The new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 video card doesn't need to be overclocked to stand out for us. Out of the box the new model offers some killer performance that really stands out from the competition. All at a $500 - $550 price point that applies a large amount of pressure to the team over at AMD.
While overclocking does involve a little bit more in terms of pushing up the power control, it's overall just as easy as any other video card and you can see today you're able to get some nice gains in performance thanks to software like Afterburner from MSI.
NVIDIA could've probably priced this card at $599 and it would line up with a price structure that you'd normally expect from NVIDIA. At $549, it would've been a pretty easy buy over the HD 7970 that hits at the same price point. At the $499 mark, though, it's a really easy buy.
The big question is going to come down to stock. Both AMD and NVIDIA are notorious for running out of stock a week after launch. Companies start to see a trickle amount of stock come in and then it's going to come down to a war of what you can get.
If you bought a HD 7970, you shouldn't be disappointed, it has been out for a good two months already and you've been enjoying what AMD has bought to the table for that time. Something that turns me off is the fact we're dealing with only 2GB of GDDR5. I feel like we're kind of past that and we can see that if AMD is able to win out in any scenario, it's at the highest resolutions. A bit more VRAM from NVIDIA I think would do wonders for very high resolution gaming.
It's also safe to say that it's going to become even more useful when you start to go to multi monitors setups. Depending on stock, I don't think it will be to long before we see a company offer a 4GB version of the GTX 680. Considering the price point of the 2GB one as well, I think it's safe to say that a 4GB card would continue to hold quite strong value.
Overall there's little that can be picked at when it comes to the new GTX 680. Overall it's a really good video card that offers some great performance and some great overclocking headroom. As always, though, we really look forward to seeing what companies do with the cooler. There's always room for improvement over the reference cooler and we know some companies are already working hard at improving it.