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NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 670 2GB Video Card Overclocked Performance Preview

Still a couple of days out from the official NVIDIA launch, we look at the upcoming GEFORCE GTX 670 video card in an overclocked state.
@TweakTown
Published Tue, May 8 2012 11:41 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:30 PM CDT

Introduction

NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 670 2GB Video Card Overclocked Performance Preview 02 | TweakTown.com
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I'm not going to get into why we're bring you an overclocked article on the unreleased GTX 670 because I think we've done a pretty good job of making it clear. If you do want to know more about it all, though, I recommend you look at our GEFORCE GTX 680 review and our GEFORCE GTX 670 preview along with our news post on why we didn't get a GTX 690.

As for what we're doing here today, as we just mentioned we'll be overclocking the soon to be released GTX 670. This is a video card that really impressed us with some amazing performance when we tested it on the weekend. We wonder what kind of overclock we're able to get out of it.

Talking to some partners, word is it's not the best when it comes to overclocking, but apparently they have no issue reaching the same speeds as the GTX 680, but beyond that there's not a lot of headroom. We'll find out just what we're able to get out of the video card today, though.

There's not a lot to do here today. Like our original coverage on the GTX 670 we won't be including any pictures, instead we'll quickly get into the testbed side of things. Once we've done that we'll quickly cover the overclocking and then we'll get straight into the performance, which is what you came to see.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Specifications

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS and Corsair.

Looking at the testbed there's nothing out of the ordinary with the same X79 testbed being used. Before we get into the testing side of things, though, we want to take a look at how we went with overclocking via the help of MSI Afterburner.

Having a look below we can see the exact kind of overclock we managed to achieve out of the video card. Starting with the core you can see we managed to push that up from the stock 915MHz / 994MHz via turbo to 1061MHz / 1140MHz. This isn't a bad overclock at all and should bring with it a decent boost in performance.

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Of course the other thing we overclocked was the 2GB of GDDR5 that is present. Looking above you can see we pushed that from 6008MHz QDR to 6460MHz QDR. This isn't a huge overclock, but combined with the bump in core clock, we should see a nice boost in overall performance that may put the model ahead of the GTX 680 at stock.

Let's get started!

The FPS Numbers Explained

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

Benchmarks - 3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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Starting off with 3DMark 11 we can see a nice boost in performance that sees us come out ahead of the reference GTX 680 at both presets.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.5

Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com

Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

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Looking at Heaven we can see a clear boost in performance again that sees us perform very close to the reference based GTX 680.

Let's see how performance goes when we move into the real-world benchmarks.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test

Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx

Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 is an arcade-style flight action game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft. The game is the sequel to Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., released in 2009.

The game begins with Colonel David Crenshaw participating in a routine patrol mission in the Middle East. After halting an insurgent attack, a volley of missiles is fired at the Air Force base that Crenshaw was stationed at, with one of the missiles disabling Crenshaw's aircraft, resulting Crenshaw being in enemy captivity. A joint strike force composed of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and a Ghost Recon squad executes an operation to rescue Crenshaw. In Scotland, Royal Navy Pilot Colin Munro encounters an unidentified passenger aircraft that explodes from an on-board bomb when undergoing training exercise. In Russia, an air force squadron led by Colonel Denisov and Captain Dmitri Sokov engages separatist aircraft but is ordered to retreat from the region after numerous Russian military installations have been attacked.

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H.A.W.X. 2 performance is extremely strong across the board and you can see we're actually ahead of everything here including the 4GB GTX 680 from Palit.

Benchmarks - Mafia II

Mafia II

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.2kczech.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.mafia2game.com/

Buy It Here

Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It is developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and is published by 2K Games. The game is set from 1943 to 1951 in Empire Bay (the name is a reference to New York's state nickname "The Empire State"), a fictional city based on San Francisco and New York City, with influences from Chicago and Detroit. The game features a completely open-ended game map of 10 square miles. No restrictions are included from the start of the game. There are around 50 vehicles in the game, as well as licensed music from the era.

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Moving into Mafia II we can see the strong performance again across the board with it really battling with the GTX 680 at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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Checking out Lost Planet 2 performance we continue to see a nice boost in performance that gives us a bit more breathing room at 2560 x 1600.

Compared to the other video cards here, you can see we're sitting close to the reference GTX 680 and of course have no issue dealing with the AMD HD 7900 series offerings.

Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator

Aliens vs. Predator

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.sega.com/games/aliens-vs-predator/

Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed by Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.

Following the storyline of the campaign modes comes the multiplayer aspect of the game. In this Multiplayer section of the game, players face off in various different gametypes in various different ways.

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Looking at Aliens vs. Predator performance we can see some excellent gains again. The most important gain comes at 2560 x 1600 where we see the overclock helps us break into that 60 FPS average that we try so hard to reach for a solid gaming experience.

It's exactly at these times where overclocking becomes extremely useful.

Benchmarks - Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.2

Timedemo or Level Used: Dark Tower

Developer Homepage: http://www.eidos.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.justcause.com/

Just Cause 2 employs the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in Just Cause. The game is set on the other side of the world from the original Just Cause, on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. Panau has varied terrain, from desert to alpine to rainforest. Rico Rodriguez returns as the protagonist, aiming to overthrow the evil dictator Pandak "Baby" Panay and confront his former mentor, Tom Sheldon.

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Getting into Just Cause 2 we can see strong performance across the board which sees us line up almost identically with the 4GB GTX 680. The most important thing, though, is that we've got playable performance across the board.

Benchmarks - Metro 2033

Metro 2033

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.thqnordic.com/

Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released in March 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360.[3] In March 2006, 4A Games announced a partnership with Glukhovsky to collaborate on the game.[4] The game was announced at the 2009 Games Convention in Leipzig;[5] a first trailer came along with the announcement.[6] A sequel was announced, currently titled Metro: Last Light.

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Metro 2033 sees some strong performance gains, but like Aliens vs. Predator, this is an important one where we see the overclock helps boost our average to that 60 FPS mark, which we always aim for to provide solid gameplay performance.

Benchmarks - Dirt 3

Dirt 3

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.dirt3game.com/

DiRT 3 boasts more cars, more locations, more routes and more events than any other game in the series, including over 50 rally cars representing the very best from five decades of the sport. With more than double the track content of 2009's hit, DiRT 3 will see players start at the top as a professional driver, with a top-flight career in competitive off-road racing complimented by the opportunity to express themselves in Gymkhana-style showpiece driving events.

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Across the board we can see strong performance under Dirt 3 with this GTX 670 performing ahead of the reference GTX 680 video card, but a little behind the 4GB offering from Palit.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01

Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long

Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/

Buy It Here

The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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Moving along to Far Cry 2 we don't get any real surprises with strong performance across the board. We see a nice boost in performance at all resolutions, but for the most part it's not really needed.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here we see video cards go from playable FPS to an unplayable FPS and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

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Turning on AA and AF we can see some nice gains at all resolutions. Aliens vs. Predator is the most important, though, and while we do see a really nice boost, we're just a few FPS away from that magical 60 FPS mark we aim for.

Far Cry 2 and Mafia II sees some great performance, though, with very playable numbers.

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

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Checking out power draw we can see that the idle draw comes in a little above 200 watts, while the load number sits at just over 400 watts.

Here we see some pretty standard numbers that tell us most quality and branded power supplies won't have issues dealing with this kind of setup.

Final Thoughts

NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 670 overclocking numbers aren't as impressive as we'd hoped and talking to a couple of partners about these OC results, the numbers seem consistent. What we tend to be hearing is that while getting to GTX 680 speeds aren't a problem, moving much higher is a little bit of an issue.

Of course clocking the video card at GTX 680 speeds doesn't mean we'll get GTX 680 performance due to the reduced CUDA core count on the GTX 670. The slightly higher clocks over the 680 help close the gap, though, and most of the time sees the GTX 670 come out ahead.

As we see companies offer us new coolers and different PCBs over the coming weeks, we might see higher overclocks, but the general word from companies is that the GTX 670 just isn't a massive overclocking video card. To be honest this doesn't surprise us all that much as the GTX 680 doesn't seem to be the biggest overclocking part either.

There's not much else that really needs to be said for the most part. The GTX 670 continues to be a great performing video card, but like the GTX 680, overclocking isn't it strongest area. Considering that most people are going to see stock performance or pre-overclocked performance, this model is going to continue to be a headache for AMD.

Keep an eye out on May 10th when the model officially gets released by NVIDIA and we bring you a look at a non-reference video card that will hopefully impress us like the reference design video card we've looked at here today.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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