This is the second customized GeForce GTX 680 board we have in our hands, and it certainly does not disappoint.
Palit did a number of things that make the card a good chunk more interesting opposed to the reference model. The cooling works out well, Palit used the three fan -- three slot design to make the card silent. As such in it's default state under game stress it can still reach 75 Degrees C -- but it remains 100% silent. We measured a 39 DBa noise level in the test room at 75 CM distance from the card. That is near silent.
Once you play around with fan RPM a bit manually, then you'll get a good impression of how much cooling capacity the card really has. At 65% RPM you can hear the card at a normal graphics card noise level; but at that stage your GPU stress temps will sit below 50 Degrees C, and that's just impressive. This will give you a little more headroom once you start to tweak with the card.
But sure, some people really dislike three slot coolers -- where other just don't care as they have the space inside the PC chassis anyways.
The card comes factory tweaked for you. Both the GPU core and memory have been set a notch higher, overall resulting in a 10% boost in performance.
The Dynamic Clock Adjustment technology remains a little weird to observe, it is however a clever trick for the card to clock a little higher when the power envelope justifies it. The Palit JetStream card baseclock is 1084 MHz (1006 MHz reference) and the "Boost" clock at 1150 (1058 MHz reference) gives the card more headroom to play with.
The end result is a card that performs well, there's not a game out there that it can't deal with. Anno 2070 at the best quality settings and 4xAA pushes 95 frames per second on average at 1920x1200, and still 60 fps at 2560X1600. In Crysis 2 we end at an average of 66 FPS in 1920x1200 with Ultra quality settings and that high resolution texture package and 4x AA.
Battlefield 3 is another example, with all eye candy opened up in game and again at 4xAA the card still pushes 60 FPS at 19x12 and that makes it the fastest single GPU based graphics card on the market.
The 28 nm Kepler transition also brought a better power envelope towards the card. The card board power is rated at 195 Watt. Our measurements have shown that (while gaming) we use roughly 183 Watt, and that's for a factory overclocked model.
NVIDIA did not disclose the idle power consumption of the card, but we are measuring roughly 10~11 Watt in idle mode. Based on historic data we collect the idle power consumption was the lowest ever for a PC with a dedicated card installed and the monitor activated.
The Palit GeForce GTX 680 JetStream offers a lot in terms of the feature set. The card is fine-tuned on noise levels making it really silent, the GPU temps remain absolutely within the expected baseline. And then there's the overall design, the customized card with the factory overclock and then the JetStream cooler certainly promises what it should deliver, good temps and noise levels. The three slot design however will remain a matter of taste as well as the design of the cooler itself.
We had hoped to go a little higher with manual GPU overclocking, but then again our results where not disappointing, it drives the product into even higher performance regions. We where impressed by the memory tweaks though, we reached 7200 MHz (effective data rate) and that brings in extra performance as the GTC 680 is definitely memory bandwidth limited. The relatively small GPU overclock and the big memory overclock prove that thesis when you look at the performance numbers on the overclocking page quite well.
It's good to see that the GTX 680 now supports gaming with three monitors with one card, here we do think that 2 GB of graphics memory would be on the shy side though. Well, a little birdie told us that a 4 GB model is in the pipeline as well. The new TXAA mode is something to be further explored in the future, and if the NVENC gets as widely supported in other software as we have tested with MediaShow Espresso, it can haul the proverbial toosh.
Currently the Palit GeForce GTX 680 2GB JetStream edition is so new that it has not been spotted in the stores just yet. We expect it's price to be in the 500 EUR marker which is a lot of money for playing games on your PC alright. The reality remains that the Palit GeForce GTX 680 2GB JetStream is the fastest stock GeForce GTX 680 we tested to date. While doing it's magic it remains absolutely silent. The three slot design is debatable, I know. But we can't deny how well the concept works, definitely worth our two thumbs up and a recommendation from Guru3D.com
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