nVidia GTX670 Review
Some hardware lives on in the memory long after it has been retired from active duty. Anyone who owned a 3DFX card at launch time will remember the mind-blowing levels of eye-candy. Equally the E8600 has gone down in folklore as a hardcore overclocker. Certain parts just tick all of the boxes to transcend being a merely utilitarian part of the greater whole and enter our hearts as something we can reminisce about in our dotage. The GTX570 was one such item giving us incredible performance at a very good price-point, delighting all who took the plunge to purchase one.
So you can imagine our nervousness at the GTX670 appearing. Would nVidia take the best business decision and cut it down from the glorious performance of the GTX680 to force people to purchase the flagship card? Would they be kind to us enthusiasts and trim it just enough to allow us to nod knowingly at the wise purchasing decision of anyone with one?
The answer is clear. They definitely have trimmed the GTX670 just enough to enable it to be priced more attractively than the GTX680, but still provide incredible levels of gaming performance. Unlike with the 570's PCB which was almost identicle to the 580 to the point where you could fit a 580 block to a 570 the GTX670 is a completely different animal. The PCB is completely different and more noticeably than anything else much smaller. The small PCB is yet another hint that Nvidia did shuffle the naming of the cards about because the PCB is tiny. If rumors are to be believed this would have been the GTX650 and the PCB size would lean towards this idea. Thats why we think they have the cooling fan hanging off the end of the card to make it appear bigger than it really is. The problem with adding the fan off the end of the PCB is the power connectors, they are not at the end of the card where you would expect, this makes neat cabling imposable and just confirms to us that this was very much an after thought to make the card appear bigger because as you've seen its cant of been to add on some amazing cooling.
Don't mistake the size for a card that's fairly asthmatic out of the box and requires a hefty prod in the Megahertz department to unleash it. The stock performance is outstanding, even in this reference guise. Overclocking is a breeze and it's possible to get very close to the scores available from the big Kepler beast that is the GTX680 and the performance comes along with ever extra clock the GPU has to hand.
At just over the £300 mark it's almost rendered the GTX680 pointless for all but the most demanding user with multi-screen setups and the desire to flaunt their rig in their forum signature. For everybody else the GTX670 has all the performance you could require, at a reasonable price, and is capable of mixing it with the flagship cards from either AMD or nVidia themselves.
The cooling leaves a little to be desired as we'd expect from a reference card, so seek out a partner model with a more robust cooling solution. Otherwise we can't recommend the GTX670 highly enough and it's an easy winner of our OC3D Gold Award.