ASUS GeForce GTX 680 Direct CU II 2 GB Review 56

ASUS GeForce GTX 680 Direct CU II 2 GB Review

Value & Conclusion »

Overclocking

The overclocks listed in this section were achieved with the default fan and voltage settings as defined in the VGA BIOS. Please note that every single sample overclocks differently, that's why our results here can only serve as a guideline for what you can expect from your card.



Maximum stable clocks of our card are 1207 MHz core (6% overclock) and 1766 MHz Memory (18% overclock).

Compared to the NVIDIA reference design we see about 50 MHz higher GPU clock and 50 MHz lower memory clock. Since Kepler gains more performance from higher GPU clock than memory clock, this is a good trade. Overall decent overclocking, it is nice to see that there is still some additional headroom for overclocking, despite the out of the large box overclock.

Overclocked Performance

Using these clock frequencies we ran a quick test of Call of Duty 4 to evaluate the gains from overclocking.


Actual 3D performance gained from overclocking is 9.7%.

Temperatures



Temperatures are super low, which means ASUS made good use of the triple slot cooler design. Slightly higher temps would have been ok in my opinion if they provided even less noise for this already quiet card.

Clock Profiles

Modern graphics cards have several clock profiles that are selected to balance power draw and performance requirements.
The following table lists the clock settings for important performance scenarios and the GPU voltage that we measured. We measure on the pins of a coil or capacitor near the GPU voltage regulator.

Core
Clock
Memory
Clock
GPU Voltage
(measured)
Desktop324 MHz162 MHz0.99 V
Multi-Monitor324 MHz162 MHz0.99 V
Blu-ray Playback549 MHz405 MHz0.99 V
3D Load1058 - 1280 MHz1502 MHz0.99 - 1.175 V

The card uses NVIDIA's dynamic overclocking mechanism, which means it will dynamically adjust clock and voltage based on render load, temperature and other factors.

For the graph below, we recorded all GPU clock, GPU voltage combinations of our benchmarking suite for the 1920x1200 resolution. The plotted points have transparency, so they can add up to indicate more often used values. A light color means the clock/voltage combination is rarely used, a dark color means it's active a lot.



We see a large concentration around 1275 MHz and 1.17 V, which indicates that the card will run at the maximum boost clock the majority of the time. It is surprising that the marketed "Boost Clock" frequency of 1202 MHz is actually never used, which is not a bad thing, because the card does clock higher.
At the lower end of the spectrum we see 1058 MHz, which will be active when the card exceeds it power budget.
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