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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  • Morg. - Thursday, May 10, 2012 - link

    You know, anyone can pick a set of games and draw a seemingly mathematical conclusion and still be dead wrong at the end. Point being, If you like buying good hardware for cheap, don't take tainted titles into account, it'll only lead to more vendor sponsoring of games, more expensive hardware, more crap for nothing.

    Frostbite 2 was developed WITH nVidia, it artificially favors their tech and that's not in our interest is it ?

    That HWC and others follow the same trend makes no diff bro, they all want your mullah ;)
    Reply
  • theprodigalrebel - Thursday, May 10, 2012 - link

    >>Frostbite 2 was developed WITH nVidia, it artificially favors their tech and that's not in our interest is it ?

    Incorrect. It's an AMD Gaming Evolved title.
    http://blogs.amd.com/play/2011/09/01/battlefield-3...
    Reply
  • Morg. - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    That information is not in your link. nVidia helped develop frostbite 2 . AMD mentions eyefinity support and that's it. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    " AMD partnered with SEGA and Creative Assembly on Total War: Shogun 2 through the AMD Gaming Evolved program to implement DirectX® 11 features into the game. Richard Gardner, the Lead Graphics Developer for the game discusses these features and how AMD effectively supported the Shogun 2 team."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0eZEdpsgjk

    Now, after nVidia was whomping amd in this most difficult game of all the benchmarks here, a new, no doubt, Gaming Evolved coached and inspired patch for the game "broke the nVidia cards"...

    Way to go evil amd, you said you'd never be evil but clearly scalping, proprietary openCL winzip hacked into only your corner, and GE hacking are now all part and parcel of evil amd.

    It's sad time for amd fanboys.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    Lepton > " Ever since 6870 launch you had strict policy of no OC cards in launch articles yet you did it again. Where's the consistency? "

    Would you like to go see the 7950 launch article here that has a stock, and two extra 7950 OC cards... ?
    How can you amd fans be so blind and ignorant, I mean you "know about a strict policy", but when like yesterdays amd card came out with 2 screaming overclocks for a total of 3 at once amd release only, you like -- faded into oblivion, before and after ?
    You are not a particle. No way, not worthy dude.
    Reply
  • tech6 - Thursday, May 10, 2012 - link

    Now that both AMD and Nvidia have competitive 28nm products, one would hope that competition will drive down the price. However, that will only happen if Nvidia can actually meet demand and deliver enough product. Here is hoping the 670 will eventually sell for $350... Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, May 10, 2012 - link

    Agreed. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    In other words, you calim nVidia has met product demand with the 680 as it drove down amd prices - right ? You said prices will go down now only IF nVidia can meet demand, and you meant the 670 since that's the article.
    Since prices already went down on 7970, you clearly believe nVidia has met demand with the 680 as it drove down that amd price...
    Now, the other fellow already agreed with you but one definitely has to wonder why, as it makes him appear just as clueless to your self contradicting statements.
    If not thanks for claiming nVidia has met 680 demand.
    (roll eyes at the tut tut blabbery again)
    Reply
  • B-Unit1701 - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    Are you claiming that the 7970 isn't overpriced right now? Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    When I compare what nVidia offers to what amd is offering, the 7970 is an embarrassment.
    Drivers and features on amd's side are pathetic in comparison - problems are an order of magnitude worse - 10X, while features on amd's side are now so lesser in quantity as to be absolutely definitive in negating choosing the amd product.
    Clearly I am not in favor of the amd product.
    The prices of the top tiers in the $350 -$500 range are what they have been for some time. Of course I want lower prices like near everyone else, but it seems to me, ignoring my personal opinion which so many amd fanboys fail to comprehend let alone adhere to in any small degree by their very words all over these pages, I cannot claim for them that the 7970 @ $450 with 3 free games is overpriced - they want it, they all love to claim it is better, obviously it is not, given their consumer mindset, overpriced. In fact with their stances and attitude, it should be $499 or a bit more, let's say $529 or even $549 with the added 3 games.

    That's far and away from my personal opinion. Since the 7970 in fact is worse than the 670, and the 670 is $399, the 7970 could remain at $449 (a single cheapest Powercolor price) with it's 3 games and I wouldn't complain, certainly neither should the amd fanboys, of which here there are many.

    Separate even from that, I don't see room for the 7970 @ $349 or $329 ( where it really should be vs the 670 @ $399 )- when that means the gtx590 and the hd6990 need to spot in only slightly over that - not to mention the crunching down of the gtx580 and gtx570 below $349 - so the problem is, how does everything below these two core flagship cards fit under them, and in the case of the 6990 and 590 just over them - not to forget the 580 that this year was $499 solid as a rock...

    So, no I'm not given to a price complaint right now. The 7970 @ $579.99 was a fantasy raping scalper price amd went with - and it's utter destruction so quickly, with another blow now over's it's crumbling $449($479) + 3 games is a real problem for amd.

    Like I said before, I don't amd budging from $449, although their official price is currently $479 I believe, so they might go $449 w the 3 games they Officially claim are a $100 value, so in a sense amd is already positioned with the 7970 $349 - a pathetic dive from $549/ aka $579.99 - that's a $230.00 smack down in short order- and we're told to think by people like you that's not enough, it needs to go lower...

    I'm not thinking you've got much there fella, maybe the 10,20, or 30 bucks and officially move from $479 to $449 (of which 1 w rebate is already available at - the cheapo Powercolor as usual)

    Reply

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