From our introduction it's obvious our personal feelings towards NVIDIA. With that said, though, it wouldn't take away from us looking at a product objectively and the GTX 680 is just an awesome video card. The performance really is quite amazing and you can see that at times it has no issues competing with the dual GPU Radeon HD 6990 video card from AMD. While that might be a card based on the last generation core from AMD, it's still considered the fastest on the market.
Outside of the performance, though, one of the biggest issues for AMD is going to be the price of the card. So often we've seen AMD just behind NVIDIA for performance, but come in at a more aggressive price point. It's always been this kind of argument where if you want to save some money, but still get excellent performance you buy the AMD offering. If you just want the fastest, you buy the NVIDIA offering.
Again due to the fact that NVIDIA sent us nothing we don't know officially the price the card will launch at. Saying that partners have told us around the $549 mark and a leak from Newegg sees closer to the $500 mark depending on the brand. Considering the performance here today, this is a bad thing for AMD's Radeon HD 7970 at $549.
The other big problem for AMD is that it's not a matter of them just simply dropping down the price on the HD 7970. It becomes this massive snowball effect where they have to then drop the HD 7950, HD 7870, HD 7850, HD 7770 and HD 7750. AMD also haven't got this huge six month gain of selling cards where they've built up a nice stock pile of profit.
The biggest plus for AMD at the moment is they have this $449 price point and lower covered extremely well and we know this is where cards are sold and money is made. It's still going to be a few months before we see NVIDIA offer us a full 600 series line up. If what we're seeing today is anything to go by, though, then we'd be a bit worried at over AMD. They're going to have to sort something out.
AMD does have the HD 7990 around the corner and we're not too sure when NVIDIA are going to be able to offer any kind of dual GPU offering. Over the coming months AMD are going to continue to be the company that has the fastest video card. NVIDIA seem to have a really strong base for a dual GPU offering this time around.
There's room to move with heat as we see the fan profile sit more on the quiet side of things then noisy. Power draw is also strong, which means that a dual GPU card should be able to come in carrying similar clocks to what we see the single GPU offering sit at. Along with all that, NVIDIA have hit at an aggressive price point it seems and a dual GPU card shouldn't bust open the bank account like you'd normally think it would.
Outside of not sending us anything, NVIDIA has done a really good job here. We wish that we were more involved in the pre-marketing side of things, so our knowledge on a whole was just better, but we can only use what we've given, and in this case it was nothing...
None the less, our personal feelings aside, the GTX 680 is just a fantastic video card. We look forward to seeing a card that sports a bit more GDDR5 memory and of course custom cooling and pre-overclocked models. Then I think we'll see the model perform stronger at 2560 x 1600, an area that we do see it fall back in at times.