The NVIDIA GTX 670 is one of our favorite cards at the $400 price range due to its performance, low power consumption, and relatively quiet operational noise. The PNY GTX 670 again follows the company’s tradition of using the reference design from NVIDIA, but what sets the PNY GTX 670 apart from other reference design GTX 670′s is the lifetime warranty and price.[review_ad]
PNY has been an NVIDIA partner for as far as we can remember. Unlike ASUS or GIGABYTE, which often have custom design cards with different coolers and overclocks, PNY generally stays true to the NVIDIA reference design. Because of this, PNY’s graphic cards often have great value to them as it is often one of the cheapest cards among different card manufacturers. The GTX 670 that we have here today for example, is selling at $429.99 with $30 rebate, making it one of the cheapest GTX 670′s money can buy.
While extreme enthusiasts prefer to go with non-reference cards for the added cooling, factory overclocking, or additional overclocking potential, many people simply want a card that offers the best bang for their buck. The GTX 670 is powerful enough that even at reference clockspeed the card is powerful enough to deliver very smooth gaming experience at 1080p. Thus, budget gamers will get the short end of the stick when choosing a reference, especially since NVIDIA’s GTX 670 design is not particularly bad as what we have seen in the past with other reference designed card.
The PNY GTX 670 is shipped in a rather small box that is just slightly bigger than the card itself. This is slightly unusual for a high performance card as we have gotten used to seeing retail packages with massive boxes splashed with tons of marketing information. We are sure PNY chose minimalistic packaging to cut some of the cost down. However, at the same time, the simple package reduces environmental waste which is a major plus for us. The box primarily helps to draw customer attention at the retail shelves, but with so many people ordering their hardware online, it has become less important. What truly matters is what is inside the box.
Not only is the packaging simple, PNY has also not gone overboard with tons of marketing material on the outside of the box. Besides a few logos like the HDMI and the Lifetime warranty, and the specification of the card, we are not being inundated with excessive technical information. This maybe a good time to mention that the lifetime warranty only applies to the original purchaser who must register the product or else you only get 1 year. PNY is one of the few companies that still offers lifetime warranty on their cards but unfortunately the need for registration something that we are not particularly thrilled. Just be sure that you register the card so you can have a peace of mind.
The GTX 670 is wrapped around a plastic cutout shell to secure it from being damaged during the shipping. We would’ve preferred a little bit more protection on a $400 investment. However, our video card arrived without any damage so it gets the job done despite its weak appearance.
Besides the GTX 670 card, PNY also threw in a PCI-E power adapter, a DVI to VGA adapter, a 6-foot PNY branded HDMI cable, driver CD, and a Quick Start Guide. The inclusion of HDMI cable is a very nice touch as we see that other vendors do not include such cable and this maybe one of the most useful accessory among those included. There is not much additional software included besides the driver, we also get DirectX and User Guide. PNY does include Supersonic Sled and Design Garage but both software titles are only demo version. Additionally, a few desktop wallpapers are included.
While we cannot really say that going with NVIDIA reference design is always a good thing, the latest GTX 600 series from NVIDIA is actually not a bad designed card. So following the reference design is not a terribly bad choice here. Besides the logo and the sticker o the fan, the PNY GTX 670 is essentially identical to the reference card. The card sports the same black PCB and the same short PCB design with the same radial fan attached at the end. The same short PCB board means that the two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors are located in the middle of the card, such placement of the power connector is a tad unusual and would mean that you may have to stretch your power cable a bit longer to reach to the connector than the usual placement at the end of the card.
In addition to the power connector, we also have two gold connectors on the top of the card ready for the 2-way and 3-way SLI. The rear of the card is where we will find the video output ports. Like the reference card, we get one dual-link DVI-I, one dual-link DVI-D, one HDMI 1.4a and a full size DisplayPort. While mini DisplayPort has gained popularity among display makers, the inclusion of the full-size DisplayPort would make it easier to use if you still have a monitor that supports such port. In addition, we get the exhaust grills located on the rear, again exactly like the reference card.
The fact that the PNY GTX 670 uses the same reference design means that it uses the same radial cooler which is somewhat unfortunate. Our biggest gripe with the GTX 670 is the flimsy and fragile feel of the cooler that occupies the right side of the card. The noise-level of the cooler is also a tad loud under load compared to the GTX 680 despite their similar looking. While it is not vacuum cleaner loud, it is definitely audible. The idle noise is quieter, however.
The PNY GTX 670 comes with 1344 Processor Cores clocked at 915 MHz base and is able to boost up to 980 MHz. It is packed with 2 GB of 256-bit GDDR5 memory clocked at 6GHz. Like the rest of the GTX 670, the card supports PCIE 3.0, NVIDIA’s Adaptive Vertical Sync, Surround Sound in 3+1 configuration (where 3 displays are in surround mode and 1 independent mode), DirectX 11 with DirectCompute 5.0 support, PhysX, 3D Vision, 2-way and 3-way SLI, OpenGL 4.2, and OpenCl support.
|Case||Cooler Master Storm Trooper|
|CPUs||Intel Core i7 3770K (Ivy Bridge – LGA 1155 -Z77)|
|Motherboards||Intel DZ77GA-GD65GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H|
|Ram||Kingston HyperX Gray 4 GB (2x2GB)|
|CPU Cooler||Zalman CNPS9900 Max|
|Hard Drives||Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB|
|SSD||1x OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SATA III 6Gb/s SSD|
Since the PNY GTX 670 is essentially the reference GTX 670, the performance of the card does not varies much from the reference card. As expected, the card performs just a tad under the GTX 680 and is faster than the HD 7950. In a few tests, the card even out-performs the HD 7970.
GTX 670 Scaling and PCIE 2.0 vs 3.0
The Z77 is the first chipset that is natively supporting PCI Express 3.0 if you pair it with an Ivy Bridge processor. We decided to take the GTX 670 for a spin to compare the performance of the card running at PCI Express 2.0 and PCI Express 3.0. PCI Expres 2.0 has a total theoretical bandwidth of 5 GT/s and the PCI Express 3.0 reached 8 GT/s. Would the card be limited by the interconnect bandwidth? Since not many people are ready got jump to Ivy Bridge platform for PCIE 3.0, we are sure this is the question in many people’s mind. Here we also include the result with the games running at 2550×1440 in addition to the 1920×180 and 1680×1050 to give you an idea just how the card’s performance scales up.
Looking at the results above, we can also see that the GTX 670 is powerful enough for most games even at 2560×1440 resolution. We can see that with the exception of the Metro 2033, the GTX 670 breezes through the rest of the game titles without much issue at delivering 30 FPS. If you are looking for a gaming card that is capable of playing any of the current titles, the GTX 670 is certainly a great choice in term of performance and price ratio.
Clearly, the GTX 670 is not bottlenecked by the interface bandwidth. With the exception of the Unigene Heaven 3.0 at 2550×1440, the differences between the two interfaces are relatively small. While there is a slight performance degradation running the card at PCI Express 2.0, the different is so small that we doubt anyone would notice it. One thing we notice is that at higher resolution (2550×1440), there appears to be a wider gap between the two interface. However, at typical resolution of 1080p, they are essentially identical. In fact, in a couple of games the PCIE 2.0 bus actually edges out PCIE 3.0. Only if you start to pump out 4K or higher resolutions, then you may starts to experience some bandwidth bottleneck. There is absolutely no drawback running the card in a PCIE 2.0 board if you are using display with resolution at or lower than 1080p.
Temperature, Power and Noise
|Temperature||Idle (°C)||Load (°C)|
|PNY GTX 670 (automatic fan setting)||39||83|
PNY GTX 670 (80% fan setting)
72 (~60% fan)
|GTX 670 Reference (80% fan setting)||38||73|
Given the fact that the PNY GTX 670 uses the same reference design and cooler, we should not expect the cooling performance of the card to be much different than the reference GTX 670. NVIDIA designed Kepler to be very efficient and as a result it does not consume that much power and the card runs rather cool. Even under load, the card is just a little over 80°C with the default fan profile where the fan is running at approximately 60%. When we crank up the fan to 80%, we get about 10 degree drop.
We are a little bit disappointed to see that PNY’s card uses the reference cooler. While we loved the GTX 680 and the GTX 690 cooler, the reference GTX 670 is a little noisy to our liking. The cooler is not vacuum cleaner loud but it is definitely audible when the card is under stress. Under load where the fan is running at 60% normally, we can definitely hear the noise of the fan and the noise is a little bit louder than what we would’ve preferred. With the fan set at 80% when we overclocked the card, the noise is definitely too loud to our liking. Luckily the fan only hovers at around 60% during our whole testing period so we should not expect the noise-level to be much of an issue.
|System Power Consumption||Idle (Watts)||Load (Watts)|
|PNY GTX 670||66||285|
|PNY GTX 670 OC||66||323|
|GTX 670 Reference||66||282|
We measure the system power consumption with Metro 2033. We report the highest wattage observed during the few minutes of game play. The idle power is obtained with a clean system boot sitting idle on desktop for 15 minutes. The GTX 670 is one of the most power efficient GPU on the market. If you are looking for an enthusiasts card, you will not be disappointed by it. The PNY GTX 670′s power consumption is just a tad higher than the reference GTX 670 under load but idle, it consumes the same wattage as the reference card.
We use EVGA Precision X to overclock our GTX 670. We set the card power target to 122% and fan at fixed 80%. Our review sample a maximum voltage setting to 1.162V. At this setting, we were able to overclock the card based speed to 1050 MHz from the default 915MHz. The Turbo clock that the card is able to achieve is 1202 MHz, a little bit lower than what we have seen with the reference GTX 670 (by about 40MHz). For the memory clock, we were able to achieve a 6.6GHz, a pretty healthy number for a GTX 670.
At this speed, the card consumes about 38 watts more power and with the 3DMark 11 Performance benchmark, we were able to achieve 14% gain, putting the card close to the GTX 680.
The NVIDIA GTX 670 is one of the best GPU available today when you consider the price and the performance that the card offers. Like any reference design card, the PNY GTX 670 performance is not much different from the reference card. The noise-level, power consumption, and the temperature are all pretty much mimics what we have seen with the GTX 670. As always when you shop for a reference card, you would be looking for what sets one card from other besides the card and its performance. With the PNY GTX 670, it’s the card’s price and warranty. Being one of the cheapest GTX 670′s on the market, the PNY card is actually not skimming on the warranty. In fact, the card sets itself apart from all other cards by offering a limited lifetime warranty (provided that you register or else you get just one year). While we are not too thrilled about the need for registration, we do appreciate the lifetime warranty since most other graphics vendors stopped offering such lengthy warranty for their products. The included HDMI cable is also a nice touch since most reference card only comes with bare minimal accessories so it’s nice to see PNY goes beyond the others while keeping the price low. Ultimately, if you are simply want a GTX 670 that offers the best bang for the buck, this is the card for you.
|OUR VERDICT: PNY GeForce GTX 670|
|Summary: If you are shopping for a GTX 670, definitely check out the PNY GTX 670 as the card offers great performance with lifetime warranty. The included HDMI cable is useful and not to mention the fact that the card is often one of the cheapest, making it one of the best reference designed GTX 670 available. It earns the Bjorn3D Silver Bear Award.|