Review: Silence either way
When it comes to cooling and noise levels while doing so, water cooling solutions traditionally tend to beat their air cooled brethren. However, we have seen some excellent GTX 680 air coolers and we are about to pit Pov/TGT’s air-cooled GTX 680 4GB against the card’s water cooled sibling.
The GTX 680 4GB Beast Watercooled card comes with AquagraFX water block. The block itself is one slot wide, but ensuring stability and enough room for connectors required more width so the card ended up two slots wide. At the same time, this means Quad SLI is an option.
The GTX 680 4GB Ultra Charged comes with triple fan cooling that has a large dissipation surface but is three slots wide as a result. Unfortunately, three slot width means that Quad SLI is not an option here.
Beast and Ultra Charged cards have the same PCBs and video out panels. The cards offer two dual-link DVIs, standard HDMI and standard DisplayPort connector. The cards are powered via one 8-pin and one 6-pin power connectors.
Both cards boast 4GB of GDDR5 memory, where the chips are evenly distributed on each side of the PCB. However, you can see the memory chips on the back of the Beast card, while the Ultra Charged comes with TGT backplate that covers them.
Had the memory really required to be cooled, TGT would’ve strapped the Beast with a backplate as well, suggesting that the Ultra Charged backplate is there more or less for the eye candy. Both cards use the same memory chips by Hynix (model No: H5GQ2H24MFR-R0C), which are rated at 1500MHz (6000MHz GDDR5 effectively).
TGT left the memory at reference 1502MHz (6008MHz effectively) on the Ultra Charged card while the Beast comes with a factory overclock from standard 1502MHz to 1603MHz (6412MHz effectively).
GTX 680 4GB Beast runs at 1137MHz for the GPU, while the Boost clock is 1202MHz. The GTX 680 4GB Ultra Charged’s GPU ticks at 1111MHz, while Boost clock is 1176MHz.