Overclocked NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Duel - Palit vs. MSI

Meet the Cards

High-End Turbo Charging

Back in March we were wowed by NVIDIA's first 28nm Kepler-based GPU, the GeForce GTX 680. After losing out to AMD on being first to market with its 28nm chip, NVIDIA delivered a stunning riposte with the excellent performance scores and efficient power consumption of the GTX 680, leaving AMD reeling, and securing NVIDIA a stranglehold on the enthusiast graphics card market. In fact, in an attempt to stay competitive, AMD first announced price cuts on its AMD Radeon HD 7970, and then followed that by announcing a relaunch of the card with higher core clock speeds

We've now seen most of NVIDIA's add-in partners releasing their own souped versions of NVIDIA's flagship model with factory overclocking and custom coolers, all designed to deliver even better performance and improved efficiency. Today we're taking a look at two of those cards.

Here are the contenders:

Palit Vs MSI: Two cards enter, one card leaves. Who will it be? Read on to find out.


Palit GeForce GTX 680 Jetstream 2GB DDR5

Palit's GeForce GTX 680 JetStream features a triple-fan cooler and a boost in core clock speed from 1006MHz to 1085 MHz.. Memory clock speed has also been increased from 6008MHz DDR to 6608MHz DDR. In terms of pricing, Palit's offering will set you back S$769, just S$20 more than the S$749 for a reference based design.

Under Palit's triple fans is a large aluminum fin array connected to a number of copper cooling pipes. The shroud is mostly plastic with a thin gold color metal cover over the central fan, which by the way measures 90mm in diameter. Two other fans flanking the center one measure 80mm across each.

Palit uses a custom PCB on their GTX 680.

Palit's GTX 680 uses the same staggered power connector positioning as NVIDIA's, but whereas NVIDIA uses 2x 6-pin connectors, Palit uses 1 x 8-pin and 1x 6-pin. This suggests that the extra power input capability to help it overclock better when pushed harder. We'll find out later how it fared in our manual overclocking trials.

Display output ports layout is the same as a reference card - 2 x dual-link DVI, 1 x HDMI port and 1 x DisplayPort.

Like Palit's other Jetstream models, a blue LED lights up under the central fan when in operation.


MSI GeForce GTX 680 Twin Frozr 2GB DDR5

MSI's offering utilizes their Twin Frozr III design (first seen on their Radeon 6870 Hawk edition a year ago) with 80mm dual fans and SuperPipe technology for better heat dissipation. Core clock speeds have been given a modest boost from 1006MHz to 1059MHz with memory remaining at the stock 6008MHz DDR. This unit retails for S$819, S$70 more than some of the reference card designs hovering at S$749.

MSI's dual fans sit on top of an array of cooling fins connected to 5 nickel-plated copper heatpipes. The shroud is aluminum construction.

MSI uses the reference PCB for their GTX 680.

Like the reference model, MSI's GTX 680 uses 2 x 6-pin power connectors.

Exactly the same as NVIDIA's reference model with 2 x dual-link DVI ports, 1 x HDMI port and 1 x DisplayPort.