Insane performance at a very sane price.
We’ve always had a soft spot for the middleman in Nvidia’s performance GPU family, starting with the GeForce GTX 470, following up with fond memories of the GTX 570. These products have traditionally aimed for the high-end gamer who can’t afford the best of the best, but still wants enough performance to crank the detail settings to Ultra. With the release of the GTX 670, that performance is better than ever, as this card hasn’t suffered the extensive hobbling of prior versions.
Cheaper than its bigger brother, but with similar levels of performance, it's a winner.
The GTX 670 uses the same GK104 processor found in the GTX 680 and 690, but one of the eight SMX clusters has been disabled. Other than that, everything else remains intact. The same 2GB of GDDR5 memory is clocked identically to the GTX 680 at a blistering 1,502MHz, quad-pumped to deliver an effective 6,000MHz. The vanilla GTX 670’s GPU core frequency has been slightly slowed, clocking in with a maximum boost speed of 980MHz, slightly down from the 1,125MHz boost we’ve seen on the GTX 680. However, as seen with this ASUS variant’s factory overclock, the GTX 670 can easily be tweaked to run at basically the same speed as its big brother.
We can expect to see a wide variety of different coolers on the many different GTX 670s, and ASUS has chosen to deck its version out with the impressive dual-fan DirectCU II TOP cooling solution. Even with the overclocked GPU running under load at a healthy 1,125MHz we could barely hear this dual-slot cooler doing its job, and we’re sure even running two of them will remain whisper quiet. Given the excellent cooling we were hoping to see better overclocks, but could only squeeze an extra 50MHz out of the chip and another 100MHz out the memory.
Our review sample came packing twin DVI outputs, along with a single HDMI and DisplayPort out. All four can be used at once courtesy of Nvidia’s 3D Vision Surround Technology.
To test how close the GTX 670 is to the 680, we put it through our standard GPU benchmarks. It should be noted that this version of the GTX 670 will be slightly faster than a default GTX 670 thanks to the ASUS factory overclock. Tweaked or not, it’s hard not to be impressed by the numbers. In both 3DMark 11 and DiRT 3, the GTX 670 was just 10% behind its bigger brother and well ahead of AMD’s fastest product, the Radeon HD 7970. To our amazement, the GTX 670 then went on to equal the GTX 680 in the extremely demanding Batman: Arkham City test.
Considering the GTX 670 can be had for around 30% cheaper than its big brother (the street price is considerably cheaper than the RRP), yet offers most of the performance, we have to give it the nod of approval. In fact, we were so impressed by this product that the author decided to buy two 670s for a new SLI setup. You can’t get a bigger seal of approval than that.
Special features :
- Digi+ VRM voltage management
- GPU Tweak software
- DirectCU II custom cooler
Pros : Excellent performance, default version is a solid overclocker, whisper quiet operation.
Cons : Stock availability may be an issue.
Verdict : 10/10. Editor's choice!
Available from ASUS, retailing for $615