We temporarily take a break from e-Sport news as we give you guys again a hardware review, this time by Carlo “fakuryu” Dinglasan. It's his review of Point of View's GTX 670.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to review an up and coming GPU for our market and was told that it would be an enthusiast level GPU but had no idea what it would be. This all happened when I was just passing by Eton to look for a good hand strap for my camera. After having no luck with my hand strap, we went on our way to SM North Annex to meet the distributor of the up and coming GPU. I was told that it would from Point of View and the card in question was the venerable GTX 670. The first thing that came to mind was. "Wow... I wonder what Battlefield 3 would look like on my PC?". We went on our way after the discussion and said that I would be informed of when the card would be here.
Weeks went by and I almost forgotten about it then one faithful day during the CS tournament that was being handled by Rig Builders Alliance (RBA), I received an SMS that it was there and ready for pick up. So I went back to Eton, still no luck with my camera hand strap, got the GPU, went to Megamall for my photographic duties and hurriedly went home to finally try this beast.
- Graphics Engine : GTX670 (28nm)
- Interface : PCI-Express 3.0
- Video memory : 2048 MB DDR5
- Base clock : 915 Mhz
- Boost clock : 980 Mhz
- Memory clock : 6008 Mhz
- CUDA cores : 1344
- Memory bus : 256 bit
- DVI-I : 2x dual link
- HDMI : 1x mini-HDMI
- DisplayPort : 1x
Test unit specs:
- Processor : Intel i5-3570K 3.4ghz (stock)
- Motherboard : Asus Z77m Pro
- Memory : 8GB 4x2 DDR3 1600cl9 GSkill RJX
- HDD : 500gb SATA2 WDC Blue
- PSU : Seasonic M12ii 520w 80+ Bronze
- Case : Aerocool QS 202 mATX
- Monitor : 20" Dell E2011H 1600x900 LED
BTW what this mini review does not cover are the power load test since I don't own a power load tester but according to nvidia.com, it requires at least a true rated 500w PSU with 2 6pin PCIE connectors.
Various reviews out there shows that the maximum consumption of the GTX 670 will not even reach 170w, so for a single GPU build, a good 500w PSU is more than enough.
For this review, there will be minimal numbers as I would want to make it as close as to real world testing goes.
After opening the box, I was surprised of how short the PCB is. If I remember correctly, it is as short as the GTS450 I had before. What made the card seemed long was the blower type fan extension it had. Inside were only the card itself, the CD driver and the manual. For a card that can do a three-way SLI, I wished that they would provide even just 1 SLI bridge.
After cleaning my casing and installed the card and it is a beauty so I just have to test it out. First thing I always notice when switching from AMD to Nvidia is that Nvidia's color profile is a bit more saturated which could be a good or bad thing if you look at it or that since I calibrated my monitor using an AMD GPU to be as natural as it could be.
After that was the noise, being a blower type it was understandable compared to other cooling solutions. But what I like about this kind of setup is that it helps blow hot air out of the casing.
And then it was Battlefield 3 time. I set it to ultra to see if the card can take it and it took it without a sweat. For the first time, I played one of my favorite shooters at its intended setting and it was sweet. Being a sniper class, I do take a lot of time watching the environment and the difference between playing at the ultra settings versus my mixed settings (which was pretty darn decent as I should say) was night and day. Yes I can do that too with my HD5850 but what it cannot do is play it smoothly. I mean the card never went down 60 frames per second even with all the sprites from the smoke, explosions, bullets, rubble and flying dead bodies. After playing for some time, it kept a decent temperature of around 70°C (room temp of 30°C) which was fantastic since it was being tested at ultra settings and after touching my case, it did not feel like something was baked inside, the blower type fan did help a lot keeping the internal temperature of my case low.
After BF3, I thought of playing Diablo 3 but since my current GPU can max it out without any problems, I just played Counter-Strike: Global Offensive instead which I would be playing for the first time after installing the game. I used the maximum settings, with all the bells and whistles and off the bat I had more than 200 fps showing on my HUD. I really did not bother testing my HD5850 after (but I did had more than 120fps after playing it a few days later).
So, what next? How about video conversion? Since my video converter can use GPU acceleration, it might be a good way to test the GTX 670 and Nvidia's CUDA technology. I chose a 22 minute 720p from my collection and was to resize it to 320x240 MPEG4 format and was finished after 1 minute 22.5 seconds which was not bad at all. Then it was time to test ATi Stream which I presume would use OpenCL and finished after 1 minutes 31 seconds flat which was about 9 seconds slower. Surprisingly, even the without the GPU acceleration via OpenCL, the CPU conversion took 1 minute 24.1 seconds which was 7 seconds faster. Could this be that for my converter, CUDA does work even if it just shaved a few seconds? It is hard to say but 2 seconds is 2 seconds. BTW I also tested again over clocking my processor to 4ghz and keeping my HD5850 stock and finished the same task in less than 1 minute 20 seconds. So what does this mean in terms of real world usage? Well if I am also a part time videographer who needs to resize a lot of videos, an over clocked processor and GPU can shave off a lot of time for that task.
Isn't comparing an HD58** series unfair since that the GTX670 is much faster? Well yes it is in some way but I do have a different perspective while making this review. A gamer on the market for an upgrade. A few years back, the HD5850 was the talk of the town, about the performance it brings for the price. The HD5850 can still bring it but it is already showing its age. If I am in the market for a new GPU, what would it be? It would be nice to get the full bore and buy a GTX 680 but the price is too steep, a GTX 660ti would be nice but even after overclocking the card, it might not be enough. Then here is the GTX 670 PoV. Priced relative decently at around PHP18000, it offers a ton of performance that akin to its bigger brother the GTX 680, and some examples of the GTX 670 can be over clocked so good that it can even surpass its elder sibling while being cheaper as well by an average of PHP7000 (as of this writing).
This is Point of View's first strike on out in the market and what it did, it did it well, providing enthusiast a decent base in the form of a reference GTX 670 that is a bit easy on a budget. Why is a reference design a good base for enthusiast? Two words: WATER BLOCKS. Reference designed GPU are great for H2O cooling, not due to some magic but manufacturers can design water blocks that can easily regardless the brand. Even if you are not going that way, I do prefer the blower type configuration since it helps blow hot air outside the case. Not bad for an European country that has offices in Asia for our market (and Holland out of the countries! I was expecting something more industrial like Germany).
So what can I say? The GTX 670 is a fabulous card, if I am on the market for a new GPU and wanted a ton of performance that it a bit easy to swallow, the Point of View GTX 670 is an excellent choice since it also has a 1 year store and 1 year distributor warranty which makes the PoV GTX 670 easily recommendable.
I would like to thank PoV in allowing me to review this beast of a card!