Gaming Performance

At this point, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680's gaming prowess should be relatively well known. AVADirect has elected not to pursue any performance tuning on the GTX 680, but the boost clock should do most of the work for them anyhow given the high thermal headroom of the massive heatsink and fan unit on the card. I do appreciate that NVIDIA got with the times with the Kepler generation and supports more than two simultaneous video outputs (allowing us to test single card systems at surround resolutions); they've even done one better than AMD in this case by not requiring the third video output to be DisplayPort.

Batman: Arkham City

Battlefield 3

Civilization V

DiRT 3

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Portal 2

Total War: Shogun 2

1080p hasn't been an issue for the top end of this generation or the last one; we frequently run into situations where systems are CPU limited. Surround testing is what really pushes modern graphics hardware.

Batman: Arkham City

Battlefield 3

DiRT 3

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Portal 2

Total War: Shogun 2

For the most part, the surround results line up about where you'd expect. The GTX 680 is a strong performer that really only loses its footing in Batman: Arkham City (with its abysmal DirectX 11 implementation) and Battlefield 3 (which just punishes graphics hardware anyhow). People who want to game in surround on this system will have no problem doing so.

Application and Futuremark Performance Build, Noise, Heat, and Power Consumption
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  • A5 - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    The Mac Pro is a professional workstation designed by one of the world's largest PC companies. Comparing it to one of these boutique gaming systems is insane as it is designed for a different market - if you need that style of system, you should be looking at HP's Z-series or a Dell Precision T3600. Reply
  • iSayuSay - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    Well .. Dell is the second or third biggest PC manufacturer. Their AlienWare is still generic components wrapped in some awkward and LED-ish cases. Now any PC boutique can do that too.

    Being a big company does not mean they're able or willing to design a nice looking tower. I can see the possibility, If one so inclined, people would interested and pay premium for it.

    Mac fanboys aside, I think MacPro could be a great computer, but Apple seems does not want it to. Slow lame updates and all.
    Reply
  • Sub Zero - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    I've bought 2 high-end machines through AVA and 2 from CyberPowerPC. I'll never buy another from CyberPowerPC but will gladly buy from AVA.

    Cyber breaks out good packaging, thermal compound and yes, even good wiring - as Separate Charges. $50 bucks for all that? If you buy a huge CPU fan like the one in this build, and don't support it during shipping, it can cause damage. Happened to me on the last build, and that's why I switched over to AVA.

    The AVA system I just got uses the Corsair 650D, and it's default fan config is very quiet. Built in fan controller in hardware. Plus, the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional motherboard allows you to set target fan speeds as low as you wish, so at idle, you can manually tweak every other fan connected to the Motherboard so they too are nearly silent.

    A good case can make a huge difference and it is odd that AVA would include that particular case in that build. But thankfully, you can override that choice when ordering, and if you do that, it looks like you can snag a high-quality, low noise system with very little compromise.
    Reply
  • casteve - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    Ryan,

    Don't know if you knew this...but the case has been through a revision since it's last review. While it's not the prettiest or feature filled case out there, at least it's not starved for air any more. You could pull the AVA Direct guts out, put your std case testing parts in for a quick sound/thermal test and see.
    Reply
  • casteve - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    Sorry, meant Dustin. Reply
  • Folterknecht - Monday, August 27, 2012 - link

    total overkill was my first thought when I saw the the specs and your test results prove it. 650 W would be enough and you still could put in a second GTX680, while it would reduce the power draw and increase efficiency. Under full load that 650W PSU would at least run at ~50% resulting in best efficiency without getting noisy if you stick with Seasonic or BeQuiet! ... Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - link

    Agreed. That PSU doesn't make sense for 99.98% of the buyers. Such a waste. Reply

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