1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 "Kepler" On Linux

Michael Larabel

Published on 17 April 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 15 - Add A Comment

After some delays in getting the hardware, we finally have our extensive review of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 "Kepler" graphics card with testing and benchmark results under Ubuntu Linux. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 is one mighty performer and pleasing open-source customers will be the independent option of being able to use this inaugural Kepler graphics card with the open-source, reverse-engineered Nouveau driver.

The GeForce 600 series launched last month with the introduction of the high-end GTX 680 desktop model and a few mobile/notebook offerings too. With four weeks already having passed (or several months since the architecture was first detailed and leaks began to appear), chances are you've likely already read about the Kepler architecture and compared it to AMD's new architecture for the Radeon HD 7000 "Southern Islands" that's already been shipping for months. As such, this article will just be looking at the Linux aspect of running a Kepler graphics card, since this is the first major review of any Kepler graphics card under Linux on the Internet and where Phoronix provides its value. With the official NVIDIA Linux graphics driver also being largely shared across all their Unix-like platforms, most of this information and results should also largely be the same for FreeBSD and Solaris users too.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680, which has to go head-to-head against the AMD Radeon HD 7900 series graphics cards, has a GPU core that NVIDIA calls the "GK104" (for reference, in the Nouveau reverse-engineering camp this is what they're calling "NVE0"). The GK104 is a TSMC 28nm graphics processor and contains over 3.5 billion transistors on a 294mm2 die, a stream (CUDA) processor count of 1536, 128 texture units, 32 ROP units, and the card has a 195 Watt TDP. The reference core clock on the GTX 680 is 1006MHz, which is also the frequency that they are running the shader clock. On the video memory side there is 2GB of GDDR5 running at an effective 6GHz frequency, although only seeing 2GB of video memory on this high-end Kepler part was a bit of a surprise.

Kepler hardware features OpenGL 4.2 support (and Microsoft Direct3D 11.1 / Shader Model 5.0 for those who care about the feature-set under Windows) and OpenCL 1.2 compliance. On the video acceleration side there is PureVideo VP5, which under Linux with the official NVIDIA driver is exposed via VDPAU, the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix. NVIDIA SLI obviously also remains around for the GTX 680 too, which if using the official NVIDIA Linux driver, should be implemented and at parity to the Windows driver. There is also the usual assortment of common features like 3D Vision, DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4a, etc. With Kepler there is also PCI Express 3.0 support and 4K-monitor support (handling a 3840x2160 resolution at 60Hz).

Latest Linux News
  1. Radeon & AMDGPU DRM Fixes Queue Up For Linux 4.2
  2. KDE Applications 15.04.3 Fixes Bugs
  3. Benchmarks Of 54 Different Intel/AMD Linux Systems
  4. Linux 4.2 Bringing Support For ARCv2, HS38 CPU Cores
  5. Libdrm 2.4.62 Is An Important Update For Open-Source GPU Drivers
  6. The State of Unity 3D Game Engine, Editor On Linux
  7. ZFS On Linux 0.6.4.2 Brings Linux 4.1 Support, Fixes
  8. Old Net Burst Tests, Ubuntu Phone & Assembly x86 Were Popular Topics Last Month
  9. Qt 5.5 Officially Released
  10. Global Shortcuts In KDE Plasma Under Wayland
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. How KDE VDG Is Trying To Make Open-Source Software Beautiful
  2. Attempting To Try Out BCache On The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  3. CompuLab's Fitlet Is A Very Tiny, Fanless, Linux PC With AMD A10 Micro
  4. AMD A10-7870K Godavari: RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Linux Drivers
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Kubuntu 15.10 Could Be The End Of The Road
  2. KDBUS Won't Be Pushed Until The Linux 4.3 Kernel
  3. The State & Complications Of Porting The Unity Editor To Linux
  4. The Staging Pull For Linux 4.2: "Big, Really Big"
  5. Latest Rumor Pegs Microsoft Wanting To Buy AMD
  6. SteamOS "Brewmaster" Is Valve's New Debian 8.1 Based Version
  7. Jonathan Riddell Steps Down From The Kubuntu Council
  8. ARM Posts Pictures Of AMD's New Development Board