Nvidia’s new 28nm ‘Kepler GPU’ Geforce GTX680 launches
Nvidia’s latest powerhouse GPU, the GeForce GTX 680 for PCs and GeForce GT640M for laptops, has been launched. Kepler’s GPU architecture is built on the TSMCs 28nm process. The GeForce GTX 680 sports 2GB of 256bit GDDR5 memory while equipped with 1,536 cores running at a clock speed of 1,006Mhz.
Nvidia’s latest GTX680 also features the ability to “Boost” — allowing the GPU to bump-up to 1,058Mhz under heavy loads. While Nvidia’s reference Geforce 680 ‘Boost’ frequency is a mere 52MHz, board vendors such as EVGA have already set aside SKUs with ‘to be decided’ clock speeds, suggesting there is some headroom to up Kepler’s clock speed. After all, with AMD’s Southern Islands chips showing that TSMC’s 28nm process node does leave some headroom, enthusiasts will want to know just how far they will be able to push Nvidia’s 28nm TSMC fabbed chip.
Nvidia also announced its Geforce GT640M for laptops, however the real fireworks are expected to be set off once Intel lifts its embargo on laptops that make up its Ivy Bridge launch programme. Until then Nvidia’s Geforce GT640M has up to 394 cores and runs at 625MHz with 2GB of GDDR3 or GDDR5 memory.
Nvidia’s Geforce GTX680 graphics card is being priced in the £420 range, making it almost exactly the same price as AMD’s ultra high-end Radeon HD7970. All eyes will be on AMD to see how it tries to one-up Nvidia again, with the shortest odds laid on a two-GPU vanity card to replace the Radeon HD6990.