Higher end graphic card models are usually the first one out the gates of their respective manufacturers so it really feels quite awkward reviewing a top of the GTX680 this late in the year. Still, this situation presents us with quite a beautiful scenario, one in which we have the broadest range of choices in the GPU thus making it so much better. With news regarding the next generation of GPUs scarce and far in-between, the current-gen still has time to shine. As previously mentioned, we have nVidia’s flagship Kepler GPU for review today and the card we have is from none other than ASUS. We’ll check out the ASUS GTX680 DirectCUII OC today and see what this flagship model can do. Sit back and we’ll make this extremely showy!
ASUS has been nice enough to keep us busy this past few weeks with a lot of review materials and looking at the majority of stuff that passed by our labs from them, graphics cards are certainly the ones we’ve particularly liked. Reviewing a model this late certainly does bring up some challenges for us as it is indeed hard to avoid saying what’s been said before, it does however also brings us that chance to see if early adopters of the card have had their money’s worth up to this day with many other models from the mid-range and entry-levels now available. So going back to the card itself, we have ASUS’ secondary flagship GTX680 card and we’re sure that alot of our readers will know who ASUS is. For the uninitiated, ASUS is one of the top brands if not THE top brand when it comes to motherboards, GPUs and notebooks aside from other products in the market today. ASUS is well known for their Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand targeted for gamers and enthusiasts and are heavily involved in stirring up the consumer market segment of computing components.
About the GTX680
Earlier this year, nVidia released their latest generation of GPUs featuring a refined architecture codenamed Kepler which improves upon its predecessor in many facets. The first off the line of Kepler GPUs is the GK104 which is found on the GTX680 card. Featuring 8 SMX clusters packing 192 CUDA cores each. The card boasts a 1006Mhz core clock and a 1056Mhz Boost Clock which it will utilize during intensive applications. Memory is leveraged by 2GB of GDDR5 clocked in at 1502Mhz. The card is rated for 195W max power draw and is designed to take in a pair of 6-pin PCI-e power connectors.
ASUS’ GTX680 is a custom-cooled solution that features the brand’s highly reputed cooler dubbed DirectCUII and as we’ve seen in the past, has consistently provided very impressive temperatures on their cards. ASUS has outfitted their GTX680 OC with a modest 1019Mhz core clock with the memory clock retaining its default value. GPU boost is rated up to 1084Mhz. The DirectCUII cooler on the GTX680 DirectCUII OC is a whopping 3-slot (2.5 actual) design and is nearly 12″ long.