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Review: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2GB graphics card

by Tarinder Sandhu on 22 March 2012, 13:00 4.5

Tags: NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabdu5

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Bang4Buck, Bang4Watt, and Efficiency Metric

Putting all the numbers into perspective, let's take a closer look at overall performance and value for money.

In a rough-and-ready assessment of the cards' bang for buck, we've aggregated the frame-rates for all our gaming benchmarks, normalised them1 and taken account of today's pricing.

But there are more provisos than we'd care to shake a stick at. We could have chosen different games, the cards' prices could have been derived from other sources, and pricing tends to fluctuate daily, especially for new-release GPUs.

Consequently, the tables below highlight a metric that should only be used as a yardstick for evaluating comparative performance with price factored in.

Value analysis at 1,920x1,080

Graphics card Aggregate FPS Normalised FPS1 Approx. price Bang4buck Power consumption Bang4watt2 HEXUS Efficiency Score3
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (2,048MB) 427.40 388.40 £430 0.90 222 1.75 2.65
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 (3,072MB) 454.00 407.00 £550 0.74 401 1.01 1.75
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 (1,536MB) 313.15 269.60 £315 0.86 270 1.00 1.86
  AMD Radeon HD 7970 (3,072MB) 362.50 328.15 £420 0.78 226 1.45 2.23
  AMD Radeon HD 7950 (3,072MB) 311.50 268.65 £340 0.79 193 1.39 2.18
  AMD Radeon HD 6990 (4,096MB) 418.00 345.20 £530 0.65 313 1.10 1.75

Value analysis at 2,560x1,600

Graphics card Aggregate FPS Normalised FPS1 Approx. price Bang4buck Power consumption Bang4watt2 HEXUS Efficiency Score3
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (2,048MB) 244.30 181.25 £430 0.42 222 0.82 1.24
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 (3,072MB) 273.60 220.40 £550 0.40 401 0.55 0.95
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 (1,536MB) 181.00 91.50 £315 0.29 270 0.34 0.63
  AMD Radeon HD 7970 (3,072MB) 218.30 147.45 £420 0.35 226 0.65 1.00
  AMD Radeon HD 7950 (3,072MB) 188.40 102.60 £340 0.30 193 0.53 0.83
  AMD Radeon HD 6990 (4,096MB) 250.80 192.35 £530 0.36 313 0.61 0.97

1 the normalisation refers to taking playable frame rate into account. Should a card benchmark at over 60 frames per second in any one game, the extra fps count as half. Similarly, should a card benchmark lower, say at 40fps, we deduct half the difference from its average frame rate and the desired 60fps, giving it a HEXUS.bang4buck score of 30 marks. The minimum allowable frame rate is 20fps but that scores zero.

2 the HEXUS.bang4watt score is a crude measurement of how much normalised performance the GPU provides when evaluated against system-wide power-draw that's shown in the table: the former is divided by the latter. We're using the peak power-draw numbers obtained by running real-world Batman: Arkham City.

3 the HEXUS Efficiency Score is a combination of bang4buck and bang4watt, we simply add the two to rate combined value for money and power efficiency.

Summary

Add the bang4buck and bang4watt together and you get to the Efficiency Metric™. The pricing for the GTX 680 is reasonable but it's efficiency is excellent.