Test Configuration – Hardware
- Intel Core i7-3770K reference 3.50 GHz/Turbo to 3.9GHz, overclocked to 4.6 GHz; Turbo is off and HyperThreading is on.
- Gigabyte Z77MX-D3H (latest BIOS, USB/PCIe 3.0 specification; CrossFire/SLI 8x+8x).
- 4 GB OCZ DDR3 PC 1800 Kingston RAM (2×2 GB, tri-channel at 1200MHz; supplied by Kingston)
- GeForce GTX 670, 2 GB (base clocks of 915/3000MHz and also overclocked, +150/+400MHz), supplied by Nvidia
- GeForce GTX 680, 3 GB reference clocks, supplied by Nvidia.
- GeForce GTX 570, 1.25 GB reference design and clocks, supplied by Nvidia
- GeForce GTX 580, 1.5GHZ reference design and clocks, supplied by Nvidia
- PowerColor Radeon HD 7970, 3 GB with custom cooling at stock clocks (925/1375MHz)
- AMD Radeon HD 6970, 2GB reference design and stock clocked, supplied by AMD
- Onboard Realtek Audio
- 2 x 240 GB Kingston HyperX SSDs; one for AMD and one for Nvidia, supplied by Kingston
- Thermaltake ToughPowerXT 775W power supply unit supplied by Thermaltake
- Cooler Master Elite mid-Tower case, supplied by Cooler Master
- Noctua NH-DH14 CPU cooler, supplied by Noctua
- Philips DVD SATA writer
- HP LP3065 2560×1600 thirty inch LCD.
- Three ASUS VG236 23-inch 1920×1080 120Hz LCDs supplied by ASUS/Nvidia and used for Surround/Eyefinity 5760×1080 resolution.
- Asus VG278 27″- 120Hz 1080p display and 3D Vision 2 Glasses supplied by Nvidia/ASUS.
Test Configuration – Software
- Nvidia GeForce 301.24 Beta drivers for GTX 570 and GTX 580; for the GTX 680/670, 301.33 release drivers. High Quality
- AMD 12.4 WHQL Catalyst drivers; latest CAPs. High Quality – optimizations off; use application settings
- Windows 7 64-bit; very latest updates
- Latest DirectX
- All games are patched to their latest versions.
- VSync is off in the control panel.
- AA enabled as noted in games; all in-game settings are specified with 16xAF always applied; 16xAF forced in control panel for Crysis.
- All results show average, minimum and maximum frame rates except as noted.
- Highest quality sound (stereo) used in all games.
- Windows 7 64, all DX10 titles were run under DX10 render paths; DX11 titles under DX11 render paths.
- 3DMark 11
- Heaven 3.0
- Left 4 Dead 2
- Serious Sam 3 BFE
- Far Cry 2
- Just Cause 2
- Alien vs. Predator
- STALKER, Call of Pripyat
- Metro 2033
- F1 2010
- H.A.W.X. 2
- Lost Planet 2
- Civilization V
- Crysis 2
- Dirt 3
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- Batman: Arkham City
Before we get to the performance charts, let’s look at overclocking, power draw and temperatures.
Overclocking, Power Draw and Temperatures
Overclocking the GTX 670 is just as easy as overclocking the GTX 680 and 690. What is surprising is that we matched the GTX 680 overclock on the core exactly, +150MHz, although we got only +400MHz on the memory compared to +550MHz on the GTX 680. We did not adjust the GTX 670′s voltage. Temperatures were never an issue and the fan profile remained at stock which meant that the GTX 670 is also extraordinarily quiet at maximum load!
We decided to compare our GTX 670 power draw with that of the HD 7970 with both fully overclocked and in the same identical system; the only difference being the video cards. Both systems idled below 100W testifying to these cards’s excellent power management at idle and Ivy Bridge’s extreme efficiency compared to our older Bloomfield i7-920 system.
Here is the power draw of the entire system with a GTX 670 overclocked as far as we could push it and under full load but with no voltage adjustments:
This is very respectable for a video card card of this incredibly high performance level! Now let’s look at an overclocked HD 7970 in the same system under the exact same conditions; again, no overvolting is involved.
(The original image wrongly pictured the overvolted HD 7970; this one is overclocked but not overvolted)
Radical. Kepler is extraordinarily power efficient – much more so than Tahiti. It will be interesting to see how the new editions of the HD 7970 will improve on power draw as their clocks are increased by +75MHz to 1000MHz in the upcoming “GHz” editions which replace the reference versions that we are testing with and is current now.
Let’s head to the performance charts and graphs to see how the GTX 670 compares with the last generation GTX 570 and GTX 580 as well as against the GTX 680 and against the AMD HD 7970 and HD 6970.