QuagsQube -- Heaven 3.0 Sli GTX680 2GB X58 PCIe 2.0 x8 vs. x16 Lanes and VRAM Testing





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Published on Apr 12, 2012

With the feature updates, +25% VRAM and the now known 30-35% performance boost for me, I decided to upgrade my SLI 580 1.5GB to some reference EVGA (Nv really) GTX680s. After some time playing with them, I am going to keep and waterblock them. Koolance blocks arrive next week. Right now they do have the High Flow brackets as I got them free (2 of 200) from EVGA.

From here I'll see what the GK110 is all about in time, and if I go for those, I'll be waiting for some high end models unlike the GK104. Reference is good to go as I don't want to pay the premium and wait for 4GB 680s when my heart is after the unicorn in the wild GK110.

I run my 980X at 4GHz for all tests, I can game at 4.4GHz, but I like the lower temps at 4. I've ran many tests Sli 580 SC vs Sli 680 (Heaven 3.0, Dirt 3, Metro 2033, Mafia 2, BF3) and I get a 30-35% boost in performance and can crank more eye candy. Mind you, this is all at 6010x1080BC, but with a 1920x1080 extended display on the 680s. Using 301.10 WHQL for 680s.

This test is PCIe 2.0 x8/x8 lanes vs. x16/x16 lanes on an X58 mobo using max Heaven 3.0 settings with 4xMSAA vs. 8xMSAA. 8xMSAA is practically a slideshow, but the 580s wouldn't even run it and the 4xMSAA looked like a slideshow (x16 lane testing only). Only Heaven 3.0 and Metro 2033 provide me an easily repeatable test with the ability to crush my system (sure BF3 can crush it, but no easy repeatable test). Heaven 3.0 best sums it up while looking pretty, so I am using it to run 4 tests for this video with a simple OC offset +106 core and +198 mem, giving me an effective 1215MHz core and 6412MHz mem:

6010x1080BC -- DX11 -- Extreme Tess -- Shaders High -- Texture High -- AFx16

1) PCIe 2.0 x8/x8 4xMSAA
2) PCIe 2.0 x8/x8 8xMSAA
3) PCIe 2.0 x16/x16 4xMSAA
4) PCIe 2.0 x16/x16 8xMSAA

There is plenty of camera zooming in on performance details as I have PrecisionX 3.0.1, RealTempGT, and 4 instances of GPU-z to show info and performance. I don't do any pausing or editing (removing of video) during each run, but I do speed some of it by 10x so we don't have to watch a long ass video. I display easy to read comparison results towards the end of vid, so if you just want to FF to 13:23 minute mark, there it is.

At 4xMSAA about 1550MB mem is used and at 8xMSAA is uses about 2050MB and drops to 1750MB when the shit is hitting the fan I suppose. CPU usage, GPU mem controller are interesting in this scenario. My 680s behave well imo.

Heaven 3.0 at 4xMSAA, there is about a 4% loss on x8/x8 vs. x16/16, however at 8xMSAA it's about a 19% loss. This is about the same in Metro 2033 (AAA vs 4xMSAA, No DoF). I only did these tests for shits&giggles, plus for my own system knowledge as I'm thinking of Ivy Bridge and a new X mobo (PCIe 3.0) down the road, maybe along with the GK110s. I also wanted to crunch my VRAM to see how it performs. In Dirt 3, I can run 8xQSCAA Ultra and not even break a sweat at 6010x1080; after the first run, it now runs ~1600MB and MINs are over 60FPS. Can't wait for Dirt Showdown, bring on the mayhem.

Thanks for watching. Like with the 580, I will have a Koolance VID-NX680 waterblock installation video, so check back in a week or two.

Parts List:
Mountain Mod U2-UFO
Intel i7-980X
Asus Rampage III Formula
G'Skill 6GB PC12800
Corsair AX1200 PSU
Crucial C300 128GB RealSSD SATA III
Intel 80GB X25m G2
WD 300GB Velociraptor
Sony BD-5730S Blu-ray Writer
XSPC 360 Rads
Koolance RP-450X2 Dual 5.25" Reservoir
Koolance CPU-360
Koolance VID-NX680
Koolance MB-ASR3F
Scythe Gentle Typhoon Fans
Silverstone 140mm Air Penetrator
Bitspower Powerstation & Fittings

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