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GeForce GTX 670 Versus GTX 680 And Radeon HD 7970

GeForce GTX 670 2 GB Review: Is It Already Time To Forget GTX 680?

Not like it was ever really widely available anyway, right? The GeForce GTX 670 offers most of GK104's on-chip resources, doesn't give up much performance, and costs £100 less. Now, let's see if Nvidia can make enough of them to satisfy demand.

Given a GPU with roughly 88% of its CUDA cores enabled and slightly lower clock rates, we’d expect the GeForce GTX 670 to give up at least 12% of its performance compared to GeForce GTX 680. But then you start factoring in the complexities of GPU Boost and add on the fact that frame rates often don’t scale based on shader resources—particularly when an application isn’t bound by shader throughput.

Knowing all of that, it is still surprising to see our GeForce GTX 670 sample perform just 4.5% slower than our reference GeForce GTX 680—certainly less of a gap then we were told to expect. Knowing that overclocking on air is often enough to overcome a sub-5% spread, this almost negates any reason you might have had for buying a GeForce GTX 680, particularly if you were looking to play games at 1920x1080 with the eye candy cranked up.

We figured that upping the comparison to 2560x1600 would increase the gap between GeForce GTX 670 and 680. But the average is only 1% higher. The 670 still looks mighty juicy.

How does it compare to the Radeon HD 7970?

Based on the complete benchmark analysis, we know that Nvidia’s design does best at 1680x1050, while AMD competes most aggressively at 2560x1600. Using 1920x1080 again gives us a good gauge of playable performance at the native resolution of many popular panels.

Nvidia’s architecture establishes a distinct lead in Crysis 2, DiRT 3, and WoW. Its advantage is less pronounced in Battlefield 3 and Skyrim. AMD jumps ahead in Metro 2033.

Of course, you could add games to this list all day long, and the balance would undoubtedly shift. In our suite, though, the GTX 670 averages more than 13% faster. If you leave all of the test results alone and shift that World of Warcraft score to 2560x1600, favoring the Radeon a little more, the average drops to 11.4% faster—still a notable advantage for a card that is expected to sell for £50 less.

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  • 1 Hide
    Maximus_Delta , 10 May 2012 21:21
    I really think AMD should of set the 7970 clocks higher at default. Any 7970 owner knows with their card at 1125/1575 its much faster than the GTX 670 but this review paints a very different picture.
  • 0 Hide
    bemused_fred , 11 May 2012 03:05
    Shut up and take my money, NVIDIA!
    Maximus_DeltaI really think AMD should of set the 7970 clocks higher at default. Any 7970 owner knows with their card at 1125/1575 its much faster than the GTX 670 but this review paints a very different picture.

    AMD probably have very good reasons for keeping their cards at that level. I mean, if they could release them factory overclocked, they would be doing it as fast as they could, as it would give them a huge edge.
  • 0 Hide
    tracker45 , 11 May 2012 04:21
    gtx 670 and 680 performance is too similar !!!!! 680 is pointless !!!! don't buy it !!!
  • 1 Hide
    sam_p_lay , 11 May 2012 17:54
    Great job with the relative performance % charts on page 15 - would be great to start seeing this in all graphics card reviews (for example the upcoming GTX660 review comparing with GTX570 and GTX670!). Also good job re-running the numbers on all three GTX600 cards with the fresh drivers.

    You should be aware though when talking about availability issues that these don't necessarily apply to all markets. Over the past couple of years (since GTX470/GTX480) launch, I've observed quite a few cards with apparently poor availability actually being very easy to get hold of in the UK. Maybe it's easier to cater to the graphics needs of 60 million people than of 300 million :-) Something to keep in mind anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    johnners2981 , 11 May 2012 20:02
    Where did all the comments go???