NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Review: Retaking The Performance Crownby Ryan Smith on March 22, 2012 9:00 AM EST
Total War: Shogun 2
Total War: Shogun 2 is the latest installment of the long-running Total War series of turn based strategy games, and alongside Civilization V is notable for just how many units it can put on a screen at once. As it also turns out, it’s the single most punishing game in our benchmark suite (on higher end hardware at least).
With Shogun 2 the GTX 680 sees its first decisive win at last. At the all-punishing resolution of 2560 the GTX 680 not only becomes the first single-GPU card to crack 30fps, but it takes a 16% lead over the 7970 here. Even at a more practical resolution and setting of 1920 the GTX 680 still leads by 15%. Meanwhile the GTX 580 fares even worse here, with the GTX 680 leading by 51% at 2560 and a whopping 63% at 1920. Even the GTX 590 can only barely beat the GTX 680 at 2560, only to lose at 1920.
At this point we’re not sure what it is about the GTX 680 that improves on the GTX 580 by so much. Shogun 2 does use a lot of VRAM, and while the greater amount of VRAM on the GTX 680 alone wouldn’t seem to explain this, the fact that most of that memory is consumed by textures just might. We may be seeing the benefit of the much greater number of texture units GTX 680 has.