When we take a look at the vast majority of new cards, the hype has always been based around the GPU core and because of this no particular retail card has had any more favouritism to another before its out of the manufacturers hands and onto the retail market. This has all changed recently and one particular card has been having a whole heap of interest over any other in its GPU core class. For quite a while now we have been hearing many things about the GTX 680 SOC and what its impact will have on the graphics market.
Gigabyte have been keen to get this card as much exposure as possible even before its design is refined and set in concrete and this of course has led to a few rumours spreading about and some speculation over how it will perform especially considering what we know to be a radical difference in the cooling design. Personally, this is the third design revision that I have had to handle and such tweeks before have included the fan profile including pitch and mounting angle and also subtle changes to the backplate.
Recently we have seen a string of cards appearing on the market that push the boundaries of performance on a single core card and [on paper] this, as we would expect, really has got some high expectations to live up to, especially following the huge success of the GTX 580 SOC. As its name would suggest the SOC is not just an overclocked card, Gigabyte have taken it from the overclock level and given it some more poke and so we have as expected a lot more power to play with when compared to a stock GTX 680.
Naturally there are going to be some sceptical people out there that are going to be wondering if this card is all talk and no walk and the worry that the new fan arrangement is going to be all noise and no performance, but these are going to be some areas that we will be covering either to make or break the myths that have surrounded this card loosely for a while.
In a change to the accustomed review style, we won’t be taking a look at the packaging as we have only received the card itself in an unmarked box with no additional parts, so first of all we will be taking a look around the card, then we’ll get the tools out and see what makes this card so big in size. After we’ve had a look in and around the card and everything is back together it’s onto the test bench to see what the GTX 680 SOC from Gigabyte really can do in the benchmark suites.
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