GALAXY GeForce GTX 680 GC SLI Video Card Review

We've got two customized GALAXY GeForce GTX 680 GC video cards which boast a substantial boosted clock speed. We'll test these cards in SLI and compare these to stock GTX 680 SLI and Radeon HD 7970 CFX performance. If you want the best SLI performance, you will want to check this out.

Introduction

The time is finally here where we are starting to see fully customized retail video cards based around the brand new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 GPU emerge. The GeForce GTX 680 was launched on March 22nd, 2012 with great fanfare. The GeForce GTX 680 has proved from the get-go to be a power effecient and competitive GPU to the Radeon HD 7970. It has also proved to be competitive in performance and features with a new feature called GPU Boost allowing high real-time clock speeds in games. Since the introduction of the GeForce GTX 680 we have seen the launch of the GeForce GTX 690 and GeForce GTX 670 all providing the best performance and value in their class.

What we've really been waiting for are customized GeForce GTX 680's to hit the shelves. While there have been plenty of reference speced GTX 680's since launch, what hardware enthusiasts and gamers alike want to see are the special video cards. The ones that manufacturers have taken, customized and given special features and clock speeds to for an improved gameplay experience. We've recently evaluated one such customized GTX 680 already, the ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II. This very large and in-charge video card had a great overclock, but it came at a cost and that cost was physical size.

Enter GALAXY's new customized video card which doesn't sacrifice space. The GALAXY GeForce GTX 680 GC is customized from the ground up, there isn't one thing that isn't different from a reference GTX 680. GALAXY completely designed its own printed circuit board for the GTX 680 and installed its own cooling system. GALAXY did this all in a slim 2-slot package yet provided a very high factory boosted clock speed.

There is a price premium for all this goodness however, you are going to find the GALAXY GTX 680 GC for about $30 more than a stock GTX 680. Newegg has it for $534.99.

Pictures

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GALAXY adorns the front of the box with necessary information such as this being the GC version with custom cooling and a 2GB frame buffer. GALAXY also lists its 3 year extended Warranty. The video card itself is made up of a customized blue printed circuit board and silver heatsink shroud with copper heatsink base and aluminum heatpipes and fins. The video card takes up 2-slots and is 10 inches in length, exactly the same as standard GTX 680. This is no standard GTX 680 though, GALAXY has customized the PCB in every way, including how the power connectors are positioned.

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Instead of the power connectors being positioned one top of the other they are placed in the traditional side-by-side configuration. We much prefer this side-by-side configuration as its easier to remove power connectors. The GPU is well cooled by a copper heatsink and aluminum heatpipes and fins, but the memory modules are exposed with no cooling. Pay attention to the GeForce GTX 680 blue logo on the front of the card, it does something special you'll see below. The bundle comes with PCIe adaptors, booklets, DVI to VGA adaptor and disc.

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The logo actually lights up while the video cards are turned on, along with a white line underneath the text. The LED light here actually dims out and back on repeatedly slowly. It gives a nice effect to the video cards that round out their aesthetically pleasing physical nature.

We have two GALAXY GTX 680 GC video cards to test in SLI today and see how these compare to stock GTX 680 SLI and Radeon HD 7970 CFX.