nVidia GTX 680M Performance Review

Posted on Jul 30 2012 - 3:29am by Brian K.
  • Price
  • Performance
  • Driver Quality


nVidia claims that Kepler can yield up to 60% more performance than the GTX 580M thanks to changes made to its SMX architecture so we’ll test this out by pitting it against a pair of GTX 580M in SLI.  Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we were not able to test a single GTX 580M against a GTX 680M. We apologize to our readers for this omission and realize many would have liked to see this. All benchmarks were run with the default settings in the nVidia control panel.

3DMark Vantage Benchmark

The 680M makes a very strong showing in 3DMark Vantage, especially with an extreme OC (using a modified vbios + MSI afterburner) where it manages to outpace an overclocked 580M SLI! Even at stock clocks, the 680M is not far behind stock GTX 580M SLI.  So far Kepler is looking good, lets see how it does in Futuremark’s other popular synthetic test, 3DMark 11.


3DMark 11 Benchmark

Again like 3DMark Vantage, the GTX 680M makes a very strong showing with the extreme overclock run beating out an overclocked pair of GTX 580M’s. At stock, the GTX 680M is roughly 500 points behind GTX 580M SLI at stock which is phenomenal.


Skyrim Benchmark

With Skyrim, things are a bit different compared to the previous synthetic benchmarks. Here we can clearly see that at 1080P, the 580M SLI setup and 680M are CPU limited. Thus the difference in performance between them isn’t very evident as it might be at a higher resolution.


Metro 2033 Benchmark

Metro 2033 is one of those games that brings even the best desktop GPU to its knees. So it’s no surprise here that we see all of the GPUs struggling to reach an average playable FPS of 30 at max settings. The  GTX 680M with an extreme overclock manages to keep pace with GTX 580M SLI at stock and attains a higher minimum FPS.


Crysis 2 Benchmark

Crysis 1 was a game used for years as a gaming benchmark that would stress even the most cutting edge GPU. Crysis 2, while not as demanding, still does a good job of this by introducing DX 11 tessellation and high resolution textures. The GTX 680M does not disappoint at all, with the extreme overclock beating out the pair of overclocked GTX 580Ms. Additionally, at stock, it is only 10 fps behind GTX 580M in SLI.


Batman Arkham City Benchmark

The Arkham City benchmark shows that even with overclocking, the 680M just could not cross the 50 FPS average barrier. This could be due to driver limitations and will be explored again in the future with newer driver updates.

Battlefield 3 Benchmark

Last but not least, we tested Battlefield 3 by joining a 64 player Metro MP game and playing for 20 minutes each time on the same server using FRAPs for FPS logging. Here we see the GTX 680M at stock falling quite a bit behind the GTX 580M SLI at stock but with an extreme overclock, it manages to catch up to GTX 580M SLI at stock. Considering the  overclocked GTX 680M in single card configuration manages to keep pace with the previous generation top GPU in SLI, it demonstrates that Kepler is an amazingly scalable architecture.

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4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Andrew Lavery August 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM - Reply

    Consider reworking your graphs, you alternate between green=average and green=maximum FPS, which can be confusing. Great article though- I might end up getting one for my m17x r3 soon!

    • Brian K. August 16, 2012 at 7:43 PM - Reply

      Thanks for the feedback. Will definitely make all the graphs colors consistent next time, guess that one was missed during final editing. And the 680M is well worth the money.

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