 7870 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $329

Radeon HD 7850 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $249

Radeon HD 7770 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $129

Radeon HD 7750 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $109

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600 Series

GeForce GTX 690 4GB - No Stock
Starting at $999

GeForce GTX 680 2GB - No Stock
Starting at $499

GeForce GTX 670 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $399

It is launch day for the GTX 670 and those seem to be pretty widely available for the time being.  As great a card as it is though, I am hesitant to think it will remain in stock through the end of the day based on past experiences with the GTX 600 cards.  Still, the GTX 680 is MIA and the few times I have seen it in stock it only lasts a couple of hours.  

AMD is still doing fine on availability with the Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 widely available for the price of $479 with a set of three free games including DiRT Showdown and Dues Ex: Human Revolution.   

If you are looking for our latest graphics reviews to judge the performance of the above cards, here you go:

ZOTAC announces ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition and ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 4G

Subject: General Tech | May 8, 2012 - 02:32 PM |
Tagged: zotac, AMP!, 4gb gtx 680, 4GB, factory overclocked, gtx 680

The AMP! is back from Zotac and don't let the base clock fool you into thinking that is the only advantage, it is the extra boost capability that really makes this card special.  On the other hand if it is your buffer that is causing you to suffer the 4GB GTX 680 might be a little slower but it can power 4 monitors and has enough GDDR5 to make sure it does so smoothly.


HONG KONG – May 2, 2012 – ZOTAC International, a global innovator and channel manufacturer of graphics cards, mainboards and mini-PCs, today unveils the amplified ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition and high-resolution dominating ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 4GB graphics cards for the most demanding gamers and enthusiasts.

Catered to gamers that require that extra performance kick in the most demanding gaming situations, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition harnesses the untapped power of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 graphics processor to maximize frame rates in the latest visually stunning Microsoft DirectX 11-enabled games. Extreme high-definition and triple-display gamers can opt for the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 4GB which doubles the amount of video memory for that extra bit of smoothness at resolutions above 2560x1600, including 4K and 3840x1080.

ZT-60102-10P_image1.JPG

AMP! Edition

The new ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition and GeForce GTX 680 4GB usher in a new era of visual computing that pushes details and pixel density for unbelievably clear and crisp graphics,” said Carsten Berger, marketing director, ZOTAC International. “The cards deliver world-class performance and are the fastest single GPU graphics cards available this generation too.“

Quad-display output capabilities enables the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition and GeForce GTX 680 4GB to simultaneously power four independent displays in desktop mode at resolutions beyond 2560x1600, including new and upcoming 4K resolution displays. NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround technology joins three 2D or 3D displays together to render a massive wide display for superior immersion and enhanced field of view when gaming with the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition and GeForce GTX 680 4GB.

ZT-60103-10P_image1.JPG

4GB Edition

The ZOTAC Assassin’s Creed 3-Game Pack is bundled with the two cards to let gamers take advantage of the newfound graphics power right out of the box. Assassin’s Creed I, II and Revelations takes gamers through an epic historical journey with beautiful graphics, captivating storylines and immersive gameplay.

It’s time to play with the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition and GeForce GTX 680 4GB!

New ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition & GeForce GTX 680 4GB graphics cards

  • 1536 SMX unified shaders
  • ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP!
    • Edition Engine clock: 1110 MHz (base), 1176 MHz (boost)
    • 2GB GDDR5 memory Memory clock: 6608 MHz
    • Custom Dual-Fan Cooler
  • ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 4GB
    • Engine clock: 1006 MHz (base), 1058 MHz (boost)
    • 4GB GDDR5 memory Memory clock: 6008 MHz
  • 256-bit memory interface DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI & DisplayPort outputs
  • PCI Express 3.0 interface
  • NVIDIA GPU Boost technology
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround capable
  • NVIDIA FXAA technology
  • NVIDIA TXAA technology
  • NVIDIA SLI ready
  • NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync
  • DirectX 11 technology & Shader Model 5.0
  • OpenGL 4.2 compatible
  • Hardware-accelerated Full HD video playback
  • Blu-ray 3D ready Loss-less audio bitstream capable
  • ZOTAC Assassin’s Creed 3-Game Pack included Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
  • TrackMania 2 Canyon 3-Day Game Pass included
Source: Zotac

NVIDIA Announces dual-GPU Kepler GeForce GTX 690

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 28, 2012 - 08:55 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, jen-hsun huang, hd 7990, GTX 690, gtx 680, geforce, 7990

During a keynote presentation at GeForce LAN 2012 being held in Shanghai, NVIDIA's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang unveiled what many of us have been theorizing would be coming soon; the dual-GPU variant of the Kepler architecture, the GeForce GTX 690 graphics card.

Though reviews aren't going to be released yet, Huang unveiled pretty much all of the information we need to figure it out.  With the full specifications listed as well as details about the stunning new design of the card and cooler, the GTX 690 is without a doubt going to be the fastest graphics card on the market when it goes on sale next month.

GeForce_GTX_690_style-299-processed.jpg

The GeForce GTX 690 4GB card is based on a pair of GK104 chips, each sporting 1536 CUDA cores, basically identical to the ones used in the GeForce GTX 680 2GB cards released in March.  The base clock speed of these parts is slightly lower at 915 MHz but the "typical" Boost clock is set as high as 1019 MHz, pushing it pretty close to the performance of the single GPU solutions.  With a total of 3072 processing cores, the GTX 690 will have insane amounts of compute horsepower.

Each GPU will have access to 2GB of independent frame buffer still running at 6 Gbps, for a grand total of 4GB on the card.  

GeForce_GTX_690_3qtr_bare_PCB.jpg

Sitting between the two GPUs will be a PCI Express 3.0 capable bridge chip from PLX supporting full x16 lanes to each GPU and a full x16 back to the host system. 

In terms of power requirements, the GTX 690 will use a pair of 8-pin connectors and will have a TDP of 300 watts - actually not that high consider the TDP of the GTX 680 is 195 watts on its own.  It is obvious that NVIDIA is going to be pulling the very best chips for this card, those that can run at clock speeds over 1 GHz with minimal leakage.  

Continue reading for more details and photos of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB Graphics Card!!

Galaxy Launches GTX 680 GC 2GB Graphics Card

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 27, 2012 - 05:49 PM |
Tagged: gtx 680 GC 2GB, gtx 680, gpu, galaxy

Popular NVIDIA Add In Board partner Galaxy Microsystems announced their new custom GeForce GTX 680 graphics card. Specifically, the Galaxy GTX 680 GC 2GB is their custom PCB and custom cooled version of the NVIDIA GTX 680 (which we reviewed here) which also comes overclocked from the factory.

Galaxy GTX 680 GC 2GB.jpg

The GTX 680 GC 2GB comes with a base clock of 1110 MHz and a boost clock of 1176 MHz which is a healthy overclock compared to the reference clock speeds of 1006 MHz and 1058 MHz respectively. Beyond the factory overclock, Galaxy has implemented a custom PCB design that appears to have eschewed the stacked PCI-E power connectors in favor of the traditional side by side approach which allowed them to use two large fans for the cooler.

Galaxy GTX 680 GC 2GB (2).jpg

The cooler in question uses an aluminum fin array with quad nickel-plated heat pipes to keep the GPU core, memory, and VRMs nice and frosty. Looking somewhat like the XFX 7970 Black Edition, the Galaxy GTX 680 GC 2GB features a custom dual fan cooling solution with brushed aluminum cooling shroud, LED accents, and two large fans (which look to be about 90mm).

Galaxy stated that “overclocking enthusiasts will find the improved cooling of the Galaxy GTX 680 GC to be indispensable for pushing their clocks to the absolute maximum for the best possible performance.”

Galaxy has stated that the new GTX 680 GC card is available now, and is retailing for around $540 USD. [Update: it is already sold out on Newegg but Amazon has 4 left] which puts it a bit more than $40 over Galaxy's referrence version -- not too bad.

Source: Galaxy
Author:
Manufacturer: Galaxy

Retail Ready

When the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 launched in March we were incredibly impressed with the performance and technology that the GPU was able to offer while also being power efficient.  Fast forward nearly a month and we are still having problems finding the card in stock - a HUGE negative towards the perception of the card and the company at this point.

Still, we are promised by NVIDIA and its partners that they will soon have more on shelves, so we continue to look at the performance configurations and prepare articles and reviews for you.  Today we are taking a look at the Galaxy GeForce GTX 680 2GB card - their most basic model that is based on the reference design.

If you haven't done all the proper reading about the GeForce GTX 680 and the Kepler GPU, you should definitely check out my article from March that goes into a lot more detail on that subject before diving into our review of the Galaxy card.

The Card, In Pictures

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The Galaxy GTX 680 is essentially identical to the reference design with the addition of some branding along the front and top of the card.  The card is still a dual-slot design, still requires a pair of 6-pin power connections and uses a very quiet fan in relation to the competition from AMD.

Continue reading our review of the Galaxy GeForce GTX 680 2GB Graphics Card!!

Overclocked Gigabyte WindForce GTX 680 GPU Pictured

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 5, 2012 - 08:19 PM |
Tagged: windforce, overclock, nvidia, gtx 680, gpu, gigabyte, custom gtx 680

Popular motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte is the latest company to debut a custom version of the NVIDIA GTX 680 reference graphics card. Gigabyte’s unique take on the GTX 680 starts off with a custom dark blue PCB and ripping out the puny two six pin PCI-E power connectors. They are then replaced with one eight pin and one six pin PCI-E power connector. Then, they top it off with a custom three fan cooler. The heatsink uses three copper heatpipes with direct contact with the GPU, and two arrays of aluminum fins.

P1050203.jpg

The cooler and blue PCB via VR-Zone

The extra power provided by the eight pin PCI-E connector allows for potentially higher overclocks (depending on the particular chips), and the custom cooler keeps the overclocked card nice and cool. In fact, Gigabyte is shipping the card with a factory overclock. Although they did not overclock the 2 GB of GDDR5 memory from stock, they have set the base clock frequency and boost frequency at 1071 MHz and 1124 MHz boost respectively. Compared to the reference specs of 1006 MHz base and 1058 MHz boost, that amounts to a respectable 65 MHz base overclock and 66 MHz boost overclock out of the box. Further, depending on the chip, they may be capable of overclocking much higher.

Gigabyte WindForce 3x2GB GTX 680.jpg

The assembled card showing the video outputs via Guru3D

So long as you can find one in stock, the NVIDIA GTX 680 GPU is shaping up to be an interesting card, especially the custom versions! More photos of the previewed Gigabyte GTX 680 WindForce edition is available here and here.

Source: Guru3D