ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II OC

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NOISE & COOLING COMPARISON

System Measurements: VGA Test System
(Comparison)
Card
Idle
Load
SPL @1m
GPU Temp
SPL @1m
GPU Temp
HIS HD 5870 Turbo
+ GELID Icy Vision
(5V / 1260 RPM)
17~18 dBA
37°C
17~18 dBA
89°C
ASUS GTX 680
DirectCU II OC
(manual, 1200 RPM)
N/A
17~18 dBA
85°C
AMD HD 6870
+ GELID Icy Vision
(5V / 1260 RPM)
17~18 dBA
40°C
17~18 dBA
80°C
ASUS GTX 680
DirectCU II OC
(auto)
15 dBA
34°C
27~28 dBA
75°C
Gainward GTX 560
Ti Phantom
18 dBA
39°C
37 dBA
88°C
Ambient temperature: 24°C
Ambient noise level: 11 dBA
System noise level: 13 dBA

The GTX 680 DirectCU II OC's cooler is an admirable performer, beating out the the HD 5870 paired with a GELID Icy Vision, one of the better aftermarket heatsinks available. To be fair, the 5870 uses about 30W more but it's still a fairly impressive result for a stock cooling unit to even be in the same ballpark as a ~US$50 heatsink.

Video Playback

The GTX 680 features Nvidia's latest of PureVideo HD video processing technology though its main benefit over older generations is support for 4K resolution video. Its ability to decoding more mundane 1080p H.264 and Flash video is similar to the previous GTX 500 series. Both AMD and Nvidia's solutions render these types of media with no issues and eat up very few CPU cycles.

Power consumption during video playback greatly favored the Nvidia cards, with the HD 5870 and 6870 using about 30W more than their idle numbers. The GTX 680 on the otherhand used +6~8W, while the GTX 560 Ti stayed in the +10~12W region.

Clock Speed Comparison (Core/Memory in MHz)
Card
Idle
Video Decode
Load
HIS HD 5870 Turbo
157/300
400/900
875/1225
AMD HD 6870
300/300
300/1050
900/1050
ASUS GTX 680
DirectCU II OC
324/162
324/162
1111/1502
Gainward GTX 560
Ti Phantom
51/68
405/162
822/1000

After some investigation we found that the probable culprit for this discrepancy. The HD 5870 and 6870's clock speeds didn't decrease as much during playback as the GTX 680 and GTX 560 Ti. The AMD cards' memory frequencies didn't underclock at all while Nvidia's cards downclocked to idle or close to idle levels.



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