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Taking a deeper look at what makes this card shine we start with the design aspect. Being a GK104 GPU and utilizing the dual 6 pin power connectors we know it can show some serious performance. The default power target for the card is 141 watts while the software overclocking tools as we have already seen can extend this to 122% + which means we can jump it up to 173 watts + which should net some very nice overclocking capability.
The board itself well is very small, but going into this very much would likely be a waste of your and our time since most manufacturers as you will see with some of the cards we are covering have gone with custom cooling and PCB solutions that are much larger and much more normal looking for a high end offering. This is however how the original model looked straight from the NVIDIA labs.
The power circuitry for the GTX670 has been completely revamped and rerouted to the opposite side of the GPU. Due to the extreme efficiency exhibited by the GK104 GPU NVIDIA was able to take the VRM from the normal area at the East end of the board and relocate it between the GPU and IO area which significantly reduces the path from the power circuits to the GPU and related components. This is one of the main reasons the PCB cab be so small on such a powerful card as the power circuit that normally would reside on the opposite side of the card was able to be refined and put into a much smaller space which in turn makes for a card that is compact enough to fit in many smaller form factor builds while still offering performance that will trounce the GTX570 and even walk all over the GTX580!
With being one of the new 6 series NVIDIA Kepler GPU’s the GTX670 also carries with it the GPU Boost function which allows for the standard clock that the card will run at under a loading condition, but also when the card is within the thermal and power envelope it can automatically overclock or “Boost” up to a GPU clock speed of 980MHz+ from the baseline of 915MHz. Now do keep in mind this is all done seamlessly within the card controls without any user input whatsoever. Also on top of the normal boost clock with the software overclocking tools provided by many manufacturers we have found the Kepler GPU to be very overclocking friendly reaching well past 1000 and eclipsing 1100MHz without too much struggle.
The Kepler GPU is designed around a new generation of stream multiprocessing which in essence is NVIDIAs way of refining the way it makes the cards work by removing the previously seen “processor clock” which was double the speed of the GPU clock and instead taking the GPU and completely revamping it to add more CUDA cores at a lower speed to allow a much better performance per watt ratio than could have been done with the previous implementation.
FXAA is a new AA technology and a way to improve Anti Aliasing while also lessening the impact on framerates that you would see with traditional AA. As seen above the performance impact is dramatically reduced while the image quality is still very high. The new FXAA technology is implemented and accomplished via usage of the high CUDA core count to process each render to reduce visible Aliasing and smooth edges while not excessively affecting performance. Let's not forget TXAA technology as well another way NVIDIA just makes our games look and run better and smoother.
Another cool feature is NVIDIA Adaptive VSync which is similar to what is offered by standard VSync but better. The frame rate is still capped at the active 60Hz rate but as games drop below 60FPS as so many games do from time to time in heavy loading scenarios or highly textured scenes the card will actively disable VSync instantly to avoid the tearing we see at the lower framerates and as soon as the frames move above 60 FPS VSync is back on without the user being any the wiser as the transition is done seamlessly and from our testing it works very well as we observed no screen tearing when testing in some of our most demanding games where framerates can easily jump above 60 and drop below 60 like a stone at a moments notice.