Gainward has brought a really strong NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 680 based video card to the table that stands out from the reference model with more performance, stronger cooling numbers and lower noise levels. There's very little to complain about when it comes to the Phantom, if we had to pick on anything though, it would be the bundle.
Like most companies these days, though, Gainward has opted for smaller bundles and instead let the video card do all of the talking. It doesn't really bother us and it helps keep the price down slightly, which is always a good thing. If we had to pick something, though, to complain about, it would be the smaller bundle.
From a performance point of view the strong overclock that Gainward has bought to the core and memory helps give a real boost in performance. I think what's more important, though, is the fact that often times we see that the overclock helps push the average FPS to that magical 60 FPS mark that we consider provides a solid gaming experience.
Outside of the actual FPS performance you've then got the performance of the cooler, which is very strong. While temperatures line up with some of the other aftermarket coolers we look at, we see the cooler really shines when it comes to the noise side of things offering us some great levels.
In the end we've got a really nice aftermarket version of what is a very strong model out of NVIDIA. If you're happy with a video card that is a little fatter (remember this video card will take up 3 slots) than the reference model, the Gainward option is going to be a fantastic choice.
Thanks to a strong overclock combined with a cooler that not only looks great, but performs exceptionally well, you just have a really strong video card that stands out from the pack. If you're on the market for a GTX 680 that's going to perform better than a reference one in cooling, noise and performance, then this is one video card you should be looking at for sure.
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