EVGA has a solid offering in their hands with the GeForce GTX 670 SC edition and that isn't a hard think to accomplish as the GTX 670 all by itself already is a really nice product. It's a product that really is hard to dislike. We do feel it's pre-overclocked a little on the shy side compared to what we have seen from the competition.
Realistically though we think EVGA is keeping room in their lineup for other faster clocked SKUs. Overall the performance sits in-between a GTX 670 reference and the GTX 680 reference, and that's nothing to be ashamed about alright. The GeForce GTX 670 SC is a very nice performer that is very capable for 1920x1080/1200 and the newest games.
I stated this in the reference review also, when you have the GeForce GTX 670 card in your hands it does feel somewhat cheaper compared to the GTX 680 though. The cooler is less intricate feels a little too plastic and the sheer weight is so much lighter then the GTX 680. That combined with a small PCB gives it a totally different feel. We are certain though that the GTX 670 is a much cheaper to produces product.
At roughly 78 Degrees C the cooling performance is sufficient, but just that. The cooler also is a notch more noisy compared to the GTX 680 and makes a low-noise hum. It's not irritating or annoying, but you definitely can hear it when the graphics card is stressed during a hefty fragging session.
Overall the card is just golden for the 1920x1080 and 1920x1200 range in monitor resolution, there's not a game out there that it can't deal with at resolution. Anno 2070 at the best quality settings and 4xAA pushes 79 frames per second on average at 1920x1200, and still 51 fps at 2560X1600. In Crysis 2 we end at an average of 61 FPS in 1920x1200 with Ultra quality settings and that high resolution texture package and 4x AA.
Battlefield 3 is another example, with all eye candy opened up in game and again at 4xAA the card still pushes 56 FPS at 19x12 and that is just a couple of frames per second away from the GTX 680.
So while this product might have once shader cluster less, really the performance remains exceptionally good and once the dynamic clock aka turbo kicks in, the card easily functions on the 1050~1100 MHz range.
Overclocking, the two 6-pin PEG power connectors indicates that the power circuitry can handle less tweaking wise. The EVGA GTX 670 SC however already comes factory overclocked, albeit we'd call it a fairly shy tweak. However with manual overclocking another +75 MHz could be added to the baseclock and then the Dynamic Clock Adjustment technology kicks in, resulting into give or take 1200 MHz on the clock where the power envelope allows it.
The peak heat levels can close in towards 78 Degrees C perhaps even a little higher in a badly ventilated chassis. These levels are fine and within the thermal design of the card. The ventilation will always try to keep the card under 80 degrees C, so fan RPM will adapt to that. We prefer cards under load to remain under 70 Degrees C. In our tests the noise levels remain okay but as stated you can hear a low hum coming from the cooler. In desktop and idle mode you will not hear the card, it absolutely is silent under that condition. Under hefty gaming load however you will be able to hear the product. We rated the card at roughly 43 DBa (including background noise). That however can be considered to be is a fairly normal noise level, which means you can hear the card, but not at annoying levels or anything like that.
I would like to mention EVGA's new global warranty policy though, it recently changed so it's good to address it a little deeper. Under the new warranty policy, all products will have a minimum of 3 years warranty, and registration is now optional and fully transferable. However for original owners that do register within 30 days of purchase there are some perks. Here's a bulleted overview:
3 Year Warranty Minimum - All EVGA products will carry a minimum warranty of 3 years.*
Warranty is now Transferable EVGA Global Warranty will cover the product, not the user. The warranty term starts on the date of purchase if user has invoice, or manufacture date if not.
Warranty Upgrades Warranty upgrades are now available for the original owner upon registration. A 5 or 10 year warranty upgrade is available at a price.
EVGA Step-Up Enhanced The EVGA Step-Up program is available for any EVGA graphics or motherboard product with Warranty Upgrade.
Global Warranty Policy An EVGA product is covered under warranty, no matter where you live. If you purchase a product in another country, you will be served by your local warranty center.
Free Standard Cross-Shipping RMA Basic cross shipping service is now free.
With that said, if you can find the EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SC at just above 410 USD or roughly 400 EUR then we can definitely recommend it. It offers a lot of performance in it's default setup and a little tweaking has been done for you. There's plenty of choice out there though, GTX 670 is however gong to be a popular product so let's hope there will be good volume availability as otherwise we might see prices on the rise again. Regardless, the GeForce GTX 670 might be the graphics card to buy this year, though not cheap it does offer a well balanced performance versus price.
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