NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Review: Kepler Debuts

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Power Consumption, Noise, Temps

Before bringing this article to a close, we'd like to cover a few final data points--namely power consumption and noise. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored acoustics and tracked how much power our test system was consuming using a power meter. Our goal was to give you an idea as to how much power each configuration used while idling and while under a heavy workload. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not just the power drawn by the graphics cards alone.

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

The new GeForce GTX 680 proved to be quite power friendly under both idle and load conditions. With the GeForce GTX 680 idling at the Windows desktop (with the monitor displaying an image) out test machine consumed only 122 watts—11 watts fewer than the GeForce GTX 580 and 5 watts fewer than the Radeon HD 7970.

With the GeForce GTX 680 loaded up, our test system’s power consumption jumped up to only 358 watts, which was among the lowest of the bunch. When running under load conditions, the GeForce GTX 680 consumed 46 fewer watts than the GeForce GTX 580 and 17 fewer watts than the Radeon HD 7970. That’s a big win for NVIDIA after years of more power efficient AMD GPUs.

With the improvements made to the GeForce GTX 680’s PCB and cooling hardware and the power efficiencies inherent to the architecture, it should come as no surprise that the GeForce GTX 680 runs relatively cool and quiet. Our particular card idled at about 42’C and peaked at about 73’C under load according to EVGA’s Precision utility.

Noise was also a non-issue. At idle, the GeForce GTX 680 is essentially silent and couldn’t be heard above the noise produced by our CPU cooler and PSU. Under load, the card’s fan did spin up to audible levels, but we would not consider the card loud by any means.

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