|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Video Card Tests|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 10 May 2012|
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First Look: GeForce GTX 670
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 is a 1.5" tall double-bay, 3.9" wide, 9.5" long graphics card that will fit into nearly all mid-tower computer case enclosures with room to spare. GeForce GTX 670 is shorter than NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 570, GeForce GTX 580, and also the AMD Radeon HD 6970, and Radeon HD 7970 (each 10.5" long).
A rear mounted 60mm (2.4") blower motor fan with a slight offset takes advantage of the chamfered depression to draw cool air into the angled fan shroud, allowing more air to reach the intake whenever two or more video cards are combined in close-proximity SLI configurations. NVIDIA's add-in card partners with engineering resources may incorporate their own cooling solution into the GTX 670, but most brands are likely to adopt the cool-running reference design.
Specified at 170W Thermal Design Power output, the GeForce GTX 670 requires less power than its predecessor and several other flagship products. Because TDP demands have been reduced, NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 670 has also reduced power supply requirements to a pair of six-pin PCI-E power connections - identical to the GeForce GTX 570. However, with GeForce GTX 670 the two power connections are relocated to the side of the video card so it fits better into small enclosures.
The GTX 670 offers two simultaneously functional dual-link DVI (DL-DVI) connections, a full-size HDMI 1.4a output, and a DisplayPort 1.2 connection. Add-in partners may elect to remove or possibly further extend any of these video interfaces, but most will likely retain the original engineering. Only one of these video cards is necessary to drive triple-display NVIDIA 3D-Vision Surround functionality, when using both DL-DVI and either the HDMI or DP connection for third output. All of these video interfaces consume exhaust-vent real estate, but this has very little impact on cooling because the 28nm Kepler GPU generates less heat than past GeForce processors, and also because NVIDIA intentionally positions the heatsink far enough from these vents to equalize exhaust pressure.
As with past-generation GeForce GTX series graphics cards, the GTX 670 is capable of two and three card SLI configurations. Because GeForce GTX 670 is PCI-Express 3.0 compliant device, the added bandwidth could potentially come into demand as future games and applications make use of these resources. Most games work well using moderate settings on a single GeForce GTX 670 graphics card, but multi-card SLI configurations are perfect for gamers wanting to experience high-performance video games played at their best quality settings with bells and whistles enabled.
The exposed printed circuit board on the backside of the video card reveals an interesting discovery: GeForce GTX 670 uses a much smaller PCB then the profile suggests. Past GeForce products generally use a shroud to cover the entire length of the circuit board, but with GTX 670 the PCB measures only 7.0" of this 9.5" card, with a 2.5" extension to support the cooling fan.
In the next section, we detail our test methodology and give specifications for all of the benchmark tools and hardware used for our performance tests...
VGA Testing Methodology
The Microsoft DirectX-11 graphics API is native to the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, and will be the primary O/S for our test platform. DX11 is also available as a Microsoft Update for the Windows Vista O/S, so our test results apply to both versions of the Operating System. The majority of benchmark tests used in this article are comparative to DX11 performance, however some high-demand DX10 tests have also been included.
In each benchmark test there is one 'cache run' that is conducted, followed by five recorded test runs. Results are collected at each setting with the highest and lowest results discarded. The remaining three results are averaged, and displayed in the performance charts on the following pages.
A combination of synthetic and video game benchmark tests have been used in this article to illustrate relative performance among graphics solutions. Our benchmark frame rate results are not intended to represent real-world graphics performance, as this experience would change based on supporting hardware and the perception of individuals playing the video game.
Intel X79 Express Test System
DirectX-10 Benchmark Applications
DirectX-11 Benchmark Applications
PCI-Express Graphics Cards