Software

Now at version 2.0.9.0, ASUS's GPU Tweak utility has gone a long way from being a buggy mess to something more usable and practical to monitor and adjust clock/voltage parameters in the likes of MSI's ubiquitous Afterburner tool. Curiously however, Nvidia's current Driver API does not currently allow adjustment of the core voltage above 1.175v, but thankfully the TDP cap on this board can be raised to a whopping 159% (a more generous 280W effectively from 175W). There is also the Live Update feature for the VGA Bios and driver.

gputweak1 ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP 2GB Review

 

To prevent GPU Boost (NVIDIA's adaptive throttling mechanism to cheat in benchmarks) from interfering with the clocks, we need to change this setting in the Nvidia Control Panel to keep the frequency constant during our test runs.

 ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP 2GB Review

 

Thermals / Overclocking

Methodology: We set the fans to 100% and looped Unigine Heaven 3.0 on extreme settings for 10 minutes and took the maximum temperature from the ondie sensor. Ambient temperature was 18 degrees.

 

Default Clocks: 43 degrees celsius – very good

stocktemps ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP 2GB Review

 

Overclocked (1328/1749MHz, no voltage adjustments): 47 degree celsius – excellent!

octemps ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP 2GB Review

 

VGA Hotwire Vmods

 

Disclaimer: The mods performed in this section WILL void your hardware warranty (meaning no returns or RMA) and your precious graphics card can go up in smoke if not done properly. ASUS and VR-Zone shalt not be held responsible if anything goes tits up during your modding adventures. Increasing voltages will raise temperatures and power usage exponentially. You are advised to use decent water or subzero cooling in such scenarios.

 

If you have a motherboard like ASUS's ROG Rampage IV series (or variable resistor and voltmeter), you can wire up the voltage reading and control points as such.

hotwirediagram ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP 2GB Review

P1050581 ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP 2GB Review

vgahotwire ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP 2GB Review

 

You will have to remove the resistor marked PGR100 to remove the 1.175v Vcore overvoltage protection.

ocp1 ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP 2GB Review

 

Short location PGR152 (pencil or solder) to allow voltage control via offset.

ocp2 ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP 2GB Review