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ZOTAC Announces its GeForce GTX 680 Graphics Card

ZOTAC International, a global innovator of graphics cards, motherboards and mini-PCs, today unleashes the next-generation in PC graphics with the GeForce GTX 680 graphics card. The new ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 graphics card redefines smooth, seamless and lifelike gaming with a new architecture, features and unprecedented performance.

Next-generation SMX unified shaders empower the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 with double the performance-per-watt and six-times the amount of processor cores per shader unit compared to the previous generations for out-of-this-world gaming performance. The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 graphics card packs 2GB of the world's fastest GDDR5 video memory with a clock speed of 6008 MHz thanks to a new 28nm manufacturing process for unrestricted performance capabilities.

MSI Introduces its GeForce GTX 680 Graphics Card

Today leading international mainboard and graphics card maker MSI officially announces the new GeForce GTX 680 graphics card featuring the latest 28nm GeForce GTX 680 GPU and 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The GeForce GTX 680 graphics card is outfitted with the latest GPU that not only meets PCI Express 3.0 standards and supports DirectX 11 technology, but also features NVIDIA's GPU Boost technology. GPU Boost technology allows the core clock to be automatically adjusted on the fly for optimal gaming performance. When used with the MSI Afterburner overclocking utility, the power limit and clock offset can be adjusted as well for better overclocking capability. A single card can also support NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround technology for up to four monitors to give gamers the best gaming experience.

ORIGIN PC Unleashes New Game-Changing NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 and GeForce GTX 675M

ORIGIN PC is excited to announce the launch of the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 video card for their award-winning desktops and the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M notebook GPU for their record breaking EON17-X laptop. Now whether you're gaming at home or on the go, you can now experience faster, smoother and richer gaming like never before. It's more than just innovative, it's game-changing. And to celebrate the launch of the most power efficient GPU ever created, ORIGIN PC is giving away a free 90GB Corsair Force GT Solid State Hard Drive on their systems for a limited time.

NVIDIA Launches the GeForce GTX 680 "Kepler" Graphics Card

NVIDIA today launched the first model in the GeForce Kepler GPU family, the GeForce GTX 680. Based on the spanking new "Kepler" architecture, and a high-performance chip derived from it, GK104, and built on the 28 nm fab process at TSMC, the GeForce GTX 680 is NVIDIA's fresh bid for single-GPU performance supremacy. The new chip packs a staggering 1536 CUDA cores (three-fold increase over GTX 580), 2 GB of GDDR5 memory over a 256-bit wide memory interface, and staggering clock speeds of 1006 MHz (core base), 1056 MHz (core boost), and 1502 MHz (memory, 6.00 GHz effective), with a memory interface bandwidth of 192 GB/s.

It doesn't stop there. NVIDIA introduced a clever new technology called GPU Boost, which makes the GPU self-aware of parameters such as load, voltages, temperatures, and auto-tunes clock speeds, to deliver the best performance per Watt ratio. NVIDIA also introduced Adaptive V-Sync, which smooths transition between lower than refresh-rate frame-rates, and V-sync rate, attempting to eliminate lag, and naturally prevent page-tearing. NVIDIA also introduced the new TXAA anti-aliasing algorithm, which is a performance-efficient image quality enhancement. To top it all off, the chip has a TDP of just 195W. Available today, though leading retailers in mature markets, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 is priced at US $499 (MSRP).

NVIDIA Releases the 301.10 WHQL Driver for the GeForce GTX 680

Since the GTX 680 will be launched later today, NVIDIA has decided to go ahead and publish the first (official) driver that supports its Kepler-powered card. Known as 301.10, this driver is WHQL certified, it only knows the GeForce GTX 680 (you'll need a modified inf file for 'expanded' support), and is bundled with the PhysX System Software v9.12.0213 (plus HD Audio v1.3.12.0).

GeForce 301.10 WHQL (Windows 7/Vista 32-bit) / GeForce 301.10 WHQL (Windows 7/Vista 64-bit)

EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Pictured, Too, $499 Pricing Confirmed

Here is the first picture of EVGA GeForce GTX 680. The best-selling GeForce AIC partner in the US, EVGA, opted for a minimalist sticker design, while sticking to NVIDIA reference board and cooler designs. In fact, all GeForce GTX 680 launched in the first-wave, do. Speaking of first-wave, TechnoReviews managed to screengrab American Retailer Newegg.com listing out nearly all the GeForce GTX 680 models that will be available on launch of the SKU.

The listing confirms the US $499 (before taxes) pricing of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680, because that's how low these cards are available for; they will never price it below NVIDIA-recommended MSRP. Newegg.com applying a $10 margin is quite natural, they've done it with pretty much every major graphics card market-launch this year, including that of the Radeon HD 7900 series. Assuming the GeForce GTX 680 beats Radeon HD 7970, as NVIDIA claims, our educated guess is it still won't start a "price-war" as such. AMD might recalibrate prices of HD 7900 series down 5~10%, but AMD and NVIDIA won't be able to drive prices below a threshold, and that threshold is governed by TSMC, its ability to ship 28 nm chips in volumes big enough, and at prices low enough, to support a price-war between the two GPU giants.

PNY GeForce GTX 680 XLR8 Enthusiast Edition Pictured

Here are the first pictures of PNY GeForce GTX 680 XLR8 Enthusiast Edition courtesy TecnoReviews. The pictures reveal the card to stick to NVIDIA reference-design of the GeForce GTX 680, with its signature XLR8 (sounds like "accelerate") Enthusiast Edition sticker design. According to the source, the card sticks to NVIDIA-reference clock speeds of 1006 MHz (base), 1056 MHz (boost), and 1500 MHz (memory). PNY's doesn't include "Bonus" trialware, but does include a free 3-month subscription of ESEA Premium (we assume this deal is only available to buyers in North America).

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Launch Video Leaked: World's Fastest GPU

An alleged marketing video of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680, slated for after launch, got leaked and uploaded to YouTube by an Italian-speaking YouTube user (going by the Italian used in the description). The part that makes it look genuine is it features NVIDIA's VP for Corporate Marketing Ujesh Desai, holding the graphics card, and detailing it. He claims that NVIDIA set out to build the fastest GPU - "and accomplished it." The entire bouquet of new features introduced with the GeForce GTX 680 has been disclosed in the video, to great detail.

Watch the video (embedded from YouTube) after the break.

MSI GeForce GTX 680 Listed for 492€

It looks like murmurs about the $499 (excl. taxes) price-tag of GeForce GTX 680 have more than an element of truth in them, after all. European retailer PC Components listed an MSI-branded GeForce GTX 680 graphics card (model: N680GTX-PM2D2GD5) for 492€ (including VAT), and 416.95€ (excluding VAT). This reinforces the theory of a US $499 (excluding taxes) price-tag (including taxes price varies significantly between states and other US territories).

The listing also reveals the box-art of MSI's card, and various other features of the GeForce GTX 680, such as NVIDIA GPU Boost Technology, NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround (with the ability to connect all three displays to a single graphics card), clock speeds of 1006 MHz (core) 1056 MHz (boost), 1502 MHz (6.00 GHz GDDR5 effective memory), 2 GB memory, and 195W TDP.

Find the listing here.

GK110 Specifications Approximated

Even as launch of the GK104-based GeForce GTX 680 nears, it's clear that it is emerging that it is not the fastest graphics processor in the GeForce Kepler family, if you sift through the specifications of the GK110 (yes, 110, not 100). Apparently, since GK104 meets or even exceeds the performance expectations of NVIDIA, the large-monolithic chip planned for this series, is likely codenamed GK110, and it's possible that it could get a GeForce GTX 700 series label.

3DCenter.org approximated the die size of the GK110 to be around 550 mm², 87% larger than that of the GK104. Since the chip is based on the 28 nm fab process, this also translates to a large increment in transistor count, up to 6 billion. The shader compute power is up by just around 30%, because the CUDA core count isn't a large increment (2000~2500 cores). The SMX (streaming multiprocessor 10) design could also face some changes. NVIDIA could prioritize beefing up other components than the CUDA cores, which could result in things such as a 512-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface. The maximum power consumption is estimated to be around 250~300 Watts. Its launch cannot be expected before August, 2012.

Factory-Overclocked GeForce GTX 680 by MSI and EVGA get Listed

North American retailer NCIX listed two factory-overclocked NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 graphics card models. NCIX did not list these two for pre-order, but enabled "Add to Wishlist", which probably notifies those with the product in their wishlists of when they are in stock. Both cards are priced at US $578.20 (incl. free shipping to contiguous US states). The clock speeds of MSI's card, which carries the part number "N680GTX-PM2D 2GD5/OC" was revealed to be 1056 MHz (core) with 6 GHz (GDDR5 effective memory); while those of EVGA's card, which carries the part number "02G-P4-2682-KR", were not revealed. We know from its clearly-mentioned brand extension "SuperClocked", that it's factory-overclocked.

MSI Slips Out Some GeForce GTX 680 Marketing Material

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680 is certainly generating a lot of excitement, so much so that one AIB maker, MSI, has jumped the gun and put out a few PR goodies relating to the incoming card. Seen below, MSI's marketing materials show off the company's GTX 680 (which is based on NVIDIA's reference design), the new GEFORCE GTX logo, and some specs and features like the 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM, the 256-bit memory interface, the quad display outputs, the PCI-Express 3.0 support, and the ability to run four monitors (and a complete 3D Vision Surround setup) from a single card.

MSI's GeForce GTX 680 will also be fully supported by the company's Afterburner utility that's set to provide 'GPU/Memory Clock Offset and Power Limit Control'. Expect an official unveiling of the MSI GeForce GTX 680 this Thursday, March 22nd.

- pictures removed at MSI's request -

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v0.6.0 Released

TechPowerUp released the latest version of GPU-Z, the PC enthusiast community's favorite graphics subsystem information and diagnostic utility, which gives you up to date information about your installed graphics hardware, and helps you monitor clock speeds, voltages, temperatures, and even exotic readings such as video memory usage and ASIC quality (on supported graphics cards). Version 0.6.0 introduces a host of new features, including refined support for upcoming NVIDIA Kepler architecture GPUs, such as GeForce GTX 680, and GeForce GT 6x0M; and the recently-launched AMD Radeon HD 7800 series.

GPU-Z also embraces an installer, which places shortcuts, and an uninstall entry. GPU-Z can very much also be used as a portable, standalone utility, without needing an installation (just choose not to install, and use it standalone instead). AMD altered a high-level API with its Catalyst 12.2 drivers, which GPU-Z conventionally uses to talk to the hardware. Those updating from older Catalyst versions to 12.2 won't see its effects on older GPU-Z versions, but those with Catalyst 12.2 "clean-installed", might. GPU-Z 0.6.0 addresses this issue, and should now work normally with systems running Catalyst 12.2 clean-installed. A large number of other changes were made with version 0.6.0.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.0, TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.0 ASUS ROG-Themed

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 680 Graphics Card Pictured

Christmas came early to Overclock.net forum member "ironman86", who showed off his swanky new GeForce GTX 680 graphics card, branded by GIGABYTE (model: GV-N680D5-2GD-B). The card sticks to NVIDIA reference design to the book, except of course a sci-fi sticker on the cooler and fan. A futuristic art piece, with GIGABYTE and GTX 680 ("8" obscured by the protective plastic film). The card indeed draws power from two 6-pin power connectors, settling the power-connector debate once and for all, since this is the first picture of a retail-channel GTX 680.

ASUS GeForce GTX 680 for Pre-Order in USA

Last week, a Dutch store solicited pre-orders of ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 for a brief period, before redacting the sale page. It was priced at 507.18€ (incl. taxes). US retailer Bottom Line Telecommunications, listed ASUS GeForce GTX 680 on its online store (shopBLT). Carrying the part number GTX680-2GD5, this card is priced at US $566.75. The part that makes this a pre-order is that the sale page mentions that "You may order this product regardless of availability," it would be shipped as soon as it's available (after it's launched, of course). The page doesn't tell us anything about the GTX 680 that we don't already know.

Find the listing here.

GeForce GTX 680 SLI Performance Surfaces

NVIDIA's big GeForce GTX 680 launch is just around the corner, but performance figures are already trickling in. Last week, we were treated to a wide range of benchmarks covering a single GeForce GTX 680. Today, VR-Zone posted a performance-preview of the GeForce GTX 680 in 2-way SLI configuration. A set of two GTX 680 cards were put through 3DMark 11 in Entry, Performance, and eXtreme presets. It should be noted here, that the GTX 680 cards were clocked at 1150 MHz core, and 1803 MHz (7.20 GHz effective) memory.

In the Entry preset, GTX 680 2-way SLI scored E22878; it scored P16860 in Performance preset; and X6243 in eXtreme. 2-way SLI of GTX 680 should be fit for 2560x1440/1600 resolution gaming. The rest of the test-bench consisted of Intel Core i7-3930K six-core processor clocked at 5.00 GHz, with 16 GB of quad-channel DDR3-2133 MHz memory, and ASUS ROG Rampage IV Extreme motherboard.

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 Listed for Pre-Order

Here comes one of the first online-store listings of the GeForce GTX 680. Branded by ZOTAC, this GTX 680 is listed on Dutch online-store ComCom.nl, for 426.20€ excluding taxes, and 507.18€ including it. The store is accepting orders, stating that it will begin shipping in 2-5 weeks. There's practically no quantity limit, so those picking four cards for 4-way SLI, can step right up. The ComCom listing doesn't reveal much about the card, except its clock speeds of 1006 MHz (core), 6008 MHz (memory effective), 2 GB memory amount, and display connectivity that includes two DVI, and one each of HDMI and DisplayPort. "In winkelwagentje" is Dutch for "Add to cart". Find the listing here.

GK104 Block Diagram Explained

Specifications sheets of NVIDIA's GK104 GPU left people dumbfounded at the CUDA core count, where it read 1536, a 3-fold increase over that of the GeForce GTX 580 (3x 512). The block-diagram of the GK104, photographed at the NVIDIA press-meet by an HKEPC photographer, reveals how it all adds up. The GK104 is built on 28 nm fab process, with a die area of around 295 mm², according to older reports. Its component hierarchy essentially an evolution of that of the Fermi architecture.

The hierarchy starts with the GigaThread Engine, which marshals all the unprocessed and processed information between the rest of the GPU and the PCI-Express 3.0 system interface, below this, are four graphics processing clusters (GPCs), which holds one common resource, the raster engine, and two streaming multiprocessors (SMs), only this time, innovation has gone into redesigning the SM, it is called SMX. Each SMX has one next-generation PolyMorph 2.0 engine, instruction cache, 192 CUDA cores, and other first-level caches. So four GPCs of two SMXs each, and 16 SMXs of 192 CUDA cores each, amount to the 1536 CUDA core count. There are four raster units (amounting to 32 ROPs), 8 geometry units (each with a tessellation unit), and some third-level cache. There's a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface.

GTX 680 Generally Faster Than HD 7970: New Benchmarks

For skeptics who refuse to believe randomly-sourced bar-graphs of the GeForce GTX 680 that are starved of pictures, here is the first set of benchmarks run by a third-party (neither NVIDIA nor one of its AIC partners). This [p]reviewer from HKEPC has pictures to back his benchmarks. The GeForce GTX 680 was pitted against a Radeon HD 7970, and a previous-generation GeForce GTX 580. The test-bed consisted of an extreme-cooled Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition processor (running at stock frequency), ASUS Rampage IV Extreme motherboard, 8 GB (4x 2 GB) GeIL EVO 2 DDR3-2200 MHz quad-channel memory, Corsair AX1200W PSU, and Windows 7 x64.

Benchmarks included 3DMark 11 (performance preset), Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Lost Planet 2, and Unigine Heaven (version not mentioned, could be 1). All tests were run at a constant resolution of 1920x1080, with 8x MSAA on some tests (mentioned in the graphs).

More graphs follow.

GeForce GT 640M Benchmarked

On the sidelines of GeForce GTX 680, NVIDIA is working on a fast, cheap, and energy-efficient performance GPU for notebooks, and it's already scoring design wins by the bunches, with notebook manufacturers. PC Perspective got its hands on an Acer Aspire M3 notebook equipped with this chip, and pitted it against notebooks equipped with AMD Radeon HD 6990M, Radeon HD 6720G2, and NVIDIA's own GeForce GT 555M. Intel HD 3000 graphics was also thrown into the cage, for science.

All game tests were run at 1366x768 pixels resolution. With 3DMark 06 and DOW 2: Retribution, the GT 640M seemed to be lagging behind the GT 555M, but managed to edge past it, with 3DMark 11, and Battlefield 3. Five of the most popular, current game titles, Battlefield 3, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Batman: Arkham City, were found to be playable at the said resolution, with average frame-rates well over 35 FPS. Find more results at the source.

GK104 Transistor Count and Exact Die-Size Revealed

A part of the reason why NVIDIA's performance-segment GK104 is gunning for the performance crown from AMD's Tahiti GPU could be hidden behind two of its key specifications: transistor count, and die-size. 3DCenter.org compiled these two specifications for the GK104 from reliable sources, which pin the transistor count at 3.54 billion, and die-area at 294 mm². This yields a transistor density of 12 million per mm², which is slightly higher than that of AMD Tahiti, slightly lower than that of AMD Pitcairn, and certainly higher than previous-generation chips from both AMD and NVIDIA. If GeForce GTX 680 does in fact end up competitive with AMD's Radeon HD 7900 series, it could serve as a tell-tale sign of NVIDIA's Kepler architecture being a more efficient one.

GeForce GTX 680 Up To 40% Faster Than Radeon HD 7970: NVIDIA

GPU vendors tend to give out their own performance figures of the products they're launching, compared to competitors' products. In one such comparison, allegedly of the GeForce GTX 680, doing rounds on the internet, NVIDIA's new GPU was evaluated by its makers be be over 40% faster than the Radeon HD 7970 in some tests. Keeping Radeon HD 7970 as a baseline, NVIDIA presented its performance figures for the GeForce GTX 680's leads over it, and Radeon HD 7950's trails under it. Results of as many as 15 tests were presented, from 7 games/benchmarks. All benchmarks were run with and without AA. The one test that caught the eye is Battlefield 3 with "4xAA". Experts we spoke to think NVIDIA could be using FXAA algorithm. In any case, NVIDIA looks to be confident of taking back the fastest-GPU crown from AMD.

GeForce GTX 680 Specifications Sheet Leaked

Chinese media site PCOnline.com.cn released what it claims to be an except from the press-deck of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680 launch, reportedly scheduled for March 22. The specs sheet is in tune with a lot of information that we already came across on the internet, when preparing our older reports. To begin with the GeForce GTX 680 features clock speeds of 1006 MHz (base), and 1058 MHz (boost). The memory is clocked at a stellar 6.00 GHz (1500 MHz actual), with a memory bus width of 256-bit, it should churn out memory bandwidth of 192 GB/s. 2 GB is the standard memory amount.

For the umpteenth time, this GPU does feature 1,536 CUDA cores. The card draws power from two 6-pin PCIe power connectors. The GPU's TDP is rated at 195W. Display outputs include two DVI, and one each of HDMI and DisplayPort. Like with the new-generation GPUs from AMD, it supports PCI-Express 3.0 x16 bus interface, which could particularly benefit Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge-E systems, in cases where the link width is reduced to PCI-Express 3.0 x8 when there are multiple graphics cards installed.

Dual-GK104 Graphics Card Arrives in May

A little later this month, NVIDIA will launch the GeForce GTX 680, a single-GPU graphics card based on its GK104 performance GPU. It is reported that NVIDIA will design a dual-GPU graphics accelerator based on the same chip, which will then be positioned as an enthusiast product. Called the GeForce GTX 690, this dual-GPU solution will arrive in May.

NVIDIA's approach to the high-end segment, so far, is identical to that of AMD. It hasn't unveiled its enthusiast GK100 GPU, yet, and is instead using performance-segment GK104 for both its single-GPU high-performance graphics card, and as a dual-GPU part in an enthusiast-grade product. This buys NVIDIA plenty of time to release the GK100, unless AMD can offer a new GPU that trumps GK104 in performance, significantly.

New NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Pictures Hit The Web

Courtesy of ChipHell we now have a couple of fresh pictures of NVIDIA's first Kepler-powered graphics card, the GeForce (or should we write' GeFORCE') GTX 680. Shot both from above and the back, the incoming card has a black PCB, a dual-slot/single-fan cooler, two (stacked) 6-pin PCIe power plugs, a couple of SLI connectors, and four display outputs - dual DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort.

The GTX 680 is equipped with one GK104 28 nm GPU, and reportedly boasts 1536 CUDA Cores, a 256-bit memory interface, 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM (4 GB models should also be in the works), PCI-Express 3.0, and a TDP of around 190 W. The GeForce GTX 680 is expected to be launched next week, on March 22nd. Its rumored price tag is $549.
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