The GeForce GTX 670 has made our job easy, as there is very little to critique. Based on results from the dozen games we tested, Nvidia achieved its goal of matching the Radeon HD 7970'soutput, while remaining priced against the more affordable HD 7950 at $399. This assuming the latest Kepler card will actually become available at its intended price point over the coming weeks, unlike the GTX 680.
Besides concerns about its availability and true street price, we're thrilled with the GTX 670 as it was 15% faster than the HD 7950 on average and on par with the HD 7970. It also bested Nvidia's last-gen single-GPU flagship by 21% at 2560x1600 and it was only 6% slower than the GTX 680 while being 20% cheaper -- awesome news for value-minded enthusiasts who still want top-end performance.
Raw speed aside, we were also impressed by the GTX 670's diminutive footprint as its PCB is no bigger than an HD 7750's, making it the smallest high-end graphics card we've seen. For now, manufacturers are using Nvidia's specs, which extend cards by 70mm due to their oversize cooler. However, we expect to see compact versions of the GTX 670 that will be friendlier for microATX or even Mini-ITX systems.
Gainward's GTX 670 Phantom is well-designed, operating at near silence throughout testing. The card also overclocked smoothly, requiring little effort to push the GTX 670 beyond the GTX 680 and even last-generation dual-GPU cards. With that in mind, there isn't much more that needs to be said: the GTX 670 is today's best value, most efficient high-end graphics card. Again, there's just the matter of availability.
Pros: Performance matches more expensive cards, behaves like a true high-end board, and overclocks like a champ. Great value at its intended price point. Gainward's cooling works flawlessly.
Cons: Availability remains a concern with latest Nvidia cards, which can potentially affect pricing and value.