Kepler Strikes Again: Gainward GeForce GTX 670 Review

By on May 10, 2012, 7:59 AM

After many months of talking up its latest architecture, Nvidia reclaimed the single-GPU performance crown with its GeForce GTX 680, which outpaced the Radeon HD 7970 by about 7% in our tests. Kepler's arrival forced AMD to slash prices across its Southern Islands lineup, including a $70 drop on the HD 7970, putting it at $479 or about 4% cheaper than the GTX 680's MSRP of $499.

The HD 7950 also took a $60 cut to $399, making it one of the most tempting 7000 series cards because it has no equal -- or had no equal, we should say. Continuing Kepler's rollout, Nvidia has unveiled the GTX 670, which is priced against the HD 7950 at $399. Despite being $100 cheaper than the GTX 680, the GTX 670 doesn't appear to be much slower on paper, and that could spell disaster for AMD.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 33

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Awesome! I have found my new card!

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I could even get one tomorrow!

[link]

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wow, that is hugely impressive. Performance, price, temps, power, size... Nvidia really have worked wonders with Kepler.

Now let's hope for some price wars! AMD's lineup is still very overpriced even after the recent price cuts.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Awesome! I have found my new card!

Yep, I was hoping to spend $350 max, but the overclocking potential has pretty much changed my mind. Greater than GTX 680 performance at $400? Sign me up!

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

Noise is a very important stat for me when picking a card, any chance you can get some numbers on dB(A)?

Also, if the card that is benchmarked in this review is the factory overclocked Gainward card, shouldn't that be noted in the graphs? There should ideally be three cards reported on, reference, gainward phantom, and gainward phantom overclocked. Otherwise you may confuse people into thinking that the "GTX 670" numbers you have in the benchmark graphs is the same performance they will see on any 670 they may purchase.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Awesome! I have found my new card!

Yep, I was hoping to spend $350 max, but the overclocking potential has pretty much changed my mind. Greater than GTX 680 performance at $400? Sign me up!

You mean OC performance, or just overall performance? Because the review states is just a tidy bit slower (6+%) in comparison to the 680.

Anyway, this was a phenomenal review. I was specially waiting to see how this one compared to the 7970. And it kills it. It is cheaper, just as fast, and it overclocks better. Plus, Nvidia's driver support is better.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Noise is a very important stat for me when picking a card, any chance you can get some numbers on dB(A)?

If the Asus DCUII is anything to go by, you'll be very impressed by noise levels. 25dB under load!!! The Phantom cards are also known to be very quiet.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Great upgrade for my GTX 570. Finally.

I score a P6000 with my i7 930 @ 4.0Ghz pushing my eVGA GTX 570 @ 905/2000.

The performance of this chip looks to be quite impressive.

I play at 1600p and my GTX 570 performs very well at this resolution, but I have hit a VRAM limit and some games I can't quite max out, but can still play at high settings at 4X/4X etc. I want to switch to a more powerful setup to max demanding games, for example Crysis 2 on Ultra with DX11.

Might have to pick up a pair of GTX 670's and a new PSU!

Great review steve.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

This card looks just incredible. I really fear for ATI as they seem to be hurting on both the CPU and GPU side of things. We till need ATI to hang around to provide competition so I hope they step up their game really soon. They also upset many of their followers with the initial pricing of the 7970.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

... I want one. All this time I've been using that Geforce 450 that I got from Techspot... maybe it's time to finally upgrade?

dj1nn40 said:

Noise is a very important stat for me when picking a card, any chance you can get some numbers on dB(A)?

If the Asus DCUII is anything to go by, you'll be very impressed by noise levels. 25dB under load!!! The Phantom cards are also known to be very quiet.

The phantom line do not use fans so it's silent :)

SKYSTAR SKYSTAR said:

outstanding performance and great price ,it seems that amd will break down after its failures on both the CPUs and GPUs.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The phantom line do not use fans so it's silent

Did you simply NOT read the review?

Guest said:

Does it really matter what card you get at this point? no video games are going to need this much power for a long time to come. my AMD 5670 is still performing well on high-max settings for modern games in 1080p which includes Crysis 2, Skyrim and games of that nature. I'm just starting to see this card's potential being reached and maybe a bit overstretched in some instances and it was released as a budget card quite some time ago (brand new price was $120).

Guest said:

@Guest above, You can't have a very large res then, because it's large resolutions that these higher priced cards become more powerful than the cheaper predecessors.

Guest said:

Does it really matter what card you get at this point? no video games are going to need this much power for a long time to come. my AMD 5670 is still performing well on high-max settings for modern games in 1080p which includes Crysis 2, Skyrim and games of that nature. I'm just starting to see this card's potential being reached and maybe a bit overstretched in some instances and it was released as a budget card quite some time ago (brand new price was $120).

Show your proof. With a 560Ti Superclocked card, and an Intel 2500K processor overclocked to 3.6ghz with 16GB of ram, I dip down into low 30's on SWTOR, and BF3. with all settings maxed out. I'm also at 1920x1080, so I'm calling BS on this without proof. 2-4yr old cards ARE showing their age, and these new cards will prove it. Just wait for the benchmarks.

Guest said:

Seems very little point in spending the extra £100 for an additional 5% performance from the 680, some benchmarks show the 670 is producing higher minimum FPS as it is.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Please don't argue with the trolls - it will derail this thread. Also, some people have a different definition of "performing well".

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Awesome! I have found my new card!

Yep, I was hoping to spend $350 max, but the overclocking potential has pretty much changed my mind. Greater than GTX 680 performance at $400? Sign me up!

You mean OC performance, or just overall performance? Because the review states is just a tidy bit slower (6+%) in comparison to the 680.

Anyway, this was a phenomenal review. I was specially waiting to see how this one compared to the 7970. And it kills it. It is cheaper, just as fast, and it overclocks better. Plus, Nvidia's driver support is better.

Right, I was referring to the OC performance (their 1,110MHz core clock) that they do at the end. It'll be interesting to see how AMD cuts their prices, though I can't say that I care, as I'll still go with this puppy.

Ultraman1966 said:

SO the rumours were right, the 680 was meant to be a mid range card but because the 7 series were so paltry/priced so high that Nvidia could release it as a high end product. No way am I spending more than 200 quid to upgrade from my 5850; as it stands nothing is worthwhile at that price range.

Guest said:

I didn't think I'd be retiring my GTX 560 Ti's so soon, but I really wanna max out BF 3 @ 1920x1200. The best thing is, these cards fit right into my power and heat envelope, in fact their slightly better then the GTX 560 Ti in power consumption, but with double performance.

wizardB wizardB said:

Well the numbers look great this and the 680 are basically vaporware as they are not readily available at retailers yet,so by the time Nvidia gets these to market the faster 7000 will have hit the stores

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Well the numbers look great this and the 680 are basically vaporware as they are not readily available at retailers yet,so by the time Nvidia gets these to market the faster 7000 will have hit the stores

Trolling ? 5 of 7 SKU's in stock at Newegg (GTX 670)

OcUK's stock.....seems like a lot of fairly solid vapor

[link] (HD 7970 at 0.36%...and been out three months longer...the 7970 was also at 0.22% one month after first availability)

Staff
Steve Steve said:

How long though till your newegg link looks like this?

[link]

I really hope it doesn't happen though.

Sarcasm Sarcasm said:

Wow, to think Nvidia couldn't make it any harder on AMD.

I was honestly expecting only GTX 580 performance, but they really blew this one out of the water.

Now I'm curious if they will release the GTX 660 with performance on par with a GTX 580 at $299. Two of those babies in SLI for only $600 will be killer.

Oh well, glad I have my GTX 680. Was lucky to nab one for $400 off craigslist. But honestly if I didn't have this 680, I would have just bought the 670 and by the looks of it would have been just as happy.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

@Steve

Ha. probably depends on how long Nvidia have been stockpiling salvage parts, if AMD are going with price reduction v2.0, and how quickly stock gets depleted against Nvidia's increased wafer allocation.

Judging by reviews around the place- yours included- I'd say that anyone who had the 680/690 on a wish list/stock notification, or were fence sitting because of pricing, will probably find the 670 a viable reason to jump onboard. Easy to see why Nvidia didn't launch at the same time as the 680...the 670 makes a much more compelling purchase....not to mention making the 690, 680, 7970 and 7950 redundant at their present price points. Will be interesting to see how the 660 stacks up- though I'm guessing that doesn't make an entrance until Nvidia has exhausted their GF114 inventory

I hope the January-March buyers of 7970's at $US550 got their moneys worth. For my money I'm picking the "GHz Edition" takes the $460-480 bracket presently occupied by the current 925M core version which will then move down to $399 to combat the 670. A 30% pricecut in six weeks.

Guest said:

"A 30% pricecut in six weeks."

It's worse than that. After market 670 OCs are delivering > HD7970 level of performance for $400-420. Reference 7970 is worthless for overclocking (unless you water cool it or play with headphones) since its fan sounds like a jet engine. I remember when 7970s first launched, the after market versions were going for at least $580. So a $400 GTX670 delivers similar performance today --> That's a $180 loss of value. Early adopters know this though, I hope.

The worst was HD7870/7950. Those cards going for $330-400 are just laughable now. HD7870 should be $299 at most and 7950 at $349. AMD got owned this generation by a mid-range Kepler chip. They had price/performance, performance/watt in the bank last 3 generations and lost every key metric outside of compute performance. They engineers should go back to the drawing board for HD8000 series and deliver the goods.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

[AMD] had price/performance, performance/watt in the bank last 3 generations and lost every key metric outside of compute performance. They engineers should go back to the drawing board for HD8000 series and deliver the goods.

Turned out to be a false economy. Nvidia cut their teeth on adding compute with the G80 over four years ago at the expense of those metrics. AMD concentrated on gaming performance only since they had very little pro market presence and little inclination to expand it. AMD are simply playing catch up adding compute now. It's probably easer to slim down/strip out compute functionality to a design than to add it.

The HD 8000 series is already laid down and likely well advanced. It usually takes 2-3 years of planning and design before the cards actually see the light of day, so AMD were largely committed to GCN and the specification parameters for the 8000 even before the 7000 were out of the oven.

DanUK DanUK said:

What a great card!

AMD must really be starting to feel the pain.

If I didn't already have a 580 I'd jump right on this!

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

What a great card! AMD must really be starting to feel the pain.

Enthusiast graphics card sales are more of a marketing coup and a way to keep the brand front-and-centre in the tech arena. AMD's pain is self inflicted in graphics - the high margin pro/workstation/hpc markets (which GTX 680/670 doesn't compete in) are still an Nvidia stronghold with Fermi based cards (and earlier) due to offering a complete hardware+driver+software ecosystem.

AMD still lead Nvidia in foundry process knowledge and time to market, and just as tellingly, the high volume low end of the market.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Yeah it happened

[link]

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Must be time to roll out the GTX 660 then!....Though the GK 110 looks tasty (preliminary numbers from the published die shot : 2880 shader/cuda cores, 180 TMU's, 48 ROP's, 384-bit memory bus, 2 TFlop double precision -FP64)

A big iron part obviously (the K20), but I'm sure there will be a few enthusiasts ready to throw their cash at a gaming version

...pity these aren't consumer grade- quad SLI on a stick

Guest said:

Thanks for the review, it pushed me over the edge. Gonna order one right now!

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