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MSI GEFORCE GTX 680 Lightning 2GB Video Card Review

By: Shawn Baker | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Jun 26, 2012 4:37 am
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: MSI

msi_geforce_gtx_680_lightning_2gb_video_card_review_99

 

We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS and Corsair.

 

We won't go into any real detail on our testbed as everything is really covered in the above image. Instead we'll just get into the video cards that will be in our graphs today. One of the main cards we want to compare our overclocked Lightning to is of course the reference clocked GTX 680 2GB.

 

Along with that, though, we've also got the GTX 670 Power Edition from MSI overclocked to 1168 / 6584 QDR to give us an idea on how the two models differ in overall performance. Moving back to the GTX 680s, we've also got the pre-overclocked 2GB Phantom from Gainward, while the 4GB Jetstream version from Palit is also represented.

 

As for AMD video cards we've got the brand new GHz Edition of the HD 7970 on offer here while we've also included the same card overclocked to 1165 / 6800 QDR. Overall we've got a good line up of cards and we should be able to really determine what the Lightning version of the GTX 680 is capable of today.

 

Let's get started!

 

 

The FPS Numbers Explained

 

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

 

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

 

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

 

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

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