ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II

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ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II

December 16, 2012 by Lawrence Lee

Product
ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II (GTX670-DC2-2GD5)
PCI-E Graphics Card
Manufacturer
ASUS
Sample Provider Puget Systems
Street Price
US$400

Our first experience with the Nvidia's latest Kepler core came with the ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II OC, which was armed with a massive cooling solution with dual fans. The card impressed us greatly with its mix of superb performance, high energy efficiency, and reasonable noise output. But being a GTX 680, Nvidia's flagship single GPU card, it's quite expensive, not only for the vast majority of users, but even gamers willing to spend a good chunk of cash for a smooth gaming experience.

GTX 600 Series Comparison (Single GPU)
Model
GTX 680
GTX 670
GTX 660 Ti
GTX 660
Transistor Count
3.54 billion
3.54 billion
3.54 billion
2.54 billion
Die Size
294 sq. mm
294 sq. mm
294 sq. mm
221 sq. mm
SM count
8
7
7
5
Shader Units
1536
1344
1344
960
Core Frequency
1006 MHz
915 MHz
915 MHz
960 MHz
Avg. Boost Frequency
1058 MHz
980 MHz
980 MHz
1032 MHz
Memory Frequency
6008 MHz
6008 MHz
6008 MHz
6000 MHz
Memory Bus
256-bit
256-bit
192-bit
192-bit
TDP
195W
170W
150W
140W
Street Price
(2GB version)
US$430
US$350
US$260
US$200

Like most types of PC hardware, video cards suffer from a case of diminishing returns as the price increases. The GTX 670 promises to be an attractive alternative, essentially a slightly cut-down version of the GTX 680 for about US$80 less. Lower power demand also reduces electricity consumption and makes the GPU easier to cool quietly. This is quite evident when you look the respective DirectCU II versions of the two cards from ASUS; the GTX 680's triple slot cooler dwarfs the dual slot version found on the GTX 670.


The ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II.

While it's more modestly sized, the GTX 670's DirectCU II's (and all DirectCU II variants) has a similar look. The heatsink spans over the majority of the card with heatpipes intersecting the main body at various points. Airflow is provided by two fans surrounded by a plastic shroud that directs air toward the GPU and board components rather than escaping out the sides.

The cooler appears virtually identical to the one found on the HD 7870 DirectCU II, which interestingly enough, didn't produce very good environmental results in our GPU test system despite having a similar TDP to the GTX 670. And yet, our GTX 670 sample came from the Puget Serenity Pro, which exceeded the demanding acoustic requirements for our Silent PC Certification by a healthy margin. We're anxious to investigate this odd discrepancy.

ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II (GTX670-DC2-2GD5): Specifications (from the product web page)
Graphics Engine
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670
Bus Standard
PCI Express 3.0
Video Memory
GDDR5
Engine Clock
GPU Boost Clock : 980 MHz
GPU Base Clock : 915 MHz
CUDA Cores 1344
Memory Clock 6008 MHz ( 1502 MHz GDDR5 )
Memory Interface 256-bit
Resolution DVI Max Resolution : 2560x1600
Interface DVI Output : Yes x 1 (DVI-I), Yes x 1 (DVI-D)
HDMI Output : Yes x 1
Display Port : Yes x 1 (Regular DP)
Power Consumption
up to 225W2 additional 6 pin PCIe power required
Accessories
1 x Power cable
Software
ASUS Utilities & Driver
ASUS Features
DirectCU Series
Super Alloy Power
Dimensions
10.7 " x 5.4 " x 1.7 " Inch
*To have the best cooling performance, ASUS GTX670-DC2-2GD5 extends the fansink to 2 slots. Please double check you Chassis and Motherboard dimension prior to purchase to make sure it fits in your system!
*Note that the actual boost clock will vary depending on actual system conditions. For more information, please visit http://www.geforce.com/

ASUS has a few different variants of the GTX 670; our sample is the GTX670-DC2-2GD5, the most basic model they offer, sharing the same specifications as the reference version. The card's GPU is clocked at 915 MHz but can upped to 980 MHz under favorable thermal conditions thanks to Nvidia's GPU Boost features which adjusts the clock speed in a similar fashion to Intel and AMD's respective dynamic CPU overclocking features. It also ships with 2GB of ultra-fast 1502 MHz GDDR5 memory though 4GB versions are available as well.



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