PowerColor PCS+ HD7970 vs Gainward GTX 680 Phantom Review

2. PowerColor PCS+ 79704. Test System and Methodology


PowerColor PCS+ HD7970 Vortex 2 vs Gainward GTX 680 Phantom Graphics Card Review

Gainward GeForce GTX 680 Phantom 2GB Graphics Card

Gainward GTX 680 Phantom - Box Gainward GTX 680 Phantom - Bundle
Gainward use a nice, simple design for their box and focus very much on the product itself which is fair as it has a rather unique look. Inside the box we find a basic bundle which includes driver CD, manual, power cable, HDMI to DVI convertor and DVI to VGA dongle.

Gainward GTX 680 Phantom - Top of card Gainward GTX 680 Phantom - Rear of card

Gainward GTX 680 Phantom - Heat pipes

As noted above the Gainward Phantom card has a rather unique look to it which starts with the stylish heatsink surround and then continues on with a block of heatsink fins which sit above two 8cm PWM fans. Five copper heatpipes run through this and connect to a GPU block, also copper, with a large metal plate providing stability to the PCB as well as cooling other components on the board (such as memory, PWM components, etc).

The Phantom features 6 phase PWM design and combines this with DrMOS technology to offer higher current, lower noise circuits, minimised heat generation, more stable voltages and enhanced overclocking.

Turning round to the back of the card we can see that two SLI connectors are present which lets us know we can connect multiple cards together for enhanced performance.

Gainward GTX 680 Phantom - Power connectors

In terms of power requirements we have a change from the two 6-pin connectors present on the reference model with this card using an 8-pin socket in addition to the other 6-pin. These point out the top of the card rather than the back. The GTX 680 has a 28nm Kepler/GK104 core containing 3.54Billion transistors and runs with a rated TDP of 215w (reference GTX 680s are 195w).

Gainward GTX 680 Phantom - Card outputs

Around at the card outputs we have four present on each GTX 680 with two Dual-Link DVIs starting us off, followed by a HDMI 1.4a and then a full size DisplayPort 1.2 connector. The GTX 680 is capable of running four screens at one time with three available for surround gaming at resolutions such as 5760×1080 and the fourth running off a separate controller for desktop applications such as messaging.

The reference specifications for the GeForce GTX 680 are 1006MHz core (base clock) with a boost clock of 1058MHz and the 2GB of GDDR5 memory is set to 3004MHz. Gainward opt for 1085MHz base, 1150MHz Boost and 6300MHz memory. There are 128 Texture units within the core along with 32 ROPS, 4 graphics processing clusters and 8 streaming multiprocessors. For the CUDA Cores NVIDIA have gone for a 1536 "core" design and our memory bus is 256-bit (4×64). PCIe 3.0, DirectX 11.1 and DirectCompute are all supported on this card as is acceleration of high definition content and the card can output 7.1 audio over HDMI as well as support PhysX, 4K displays and 3D Vision.

Gainward GTX 680 Phantom - GPUz details

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