EVGA GTX 680 Classified is made and aimed at enthusiasts and overclockers. This is why the card boasts an EVBot connector, the name that symbolizes EVGA-flavored overclocking. In fact, EVBot allowed for lighting fast overvolting of the GPU and memory. The card boasts 14+3 VRM design with two 8-pin power connectors. The cooler is large as well and the entire package suggests great fun.
Well, we had no shortage of fun – we can say that much. We spent a lot of time trying to hit 1300MHz (unless stated otherwise, GPU clock means Base GPU clock), but in vain. Perhaps we simply weren’t lucky enough to get a GPU that is capable of such a feat.
Part of the problem with overclocking limitations is the cooler itself. Namely, the cooler runs and cools the factory clocked GPU just fine, but extreme overclocking is a whole new ballgame. The GPU comes overclocked to 1111MHz while the memory was left at reference clocks. During our testing, we measured GPU Boost clocks up to 1211MHz. The cooler remained quiet after long sessions of Crysis 2 and temperatures didn’t exceed 72°C.
EVGA opted for the largest blower fan we’ve tested so far. EVGA replaced the reference 6.5cm fan with an 8cm one but although it looks quite powerful, its maximum RPM is locked at 55% / 3240 RPM. Although it’s not too loud at this RPM, you’ll hear it well. We think that Nvidia asked for the fan to be “restrained” and keep the card quiet. The cooler takes up only two slots, meaning that Quad SLI is possible.
The Base clock of 1260MHz quickly pushed the card to 80°C, which then triggered the downclocking to factory clocks. It’s no coincidence that Kingpin went for LN2 to overclock the GPU to 2GHz (boost clock).
EVBot is purchased separately and will set you back about €60. We must say that it would be phenomenal if EVGA gave away EVBots with its GTX 680 Classified cards. Nvidia doesn’t’ support overvolting and, as such, isn’t too anxious to give a green light on sales of overvolted cards. There’s no need to worry because, regardless of whether you use EVBot or not warranty is not impacted by using EVBot.
The factory overclock itself may not stand out. But the card should be looked at for its overclocking ability, and over voltage using EVBot (advised at 0.0625v increments).
We’d normally advise average users to look elsewhere, unless they’re really bent on spending big. Indeed, EVGA as well as other Nvidia’s partners offer many quality graphics cards that are €100+ cheaper.
EVGA’s GTX 680 Classified packs 4GB of memory, which handled overclocking quite well. Although the 4GB of memory may not cater to everyone, e.g. those who focus on GPU overclocking, it can still help in squeezing out maximum performance. We’ve noticed that extreme overclocking of the GPU alone doesn’t yield as significant performance improvements as possible when the memory is overclocked as well.
EVGA’s GTX 680 Classified currently goes for €662 or $660. Going by the price alone, the card ranks among the priciest water cooled GTX 680 cards, which seems about right considering what the card aims for. If overvolting and overclocking aren't your cup of tea however, then you're probably better off picking up Point of View's GTX 680 TGT Charged Edition 4GB, which is pretty much identical except for the cooling and that €107 that will stay in your pocket. As for the GTX 680 Classified, quality tools always cost a pretty penny and ordinary prices are best left for ordinary cards. EVGA’s GTX 680 Classified is a great product if you like overclocking and have the right tools for the job, better cooling included.