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GPUReview's GTX 680 overclocking roundup!

This overclocking roundup is going to be different than all previous roundups because Nvidia has changed the way the clocks of the card operate. GPU Boost is feature that changes the clock speed of the GPU to take advantage of any power that is not being utilized. So if you are playing Battlefield 3 and using about 150 of the GTX 680's 195 watt TDP, the clock speeds on the GPU will increase (in steps of 13.5 Mhz) to take advantage of that extra 45 watts.

Now if the card gets too hot or the game starts to use more power, the clock speed will be decreased (once again in steps of 13.5Mhz) to no lower than 1.058MHz. Even though the base speed of the GTX 680 is 1,006MHz, whenever a game or 3D benchmark is running, the clock speed will adjust be at 1,058MHz or higher.

As you can imagine, this drastically changes overclocking. Evga PrecisionX is the new tool that everyone is using right now. In PrecisionX you can increase the power target to 132% which allow the GTX 680 to run at 250 watts instead of 195. Some of the sites in the roundup increased the power target to 132% but some decided not to bring it up all the way.

The next important settings in PrecisionX are the GPU and Memory Clock Offsets. The GPU offset currently goes up to 549MHz (all the sites stayed under 180Mhz) and the memory offset goes up to 1GHz. I like the way Hardware Canucks described these offsets, so I am going to steal two paragraphs from them:

"Bumping up the Offset literally heightens GPU Boost’s range by the amount you set. For example, if you set an Offset of 125MHz, situations that saw the core running at 1058MHz will now cause it to Boost up to 1183MHz while games that allowed for 1150MHz would now strive for 1275MHz. The Memory Offsets behave in the same way except they aren’t quite as constrained as the core is.

Of course, all of these numbers are dependent upon the card operating within its TDP limits. This is also why setting a Power Target is so important since without changing it, there would be much less headroom to play with. In addition, keeping the card cool will also ensure that it can run at higher GPU Boost clock speeds without slamming head first into a power and thermal barrier."   

Now it is time to talk about the changes to the chart. I got rid of the reference core and memory speeds to make room for columns for the GPU and memory offsets. Also, the speeds listed in the OC core and OC memory columns refer to the highest speeds that the card attainted while the site was testing their overclock.


GPUReviews GTX 680 overclocking roundup

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