The new GeForce GTX 680 2GB shows its worth right from the first test, enjoying a 29-43% advantage over the GeForce GTX 580 3GB and beating the Radeon HD 7970 by 11-16% depending on the quality settings. Interestingly, the HD 7970 overclocked at 1150/7000 MHz can equal the default GTX 680 in the Performance mode. But in the heavier Extreme mode the overclocked Tahiti-based card goes ahead, even though the GTX 680 can regain its leading position through overclocking to 1186/7128 MHz and GPU Boost. That’s a good beginning for the Kepler. Let's see what we have in other tests.
We’ve got the same picture in 3DMark 2011. The exact numbers are like follows: the GeForce GTX 680 is 43-48% faster than the GTX 580 and 13-20% faster than the Radeon HD 7970 (both cards working at their default clock rates). The GTX 680 is also ahead when overclocked.
Unigine Heaven Demo
There are no surprises here. The GeForce GTX 680 is 35 to 46% faster than the GTX 580 and outperforms the HD 7970 by 8 to 31%. However, we can see that the AMD-based card is but slightly slower when we enable antialiasing, both at the default and overclocked frequencies. It looks like the 256-bit memory bus may let the GeForce GTX 680 down in heavy graphics modes.
Anyway, the GeForce GTX 680 is the overall winner of our synthetic benchmarks. Let's see if it can prove its superiority in real games.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
The GeForce GTX 680 doesn’t look impressive in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, being only equal to the Radeon HD 7970. The latter even goes ahead when overclocked. The good news is that the GTX 580 is 32-43% faster than the GTX 580.
Left 4 Dead 2
Considering the high frame rates, we should compare the results in the hardest mode only: 2560x1600 with 8x MSAA. And the AMD Radeon HD 7970 is superior at such settings.
Metro 2033: The Last Refuge
Metro 2033: The Last Refuge is a third game in a row where the GeForce GTX 680 can’t deliver impressive performance and beat the Radeon HD 7970. It is a mere 5-12% better than the GTX 580, which isn't a large gap for GPUs from two different generations. The Kepler seems to have got a tough opponent to beat.