KFA2 GeForce GTX 670 EX OC review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 06/26/2012 01:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Final words and conclusion
Overall the GeForce GTX 670 series are hot when it comes to game performance. So nice you get your hands on the customized models, typically things only get better. The KFA2 GeForce GTX 670 EX OC is all that, the cooling performance is sufficient (though at reference level), the noise levels ... well there aren't any really and then the sheer performance is close to the GTX 680 thanks to the factory overclock.
So overall this product is really doing well. At roughly 75 Degrees C the cooling performance is definitely sufficient, it seems a tad high but KFA2 is doing that deliberately so that they can keep the FAN RPM very low. As a result this card is silent whilst being factory overclocked.
The looks and aesthetics are nice, but feel a little tame. I mean it's a good looking card, but the blue PCB should be a thing of the past really. Heck you know that they say --- once you go black ...
There is one oddity that I need to mention, coil noise. Once the card starts to do it's work you can hear remote squeeky sounds and we've noticed that in the past with other Galaxy / KFA2 products as well. It's actually at a level where it could be a tad annoying -- that said I am hugely anal when it comes to noise. But for a product that really is silent, this should not happen.
Currently we do have to mention that there is a problem with GeForce GTX 600, with VSYNC enabled people have been noticing weird stutter behavior. NVIDIA promised to get this resolved asap with a new driver update. However it is speculated that the stuttering might be directly related towards the towards the new boost mode (flexible clock frequency of the GPU going up and down). So it'll be very interesting to see how that is going to be solved. Not everybody is experiencing this issue though, should it happen to you then a temporary solve is to disable vsync until NVIDA comes up with a final solution.
Overall the card is downright excellent for the 1920x1080 and 1920x1200 monitor resolution, there's not a game out there that it can't deal with at those resolutions. Anno 2070 at the best quality settings and 4xAA pushes ~85 frames per second on average at 1920x1200, and still 50+ fps at 2560X1600. In Crysis 2 we end at an average of ~65 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.
While this product might have one shader cluster less, the performance remains exceptionally good. The lower default base clock frequency made us wonder if the performance would crash, but once the dynamic boost clock aka turbo kicks in, the card easily operates in a 1100~1200 MHz range (if the power envelope allows it), a little trick that seems to really work out for NVIDIA.
Overclocking, the 6-pin PEG and 8-pin power connectors indicate that the power circuitry can handle more tweaking wise. The EX OC edition however already comes factory overclocked. Only another +35 MHz could added to the baseclock and with the Dynamic Clock Adjustment kicking in, that results towards roughly 1200 MHz on the clock frequency where applicable. Granted, we had hoped to get a little higher on the core though, a +100 MHz on top of the factory overclock would have been really nice. But we noticed very similar maximum clock behavior with other 670 products as well.
Right, let's wrap thing up. We like the KFA2 GeForce GTX 670 EX OC edition, we stated it in the GTX 680 review already; it is quite amazing what NVIDIA is able to do with the GK104 which we still think was intended to be the mid-range chip. Cutting away one shader cluster (SMX) and lowering the core GPU clock frequency remains a bit of a paradox as the card remains to be very fast. The nice factory overclock makes the product come real close at reference GTX 680 performance levels (with a small offset here and there of course).
With prices hovering around the 400 EUR marker you need to be selective and careful in your decision making. The KFA2 GTX 670 EX OC simply offers a lot of performance in it's default setup and most of the tweaking has been done for you. Definitely a product we can recommend.
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