MSI use familiar styling for their box and focus very much on the cooler used by this product. Inside the box we find a basic bundle which includes driver CD, manual, power cables and DVI to VGA dongle. Also included on the CD are tools such as MSI Live Update to obtain the latest drivers/BIOS and Norton Internet Security (Trial).
MSI use a metal shroud on their GTX 680 and through it we can see two 8cm PWM fans which use propeller blade design for 20% more airflow than traditional design. These sit above aluminium fins and running through those are heatpipes which connect to the GPU block. Further enhancing the build quality MSI use solid capacitors rated for 10 year operation. These have aluminium cores and offer lower temperatures and higher efficiency than alternative models.
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.
For power requirements we have two 6-pin connectors present. These point out the top of the card rather than the back providing the card with just under 200w when combined with the PCIe connector.
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 5760x1080 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 1502MHz. MSI opt for 1059MHz base, 1124MHz Boost and 1502MHz 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 (4x64). 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.