Zotac GTX680 SLI Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Zotac GTX680 SLI Review


Having seen that the GTX680 and the HD7970 are matching each other blow for blow, we of course have to see how the scaling performs in multi-card scenarios.

As one would expect at release time cards are thin on the ground and so although we can't bring you our full Overkill3D style Quad results, we have been able to get a couple of cards together to see how the new Kepler handles itself in SLI.

For this we of course have to thank our good friends at Zotac who always come through when we need them. Because the current wave of cards are still all reference models we've paired it up with our earlier reference card. So it's a bit mix and match, but beneath the stickers they're all identical anyway. 

So enough preamble and on with the testing.

Technical Specifications

Being a reference model the only differences are in the bundle that you get along with the card and Zotac shine once again with an excellent set of adaptors and games for your new card. It's nice to see something other than Dirt 3 being included to be honest.

Model ZT-60601-10P
Interface PCI Express 3.0* x16 (Compatible with 1.1)
Chipset Manufacturer NVIDIA®
GPU GeForce® GTX 680
Core clock 1006 MHz (base) - 1058 MHz (boost)
Stream Processors 1536
Shader Clock 2012 MHz
Memory Clock 6008 MHz
Memory Size 2 GB
Memory Interface 256-bit
Memory Type DDR5
DirectX DirectX® 11
OpenGL OpenGL® 4.2
VGA (With included DVI-to-VGA adapter)
Tuner None
Max Resolution 2560 x 1600
RoHS Compliant Yes
SLI Supported Yes (3-way)
Cooler With fan (dual-slot)
Dual-Link DVI Supported Yes
Windows® 7 Capability Certified for Windows® 7 with DirectCompute support
Package Contents Driver Disk
User Manual
DVI-to-VGA adapter
2 x Dual MOLEX to 6-pin PCIe power cable
TrackMania 2 Canyon 3-Day Game Pass
Game Bundle ZOTAC Assassin’s Creed® 3-Game Pack
«Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Next»

Most Recent Comments

30-03-2012, 05:52:23


Are you interested in how well the latest nVidia card scales in SLI? Thanks to Zotac we can find out.

Continue ReadingQuote

30-03-2012, 06:14:04

Nice review as always and it's still nice to see the brands evenly matched It's been awhile and as you have said many times in your reviews it don't matter which camp you want they are both as good as each other if you want Nvidia go that way if you want AMD go that way it great to see.Quote

30-03-2012, 09:01:07

Some decent performance, I love how cool these 680s run as well, the fan doesn't even spin up much so they are also quiet. The scaling is bound to improve with new drivers as well, hopefully to around 80%+.

Now, where can I steal a pair of these cards form Quote

30-03-2012, 09:44:50

I don't understand the CPU limited quote, and I'll be glad when those oc-bench-score-being-slower-than-the-stock-card disappear off the comparison charts. Both the bios numbers the same on these ? (should be easy to see on the stickers)Quote

30-03-2012, 09:47:35

Really nice review as always Tom. Not too impressed with the temps tbh. 77 C on an open test bench seems too hot imo, but since the fans don't really spin up making the cards uber quiet, it's a reasonable compromise.Quote

30-03-2012, 13:09:00

just imagine the fan power needed to cool these in a closed case ????Quote

30-03-2012, 14:34:49

AMD, Nvidia, comes down to specs at the end of the day, 3Dmark favor's the strong, and so do I.

SWeet review TTL. Thx.Quote

30-03-2012, 15:07:03

Originally Posted by Rastalovich View Post

I'll be glad when those oc-bench-score-being-slower-than-the-stock-card disappear off the comparison charts.
We report the findings, for good, bad or indifferent. As long as cards continue to produce non-linear overclock results, we'll continue to have them in the graphs.Quote

30-03-2012, 19:24:56

i would love a single card but sli is beastly wonder what quad sli results are like Quote

30-03-2012, 20:49:26

seem to do well in sli but think i will stick with the single card setupQuote

31-03-2012, 07:27:41

its nice to see what can be done now with this generation of cards, i was thinking a single 680 was overkill for any game. makes my 460 seem inadequate lolQuote

31-03-2012, 08:35:10

If the 7970 is louder but cooler and the 680 is quieter but warmer, cant you just spin down the fan speed on the 7970 and have it quite and warmer just like the 680?Quote

31-03-2012, 08:43:50

Originally Posted by HighlanderHD View Post

If the 7970 is louder but cooler and the 680 is quieter but warmer, cant you just spin down the fan speed on the 7970 and have it quite and warmer just like the 680?
Yeh you could and temps wise it would probably still be a little cooler Quote

31-03-2012, 09:53:10

Great review! As usual

Yep. 7970 seems a bit cooler, but a bit noisy (stock). The only difference between 680 is that AMD has no any useful/useless features like 680 has. Still I see no reasons for fanboy pee-war.

Originally Posted by HighlanderHD View Post

If the 7970 is louder but cooler and the 680 is quieter but warmer, cant you just spin down the fan speed on the 7970 and have it quite and warmer just like the 680?

Or- you can spin up the 680 fan, to make it as noisy and cool as 7970 does Quote

31-03-2012, 14:55:32

The reason the 680 preforms worse overclocked, is the overclock is to high for that load.

Just like Intel Speed Step

if the 680 has more headroom it overclocks higher(single thread apps), if it is loaded down (all cores active) it doesn't boost .

Somewhere there will be a line where a slight OC will let it boost to the max TDP, but pushing the OC just a few MHz more would cause the 680 to not boost at all, cutting performance.

Overclocking video cards just got harder, now you have to actually find a balance over your entire spectrum of applications and workloads instead of just find the highest stable MHz, because you could be cheating yourself out a bit of performance.

From Toms SLI videos the pair of 680s were never really at 100%, so they boost all they can, whatever Tom raises the base frequency, they still boost higher.

With a single card, it's workload is higher, so it doesn't boost as much, if at all.Quote

31-03-2012, 19:00:49

Good read, I like these overkill reviews Quote

01-04-2012, 22:10:18

Nice review. Good to see how AMD and Nvidia are so close, helps us guys.Quote

20-04-2012, 05:48:43

Having owned a Zotac 680 for 2 weeks, first week air cooled, second week liquid cooled, overclocking it brings a big performance boost. I get 500mhz+ on the vram and at least 188mhz on the core. Running kombustor DX11 immediately shows the performance boost with the minimum fps, average and max increasing significantly.

The figures I wrote down from my OCing on air:

Kombustor DX11 default clocks = 216min, 229 average.

+175core/+500vram = 247min, 266 average.

That difference is enough to make gameplay smoother on BF3 ultra on the most demanding 64 player map: Damavand Peak.

Yes, agree, if the clocks are pushed too far it can actually reduce performance but it's so easy overclocking and you quickly establish what too far is using Kombustor Dx11 mode (gives you immediate feedback of the min, max, average).

It's also important to use the EVGA OC scanner to check for artifacts. Although I had the vram at 650mhz, artifacts show past 500mhz.

Have been as high as 247+ on the gpu core.Quote

22-04-2012, 09:24:57


08-05-2012, 06:10:35

mmm im fine with one card, for one 1080p 60hz monitor you dont need more power... now testing what grammaton_feather says, I hope I get the same results xDQuote

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.