Originally Posted by EM2J
look, i'm not arguing that the lightning is not better, i'm just trying to prevent misinformation like the reference cards thorttling so easily. that's a load of crap only if they are sandwiched in sli or you leave the fan profile at default will it start to throttle. i've played hours of bf3 in 90 degree weather without it throttling. point is, if you have a decent fan profile and only 1 card, you shouldn't throttle.
I was right on the cusp of 70C in many games with heavy overclocks on reference, and at 70C all other 680 boards will throttle / undervolt in 13mhz/10mV increments. Lightning does not do this. While you can max out your fan at 80/85% (I think EVGA cutoff is 80%), I did all my testing at 70% fanspeed and there were certainly plenty of times where I was borderline - and some other games that push me over. Crysis 2 maxed out in surround being an example.
I am using a CM cosmos II case which is the best air cooled case on the market (i'm sure you can find reviews on it, its the best and you have to pay for it) so that wasn't an issue. I didn't use 80% fanspeed, perhaps I could have done better but I like not being deaf while gaming as well
I'm not saying that reference cards are bad. For the typical customer they are fantastic cards and there are a few golden ones out there. While another poster suggested there is no difference between reference and lightning in terms of clockspeeds, my main point is that the lightning is better tailored to heavy overclocks and gets higher clocks by far on average. Whether you find that worth the 100$ premium is a personal decision, for me I feel it is - I like never throttling, I like low noise, I like having rock solid clocks that don't fluctuate at 70C as other 680s do. I don't have to make compromises on the lightning - I don't have to turn vsync on to prevent high temps, and I don't have to set an insanely high fan curve to prevent throttling. There is no throttling. Hell I can play just cause 2 completely maxed at 2560x1600 with all of the CUDA features enabled WITH vsync off and temps never pass 47C with a default fan profile. This is, once again, my completely biased opinion but I have used a few reference 680s as well as a 690 so I have a good basis for comparison.Edited by xoleras - 7/9/12 at 12:52pm