EVGA GTX 680 Classified is a graphics card of a special calibre and we'd like to take this opportunity to thank EVGA for making this test possible. The GTX 680 Classified reared its face at Computex, but it's already available in shops. A glance at the card reveals what this cards is for - huge cooling, two 8-pin power connectors, 14+3 VRM design and EVBot connector make it clear that this is a card for overclockers.
It's difficult to tell the size of the card from the picture, but the GTX 680 Classified is about 2.5cm longer and taller than the standard GTX 680 (depicted below is GTX 680 Beast which uses the PCB of standard size). The larger PCB made it possible to replace the 6cm fan with an 8cm one.
The card is priced at $659.99, which is pretty steep generally speaking. Additionally, EVBot is ordered separately, and you'll be needing it if you want to max out your GPU by overvoltaging. EVBot will set you back $90, but we suspect that extreme overclockers who'll resort to water or LN2 cooling won't really mind - it's the results that matter.
The GTX 680 packs a BIOS that offers three modes - normal, OC andlN2. The BIOS switch is next to the EVBot connector. LN2 and OC will turn off the power target limit, allowing for maximum overclocking. We've heard about some mouthwatering results with LN2, such as the one when Kingpin overclocked the GPU to 2GHz. This would of course be impossible with air cooling alone. We haven't played with overclocking yet, but we're hoping for minimum GPU clock of 1300MHz.
We won't show you the PCB and cooling up close, because we'll take the cooler off when we're done with testing. What we can see for now are memory modules on the back, and GTX 680 Classified comes with 4GB of it.
There are no air exhausts on the cooler other than on the I/O panel, which is typical of blower style coolers. When running at factory clocks, the GTX 680 Classified is cooler and quieter than the reference GTX 680. This is due to the larger fan and heatsink. EVGA redesigned the I/O panel in order to improve airflow and the exhausts are bigger than on the referencecard. The GTX 680 Classified has the same set of connectors like the reference GTX 680: two dual link DVIs, one HDMI and one DisplayPort. There are more air exhausts above the metal cover. We must admit that cases with additional exhausts above the expansion slots aren't quite common, but thankfully, our CoolerMaster Cosmos II was made to be future proof.
You can check out the first results we got at factory GPU clock of 1111MHz. The memory was left at reference 6008MHz (GDDR5 effectively). Judging by the results, GTX 680 Classified's performance with this moderate GPU overclock and no memory overclock is comparable to an above average GTX 680 card. We're hoping that overclocking will help GTX 680 Classified beat all other previous performance records seen for GTX 680.