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Author Topic: GK104: nVidia's Kepler to be the First Mining Card?  (Read 5430 times)
tacotime
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March 16, 2012, 09:32:30 PM
 #1

GK104 will have 1536 stream processors clocked at 1GHz.

Here's my totally speculative math:

A GTX 570 with 480 SP at 732MHz gets about 150 MH/s, or 0.3125 MH s^-1 SP^-1.

Scaling linearly with clock speed, we would expect 0.4269 MH s^-1 SP^-1 at 1GHz.

For 1536 SPs, that's 656 MH/s at an estimated TDP of 200w.

Of course, it's likely that these new SPs will be a little slower than the old ones, but even if they're 30% slower they should still be competitive with AMD cards.

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March 16, 2012, 09:37:06 PM
 #2

GK104 will have 1536 stream processors clocked at 1GHz.

Here's my totally speculative math:

A GTX 570 with 480 SP at 732MHz gets about 150 MH/s, or 0.3125 MH s^-1 SP^-1.

Scaling linearly with clock speed, we would expect 0.4269 MH s^-1 SP^-1 at 1GHz.

For 1536 SPs, that's 656 MH/s at an estimated TDP of 200w.

Of course, it's likely that these new SPs will be a little slower than the old ones, but even if they're 30% slower they should still be competitive with AMD cards.

It doesn't appear that hotclocks have survived the transition to Kepler though, so while the shaders in a GTX570 actually run at 1464MHz the shaders in the GTX680 will run at 1000MHz.

The CUDA cores in Kepler appear to be completely different than Fermi. I don't think we'll have a good idea how they perform until they're released and miners get optimized for them.
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March 16, 2012, 09:40:38 PM
 #3

Still really curious to see how it'll perform though.  Thanks for giving us an idea (hopefully).

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March 17, 2012, 03:21:36 AM
 #4


my guess is it will be as good as a 6950.  dont they have about 1536?

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March 17, 2012, 04:30:05 AM
 #5


my guess is it will be as good as a 6950.  dont they have about 1536?

then it won't be good at all, not much to compare when one costs 210 and the other 550 both brand new.

So unless nvidia added something in the hardware so it can do the proper bitcoin hash math in 1/5 or better than the time of current cards from the 6000 series, the card it will be totally useless for mining.
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March 17, 2012, 01:41:44 PM
 #6

You can't compare ati and nvidia SP, they are different

Also i suppose kepler SP will be different from older nvidia cards. So again, comparing 570 with kepler seems pointless to me.
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March 17, 2012, 02:35:15 PM
 #7

GK104 will have 1536 stream processors clocked at 1GHz.
Here's my totally speculative math:

A GTX 570 with 480 SP at 732MHz gets about 150 MH/s, or 0.3125 MH s^-1 SP^-1.
...
Wrong, shaders in a GTX570 run at twice the core clock. Fermi^WKepler will be running them at core clock, like AMD cards do.
This subject was already discussed. Mining performance will almost certainly suck compared to AMD cards.
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March 17, 2012, 06:03:25 PM
 #8

GK104 will have 1536 stream processors clocked at 1GHz.
Here's my totally speculative math:

A GTX 570 with 480 SP at 732MHz gets about 150 MH/s, or 0.3125 MH s^-1 SP^-1.
...
Wrong, shaders in a GTX570 run at twice the core clock. Fermi will be running them at core clock, like AMD cards do.
This subject was already discussed. Mining performance will almost certainly suck compared to AMD cards.

We'll know the answer soon enough... they are releasing the GTX680 next thursday or friday, so by the weekend the internet will have something either good or not.
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March 17, 2012, 07:20:03 PM
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Wrong, shaders in a GTX570 run at twice the core clock. Fermi will be running them at core clock, like AMD cards do.
This subject was already discussed. Mining performance will almost certainly suck compared to AMD cards.

Even if the SPs are running at 70% the frequency of the Fermi cards, that would still mean they would be capable of 460MH/s.

With a TDP of 200w, that's 2.3MH/w/s, which is better than a 6970.  The card also has a 1050MHz turbo hot clock.

There's also supposed to be an extra ALU per SP in Kepler as well, not sure if it's just another Vec4 ALU though

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March 17, 2012, 09:38:01 PM
 #10

I don't know about you guys but last time I heard, hotclocks are kept in Kepler so the GTX 680 still might turn out to be a BTC mining monster.

Ready to sell all the red ATI stuff I have. Boycotting them if Nvidia turns up with something competitive. Linux drivers suck too much. No need for xserver and no stupid 8 GPU limit = Nvidia FTW. Just hoping that Kepler does integer math right and not only FP like before for weather forecasting, folding etc.
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March 17, 2012, 10:07:07 PM
 #11

I'm ready to boycott nvidia even more
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March 17, 2012, 10:54:04 PM
 #12

I'm ready to boycott nvidia even more

LOL. Nvidia has no mining card until now and you are boycotting it already Roll Eyes

Anyway, maybe someone more technically inclined ( ArtForz we are looking at you ) can tell us if there is some hope or not.

Pretty detailed information here that appears to be 90% true and the final GTX 680 technical details :

http://wccftech.com/kepler-gk104-block-diagram-detailed-nvidia-intro-txaa-antialiasing-adaptive-vsync-3d-vision-surround/

Let us know !
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March 18, 2012, 04:31:57 PM
 #13

Anyway, maybe someone more technically inclined ( ArtForz we are looking at you ) can tell us if there is some hope or not.
I think you want one particular answer, not just any answer.
I see no reason whatsoever why one should expect significant progress in integer ops performance - those have long been off nVidia's radar.
There are twice as many stream processors working at a lower clock than previous generation cards.
We're not getting rid of buggy AMD drivers and the need for running Xorg any time soon  Undecided
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March 19, 2012, 04:10:43 PM
 #14

GK104 will have 1536 stream processors clocked at 1GHz.

Here's my totally speculative math:

A GTX 570 with 480 SP at 732MHz gets about 150 MH/s, or 0.3125 MH s^-1 SP^-1.

Scaling linearly with clock speed, we would expect 0.4269 MH s^-1 SP^-1 at 1GHz.

For 1536 SPs, that's 656 MH/s at an estimated TDP of 200w.

Of course, it's likely that these new SPs will be a little slower than the old ones, but even if they're 30% slower they should still be competitive with AMD cards.

The stream processors ("cuda cores") are dynamically clocked, and can go to 1411MHz (non-oc'ed).
http://www.overclock.net/t/1231113/gigabyte-gtx-680-2gb-already-arrive-at-my-shop

Also, you should be using hot-clocks in your calcs, e.g.:

GTX 570, 480SP at 1464MHz (2*732MHz) shaders ~150MH/s, so (1411*1536)/(1464*480) = 3.084*150MH/s = 463MH/s

The thing is... they've changed the architecture from Fermi, so untill someone tests it with real hardware, it's all a gamble.
http://www.techpowerup.com/162500/GK104-Block-Diagram-Explained.html
nVidia presentation slides: https://imgur.com/a/aQmuA
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March 19, 2012, 04:28:44 PM
 #15

GK104 will have 1536 stream processors clocked at 1GHz.

Here's my totally speculative math:

A GTX 570 with 480 SP at 732MHz gets about 150 MH/s, or 0.3125 MH s^-1 SP^-1.

Scaling linearly with clock speed, we would expect 0.4269 MH s^-1 SP^-1 at 1GHz.

For 1536 SPs, that's 656 MH/s at an estimated TDP of 200w.

Of course, it's likely that these new SPs will be a little slower than the old ones, but even if they're 30% slower they should still be competitive with AMD cards.

The stream processors ("cuda cores") are dynamically clocked, and can go to 1411MHz (non-oc'ed).
http://www.overclock.net/t/1231113/gigabyte-gtx-680-2gb-already-arrive-at-my-shop

Also, you should be using hot-clocks in your calcs, e.g.:

GTX 570, 480SP at 1464MHz (2*732MHz) shaders ~150MH/s, so (1411*1536)/(1464*480) = 3.084*150MH/s = 463MH/s

The thing is... they've changed the architecture from Fermi, so untill someone tests it with real hardware, it's all a gamble.
http://www.techpowerup.com/162500/GK104-Block-Diagram-Explained.html
nVidia presentation slides: https://imgur.com/a/aQmuA


So going by above link it looks like card is already here.

Anyone going to buy one and do some BTC mining ?

Maybe a new kernel needs to be developed to pwn the 7970 at mining ?

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March 19, 2012, 06:22:57 PM
 #16

For best performance you need a miner that supports CUDA (OpenCL is forever "atm" slower than CUDA on nVidia hardware Roll Eyes).

Two that I know of:
Ufasoft: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3486.0
RPC Miner CUDA: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2444.0
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March 19, 2012, 10:03:34 PM
 #17

No way of knowing until the card is actually released, but OP did a solid bit of educated estimation.

Also, why are they calling their card Kepler? It sounds to me like some not-very-subtle reference to the behavior of planetary orbits. Is this supposed to be some kind of nVidia/NASA joint project? Some kind of space calculation capabilities? Hmm? Some kind of crazy orbital mechanics logic built into the GPU? Maybe leaving amateur astronomers richer for the experience? That right, nVidia? Hmm???

No, but seriously, sounds like an awful idea for a video card.

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March 19, 2012, 10:06:06 PM
 #18

Last GPU was Fermi, now we have Kepler, then Maxwell. What do these names have in common? All three were great physicists...

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March 19, 2012, 10:51:04 PM
 #19

Last GPU was Fermi, now we have Kepler, then Maxwell. What do these names have in common? All three were great physicists...

That makes much more sense. I'm not familiar with the current nVidia line but now I kinda wish I was, so I could have saved myself the embarrassment of my previous rant about the name of the card.

Oops.

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March 20, 2012, 03:22:40 PM
 #20

nda is up and reviews are out. The 680 is shredding the 7970 in most applications... Can't wait to see the mining performance.

http://overclock.net/t/1231711/toms-geforce-gtx-680-review

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March 20, 2012, 03:26:48 PM
 #21

nda is up and reviews are out. The 680 is shredding the 7970 in most applictions... Can't wait to see the mining performance.
What games are most similar to bitcoin mining in that they use integers heavily? Perhaps we could compare such a game and make a little bit of a better determination. I doubt that many games make heavy use of integer ops though, at least not in a remotely similar way to how mining does.

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March 20, 2012, 03:41:11 PM
 #22






Power usage is awesome and it destroys the 7970 in gaming performance per watt, but I wouldn't expect it to mine well. The price of a 7970 might be dropping soon though.
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March 20, 2012, 03:47:48 PM
 #23

No games use integer ops, that is what CPU is used for. Smiley

My guess is it will suck at mining.  Nothing in any of the reviews indicated improved integer performance.  I doubt NVidia would mention Bitcoin specifically but something like "improved encryption for OpenCL/CUDA accelerated applications like Winzip" would be a good sign.

It is roughly 1.3x to 1.7x as fast a 580 GTX.   If it has similar relative performance (int ops vs FLOPs) that puts it around 200 MH/s maybe 250 MH/s.

I agree with the post above.  The good news is that because it "beats" the 7970, AMD will need to undercut on price.

On edit:
http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/26437-nvidia-gtx-680-price-now-set-at-us-$499

Looks like NVidia is striking back.  If GTX 680 is $499 and it out performs 7970 then 7970 will need a steep cut to be competitive.  Most gamers have little loyalty.  They just want max fps/$. Smiley

Obviously launch day prices will be higher but if they can keep the supply up I would imagine AMD needs to look at <$480 to avoid losing share.

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March 20, 2012, 05:00:01 PM
 #24

If I listen closely, I can almost hear the price of 7970s dropping.

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March 20, 2012, 11:54:49 PM
 #25

Indeed. This is good as 7970 destroyed so crappy AMD prices lowered now due to gamers buying green stuff.

Too bad we have to stick with needing xserver running and hardcoded 8 GPU limit Cry

I really think somebody should try it out for mining first before calling it a crap mining card Huh
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March 21, 2012, 12:52:53 AM
 #26

I don't understand the people buying brand new 7970's thinking the resell value will be better, it's going to lose a few hundred $ in value the first few months, while a 5970 still maintains the majority if not all of it's value if you bought one when the 7970 came out.  Anyway more for me I guess.
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March 21, 2012, 01:51:46 AM
 #27

  Sorry for bumping my own thread as I hadn't seen the info edited into this post when I checked it before when I posted mine.

  Since I was reconfiguring my main GPUs anyway, I sold my 580s and should be picking one (or if prices are that darned good, maybe two) of the 680s up.  I can gladly give you guys mining results once I have time to mess around with the cards.

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March 21, 2012, 02:35:10 AM
 #28

Although I don't have much hope I would be interested to see the results TRL.

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March 21, 2012, 04:00:22 AM
 #29

Although I don't have much hope I would be interested to see the results TRL.

Here are results by proxy
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/review/2162193/nvidias-gtx680-thrashed-amds-mid-range-radeon-hd-7870-gpu-compute

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March 21, 2012, 03:06:07 PM
 #30

So according to that article, it is horrible at FP ops, and the 7970 beats the pants off of it in that benchmark. Wonder if they compensated by giving better integer ops? One can only hope....

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March 21, 2012, 04:22:38 PM
 #31

If you look at the second to last slide I posted, Sandra actually has a crypto benchmark that uses SHA256. I'm not sure how it's implemented since the numbers between the 6990 and the 7970 don't correspond to bitcoin hashing performance, but it should still be more useful than FP ops.
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March 21, 2012, 04:29:42 PM
 #32

If you look at the second to last slide I posted, Sandra actually has a crypto benchmark that uses SHA256. I'm not sure how it's implemented since the numbers between the 6990 and the 7970 don't correspond to bitcoin hashing performance, but it should still be more useful than FP ops.

I noticed that was int performance but didn't notice it was SHA-256.  

Yeah it is hashing a large amount of data where Bitcoin hashes a small amount of data a lot of times so the units aren't going to be similar still the relative performance should give us some ideas.  Ballpark it looks like less than 1/2 the performance of 7970.  Exactly how many hashes it pulls will depend on how much it can be tweaked or overclocked (or gain from using pure CUDA).  Still it isn't even close to matching a 7970 in OpenCL integer performance.  It likely won't even match a 7950.

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March 21, 2012, 05:48:42 PM
 #33

SHA1 is based on a Merkle-Damgard construction. It doesn't matter much whether you hash a lot of data once or a small amount of data multiple times. In both cases you are calculating multiple times the same compression function. Of course, there are some differences like hashing small amount of data can be more cache-friendly (with GPUs that could mean less __global reads). There are quite a lot of optimizations that can be done when input is fixed and small enough like what's the case with bitcoin. Anyway I believe that the ratios would be more or less the same provided that the graphs are correct.

However, this does not take into consideration whether the code is optimized better for a specific platform, the quality of the drivers and the OpenCL stack (which does not perform as well as CUDA on NVidia).
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March 21, 2012, 06:15:08 PM
 #34

So according to that article, it is horrible at FP ops, and the 7970 beats the pants off of it in that benchmark. Wonder if they compensated by giving better integer ops? One can only hope....

Not surprising, they nerfed the FPUs in GK104 to about 1/8 of those of the GTX570, with the intent of making it a fast gaming card without much in the way of FP compute.  GK100 will be the one with very high FP/DPFP compute ability.

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March 22, 2012, 02:03:53 AM
 #35

Well, after the Tom's leak it looks like Newegg had their cards listed early. It's been pulled now, but it was saved.



We'll know more once the NDA lifts (tonight?), but if gaming performance really is 10%+ better than Tahiti with lower power draw, I can't see how AMD could continue to sell many 7970s above $500.
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March 22, 2012, 02:10:42 AM
 #36

Looks like the NDA lifts tomorrow morning. Not sure which Canadian time zone.
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/video-cards/52615-12-more-hours.html
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March 22, 2012, 08:31:02 AM
 #37

Newegg listed "Shader clock: 2012MHz".

Interesting... 1536 ALUs at 2012MHz would give it more processing power than a HD 6990. Either the GTX 680 is going to be the fastest GPU for mining, or it is a blatant mistake from Newegg or the microarchitecture has undisclosed limitations that would prevent exploiting all this apparent power.

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March 22, 2012, 11:06:53 AM
 #38

Newegg listed "Shader clock: 2012MHz".

Interesting... 1536 ALUs at 2012MHz would give it more processing power than a HD 6990. Either the GTX 680 is going to be the fastest GPU for mining, or it is a blatant mistake from Newegg or the microarchitecture has undisclosed limitations that would prevent exploiting all this apparent power.

Shaders are default clocked at 1411MHz on the highest profile, although there seems to be a big overclock headroom. Need some serious reviews to come up! Tongue
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March 22, 2012, 02:27:33 PM
 #39

Tom's hardware has its review posted.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-680-review-benchmark,3161-2.html

Quote
Kepler’s shaders run at the processor’s frequency (1:1)

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March 22, 2012, 02:36:46 PM
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Newegg listing is obviously a misquote.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-680-review-benchmark,3161-4.html

Quote
First, we launch a single run of the Central Park level at 1920x1080 in DirectX 11 mode, without anti-aliasing. We get a 72.3 FPS result, and we observe GPU Boost pushing the GeForce GTX 680 between 1071 and 1124 MHz during the run (up from the 1006 MHz base).

The top chart shows that we’re bouncing around the upper end of GK104’s power ceiling. So, we increase the target board power by 15%. The result is a small jump to 74.2 FPS, along with clocks that vacillate between 1145 and 1197 MHz.

Figuring the power target boost likely freed up some thermal headroom, we then increase the offset by 100 MHz, which enables even better performance—76.1 FPS. This time, however, we get a constant 1215 MHz. Nvidia says this is basically as fast as the card will go given our workload and the power limit.

So why not up the target power again? At 130% (basically, the interface’s 225 W specification), performance actually drops to 75.6 FPS, and the graph over time shows a constant 1202 MHz. We expected more performance, not less. What gives? This is where folks are going to find a problem with GPU Boost. Because outcome is dependent on factors continually being monitored, performance does change over time. As a GPU heats up, current leakage increases. And as that happens, variables like frequency and voltage are brought down to counter a vicious cycle.

The effect is similar to heat soak in an engine. If you’re on a dynamometer doing back to back pulls, you expect to see a drop in horsepower if you don’t wait long enough between runs. Similarly, it’s easy to get consistently-high numbers after a few minute-long benchmarks. But if you’re gaming for hours, GPU Boost cannot be as effective.

Our attempt to push a 200 MHz offset demonstrates that, even though this technology tries to keep you at the highest frequency under a given power ceiling, increasing both limits still makes it easy to exceed the board’s potential and seize up.

Sliding back a bit to a 150 MHz offset gives us stability, but performance isn’t any better than the 100 MHz setting. No doubt, it’ll take more tinkering to find the right overclock with GPU Boost in the mix and always on.

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March 22, 2012, 03:10:55 PM
 #41

I don't understand the people buying brand new 7970's thinking the resell value will be better, it's going to lose a few hundred $ in value the first few months, while a 5970 still maintains the majority if not all of it's value if you bought one when the 7970 came out.  Anyway more for me I guess.

Very simplistic view.  Most 5970's are 2 years old, and many have been overclocked the entire time.  It is a gamble paying $400 for a card that could go bad at any moment, thus taking the re-sale value to nearly zero. 

Many people would rather take a garaunteed 150-200 dollar hit on a new 7970 that will very rarely crap out (and has a warranty even if it does), over a very sketchy 5970 that could cost you 100% of your investment. 

I have about a 50/50 split in my farm on 5970/7970.....so I have thought this through extensively. 

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March 22, 2012, 03:13:56 PM
 #42

For my watercooled servers I am buying 1 more 5970 (and maybe buy a hot spare) and then I likely will only consider new 7970s or 7990s going forward.  The bad news is for watercooling only dual GPU make any sense so I will need to wait.

My pump and radiator has enough capacity for 2 more rigs of 5970s but honestly their age is starting to concern me.  Now if the price drops to sub $300 that concern will go out the window. Smiley

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March 22, 2012, 05:06:40 PM
 #43

You can already buy them in Portugal: http://pcdiga.com/pcdiga/Produto.asp?Familia=&Artigo=9711 .
For anyone wondering the cards sold out in like half an hour!
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March 22, 2012, 05:07:32 PM
 #44

549 Euros for a card w/ retail price of $500?  Ouch.  Guess some people had to have it.

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March 22, 2012, 05:43:28 PM
 #45

549 Euros for a card w/ retail price of $500?  Ouch.  Guess some people had to have it.

I hope AMD counters with a drop in 7970 prices.  If they do, I just might go with some 7970s instead of waiting for the 7990.

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March 22, 2012, 05:47:37 PM
 #46

549 Euros for a card w/ retail price of $500?  Ouch.  Guess some people had to have it.
499 Euro in Germany, including tax:
http://www.alternate.de/html/product/MSI/N680GTX-PM2D2GD5-OC/995698/?
Still not cheap

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March 22, 2012, 07:00:35 PM
 #47

549 Euros for a card w/ retail price of $500?  Ouch.  Guess some people had to have it.

I hope AMD counters with a drop in 7970 prices.  If they do, I just might go with some 7970s instead of waiting for the 7990.

Agreed.  Lets go pricing war! Lets go!

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March 22, 2012, 08:13:18 PM
 #48

This is gonna be fun, since nVidia has got huge margins on this GPU. This was supposed to be the "performance/$" oriented card, like the GTX 560 Ti and GTX 570 were. I'm expecting heavy price drops on this one as soon as supply stabilizes.
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March 22, 2012, 09:30:44 PM
 #49

Newegg listed "Shader clock: 2012MHz".

Interesting... 1536 ALUs at 2012MHz would give it more processing power than a HD 6990. Either the GTX 680 is going to be the fastest GPU for mining, or it is a blatant mistake from Newegg or the microarchitecture has undisclosed limitations that would prevent exploiting all this apparent power.

Per the NDA lifted today, this was a blatant error. The ALUs will run at 1006-1058 MHz, which should allow this card to mine at an upper bound of 450-470 Mh/s (80-85% the speed of a HD 7970.) This is assuming of course thar Nvidia added a BFI_INT-like instruction to the architecture, which is not certain. If not, performance would be much lower...

Edit: for more accurate perf estimations see https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=73627.0

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March 22, 2012, 11:57:52 PM
 #50

Newegg listed "Shader clock: 2012MHz".

Interesting... 1536 ALUs at 2012MHz would give it more processing power than a HD 6990. Either the GTX 680 is going to be the fastest GPU for mining, or it is a blatant mistake from Newegg or the microarchitecture has undisclosed limitations that would prevent exploiting all this apparent power.

Per the NDA lifted today, this was a blatant error. The ALUs will run at 1006-1058 MHz, which should allow this card to mine at an upper bound of 450-470 Mh/s (80-85% the speed of a HD 7970.) This is assuming of course thar Nvidia added a BFI_INT-like instruction to the architecture, which is not certain. If not, performance would be much lower...

WOW. This would be heaven if true.

Can you say 14 GPU Nvidia mining rig with a relatively cheap motherboard ?

The only thing that may kill it is the crap MH/$ value but prices will drop anyway ...
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March 23, 2012, 02:01:46 AM
 #51

found sommethink like that:

http://www.purepc.pl/files/Image/artykul_zdjecia/2012/Test_GeForce_GTX680/openclaes.png
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March 23, 2012, 09:52:06 AM
 #52

Newegg listed "Shader clock: 2012MHz".

Interesting... 1536 ALUs at 2012MHz would give it more processing power than a HD 6990. Either the GTX 680 is going to be the fastest GPU for mining, or it is a blatant mistake from Newegg or the microarchitecture has undisclosed limitations that would prevent exploiting all this apparent power.

Per the NDA lifted today, this was a blatant error. The ALUs will run at 1006-1058 MHz, which should allow this card to mine at an upper bound of 450-470 Mh/s (80-85% the speed of a HD 7970.) This is assuming of course thar Nvidia added a BFI_INT-like instruction to the architecture, which is not certain. If not, performance would be much lower...

WOW. This would be heaven if true.

Can you say 14 GPU Nvidia mining rig with a relatively cheap motherboard ?

The only thing that may kill it is the crap MH/$ value but prices will drop anyway ...

http://www.techpowerup.com/162935/ZOTAC-Working-On-GeForce-GTX-680-with-2-GHz-Core-Clock-Speed.html  Grin
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