Nvidia may have taken their time with Kepler, but the end result speaks for itself. They’ve managed to deliver an excellent high-end solution, while keeping the power draw and temperatures in check and to top it all, launch it at a very aggressive price. Since then, they’ve launched the GTX 690, a monster of a card, which combines two Kepler cores on a single PCB. While this is a great exercise, it’s not the most practical solution. Gamers were waiting for a more budget friendly Kepler solution, something with the performance of a GTX 580, but priced closer to the GTX 570, and today Nvidia's launched just that. The GTX 670 was designed to take down AMD’s HD 7950 and also meant as a replacement for the GTX 580. The card hasn’t been stripped down too much, so we can expect up to 85 percent of the power of the GTX 680.
Decent design and build
Design and Build
The card is a lot smaller and lighter than the GTX 680, which should make it easier to install in slightly cramped cases as well. The outer shell is made up of mostly plastic and isn’t as much of a looker as compared to the GTX 680, but it gets the job done. There’s a single blower style fan at the end used to channel air directly out through the rear vents. The power plugs are placed more or less towards the middle of the card and side by side, rather than one below the other, like on the GTX 680.
A highlight of the specs
Just like the GTX 680, the GTX 670 also supports 3DVision Surround, so we have two DVI ports, HDMI and DisplayPort. The rest of the space is occupied by the exhaust vents. The card also has the Geforce GTX branding on the side, but it’s not backlit like on the GTX 690. The card supports four-way SLI, along with other features that come with the SMX architecture. The card uses aluminium heatsinks with a copper base in order to dissipate heat, which is why it’s so light. Overall, Nvidia's done a decent job with the design and build and while many AIB partners will be using the same design, we can expect custom GTX 670s to arrive shortly from MSI, Galaxy, etc.
Like we mentioned earlier, Nvidia hasn’t neutered the card too much, except for a bit of the clock speed and the number of shaders. The GTX 670 comes with 1344 CUDA cores (GTX 680 had 1536) and the clock speed has been dropped a bit to 915MHz with the GPU Boost frequency set to 980MHz. Thankfully they haven’t touched the memory and you still get 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at 6Gbps. With this, they’ve managed to drop the TDP down to 170W, which is very good for a high-end card. Nvidia recommends a PSU of 500W and above for the GTX 670, which is quite reasonable if you ask us.
Two 6-pin power connectors are present
Since the GTX 670 is based on the same SMX architecture, you automatically inherit all the features of Kepler, including GPU Boost, Adaptive V-sync, FXAA, TXAA and 3D Vision Surround.
The card runs extremely silent even under stress and with the fan speed left to ‘Auto’. Even with this, the temperatures remain well in check at 45 degrees Celsius on idle and maxing out at about 78 degrees Celsius on load. This is very good news, especially in the hot and humid climate that we have over here. Since this was an open testbench, you may get slightly higher temperatures at home once the card is in the chassis, but with the right cooling and some good cable management, you should be good to go.
3DMark is a computer benchmarking tool created and developed by Futuremark Corporation to determine the performance of a computer's 3D graphic rendering and CPU workload processing capabilities. The latest version makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. We used the ‘Performance’ preset for this benchmark.
Battlefield 3 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and is based on the new Frostbite 2 game engine. The game only supports DX10 and DX11, which enables enhanced in-game destruction with Destruction 3.0, creating more refined physics than its predecessor and quasi-realtime radiosity using Geomerics' Enlighten technology. The game is a visual treat and a nightmare for graphics cards, which makes it perfect for our test. We used the ‘Ultra High’ preset, Post AA – High, Blur – Full, Field of View – 90, Level – ‘Fear no Evil’.
Crysis 2 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Crytek and is based on the new CryEngine 3. Just like the first iteration of the game, Crysis 2 continues to be one of the best looking shooters to date. The settings used for this benchmark were ‘Ultra High’ preset in Adrenalin, DX11 and High-resolution texture patch.
Dirt 3 is a rallying video game and the third in the Dirt series of the Colin McRae Rally series, developed and published by Codemasters. The game is extremely scalable and features DX11 tessellation effects. We used the built-in benchmark tool, along with ‘Ultra’ quality preset.
Metro 2033 is a first-person shooter video game, which continues to bring even the toughest graphics cards down to their knees. The game has a lot of DX11 eye-candy, which really puts a strain on any GPU. All DX11 features were enabled for the benchmark and we used the “Tower” level for our test.
Batman: Arkham City
A sequel to Arkham Asylum, Arkham City features a more open world gameplay as well as DX11 elements. For this test, we disabled Nvidias’s PhysX, since it would be unfair to AMD’s cards. Everything else was maxed out.
Now for the best part. Nvidia have priced the GTX 670 in India at 29,999. However, we managed to get the pricing for ZOTAC's GTX 670 retail card, which will be closer to 27,999 for the standard edition and and 29,555 for the AMP! Edition. We just got an update from ZOTAC and as it turns out, the standard edition will cost you 29,999 while the AMP! Edition is priced at 30,999. While it’s still a lot of money, it’s currently the best performing card in that price range. Not only does it blow the HD 7950 out of the water, it even races past the HD 7970 and is very close on the heels of the GTX 680 (a little too close, if you ask me). This gives it very good value, as you don’t have to shell out the extra 5K for the GTX 680. Nvidia has once again delivered an excellent solution for the hardcore gamer and enthusiasts. Not only does it offer amazing performance, it’s also small in size, sips your PSU, rather than drain it and is priced competitively as well.
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