PROS / This card has a 1GHz base clock speed and a high memory bandwidth.
CONS / The GTX 680 only has one HDMI connection.
VERDICT / Though it shows its age a bit, the GTX 680 still boasts graphic excellence and allows you to play any game on its highest settings.
Nvidia's premier single-core graphics card for the GeForce GTX 600 series is the sleek and powerful GTX 680. The GTX 680 looks much like any high-end graphics card, but what's inside packs a punch. Despite being a couple of generations old, this GK104 GPU performs reasonably well in our graphics card comparison – even on new games. This is thanks in part to its high base clock speed and high memory bandwidth. At 1080p, the GTX 680 still provides excellent frame rates with the highest-quality settings.
The GTX 680 averaged 67.9 fps in our slew of test games at 1080p and high settings. At higher resolutions, like 4K, the GTX 680 starts to show its age. You can expect 33 fps on high settings at 2160p.
The launch of the GTX 680 introduced Nvidia's Kepler architecture and the mighty GK104 GPU chip. Kepler is the next board evolution, following the Fermi technology used by the previous GTX generation, and provides more power per watt and double the streaming processor power. This means lower power consumption, faster processing speeds and less noise from the card fan.
The GTX 680 has 1,536 CUDA cores, a base clock speed of 1,006MHz and a boosted clock speed of 1,058MHz. The GPU Boost feature is an intelligent monitoring system that automatically increases the GTX 680's clock speed when possible. This makes the card function at the highest frame rates possible, letting you focus on gaming instead of tweaking your overclocking settings.
While the amount of memory is important, all that memory is useless without good memory bandwidth and memory speed. The GTX 680 comes with 2GB of memory and a memory bandwidth of 192.2GB per second, which is somewhat narrow for such a high-end card.
The GeForce GTX 680 used to be the best graphics card on the market, and it still holds up fairly well, despite starting to show its age. The Kepler architecture makes it easy to run the most demanding games on high and ultra settings, and it is sure to unlock the best your games and videos have to offer – even if the card is somewhat dated.