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Inno3D iChill GEFORCE GTX 670 2GB OC Video Card Review

Another non-reference GTX 670 arrives in the form of the Inno3D iChill. Let's see what it brings to the party.

@TweakTown
Published Wed, May 16 2012 12:37 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:01 PM CST
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Inno3D

Introduction and Package

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I found myself a little surprised that companies have come out so quickly with non-reference versions of the new GTX 670. At launch we found ourselves looking at the Palit offering which is part of the new Jetstream series.

Today we're looking at a version from Inno3D. This is a company we haven't heard from in ages and for the most part it's probably got to do with the fact that NVIDIA have been fairly quiet up until a month ago. Today, though, the GTX 670 we're looking is part of the iChill series, a line that's been around for a while and has always impressed us.

In the past, the iChill series tended to bring with it strong performing coolers that were always on the larger side of things. The low noise and low temperatures came at the cost of a big cooler. We'll see today if that's a trend we continue to see. For people who are only interested in going down the one video card path, a larger cooler can be a good option.

As always there are a few things we need to do before we take a look at the performance. The first is we need to take a closer look at the package. While we're lacking a proper box for the card, we've got the full bundle that we'll check out. Next we'll move onto the video card and also check out the specifications.

We're dealing with an overclocked video card here today so we'll see what Inno3D choose to do with the out of the box clocks. Finally we can get into the fun stuff and check out the performance side of things and see how the Inno3D offering compares to a bunch of other video cards including the stock clocked reference option.

Package

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The bundle is fairly impressive. While we've got the standard pieces of kit like driver CD, manual, DVI to VGA connector and a dual Molex to 6-pin PCIe power connector, we've also got a key for 3DMark 11, a mouse pad and an Allen key that is used for the cooler.

In a time where we see more and more companies shrink the size of bundles, the Inno3D offering is pretty nice with those couple of little extras that we see most companies ignore.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

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The first thing you can't help but notice about the video card is the sheer size of the cooler. In typical iChill fashion, Inno3D have installed a massive cooler that consists of three fans on a huge heatsink which has heatpipes running through it. The cooler looks really mean and like it's ready for business so hopefully we get some good numbers out of it.

Outside of being really long we've got to make a note that the size of the cooler does take up a third slot. For a lot of people this might not be a problem, but if you've got something that you need to install in your third motherboard slot, you could run into an issue.

Before we move on, though, the one thing I'm not in love with is the blue PCB that's on offer. We've seen so many companies move over to darker colored PCBs in recent times and considering the aluminum colored setup that's going on, it would've been nice to see the video card with a black PCB to help bring it all together.

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On the power connector side of things we can see that we've got a slightly different setup to the Palit video card we looked at. Instead of a dual 6-pin PCIe setup we've got a single 6-pin alongside a single 8-pin. Closer to the front you can see the two SLI connectors which are going to come in handy for anyone wants to go down the multiple video card path.

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Finishing up with the I/O side of things we've got two Dual Link DVI connectors (DVI-I and DVI-D) alongside a single HDMI and DisplayPort. This is pretty much the standard setup we're seeing out of video card manufacturers on the new GTX 670 so far.

Specifications

As we mentioned in the introduction the Inno3D iChill GTX 670 comes overclocked out of the box. This isn't too much of a surprise considering the cooler that's present on the model. What is a bit of a surprise, though, is the out of the box clocks, for the most part we're seeing companies who are pre-overclocking cards push the clocks up in line with the reference GTX 680.

That means that we move from a 915MHz core to a 1006MHz core. Inno3D has gone a little higher today, though and pushed us up to 1020MHz which in turn has set our boost clock to 1098MHz, a nice increase from the stock 980MHz boost clock and even the 1058MHz boost clock present on the GTX 680.

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Along with the boost to the core, Inno3D has also taken the time to boost the clocks of the 2GB GDDR5. We've seen that go from 6008MHz QDR to 6212MHz QDR. Overall this is a really nice overclock and we should see some really strong performance out of this GTX 670 when compared to the reference clocked GTX 670 and GTX 680.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup

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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 our testbed there's as always nothing out of the ordinary with the same X79 setup being used since it launched last year. Before we move into the testing side of things, though, let's just quickly cover the video cards that we'll be including in our graphs today.

The main video cards we'll be comparing the Inno3D iChill GTX 670 2GB OC against is the reference clocked GTX 670 and the reference clocked GTX 680 2GB. Along with that, though, we've also got the 4GB GTX 680. On the AMD side of things we've got a HD 7950, HD 7970 and HD 6990 to round off our collection here today.

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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Hitting off with 3DMark 11 we can see the kind of performance gain the overclock gives us over the reference clocked video card. You can see the performance is enough to line up with the 4GB GTX 680 from Palit we looked at the other week. We'll have to see how this translates when we get into the gaming side of things.

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 performance we can also see that the Inno3D GTX 670 lines up almost identically with the GTX 680 4GB again. This is a really strong overclock out of Inno3D which is bringing a serious boost to performance.

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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Getting into some gaming we start with H.A.W.X. 2 and across the board you can see we manage to again perform around the GTX 680 mark with the Inno3D GTX 670 coming out slightly ahead across the board when compared to the 4GB GTX 680 offering.

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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Mafia II continues the trend with strong performance for the Inno3D GTX 670 which puts it ahead of the GTX 680 offerings again. Even though we're down on stream processors when compared to the GTX 680, the strong overclock from Inno3D is clearly making up for it.

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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Lost Planet 2 sees some great performance across the board with playable numbers at every resolution. The most appreciated gains come at 2560 x 1600 as we manage to get a bit more breathing room when it comes to that 60 FPS we aim for to provide a solid gaming experience.

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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We constantly see the new GTX 600 based cards from NVIDIA struggle under Aliens vs. Predator. The overclock, though, on offer from Inno3D, makes it the only NVIDIA video card here to break that 60 FPS average at 2560 x 1600 to come out ahead of even the 4GB GTX 680 which sits at 57 FPS.

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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Just Cause 2 also sees the GTX 670 OC from Inno3D sneak ahead of the GTX 680 offerings again at all resolutions with some very strong FPS present across the board including 2560 x 1600.

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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This is another really strong benchmark for Inno3D here with the iChill GTX 670 again being the only NVIDIA video card to break that 60 FPS barrier at 2560 x 1600. You can see we're ahead of even HD 7970 here which brings in 57 FPS, just shy of that number we need.

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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Looking at Dirt 3 performance you can see we're strong against the AMD offerings and against the GTX 680s the numbers are actually identical across the board when compared to the 4GB Palit version.

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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As always we've got big numbers across the board when it comes to Far Cry 2 and you can again see some very nice gains at all resolutions.

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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The performance gains continue to be strong and while we do again see a really nice boost in Aliens vs. Predator, in this instance you can see above we just fall shy of that 60 FPS mark we're aiming to hit for a smooth gaming experience.

Temperature Test

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run off 3DMark Vantage and the Performance preset.

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Whoa! This is a cool running video card! The triple fan cooler is really doing its job as we get an awesome load temperature that sees the video card come in at under 60c.

Sound Test

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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The low temperature isn't coming at the cost of high noise levels either thanks to the large amount of fans and massive heatsink.

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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Power draw numbers don't hold any surprises coming in at just over 400 watts at load and just over 200 watts at idle.

Final Thoughts

It's been a while since we've seen anything from Inno3D, but it's awesome to see that the iChill series is as strong as ever with some amazing performance when it comes to not only gaming performance thanks to that strong overclock, but also brilliant cooling performance.

Cooling performance is really fantastic with not only temperature numbers on a whole being really low for a video card that offers this kind of performance, but noise levels are also on the low side. Of course this comes at the cost of a larger cooler on a whole that does take up three slots, but if you want something that's extremely fast yet silent, this is an awesome option.

Outside of the cooler, though, thanks to the strong overclock, which sees a core and memory clock come in higher than the GTX 680, on average we see performance that is ahead of a reference clocked GTX 680.

Outside of the performance of the video card, though, we've also got the bundle which manages to also stand out for all the right reasons. While we've got those normal bits and pieces present, we've got nice little extras like the mouse pad and the 3DMark 11 key.

Inno3D has really put together the whole package here with a great performing video card, a cooler that looks great and works fantastically well and finally a bundle that is above and better than what we see most companies offer these days.

While the iChill GTX 670 2GB hasn't hit the retail shelves yet we would assume it's not far away. Over the reference design video cards we'll also see a slight premium over that $399 RRP, but it's going to be worth it as this is a real stand out model for all the right reasons. If you're looking for something that's fast and powerful, this is probably the video card you should be looking at.

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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.

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