Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 Super OverClock Review
The first thing you’ll notice about the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 Super OverClock is that the card is huge. This monster is about 11.5” long and sports a thick, triple-slot cooler that’s outfitted with not just one or two cooling fans, but five fans that actually pull air upward, parallel to the PCB, unlike most other graphics cards on the market.
Underneath the gigantic cooler on the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 Super OverClock lies an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 GPU, with a base clock of 1137MHz and a boost clock of 1202MHz, and 2GB of GDDR5 frame buffer memory clocked at an effective 6200MHz. If you’re keeping track, those are some hefty overclocks above the reference GeForce GTX 680’s base, boost, and memory clocks of 1006MHz, 1058MHz, and 6005MHz, respectively.
The heatsink on the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 Super OverClock is about 9” long and 2.5” tall, and it consists of a dense array of aluminum heatsink fins and a vapor chamber, linked together by five 9.6mm copper heatpipes. As we’ve mentioned, there are five small cooling fans mounted along the top of the card, which pull air upward over the entire length of the heatsink fins. As you’ll see a little later, this cooler configuration does an excellent job keeping temperatures in check, but that cooling performance comes at a price. The smallish fans on the card emit an audible, high-pitched whine when the card is under load. More on that a little later.
In addition to its custom cooler, there are a few other things that differentiate the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 Super OverClock. For one thing, this card is a member of Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable VGA+ family of products, which means it's outfitted with high-quality components such as Japanese Solid Capacitors, Ferrite Core and Metal Chokes, and Low RDS MOSFETs. This particular card also sports Tier 1 Samsung or Hynix memory and Prodalizers to help maintain clean and smooth power delivery. Gigabyte’s Super OverClock boards are also treated with aggressively binned and tested GPUs to ensure stability at factory overclocks and ensure some additional overclockability. Further, the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 Super OverClock has a dual-BIOS switch that gives users the ability to switch from the standard BIOS to an alternate BIOS that caters to extreme LN2 overclockers.
Other features of the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 Super OverClock include dual-8-pin power connectors, a rigid aluminum backplate, dual DVI outputs, and HDMI and DP outputs, as well as a custom case bracket with the letters "SOC" cut out to form vents.