Price cuts to GTX 580 hint at impending GTX 680 release

By Lee Kaelin on March 13, 2012, 11:00 AM

Nvidia’s next generation flagship GPU is drawing ever closer to release. Epic Games showed off a demo of their Unreal Engine 3 tech using the Kepler-based hardware during the Game Developers Conference last week, which suggested the new GPU would be faster than at least two GTX 580s.

Despite no official announcement from Nvidia, the current top of the line product, the GTX 580 has received a price cut at several retailers, which is a sure sign that the new 28nm Kepler-based GTX 680 is imminent.  The price reduction is usually a method employed by retailers to skirt around non-disclosure agreements in order to shift old stock and make way for the new arrivals. So it should be a good indication that we’ll be seeing the new card released shortly.

The GPU is rumored to feature 2GB of GDDR5 memory, is powered by the GK104 core and features a 256-bit memory controller with 1536 CUDA cores. A 4GB model is also rumored for future release.

What is interesting however is VR-Zone is reporting that the new model will retain the same core frequencies as the current Fermi counterparts, with the core clocked at 705 MHz and the shaders at 1411 MHz. Despite this, the GTX 680 improves on previous memory controllers, setting a new record with the memory clock at 6 GHz, which equates to a memory controller bandwidth of 192 GB/s, identical to the current GTX 580 even though it features a narrower memory bus.

It has also been speculated that the new model includes a dynamic clocking feature which operates similar to Intel’s turbo boost as found in their processors, enabling the graphics card to adjust clock speeds in response to performance requirements and operating temperatures.

Previous rumors suggest the GTX 680 will hit store shelves around the same time as Intel’s Ivy Bridge hits retail, with a suggested price around $500. Nvidia doesn’t typically comment on speculation, and has not replied to requests for comments, but should the end product match the rumors it looks set to regain the top spot from the recently released AMD Radeon HD 7970.




User Comments: 11

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Guest said:

I keep hearing people raving about how the 600 series is going to be a HUGE improvement over the 500 series, but I also read that some people think that the upgrade is just going to be like every other series (200>400, 400>500).

How big will the performance upgrade really be?

Guest said:

Wait and see!

Only good reviews can prove how good/bad they are!

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think the 256-bit memory bus is a distinct hint that this is a mid-range Kepler card... and $500 is a lot to ask for a mid-range card. Rumours are that the "real" 680 is coming later this year

captainawesome captainawesome said:

It looks like April is going to be an exciting month for reviews

Ultraman1966 said:

Not really seen much in terms of price cuts but hopefully they'll make things look interesting again... wanting people to pay 350 quid for near 18 month old technology is kind of ridiculous...

captainawesome captainawesome said:

U forgot to mention how much they cut the price by.

Ultraman1966 said:

Just looked it up, I can scarcely believe that the GTX 580 came out in Nov 2010 it really is nearly 18 months old and they still wanted to charge £350 (the cuts take it down to around 300 quid now). Shame that AMD didn't price their new 7 series more competitive but I guess they wanted to wait till Kepler hit so that they can look good.

Guest said:

I know I'm not original, but it looked appropriate: Those who can, do. Those who can't, announce two months early.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Shame that AMD didn't price their new 7 series more competitive but I guess they wanted to wait till Kepler hit so that they can look good.

No.

Rory Read's mandate is to make AMD a viable and profitable business. You don't bring in profit by continuing a value-for-money policy (which hasn't served AMD particularly well regarding overall profit). AMD, Nvidia et al will continue to price as high as the market will bear.

I know I'm not original, but it looked appropriate: Those who can, do. Those who can't, announce two months early.

So those who really can't, announce two years early ?

Just as an aside; Who is announcing what two months early ?

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

I'll take 2 x GT 680s 4GB versions please to replace my 2 x GTX580s 3Gb versions...waiting. 2560 x 1600 res ftw.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So that demo from last year was on 3 GTX580's, and this is the same demo on just one Kepler-based product? That does sound interesting.

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