The community asked and ASUS listened, so behold the 2-slot GTX 680 graphics card. This new version cuts down on expansion slot demands while doubling GDDR5 to a massive 4GB. That's quite the sweet deal if you're running some of the latest games. The slender profile doesn't mean a cut in performance, quite the contrary. Inside it's still the Nvidia GTX 680 GPU, clocked at 1,058 MHz boost. The GDDR5 operates at 6,008 MHz. The card retains DIGI+ VRM digital voltage regulation and Super Alloy Power components, but does ship with a new DirectCU design. The heatpipes have been engineered in a so-called SSU configuration, snaking within the cooler roughly in a double S and single U shape to at once shorten heat travel times and increase dissipation rate.
Of course, overclockers can use GPU Tweak to make the most of this card, which is a real treat - I love the idea of having a nice 2-slotter that can fit in almost any case with 4GB. As we know, it's video memory that's arguably the deciding factor in current gaming performance, and 4GB is certainly up there. Hopefully it'll become the new standard in coming months.
The version we're looking at is a "regular" revised GTX 680, but don't forget, it also comes in a limited edition Ubisoft game bundle variety, so commence scouring your retailer of choice.
Onwards to the unboxing!
Front of the box, love the 4GB. Plus drivers are Windows 8-compatible.
On the back, we have highlights of all your key features.
The trusty box within a box, with the accessory tray on top.
And the sturdy foam packing underneath. Personally I prefer this method, maybe out of habit. The foam really does give the card awesome protection during shipping.
At last, the new GTX 680 in all its accommodating 2-slot glory...in the anti-static bag, naturally.
And out in the wild! As you can see, it keeps the by-now traditional ASUS DirectCU II look.
Closer look at the PCI Express 3.0 slot and copper heatpipes.
And at one of the noise-dampening fans. DirectCU standards mean this card runs up to three times quieter than reference, depending on your configuration and environmental factors.
Looking at the new GTX 680 from another angle, the SLI fingers and of course the exposed portion of the heatpipes beckon.
Comprehensive output options for your multi-display needs: HDMI, DisplayPort, two DVIs.
The backplate is impressive, quite ROG-like, in fact. It certainly adds to card strength, plus acts as an additional dissipation layer. It's also vented to enable air flow between the PCB and the plate.
I'm very happy ASUS engineers have been able to fit the GTX 680 with more memory and a revised cooler in a 2-slot format. Sure, three slotters are mighty impressive, but in practical terms most cases and users can benefit from that extra free slot.
If you're looking for a high-end graphics card with all the bells and whistles intact, give this one a whirl.