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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  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    Are you going to put up with crashing amd drivers and a burning electric bill OC with added instability and a water tower cost and then all of a sudden save a miniscule bit on card cost ? Are you going to add to your suffering with no adaptive v-sync, no also added smooth frame rate target, no instant per game optimum settings from a massive nVidia server farm embedded automagically in the superior nVidia drivers ?

    Are you going to stand for no bezel peek feature ?
    Are you going to put up with the more expensive and hassled 3 monitor connection issues of the amd cards ?
    Are you going to sit there undisturbed by the epic failure of amd 3D gaming vs Nvidia's available and awesome implementation ?
    Are you going to put up with no amd 120hz monitor support there too ?

    Isn't your original stance there the very opposite of "no one buys these cards to run on just one monitor and certainly not 1900x1200" argument ?

    Since the amd overlcocks "so well" as you claim vs nVidia, what is amd releasing a pre overclocked version going to do other than allow amd partners to charge more ?
    ROFL - it will do nothing.
  • saturn85 - Monday, May 14, 2012 - link

    the folding@home benchmark is great!!
    i think the performance unit "point per day (ppd)" is preferable compare to "nanosecond per day (ns/day)".
  • TheMan876 - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - link

    Glad to see 3 monitor resolutions getting benchmarked since I just moved to that setup. Can't wait to see SLI on this card!
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, May 17, 2012 - link

    Prices for the GTX 670 and the HD 7970 are similar in Germany, at max a difference of about 30€. :-)
    If I had to buy a card today, I'd probably get a GTX 680, but I don't regret the 500€ I spent on a 7970 with a watercooling block and OC capabilities of 1300/1700. :-)
  • Brainling - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    I had been waiting patiently for the release of the 670 or the 660ti, depending on availability, cost and performance. After reading this review of the 670, I bought one on the spot (release day morning, while Newegg still had some) was a good decision.

    This card replaced an HD6870, and while that was a decent card, it's like night and day. In informal tests I did, I found this card to be twice as powerful in most scenarios. Nvidia has really outdone themselves with their new Kepler architecture. They've created one of the most powerful hyper-parallel architectures available to do, and have done so at greatly decreased power draw and heat (aka: less noise). It's rare to ever see my 670 spike above 60C, with the stock blower cooler.

    All in all a great purchase, and one I'm very glad I made.
  • smartypnt4 - Sunday, May 27, 2012 - link

    I know they're on the site in other reviews, but it would be nice if you could include a few dual-GPU cards in the benchmark comparisons. It probably only matters to a few people like me, but it'd be nice to have.

    For me, I want them because I'm trying to make a decision: do I get a second 6950 to crossfire with the one I already have for $200, or do I go out and buy a new card?

    From what I've seen, outside the edge case games such as Batman and some of the games running on Frostbite, a 6990 pretty much trades blows with the 680 and the 7970. So, I'm thinking that for me, since I have the headroom in my PSU, getting a second 6950 makes a whole lot of sense, even though the setup will consume almost twice as much power as one new card.

    Just my two cents.
  • codeus - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    Good review but so much focus on EVGA's warranty changes smacks of this being a sponsored (and therefore biased?) review.
  • pilotofdoom - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Anyone else notice that the GTX 670 outperformed the GTX 680 in the Microsoft’s Detail Tessellation test on Normal settings?

    I'm guessing it's a simple mistake, since there's no mention of the reversal in the text. Not like it really matters anyways, being a synthetic benchmark compared to actual gaming performance.
  • chrisrobhay2 - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    Which leader does Anandtech use for the Civilization V Compute test? I'm just curious because my overclocked GTX 670 wipes the floor with all of these cards in almost all of the leader tests, so I want to make sure that I'm looking at the right information.
  • warmbit - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    If you want to see what we really have GTX670 performance in games is worth taking a look at this overview:

    On the right side, select your language for translation (Google Translate).

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