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GeForce GTX 680 Can Be Flashed to GTX 770?

No you can't, but read on. When we learned that NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce GTX 770 uses a GPU not unlike the GeForce GTX 680 in specifications, we overlooked one possibility, that it uses the same exact chip, the GK104. We assumed that NVIDIA could release a new ASIC codenamed "GK114" or "GK204," which features higher energy-efficiency, and GPU Boost 2.0.

A Reddit user claims that a simple BIOS flash of the GeForce GTX 680 could turn it into a GeForce GTX 770. The BIOS ROM image, which probably works with reference-design GTX 680 boards was posted, along with a GPU-Z screenshot of a "GeForce GTX 770" obtained this way. The BIOS runs the card at 1059 MHz core, 1125 MHz maximum GPU Boost, and 1752 MHz (7.00 GHz GDDR5-effective) memory, yielding a memory bandwidth of 224 GB/s. The BIOS file can be found here (try it at your own risk). We tested the BIOS with some of our own GTX 680 cards, and found it to be nothing more than a modified GTX 680 BIOS (for increased clocks) with a modified driver INF file that makes the GeForce driver display a different model name. The BIOS just has made-up clock speeds that could run on some GTX 680 cards, but could be unstable on most.

We created four additional GPU-Z screenshots to serve as evidence that just by modifying the INF file, you can make the card appear as anything you want. The string from the INF file is used in Windows for display purposes only; the graphics driver does not use it for anything else; certainly not feature detection.

When your GTX 680 manages to be stable with the new BIOS, the higher clock speeds obviously work to get you that 5-7 percent performance increment. Third-rate companies often get away selling rebranded fake graphics cards in developing markets using this method. For example, they buy cheap GeForce 210 cards and sell them as GT 630 for twice the money. Even between officially rebranded NVIDIA graphics cards (such as GeForce 8800 GT to 9800 GT), the device ID is changed, so there's no reason why NVIDIA won't do the same with the GTX 770. In conclusion, this "GTX 770" mod is nothing more than a combination of a custom GTX 680 BIOS that adds higher clock speeds, and a custom INF file that changes the card's name string.

NVIDIA Kepler Refresh GPU Family Detailed

A report shed light on what NVIDIA's GPU lineup for 2013 could look like. According to the report, NVIDIA's next-generation GPUs could follow a similar path to previous-generation "Fermi Refresh" (GF11x), which turned the performance-per-Watt equation around back in favor of NVIDIA, even though the company's current GeForce Kepler has an established energy-efficiency lead. The "Kepler Refresh" family of GPUs (GK11x), according to the report, could see significant increases in cost-performance, with a bit of clever re-shuffling of the GPU lineup.

NVIDIA's GK104 GPU exceeded performance expectations, which allowed it to drive this generation's flagship single-GPU graphics card for NVIDIA, the GTX 680, giving the company time to perfect the most upscaled chip of this generation, and for its foundry partners to refine its 28 nm manufacturing process. When it's time for Kepler Refresh to go to office, TSMC will have refined its process enough for mass-production of GK110, a 7.1 billion transistor chip on which NVIDIA's low-volume Tesla K20 GPU compute accelerator is currently based.
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