The GeForce GTX 680 2GB Reference Card
After describing the new GPU and the technology found inside, I am betting you are eager to see what the new GeForce GTX 680 looks like.
The exterior of the card does not look much different than other GPUs from NVIDIA, but the new "GEFORCE GTX" logo and font on the top are brand new. You can expect the first batch of reference cards from AICs to look essentially identical to this.
The back of the card is bare with no memory to be found.
The GTX 680 requires a pair of 6-pin power connections though they are stacked rather than side by side. The reasoning from NVIDIA is that this provided more PCB space for components as well as additional space for the heatsink and fan to operate providing a cooler and quieter design. While at first I was afraid that this new orientation would make it difficult to add or remove 6-pin connections, that did not turn out to be the case.
This is yet another iteration of cooler design that NVIDIA claims is more efficient and reduces noise compared to the previous generations — our testing will decide that.
The GTX 680 supports 2-Way and 3-Way SLI configurations for those of you that want to really push GPU performance. We did not get a second GTX 680 in time for our review but we should have a separate piece on SLI scaling very soon.
As you might expect, the display connections are quite different from previous NVIDIA offerings as it includes dual-link DVI connections, a full size HDMI and a full size DisplayPort. NVIDIA says that its GPU is efficient enough and cool enough to run with that minimal exhaust port. NVIDIA Surround users should keep in mind that either a DisplayPort capable display or an active DisplayPort adapter is still required in order to run a third monitor.
After removing the shroud we find that the heatsink and fan are more or less lined up, and built like, we are used to seeing.
Here is a better look at the stacked PCIe power connections.
The angled heatsink on the front is supposed to decrease air turbulence and thus reduce noise as the air exits the back panel.
Finally, here is the removed heatsink to reveal the GK104 GPU in all of its 28nm glory!