Originally Posted by ilikebeer
Two quick questions come to mind:
1) Is it bad for these reference cards to have the fan running regularly at 80%? By bad I mean, that's like 4000rpm and although expensive these reference cards don't exactly feel like they are built with good quality (just a cheap plastic shroud). (nvidea must be raking in the money).
2) I understand that the core speed will down-clock the core speed in small steps once the card gets past 70c. But would a future driver update perhaps remove this limit? I would rather the gpu running at 80c with higher core clock and lower fan speed that having to sacrifice the cards true potential because of what I think is a rather low temp limit. My box says the card can last 10 years at 70c. But in 10 years this card won't be being used by anyone.
Seems like day by day the general opinion about the gtx 680 is getting lower. More posts like 'i got a non-reference super cooler version but damn, the chip isn't a good overclocker or 'these chips are supposedly high-end but we can't control voltage.
1. First off if your card is showing 99%-100% being utilized that means your using the entire video card performance and that's great. If your not able to use up 99% of your card during intense gaming when it needs to be, it means your CPU is bottlenecking / limiting
your GPU and your not getting all the performance you should be. It depends on what your doing. It's not going to use 99% when your browsing the internet or playing Minecraft.
As for the second part to your first question 'are they build good quality'.... Not sure if your being serious? Only as good and in most cases better than the competition's top card. This must be your first high end card I'm going to assume. What were you expecting a titanium alloy shroud?
It's been a plastic shroud for years and prior to that no shroud at all.
2, You might want to read this guide by Celeras to learn a litle about your card and over clocking. Read it twice if you don't understand it. It will help you figure out the new technology that's been implemented rather well. How to: 680 overclocking fundamentals
As for low opinion around OCN - not if you ask anyone that actually owns it. I'll have to ask who is giving you or where you reading the info? Ask anyone owning an AMD card, most (not all) will give you a biased opinion glorifying their card over yours. It's the nature of the beast AMD vs Nvidia enigma here. It's hard for some folks to admit they both are very comparable in performance and regardless which you own they're both great cards.
Some reviews you may have missed will say otherwise: HardOCP
, Hardware Canucks
, Hardware Heaven
, and many others just to name a few thumbs up.
As for the over volting debate: Let's clear the air once and for all.
You hear some saying they won't choose the new 680 because of voltage locks? Funny because even if you over volt the 7970 cards past 1.200v it doesn't seem to give them any higher over clocks even under water
anyway. (Read what they are saying in their own threads). So our 1.175v limit is very close to their over volting limit. It's all relevantly equal.
We aren't being held back by the inability to over volt except for benching. Our being limited to choose a constant
over clocked Core is our limitation, but only for benching. The benchmark program dosen't require full throttle performance all the way through and we aren't getting the juice are cards are capable of on a constant
because it's down clocking itself where unneeded.
to over volt for higher Core clocks eventually because it's not happening dynamically on their cards. So if they want a higher Core they must
apply more constant voltage. 24/7 high voltage is a card killer rather than only being applied when needed in the background theoretically.
The new 28nm fabrications have some similarities across AMD and Nvidia with how they respond to over volting and heat. So even if we were given the ability to over volt our cards, I'm afraid we'd run into the same wall they are.
However in games (where it counts most) we're showing most all of our 680's over the 1200 Mhz Core clock and getting comparable FPS and in most cases, better. We also have those with golden chips that are hitting 1300 MHz as well, even without over voltage. In games we have one awesome GPU boosting and pushing FPS where it counts most.
So judging the 680 vs 7970 in benchmarks is no longer a good gauge as we've used in the past. If your reading low opinion based on benches, don't let it bother you. Luckily we don't play 3DMark11 or Heaven benchmark, but we do great gaming.
My card gets pushed to 1254 Mhz and I consider my card average compared to others around the club. No voltage tweak required and under 70C.