Epic Thanksgiving Giveaway: MSI GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO!

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review

Palit say that 2GB of GDDR5 isn't enough on the new GTX 680 from NVIDIA. So, they turned around and doubled it to 4GB.

Published Mon, Apr 16 2012 9:18 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:01 PM CST
Rating: 97%Manufacturer: Palit

Introduction and Package

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 02 | TweakTown.com

2GB of GDDR5 always seemed like a weird amount of memory to have on the latest NVIDIA video card, the GTX 680. It's not that 2GB isn't a lot, it's just that we're at the point where we feel when spending in excess of $500, we'd have a video card that carried a minimum of 3GB.

The second we knew the card came in 2GB flavor, though, we knew that it wouldn't take long for someone to come out and offer us a variant with 4GB. Just like they were the first to offer us a custom designed version, today they're the first to offer us a 4GB version. Of course we're talking about Palit.

The other week we looked at the Palit Jetstream GTX 680 2GB in not only single card form, but also in SLI. Impressed with what was on offer from the card we were excited to see what doubling the memory to 4GB would do.

As usual before we get into the performance side of things there's a few things that we need to do with the first of course being check out the package that Palit have put together. Once we've done that we'll take a closer look at the card itself before moving into the specification side of things. Finally before we get in to the benchmark side of things we'll see what's going on with our testbed today and the cards we'll be using in our graphs.


Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 03 | TweakTown.com
Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 04 | TweakTown.com
Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 05 | TweakTown.com
Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 06 | TweakTown.com

Looking at the box you can see it's near identical to that of the 2GB version. The only difference that we can see is that we've got mention that the card comes with 4096MB (4GB) of GDDR5 memory on the front of the box instead of the standard 2GB.

Inside the box we've also got a really good description of the cooler and some of the main features that the card offers. Hopefully we're not dealing with just some marketing talk and instead get to see a product that really stands out here.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 07 | TweakTown.com

As for the bundle itself there's not heaps going on with a manual, driver CD, DVI to VGA connector, HDMI to DVI connector and dual 6-pin PCIe to 8-pin PCIe power connector. Palit have never been big on bundles and we're actually seeing more and more companies choose to shrink them.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 08 | TweakTown.com

Moving onto the card we've got a massive three fan design that looks awesome. We see the same black and gold theme and you can see behind the fans we've just got a massive heatsink. We can also see the Palit logo on one end while the new JetStream one is seen on the other.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 09 | TweakTown.com

Looking around the card we can see one of the heatpipes present here while the power connector has also been mixed up a bit. Instead of the dual 6-pin PCIe power connector setup we can see that Palit has opted for an 8-pin and 6-pin setup which works well with the six phase PWM; an upgrade from the four phase setup offered by reference cards.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 10 | TweakTown.com

Closer to the front we can see another one of our heatpipes and two SLI connectors. While you can run up to four of these cards, the triple slot setup is going to make it impossible. A two card setup would look absolutely killer, though.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 11 | TweakTown.com

Finally we finish with the I/O side of things and you can see here we've got two DVI connectors, single HDMI port and single DisplayPort connector. We can also see some vents in the top left corner to help push some air out the back of the case.


Outside of the amount of memory seen on this card the main difference between the 2GB Jetstream and the 4GB one is that the 4GB one doesn't come overclocked. Looking below you can see that means the core comes in at 1006MHz.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 01 | TweakTown.com

As for the 4GB of GDDR5 memory, that comes clocked in at 6008MHz QDR. I'm not too sure why Palit chose too not overclock the card, but it's not something that we're too worried about. It will be interesting to see how the 4GB variant of the new GTX 680 performs today.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 99 | TweakTown.com

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

As usual on the testbed side of things you don't see anything out of the ordinary with the typical X79 setup being present.

As for the cards, we'll be comparing the Palit Jetstream GTX 680 4GB against the older GTX 580 along with the reference clocked GTX 680 2GB from NVIDIA.

Along with them we've got a few AMD cards to round out the comparison including the Sapphire HD 7970, Diamond HD 7970 and older dual GPU HD 6990 which continues to be one of the fastest cards on the market.

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.

Benchmarks - 3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 20 | TweakTown.com

Straight away we can see some great performance out of the 4GB GTX 680 Jetstream from Palit with the card breaking that P10,000 score.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.5

Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com

Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 21 | TweakTown.com

Moving into Heaven we continue to see some great performance out of the card with it sitting ahead of everything at 1680 x 1050 and just 10 points behind the dual GPU HD 6990 at 1920 x 1200.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test

Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx

Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 is an arcade-style flight action game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft. The game is the sequel to Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., released in 2009.

The game begins with Colonel David Crenshaw participating in a routine patrol mission in the Middle East. After halting an insurgent attack, a volley of missiles is fired at the Air Force base that Crenshaw was stationed at, with one of the missiles disabling Crenshaw's aircraft, resulting Crenshaw being in enemy captivity. A joint strike force composed of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and a Ghost Recon squad executes an operation to rescue Crenshaw. In Scotland, Royal Navy Pilot Colin Munro encounters an unidentified passenger aircraft that explodes from an on-board bomb when undergoing training exercise. In Russia, an air force squadron led by Colonel Denisov and Captain Dmitri Sokov engages separatist aircraft but is ordered to retreat from the region after numerous Russian military installations have been attacked.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 22 | TweakTown.com

H.A.W.X. 2 performance across the board is strong, but very similar to the reference card.

Benchmarks - Mafia II

Mafia II

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.2kczech.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.mafia2game.com/

Buy It Here

Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It is developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and is published by 2K Games. The game is set from 1943 to 1951 in Empire Bay (the name is a reference to New York's state nickname "The Empire State"), a fictional city based on San Francisco and New York City, with influences from Chicago and Detroit. The game features a completely open-ended game map of 10 square miles. No restrictions are included from the start of the game. There are around 50 vehicles in the game, as well as licensed music from the era.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 23 | TweakTown.com

Mafia II performance across the board is very strong and you can see a couple of extra FPS is being seen at every resolution.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 24 | TweakTown.com

Moving into Lost Planet 2 we continue to see some great numbers and a bit of extra performance when compared to our reference card.

Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator

Aliens vs. Predator

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.sega.com/games/aliens-vs-predator/

Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed by Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.

Following the storyline of the campaign modes comes the multiplayer aspect of the game. In this Multiplayer section of the game, players face off in various different gametypes in various different ways.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 25 | TweakTown.com

Aliens vs. Predator also sees a nice little boost and you can see we're almost at that 60 FPS number at the highest resolution. We're again just behind it, though, in this benchmark that NVIDIA haven't done great in when looking at the GTX 680.

Benchmarks - Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used:

Timedemo or Level Used: Dark Tower

Developer Homepage: http://www.eidos.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.justcause.com/

Just Cause 2 employs the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in Just Cause. The game is set on the other side of the world from the original Just Cause, on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. Panau has varied terrain, from desert to alpine to rainforest. Rico Rodriguez returns as the protagonist, aiming to overthrow the evil dictator Pandak "Baby" Panay and confront his former mentor, Tom Sheldon.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 26 | TweakTown.com

Just Cause 2 also across the board follows the trend of extra FPS and we can see the model has no problem dealing with the HD 7970. The HD 6990 does manage to sneak ahead here, though, like it does in a few other tests. Of course that is a dual GPU card verses this single GPU one.

Benchmarks - Metro 2033

Metro 2033

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.thqnordic.com/

Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released in March 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360.[3] In March 2006, 4A Games announced a partnership with Glukhovsky to collaborate on the game.[4] The game was announced at the 2009 Games Convention in Leipzig;[5] a first trailer came along with the announcement.[6] A sequel was announced, currently titled Metro: Last Light.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 27 | TweakTown.com

Metro 2033 also sees a little bump, but we're still a little shy of that 60 FPS mark at 2560 x 1600 with the 57 FPS average we see here.

Benchmarks - Dirt 3

Dirt 3

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.dirt3game.com/

DiRT 3 boasts more cars, more locations, more routes and more events than any other game in the series, including over 50 rally cars representing the very best from five decades of the sport. With more than double the track content of 2009's hit, DiRT 3 will see players start at the top as a professional driver, with a top-flight career in competitive off-road racing complimented by the opportunity to express themselves in Gymkhana-style showpiece driving events.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 28 | TweakTown.com

At the lower resolution we don't see much change in Dirt 3 performance, but as we move up we see a couple of extra FPS being seen.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01

Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long

Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/

Buy It Here

The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 29 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry 2 performance doesn't hold any surprises with just solid numbers across the board.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here we see video cards go from playable FPS to an unplayable FPS and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 30 | TweakTown.com
Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 31 | TweakTown.com
Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 32 | TweakTown.com

Turning on AA and AF we can see a slight boost in performance, but we continue to see the GTX 680 struggle under Aliens vs. Predator.

Temperature Test

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 40 | TweakTown.com

Temperature on the 4GB card is a little lower probably thanks to the default core clock. Nothing too major, though, when it comes to overall heat.

Sound Test

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 41 | TweakTown.com

Noise levels continue to be very strong on the three fan card. Such a large heatsink of course means the fans don't need to spin as hard making for a really quiet setup.

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card Review 42 | TweakTown.com

Power draw sits where you'd' expect around the 400 watt mark. Anyone buying a GTX 680 should have a power supply that can handle this card with no issue.

Final Thoughts

Straight away we can see the performance improvement on offer from the Palit JetStream GTX 680 4GB when compared to the reference card. The problem is with the way Dynamic Overclocking works is the card performing faster because of the better cooler that Palit are offering, or is the 4GB of GDDR5 helping push FPS further?

In the end, for most, it's not really going to matter. NVIDIA deciding to release the GTX 680 with only 2GB of GDDR5 instead of 4GB seemed like a bit of a miss step from a psychological stand point. Most people feel these days that 2GB just isn't enough for high resolution gaming.

At the same time, though, NVIDIA by offering the card as a 2GB one were able to keep the price down and make it extremely aggressive. Of course there's always the option for partners to release a 4GB model as well and really that's exactly what we've seen here today.

This is a good model for Palit. Not only are they quick to offer us a 4GB variant of the new GTX 680, but they've also done with the new JetStream series which did a good job of impressing us when it came to the 2GB model.

I would've loved to have seen them overclock this model like they did the 2GB one, but as always there's nothing stopping you from doing that yourself via Afterburner. You'd probably find yourself going even higher than what the 2GB card is clocked at.

If you're not that interested in 4GB of GDDR5 you can get yourself the pre-overclocked 2GB JetStream model from Palit. If you found yourself thinking, though, that you'd loved to have a custom GTX 680 like the JetStream, but would really prefer a 4GB version, then what we've got here today could be the perfect video card for you.

What do TweakTown.com awards mean? Click for details!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

Newsletter Subscription

Similar Content

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription
Latest News
View More News
Latest Reviews
View More Reviews
Latest Articles
View More Articles