|PNY XLR8 GeForce GTX 670 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 19 June 2012|
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PNY XLR8 GeForce GTX 670 Video Card Review
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by PNY.
Most gamers simply want to play upcoming releases without worrying over hardware requirements or system compatibility, and the GeForce GTX 670 video card is the most recent graphics product that deliver it all in one package. For around $399 the GeForce GTX 670 matches price to the AMD Radeon HD 7950, yet performs to the level of Radeon HD 7970. The PNY XLR8 GeForce GTX 670 keeps to NVIDIA's ultra-efficient design and delivers top-end potential while keeping some space reserved for overclocking. Offered as a bonus to their customers PNY also includes a thin-profile 72" long HDMI cable, and a free 3-month membership to the E-Sports Entertainment gaming community. With DirectX-11 games such as Battlefield 3 and Max Payne 3 demanding more from computer hardware, Benchmark Reviews tests how well the PNY XLR8 GeForce GTX 670 video card (VCGGTX670XPB) delivers the required graphical performance.
NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 670 is built using the same GK104 GPU found inside GTX 680, along with 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at the same clock speeds. NVIDIA targets high-performance gaming enthusiasts look to upgrade their aging graphics card with their GeForce GTX 670 video card, who tend to update their hardware every few years. To best illustrate performance potential for the PNY XLR8 GeForce GTX 670, we use only the most demanding PC video game titles and benchmark software available. Video frame rate performance is tested against a large collection of competing desktop graphics products, such as the AMD Radeon HD 7970 (Tahiti). Crysis Warhead compares DirectX 10 performance levels, joined by newer DirectX 11 benchmarks such as: 3DMark11, Batman: Arkham City, Battlefield 3, and Unigine Heaven 3.
Of the many platforms available to enjoy video games, there's no question that the highest quality graphics come from PC. While game developers might not consider PC gaming as lucrative as entertainment consoles, companies like NVIDIA use desktop graphics to set the benchmark for smaller more compact designs that make it into notebooks, tablets, and smartphone devices. NVIDIA's Kepler GPU architecture is an example of this, delivering unprecedented performance while operating cooler and consuming far less power than previous flagship discrete graphics cards. Featuring their new NVIDIA GPU Boost technology, the GeForce GTX 670 video card can dynamically adjust power and clock speeds based on real-time application demands.
NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 670 graphics card is designed around their next-generation Kepler GPU architecture, which adopts key aspects from the previous Fermi architecture. Building from the 32-core Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) from Fermi on the GeForce GTX 580, NVIDIA optimized Kepler with twice the performance per watt using an innovative 192-core streaming multiprocessor (referred to as SMX) that exchanges a double speed processor clock for more processor cores. Utilizing seven SMX units, the GeForce GTX 670 boasts 1344 total CUDA cores which manage shader, texture, geometry, and compute tasks. GTX 670 shares an identical memory subsystem with GeForce GTX 680, which reduces the pipeline penalty for these many cores and allows memory speeds up to 6.0 Gb/s. Combined, these architecture improvements offer impressive performance gains while improving overall power efficiency, yet they actually represent only a small portion of new technology available with this product.
In addition to a new and improved Kepler GPU architecture with NVIDIA GPU Boost technology, the GeForce GTX 670 video card delivers refinements in the user experience. Smoother FXAA and adaptive vSync technology results in less chop, stutter, and tearing in on-screen motion. Overclockers might see their enthusiast experiments threatened by the presence of NVIDIA GPU Boost technology, but dynamically adjusting power and clock speed profiles can be supplemented with additional overclocking or shut off completely. Adaptive vSync on the other hand, is a welcome addition by all users - from the gamer to the casual computer user. This new technology adjusts the monitor's refresh rate whenever the FPS rate becomes too low to properly sustain vertical sync (when enabled), thereby reducing stutter and tearing artifacts. Finally, NVIDIA is introducing TXAA, a film-style anti-aliasing technique with a mix of hardware post-processing, custom CG file style AA resolve, and an optional temporal component for better image quality.