ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II

Graphics Cards
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MP3 Sound Recording

This recording was made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. It's intended to give you an idea of how our test system sounds in actual use one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with 5~10 seconds of room ambiance, followed by 5~10 seconds of the GPU test system with its case fans at various speeds. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again.

FINAL THOUGHTS

According to credible gaming-oriented review sites like PC Perspective, HardwareCanucks and AnandTech, the GeForce GTX 670 is a high-end graphics card that can play most titles smoothly with high detail levels at the native resolutions of large, premium monitors (2560x1600, 2560x1440). It's also one of the few single GPU cards that can tackle multi-monitor gaming to some degree. The general consensus is that it's roughly 10% slower than the GTX 680 and trades blows with the Radeon HD 7970.

The GTX 670 is also fairly energy efficient, at least compared to other performance models, using about 20W when idle and 162W on load according to our estimates. The load figure is particularly impressive, approximately 40W less than the GTX 680. For most system configurations, a modest 500W power supply is all that's required to accommodate the GTX 670 with room to spare. It's also quite thrifty when accelerating HD video, as are Nvidia cards in general. Rendering H.264 and Flash video, it uses more than 20W less than the most recent AMD card we tested, the Radeon HD 7870.

The DirectCU II cooler is the cherry on top, making it the coolest and quietest high-end graphics card we've ever tested that wasn't using third party cooling. In our low airflow video card test system, on full synthetic load, the GPU stabilized at a comfortable 73°C with a total system noise level of just 16 dBA@1m. Also keep in mind, the fan control can be customized to be less aggressive, making it even quieter — there's plenty of thermal headroom to do so.

Altogether, the ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II is the complete package. With high performance, modest power consumption, and a highly efficient cooling solution, there's very little room for improvement. The only thing that makes us hesitate to recommend running out and purchasing one immediately is the price. Even after excluding users who can't fathom spending a hefty amount on a graphics, the question of value is still in play. At US$400, it's US$50 more than an entry level GTX 670 with the same reference clock speeds. It's also notable that GTX 680's can be found for not much more. Whether or not it's worth the cost really depends on whether value a superior heatsink with superbly low noise. Puget Systems obviously thinks their customers are among those who do. Good choice, Puget!

Our thanks to Puget Systems for the GTX 670 DirectCU II video card review sample.


ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II wins the SPCR's Editor's Choice Award

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Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate Edition

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