Meet The GeForce GTX 670

Because of the relatively low power consumption of GK104 relative to past high-end NVIDIA GPUs, NVIDIA has developed a penchant for small cards. While the GTX 680 was a rather standard 10” long, NVIDIA also managed to cram the GTX 690 into the same amount of space. Meanwhile the GTX 670 takes this to a whole new level.

We’ll start at the back as this is really where NVIDIA’s fascination with small size makes itself apparent. The complete card is 9.5” long, however the actual PCB is far shorter at only 6.75” long, 3.25” shorter than the GTX 680’s PCB. In fact it would be fair to say that rather than strapping a cooler onto a card, NVIDIA strapped a card onto a cooler. NVIDIA has certainly done short PCBs before – such as with one of the latest GTX 560 Ti designs – but never on a GTX x70 part before. But given the similarities between GK104 and GF114, this isn’t wholly surprising, if not to be expected.

In any case this odd pairing of a small PCB with a large cooler is no accident. With a TDP of only 170W NVIDIA doesn’t necessarily need a huge PCB, but because they wanted a blower for a cooler they needed a large cooler. The positioning of the GPU and various electronic components meant that the only place to put a blower fan was off of the PCB entirely, as the GK104 GPU is already fairly close to the rear of the card. Meanwhile the choice of a blower seems largely driven by the fact that this is an x70 card – NVIDIA did an excellent job with the GTX 560 Ti’s open air cooler, which was designed for the same 170W TDP, so the choice is effectively arbitrary from a technical standpoint (there’s no reason to believe $400 customers are any less likely to have a well-ventilated case than $250 buyers). Accordingly, it will be NVIDIA’s partners that will be stepping in with open air coolers of their own designs.

Starting as always at the top, as we previously mentioned the reference GTX 670 is outfitted with a 9.5” long fully shrouded blower. NVIDIA tells us that the GTX 670 uses the same fan as the GTX 680, and while they’re nearly identical in design, based on our noise tests they’re likely not identical. On that note unlike the GTX 680 the fan is no longer placed high to line up with the exhaust vent, so the GTX 670 is a bit more symmetrical in design than the GTX 680 was.


Note: We dissaembled the virtually identical EVGA card here instead

Lifting the cooler we can see that NVIDIA has gone with a fairly simple design here. The fan vents into a block-style aluminum heatsink with a copper baseplate, providing cooling for the GPU. Elsewhere we’ll see a moderately sized aluminum heatsink clamped down on top of the VRMs towards the front of the card. There is no cooling provided for the GDDR5 RAM.


Note: We dissaembled the virtually identical EVGA card here instead

As for the PCB, as we mentioned previously due to the lower TDP of the GTX 670 NVIDIA has been able to save some space. The VRM circuitry has been moved to the front of the card, leaving the GPU and the RAM towards the rear and allowing NVIDIA to simply omit a fair bit of PCB space. Of course with such small VRM circuitry the reference GTX 670 isn’t built for heavy overclocking – like the other GTX 600 cards NVIDIA isn’t even allowing overvolting on reference GTX 670 PCBs – so it will be up to partners with custom PCBs to enable that kind of functionality. Curiously only 4 of the 8 Hynix R0C GDDR5 RAM chips are on the front side of the PCB; the other 4 are on the rear. We typically only see rear-mounted RAM in cards with 16/24 chips, as 8/12 will easily fit on the same side.

Elsewhere at the top of the card we’ll find the PCIe power sockets and SLI connectors. Since NVIDIA isn’t scrambling to save space like they were with the GTX 680, the GTX 670’s PCIe power sockets are laid out in a traditional side-by-side manner. As for the SLI connectors, since this is a high-end GeForce card NVIDIA provides 2 connectors, allowing for the card to be used in 3-way SLI.

Finally at the front of the card NVIDIA is using the same I/O port configuration and bracket that we first saw with the GTX 680. This means 1 DL-DVI-D port, 1 DL-DVI-I port, 1 full size HDMI 1.4 port, and 1 full size DisplayPort 1.2. This also means the GTX 670 follows the same rules as the GTX 680 when it comes to being able to idle with multiple monitors.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Meet The EVGA GeForce GTX 670 Superclocked
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  • SlyNine - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    lol twist the words any way you want. They will never mean what you want them to mean.

    The 7970 came out at 570$ and I didn't think it was a bad value. But at the same time its no 2900XT or 5800ultra.

    Right now I do feel Nvidia offers a better value. But their are situations, in very high resolutions and on certain games that AMD performs better. Why you cannot see that Nvidia isn't total domination is beyond me.
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    lol twist the words any way you want. They will never mean what you want them to mean.

    The 7970 came out at 570$ and I didn't think it was a *good* value. But at the same time its no 2900XT or 5800ultra.

    Right now I do feel Nvidia offers a better value. But their are situations, in very high resolutions and on certain games that AMD performs better. Why you cannot see that Nvidia isn't total domination is beyond me.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    You are correct I did twist them, on purpose.

    Thanks for actually noticing. Note also I didn't twist like that in my other posts.

    ROFL - your welcome.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    PS- even though twisted, my point is still 100% valid, and negates the whole pile from chizow, so it means exactly what I said it meant, but putting two and two together is not your strong suit.

    You went from 5870, skipped the crappy 6970 generation, die shrink, core jump, because it sucked.

    You also passed over the overpriced amd 7970.

    chizow whines a lot, but you proved him wrong, and used the method I outlined and said most would do and most owning cards have done, not his stupid retentive one upgrade path only dumb as heck complaint.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, May 10, 2012 - link

    Dude, just sell the 560 and get the 670 - you can stop the cheetos binging and 2x2liter nighttime soda guzzling to make up the difference. Ebay is your friend. Reply
  • eddman - Thursday, May 10, 2012 - link

    And what's that supposed to prove? There are many games that use HBAO and FXAA, does it mean they are all botched?

    Disable them both and run the benchmarks. The difference would be none.

    Take unreal 3 for example. Let's say it favors nvidia. If so, then how come bulletstorm runs better on 7970?
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, May 10, 2012 - link

    With nVidia card you can just use the upcoming automatic game settings - another gigantic nVidia driver advantage over amd's crap.
    It's getting far too embarrassing to support amd's crap anymore - there are now numerous absolute fails on amd's part.
    It was bad enough when amd didn't pay for PhysX, failed to have openCL in the drivers, had 3 features unchecked in gpu-z that nvidia had covered, failed in DX11 tessellation, was still plagued by the all in wonder corner mouse cursor bug from win98, had no ambient occlusion, cannot support cards going back to the equivalent of nVidia 8 series - but now they're so hammered by so many nVidia advantages beyond all those issues it is embarrassing to the point of humiliating.
    No adaptive v-sync now enabled all the way back for nVidia 8 series
    No frame rate target
    No on the fly power saving adaptive OC.
    No 4th monitor for surfing next to the surround eyefinity triples
    No driver present taskbar centering for triple monitor (addon amd)
    No sneak peek bezel driver support
    ---
    I'll stop because the list is so enormous now - and amd cannot even get working CF drivers going yet for half the games, while nVidia releases with SLI mastery.
    NVidia is in a superior position across the board - price, performance, power, drivers, added features, extra features, game day driver releases, and soon a driver optimizer (June ) that they make with their GPU server farms - actually pumping out the work for the gamer - something the embarrassed amd I guess is entirely absent on - while they fire more and more employees - making any sane person clearly see why the drivers that were already suffering are now even worse.
    AMD needs to be about half the price of nVidia hardware.
    Reply
  • anubis44 - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    ...except that nvidia can't seem to make more than a few dozen at a time.

    It's pathetic that they're pricing the only two GTX600-series cards to undercut AMD, yet they can't seem to build them. Pretty clever marketing gimmick. You price cards so they undercut the competition, and everybody salivates at the prospect of buying one and decides not to buy the AMD card... except they're not really available. Pretty cheap ploy from one of the most hated companies in the business.

    I'd be surprised if half of nvidia's board partners didn't go out of business or jump ship to AMD after this supply fiasco.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    This is the 3rd gtx600 series cards, but expecting you to be correct is worse than betting on the broken watch.
    GTX680 at newegg has outsold the entire amd 7870 and 7850 line up.
    Maybe your bean counting should be directed to the corporate pig loser amd ?
    At least with nVidia the partners can unload a million backorders when the supply irons out, and 2.5 months after release amd's finally ironed out... it was pathetic until then, so the very thing you spew about partners bailing already happened to amd right ? I mean let's keep your insane spewing consistent across the competition, why not that would be fair..
    Congratulations on being so incapable of making a point.
    nVidia's partners are counting the backorders and cannot count that high, now they have the even more impressive and winning GTX670 to unload - destroying amd's entire top line.
    What were you saying about nVidia partners ? Did your "unconscious" amd inner fanboy totally go bonkers and into insane projection mode ?
    It's amd partners that are in trouble now.
    LOL
    Reply
  • medi01 - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    Do you get payed for nVidia for posting crap like that or do you work at nVidia?

    So much idiotic hate towards a company that wasn't cought doing half of the shit, that nVidia did.
    Reply

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