The leaked review from earlier this week confirmed the March 22 launch date. It also confirmed that the card was an absolute beast that easily bests the competition. Now we get the official word straight from Nvidia.
Nvidia says that power efficiency and GPU boost are the two key factors that will push the GTX 680 into the hearts and minds of PC gamers everywhere. With power efficiency, the Kepler GPU is able to push out twice the performance per watt. This is especially seen in Battlefield 3 where the 680's power efficiency is twice than the performance of the 580.
The new GPU Boost technology is far more interesting. Nvidia explains that GPUs operate under a certain wattage called the thermal design point as this helps the card to stay cool. As it turns out, most cards never even approach the TDP so there is more power that can be applied to video cards than what is being given to it. GPU Boost forces the card to take full advantage of the power available to it by applying itself only to the current app, in this case a game, that is running.
We've already been using FXAA for a while now, but the GTX 680 uses a new version of FXAA that should be even better. Nvidia boasts that FXAA 3 is able to reduce jaggies better than 4x MSAA at little to no memory cost.
Nvidia is also introducing a new version of AA in the form of TXAA. It will be directly integrated into the game engine and offers results similar to 8x MSAA at half the memory cost.
Nvidia Surround can now run off of a single GTX 680. Previously, if players wanted to extend their display across multiple monitors, they had to run in dual or triple SLI. The GTX 680 can play graphic intensive games like Crysis 3 on three 1080p monitors on ultra settings at 30 FPS.
If you bought the GTX 680 today or are getting one this week, Nvidia has new drivers available for you. They will enable the GPU to take advantage of the aforementioned GPU boost technology. The new update allows users to run FXAA on every game through the Nvidia control panel. It also enables adaptive V-sync through the Nvidia control panel. This allows the video card to dynamically switch V-sync on and off depending on the situation to give you the best performance possible.
You can grab the 301.10 drivers here.
I can't wait till I'm able to get a hold of this new graphics card. It's absolutely beautiful and I'm sure I'm going to get plenty of use from it. Unfortunately, it appears that the cards from EVGA, Gigabyte and ASUS are sold out on Newegg. If you really want the GTX 680, you can try your luck with a Zotac or Galaxy brand card.
Are you picking up the GTX 680? Or are you just happy that the GTX 500 line is finally going down in price? Let us know in the comments.