titleWhen Nvidia launched Kepler with the GTX 680 I was impressed with the launch price of the card but even at such a great value it is still out of reach for some people. Just because you can’t afford the top card doesn’t mean you don’t want to experience Kepler’s performance. Of course it was only a matter of time before we saw Nvidia filling in the gaps in their product line, starting first with the GTX 690 then going to the next step down from the GTX 680, the GTX 670. Today we get to have a look to see how the performance compares to both the GTX 680 as well as AMD’s offerings. We are also very curious how it compares to the GTX 580, a card that has found its way into most of our office PC’s.  

Product Name: Nvidia GTX 670

Review Sample Provided by: Nvidia

Review By: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

 

The GTX 670 is packed with the same features that we saw on the GTX 680 including their unique take on overclocking and GPU Boost. The 670 uses the same GK104 GPU, 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at the same clock speed as the GTX 680 as well. The GTX 670 comes with 1344 CUDA Cores and 7 SMX units compared to the GTX 680’s 1536 CUDA Cores and 8 SMX units. The base clock speed of the GTX 670 is 915MHz with the typical GPU Boost speed reaching 980MHz with this changing depending on the game/application as we explained in our original Kepler launch writeup.

As of launch the GTX 670 fits into Nvidia’s product line below the GTX 680 and above the GTX 570.

Specifications

Processing Units

Graphics Processing Clusters

4

SMXs

7

CUDA Cores

1344

Texture Units

112

ROP Units

32

Clock Speeds

Base Clock

915 MHz

Boost Clock

980 MHz

Memory Clock (Data rate)

6008 MHz

L2 Cache Size

512KB

Memory

Total Video Memory

2048MB GDDR5

Memory Interface

256-bit

Total Memory Bandwidth

192.2 GB/s

Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear)

102.5 GigaTexels/sec

Physical & Thermal

Fabrication Process

28 nm

Transistor Count

3.54 Billion

Connectors

2 x Dual-Link DVI 1 x HDMI 1 x DisplayPort

Form Factor

Dual Slot

Power Connectors

2 x 6-pin

Recommended Power Supply

500 Watts

Thermal Design Power (TDP)

170 Watts

Thermal Threshold

98° C



Card Layout and Photos

Here is a shot of what the GTX 670 came to us in. It’s actually the same box that the GTX 680 shipped with as well. As you can see from one of the shots one of my cats though this would be the perfect hiding spot but was clearly larger than the box.

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Similar to the GTX 680, the GTX 670 has a full plastic fan shroud covering all of the heatsink and allowing the card's fan to push the hot air directly out the back without feeding any back into your case. The design of that shoud is actually a lot more stylized than what we saw with the GTX 680, this time sharing a similar design as the GTX 690. One other thing that is going to stand out right away with the GTX 670 is the cards interestingly placed power connections. You have two six pin power plugs to power the card but they are placed facing up about a 1/3 of the way down the card.

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Here is a better look at the unique shape of the fan shroud.  It is all made of plastic unlike the GTX 690, but this design is a lot more eye catching than past reference designs.

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For the GTX 670’s fan, Nvidia actually went with the same model used in the GTX 680, so you can expect this card to have great cooling when needed. We will see later what that performance will be.

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For SLI connections the GTX 670 has two, meaning you can run up to four GTX 670’s in Quad SLI.

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Wait what? I wouldn’t be shocked if readers took a double take just like I did when the card came in. Nvidia spent a little time rearranging the GTX 670’s PCB. Thanks to how power efficient the GTX 670’s GPU is (141W) they were able to move the power supply to next to the GPU. Then they rotated the GPU to improve the power integrity and increase efficiency. With all of the power circuitry moved they didn’t need the entire right side of the PCB, because of that they shortened it to save space. They went ahead and kept the reference coolers design long to give additional cooling as you can see with the plastic area on the back of the card.

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At the PCI slots you have two DVI ports, one being a dual link and the second a single link as well as a full sized HDMI and a full sized display port. I love seeing that full sized HDMI port, the micro HDMI port Nvidia went with last year caused me issues multiple times when taking my rig to LAN’s. At least now if you forget or damage your cable you can pick a replacement up at a nearby store. As for venting for the cooling on the PCI slots, Nvidia has packed vents in every spot they could without compromising the number of display connections. You can also tell that each vent hole is as large as they can get, with just a sliver of metal between each hole. This gives the best air flow possible.

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Here are two shots comparing the GTX 670 to the GTX 580, later on when we test the cards performance we are really excited to see how the two perform against each other. The GTX580 being the golden standard of performance up until the GTX 680’s launch.

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Our Test Rig

Intel i7-3960X

Asus Rampage IV X79 Motherboard 

Seagate Constellation 2tb Hard drive 

Noctua NH-D14 SE2011

Cooler Master Gold Series 1200 Watt PSU

https://www.highspeedpc.com/ Test Bench

Kingston 1600Mhz DDR3 Quad Channel Ram

Kingston Hyper X 120 SSD’s in Raid 0

 


Our Testing Procedures

Batman Arkham Asylum (built-in benchmark; 1920 x 1080; Multi Sample AA 16XQ; Detail Level: Very High; Bloom: Yes; Dynamic Shadows: Yes; Motion Blur: Yes; Distortion: Yes; Fog Volumes: Yes; Spherical Harmonic Lighting: Yes; Ambient Occlusion: Yes; PhysX: Off)

F1 2011 (built-in benchmark; 1920 x 1080; Multi Sample AA 4x; Vsync: Off; DirectX: 11; Shadows: Ultra; Particles: High; Crowd: High; Drivers: Ultra; Distant Vehicles: Ultra; Objects: Ultra; Trees: Ultra; Vehicle Reflections: Ultra; Post Process: Ultra; Skidmarks: On; Cloth: High)

Super Street Fighter Arcade Edition (built-in benchmark; 1920 x 1080; Multi Sample AA: C16xQ; Vsync: Off;Filtering: 16x; Model Quality: High; Stage Quality: High; Soft Shadow: Extreme; Self Shadow: High; Motion Blur: High; Particles: High; Extra Effect: Off)

Dirt 3 (192x1080 - 4xMSAA - high settings, in-game benchmark)
Metro 2033 DX11 (built-in benchmark, 1920 x 1080; DirectX: DirectX 11; Quality: Very High; Antialiasing: MSAA 4X; Texture filtering: AF 4X; Advanced PhysX: Enabled; Tessellation: Enabled; DOF: Disabled)
Metro 2033 DX10 (built-in benchmark, 1920 x 1080; DirectX: DirectX 10; Quality: Very High; Antialiasing: MSAA 4X; Texture filtering: AF 4X; Advanced PhysX: Enabled; Tessellation: Enabled; DOF: Disabled)
Total War: Shogun 2 Direct X11 Benchmark High setting

Crysis 2 Using Adrenaline Crysis 2 benchmark two runs. The first set of runs set to ultra-settings, 1080p, 4x Anti-Aliasing, DX11, Laplace Edge Detection Edge AA, on the Times Square map, with hi res textures turned on. The second benchmark set to Xtreme at 1080p, no AA, DX9, Edge Blur, Hi-Res Textures turned off on the Times Square Map.

Battlefield 3 Using Fraps with the game set to Ultra settings with 4x MSAA Antialiasing Deferred, 16X Anisotropic Filter, at 1920x1080.

Synthetic Benchmarks For video cards our synthetic benchmarks are limited to 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark Vantage 2011. 3DMark Vantage is run with PPU turned off with results from both the performance and high settings. In 3DMark Vantage 2011 we run both performance and extreme benchmarks

Unreal Heaven Benchmark DX11 (API: DirectX11; Tessellation: Disabled; Shaders: High; Anisotropy: Off; Stereo 3D: Disabled; Multi Monitor: Unchecked; Anti-aliasing: 8x; Full Screen: Checked; Resolution:  1920 x 1080)

FurMark We use Furmark to push the video card to the limit and test its cooling performance. Keep in mind that FurMark pushes cards well beyond what they would ever do in game. Our tests are done using the built in 1080p benchmark. All testing is done with a room temperature of 70 degrees.

 


Cooling and Noise

For both our noise and cooling performance testing we put every card under more load than you would ever see in everyday use. To say that Furmark is an extreme situation is an understatement. We use it because we want to see what the cards cooler design will do when pushed to the limit. This also gives us a chance to test the cards noise output as well. All testing is done with a room temperature of 70 degrees.

wm furmark

As you can see above the GTX 670 did get a little warm, very similar to the GTX 680 that we tested in the same way. In fact we saw it get two degree’s warmer than the GTX 680, but I would imagine that this has to do with the more compact PCB that we spoke about before. In our in game benchmarks the card ran cool, only pushing beyond its limits with Furmark did we see these temperatures. With the GTX 670’s cooler pushed to the limit I would have expected it to crank up and put out ear piercing noise like most cards but I was impressed with the cards noise output. At Idle and in normal gaming situations we experienced a little noise on the test bench, but nothing that you would ever notice in a real case.

 


3DMark

Across the board we saw similar numbers in all of our 3DMark testing with just a few exceptions. The GTX 670 comes in just below the GTX 680 in all of our testing with it out performing everything AMD has to offer in 3DMark 11 and with just the HD 7970 slightly outperforming in our 3DMark Vantage testing. Even more impressive is the jump in performance we see from the GTX 580 to the GTX 670, remember how we compared the overall card sizes before, not even taking into account the extremely small PCB. It’s amazing how far we have come in such a short period of time!

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In Game Performance

In our in game testing we are using in game benchmarks and fraps in different games to give you an idea how each card will perform in each game. Starting with the popular Battlefield 3 we saw numbers only 4 FPS less than the more expensive GTX 680, along with that we had an FPS that is well above what would be considered playable. In fact anything over than 60 FPS is perfectly smooth.

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Our Crysis 2 results were very similar with the only exception being in our DX11 Ultra Textures testing the R7950 from XFX outperformed the GTX 670 slightly, this has everything to do with the additional memory 3Gb vs 2Gb.

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Dirt 3, a game that tends to favor AMD cards put the GTX 670 in just below the overclocked 7950 and 7970 from XFX but only slightly.

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Metro 2033 testing put the GTX 670 in just behind the GTX 680 with only a few FPS between the two.

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Shogun 2 put the GTX 670 just above the stock HD 7970 but behind the R7950 and R7970 from XFX with their overclocks. Even with the overclock the difference between the GTX 670 and the R7950 was only slight.

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Along with our normal benchmarks we have added three new benchmarks that you can expect to see more of in the future. Obviously they aren’t any good for comparing the GTX 670 to any other cards but it’s good to know that you can expect amazing performance on all three with the GTX 670 as seen below. Be sure to check out the Our Testing Procedures page to see how we got these numbers, this way you can run the same tests at the same settings to see where your current setup stands.

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wm f12011

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Overall and FV

The GTX 670 is basically a GTX 680 with one SMX missing meaning performance isn’t far from its slightly older brother. But with a discount of $100 over the GTX 680 this is lined up to be a great value. I was really interested to see how the GTX 670 compared to the GTX 580 due to their similar price points currently. The GTX 670 stomped all over the GTX 580 as well as just about everything that AMD had to offer. The only thing holding it and the GTX 680 back is onboard memory, with AMD’s HD 6970 and HD 6950 both sporting 3Gb to NVidia’s 2Gb’s. As you can see in our performance testing the only time this really comes into play is when you have large texture packs like in Crysis 2 or if you are running a high resolution monitor like a 30 inch. For most people the GTX 670 will be more power than they need for anything out currently. All of that with all of the same features that we saw with the GTX 680 like 3 + 1 monitor support. With this card being quad SLI capable, I am really curious how three GTX 680’s would compare to four GTX 670’s seeing as how the price difference between the two isn’t that much.  

fv2tophonorseditorschoice

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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garfi3ld replied the topic: #25059 10 May 2012 17:00
For those who can't afford the GTX 680 but want nearly the same performance, the GTX 670!

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