EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked Video Card Review
By Gabriel Torres on May 10, 2012


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

The new GeForce GTX 670, which is being released today, is a more affordable version of the GeForce GTX 680, costing USD 400 and, therefore, competing with AMD’s Radeon HD 7950. Let’s see how the SuperClocked model from EVGA fared in our tests.

The GeForce GTX 670 is based on the same architecture used by the GeForce GTX 680, called “Kepler,” is manufactured under the new 28 nm processor, has a dynamic overclocking technology, and supports the PCI Express 3.0 specification. The only differences between the GeForce GTX 670 and the GeForce GTX 680 are the core clock (915 MHz vs. 1,006 MHz) and the number of graphics processors (1,344 vs. 1,536). The memory configuration is the same.

EVGA is releasing five models based on the GeForce GTX 670: The stock model (USD 400), the SuperClocked model (USD 420), the FTW model (USD 440), the stock model with 4 GB of memory (USD 470), and the SuperClocked model with 4 GB of memory (USD 490).

In the following table, we compare the main specifications of the video cards included in our review. The prices do not include rebates and are for the models with the clock and memory configurations listed below. Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review, except for the GeForce GTX 670 models, which are the prices advertised by EVGA and NVIDIA. We also included the GeForce GTX 580 in this review, as its price dropped from USD 500 to USD 380 – USD 430 in the past few weeks with the release of the GeForce GTX 680. NVIDIA also offers a 3 GB version of the GeForce GTX 580 starting at USD 490. The second clock listed under “core clock” is the maximum clock the GPU can reach using its dynamic overclocking technology (i.e., “boost clock”).

Video Card

Core Clock

Shader Clock

Memory Clock (Effective)

Memory Interface

Memory Transfer Rate

Memory

Shaders

DirectX

Price

GeForce GTX 670

915 MHz/980 MHz

NA

6,008 MHz

256-bit

192.3 GB/s

2 GB GDDR5

1,344

11

USD 400

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SC

967 MHz/1,046 MHz

NA

6,210 MHz

256-bit

198.7 GB/s

2 GB GDDR5

1,344

11

USD 420

GeForce GTX 580

772 MHz

1,544 MHz

4,008 MHz

384-bit

192.4 GB/s

1.5 GB GDDR5

512

11

USD 380 - 430

Radeon HD 7950

925 MHz

925 MHz

5 GHz

384-bit

240 GB/s

3 GB GDDR5

1,792

11.1

USD 380 - 425

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our “AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table” and “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” tutorials.

Today, only the LGA2011 Core i7 (“Sandy Bridge-E”) and the “Ivy Bridge” processors have a PCI Express 3.0 controller. Therefore, we tested the video cards using a Core i7-3960X processor on a motherboard based on the Intel X79 chipset. In our Radeon HD 7970 review, we discovered that, at this time, there is no difference between using a PCI Express 2.0 or a PCI Express 3.0 connection. We also discovered that if you are using a high-end video card, the CPU doesn’t affect gaming performance.

Now let’s take a complete look at the EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked.

The EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

Below we have an overall look at the EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked. It requires two six-pin auxiliary power connectors.

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked
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Figure 1: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked
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Figure 2: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

This video card comes with one DVI-I, one DVI-D, one HDMI, and one DisplayPort connector, supporting the use of four video monitors at the same time. The product comes with a DVI-to-VGA adapter, so you can convert the DVI-I connector (which is at the bottom in Figure 3) into a VGA one.

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked
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Figure 3: Video connectors

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked uses a relatively small heatsink, with copper base and aluminum fins. This heatsink is cooled by a 60 mm radial fan that is placed at its side. The GeForce GTX 670 has a Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 170 W.

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked
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Figure 4: Heatsink

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked
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Figure 5: Heatsink

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked (Contíd)

In Figure 6, you can see the video card with its cooler removed. We were impressed by how short the printed circuit board is, at 6.7” (170 mm). The video card, however, is a little longer, at 9.5” (240 mm), because of the fan.

It uses a voltage regulator with four phases for the GPU and two phases for the memory chips. The voltage regulator circuit uses a digital design and is controlled by an NCP5392P chip. All coils use ferrite cores and all capacitors are solid.

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked
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Figure 6: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked
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Figure 7: Voltage regulator

The reviewed video card uses eight Hynix H5GQ2H24AFR-R0C GDDR5 chips, each one storing 2 Gbit of data, making the 2 GB of memory available on this video card. Each chip is connected to the GPU through a 32-bit lane, creating the 256-bit datapath that is available. These chips can run up to 6 GHz. On this video card, they are accessed at 6,210 MHz, which is already above their labeled clock rate. Of course, you can always try to push the memory clock above its specs.

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked
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Figure 8: Memory chips

In Figure 9, you can see the accessories that come with this video card.

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked
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Figure 9: Accessories

Before seeing the performance results, let’s recap the main features of this video card.

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked include:

How We Tested

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

Driver Versions

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin. Thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a very popular DirectX 9 game that was released in 2010. Though this game uses an old version of DirectX, the number of textures that can be represented on one screen can push most of the top-end graphics cards to their limits. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty uses its own physics engine that is bound to the CPU and thus does not benefit from PhysX.

We tested this game at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600. The quality of the game was set to the “extreme” preset. We then used FRAPS to collect the frame rate of a replay on the “Unit Testing” custom map. We used a battle between very large armies to stress the video cards.

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

218.8

3%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

212.4

 

AMD Radeon HD 7950

206.8

3%

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

185.9

14%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

178.5

3%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

172.5

 

AMD Radeon HD 7950

167.7

3%

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

158.4

9%

Far Cry 2

Released in 2008, Far Cry 2 is based on a game engine called Dunia, which is DirectX 10. We used the benchmarking utility that comes with this game at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600, setting overall quality to “ultra high,” maximizing all image quality settings, adjusting anti-aliasing to “8x,” and running the “Ranch Long” demo three times. The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

FarCry 2

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

121.0

1%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

119.9

 

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

104.7

15%

AMD Radeon HD 7950

84.8

41%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

FarCry 2

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

83.8

4%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

80.8

 

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

71.0

14%

AMD Radeon HD 7950

61.1

32%

Aliens vs. Predator

Aliens vs. Predator is a DirectX 11 game that makes full use of tessellation and advanced shadow rendering. We used the Aliens vs. Predator Benchmark Tool developed by Rebellion. This program reads its configuration from a text file. (Our configuration files can be found here.) We ran this program at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600, with texture set at “very high,” shadows set at “medium,” anisotropic filtering set at “8x,” and anti-aliasing set at “2x.”

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

Aliens vs. Predator

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

64.4

4%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

61.9

 

AMD Radeon HD 7950

59.9

3%

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

52.5

18%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

Aliens vs. Predator

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

38.5

3%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

37.2

 

AMD Radeon HD 7950

36.8

1%

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

32.5

14%

DiRT3

DiRT3 is another DirectX 11 game. We measured performance using this game by running a race and then playing it back using FRAPS. We ran this game at 1920x1200 and 2560x1536 with image quality set to “ultra,” and with anti-aliasing set at “8xMSAA.”  

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

DiRT3

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

88.5

2%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

87.0

 

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

68.8

26%

AMD Radeon HD 7950

66.2

32%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

Dirt 3

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

60.8

6%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

57.3

 

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

46.7

23%

AMD Radeon HD 7950

46.0

24%

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a DirectX 11 game. We used the in-game introduction to measure the number of frames per second, using FRAPS. We ran the introduction in two resolutions, 1920x1200 and 2560x1536, maximizing all image quality settings, configuring anti-aliasing as “MLAA Mode” and anisotropic filtering at “16x.”

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

154.7

4%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

149.1

 

AMD Radeon HD 7950

138.3

8%

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

115.8

29%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

104.5

2%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

102.3

 

AMD Radeon HD 7950

99.6

3%

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

93.1

10%

Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3 is the latest installment in the Battlefield franchise released in 2011. It is based on the Frostbite 2 engine, which is DirectX 11. In order to measure performance using this game, we walked our way through the first half of the “Operation Swordbreaker” mission, measuring the number of frames per second using FRAPS. We ran this game at 1920x1200 and 2560x1536, maximizing all image quality settings, configuring anti-aliasing as “4xMSAA” and anisotropic filtering at “16x.”  

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

Battlefield 3

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

68.5

4%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

66.1

 

AMD Radeon HD 7950

64.4

3%

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

59.8

10%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

Battlefield 3

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

58.9

9%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

54.3

 

AMD Radeon HD 7950

53.6

1%

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

51.7

5%

3DMark 11 Professional

3DMark 11 Professional measures Shader 5.0 (i.e., DirectX 11) performance. We ran this program at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600, selecting the four graphics tests available and deselecting the other tests available. We used two image quality settings, “performance” and “extreme,” both at their default settings. The results being compared are the “GPU Score” achieved by each video card.

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

3DMark 11 - Performance

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

4429

4%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

4243

 

AMD Radeon HD 7950

3472

22%

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

3184

33%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

3DMark 11 - Performance

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

2568

4%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

2459

 

AMD Radeon HD 7950

2083

18%

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

1848

33%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

3DMark 11 - Extreme

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

2735

5%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

2617

 

AMD Radeon HD 7950

2060

27%

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

1901

38%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

3DMark 11 - Extreme

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

1633

4%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

1572

 

AMD Radeon HD 7950

1299

21%

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

1156

36%

Media Espresso 6.5

Media Espresso is a video conversion program that uses the graphics processing unit of the video card to speed up the conversion process. We converted a 449 MB, 1920x1080i, 18,884 kbps, MPEG2 video file to a smaller 640x360, H.264, .MPG4 file for viewing on a portable device such as an iPhone or iPod Touch. We also ran this test on our Core i7-3960X CPU in order to compare the difference in performance by using a high-end CPU and a high-end GPU to transcode video.

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClockeda

Media Espresso 6.5

Seconds

Difference

AMD Radeon HD 7950

30

9%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked

32

3%

EVGA GeForce GTX 670

33

 

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

44

25%

Core i7-3960X

46

28%

Conclusions

The performance advantage of the new GeForce GTX 670 over the Radeon HD 7950 can be impressive. Depending on the game and resolution used, the GeForce GTX 670 can be up to 41% faster than its main competitor. However, the new video card achieved the same performance level as the Radeon HD 7950 on some games (Aliens vs. Predator, StarCraft II, and Deus Ex at 2560x1600). Since the Radeon HD 7950 wasn’t faster than the GeForce GTX 670 in any game, and they both cost the same, the new GeForce GTX 670 is, today, your best choice if you have USD 400 to spend on a video card.

The SuperClocked model from EVGA was up to 9% faster than the stock GeForce GTX 670 in our tests. Since it costs 5% more than the standard GeForce GTX 570, the price is right if you want to spend a little more and get a few extra frames per second on your favorite game.

For processing “regular” programs, however, the Radeon HD 7950 is faster. Using Media Espresso, the Radeon HD 7950 was 9% faster than the standard GeForce GTX 670, with the difference dropping to 3% on the EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/EVGA-GeForce-GTX-670-SuperClocked-Video-Card-Review/1549


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