MSI GeForce GTX 670 Power Edition

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MSI GeForce GTX 670 Power Edition

MSI GeForce GTX 670 Power Edition

A smokin' fast GTX 670 card designed for overclocking

MSI GeForce GTX 670 Power Edition

The Power Edition is overclocked a smidge, but you can go to town on its core clock and voltage, as well.

We’re big fans of the GTX 670 cards, and that’s not a joke relating to their generous-size cooling mechanisms, either. Oh no this is a serious love affair, brought on by the fact that this $400 GPU can be just as fast, if not faster, than the $500 GTX 680 flagship GPU with just a little overclocking. Not only is achieving that level of performance “sticking it to the man,” it’s also sound economics.

The reason the GTX 670 can achieve performance parity with the GTX 680 under certain conditions is because the two cards are extremely close in specs. The biggest difference is that the GTX 670 has seven SMX units instead of the GTX 680’s eight, resulting in 192 fewer CUDA cores (1,344 compared to 1,536 in the GTX 680) and 16 less texture units, making it 112 compared to 128. Otherwise the two cards have the same 2GB of 6GHz GDDR5 memory, the same 256-bit memory interface, same number of ROPs, and the same 1,502MHz memory frequency.

When it comes to clock speeds, MSI’s engineers have massaged the clocks by 105MHz, which brings its base clock to 1,020MHz (reference boards are clocked at 915MHz). Boost clocks have also been, uh, boosted, by 117MHz, allowing the card to clock all the way up to 1,097MHz when under duress. These are great numbers for a factory overclock, but they are not quite as aggressive as the Asus GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II TOP (August 2012), which is clocked at 1,058MHZ base and 1,137MHz boost. The Asus card is also more expensive, however. 

In addition to overclocking, owners of this board can overvolt it as well, which is exceedingly rare these days, so kudos to MSI for allowing it. The included MSI Afterburner software lets you adjust voltage, core and memory clocks, fan speed, and more. The monitoring software is hard to read, but tweaking values is as simple as moving a slider. The dual-fan Twin Frozr cooling apparatus is designed to suck up as much heat as you can throw at it, all while running silently.   

In testing, the MSI board ran neck-and-neck with the more expensive board from Asus as well as the much more expensive flagship GTX 680, which is both surprising and impressive. In our benchmarks, the MSI and Asus board shared the top step on the podium on every test, and the MSI board also beat the GTX 680 in five out of 12 tests, but by a margin so narrow we’re calling it a three-way tie between the GTX 670 cards from MSI and Asus and the EVGA GTX 680. The MSI board’s Twin Frozr cooler hung tough in testing, keeping the proc semi-warm at 75 C but running as quiet as a mime at all times. 

Overall we’re impressed with this card. It’s fast, silent, and you can overclock and tweak it to your heart’s desire. Plus it’s less expensive than the Asus card, and runs as fast as a GTX 680. Sounds pretty Kick Ass to us.

Price $410, www.msi.com

Benchmarks

MSI GeForce GTX 670 Power Edition

CHINCHILLA

Excellent performance; whisper-quiet; can be overclocked and overvolted.

DOUBLE CHIN

"Bundle" is just two Molex adapters.

10

9

Comments

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dedgar

From under the first image: The Power Edition is overclocked a smidge, but you can go to town on its core clock and votage, as well.
What's votage?

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azuza001

I own an EVGA 670 FTW and these cards are just amazing. It makes my old 560 / 6870 cards look weak. I can honestly say it's overkill for 1080P but if you upgrade to a 1600P monitor then suddenly you see a reason for this kind of power.

To the others who think these are not fast cards your sadly mistaken. They may not be 400$ worth faster over the last gens greatest card but if your rocking a 460/560 setup these are serious cards. Its all a matter of what your coming from and what your expecting to get out of an upgrade.

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vrmlbasic

I have a 6850. It is lacking. MaximumPC told me in 2011, when I built my PC, that the card could play modern games at 1920*1080, but they didn't make it clear that it would struggle a bit doing so.

That said, if I'm spending 400 bucks to upgrade, why would I settle for this, the 2nd best, instead of just plunking down another Franklin to get the best-of-the-best? OC'd, the card in this article can get pretty close to the best, so the article says, but if the best were overclocked itself wouldn't it leave this card choking on its dust? That's shame that I don't want to bear when I'm spending that kind of cash.

IMO when you're committing to dropping that much money on an upgrade you aren't quibbling about cost any longer, as I was when I was looking for a good card between 100-200 USD. I think I found the best that was available, but I'm still thinking that I'll hold out for Tenerife over this, assuming that Tenerife comes out in a timely manner. If I remember my MPC preview articles correctly (shoulda bookmarked it...) Tenerife has potential to be more powerful than this at a significantly lower price.

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azuza001

I can not comment on this article as I did not write it but from a pure GTX 670 vs 680 point of view this is how it seems to shake out.

The GTX 670 is the GTX 680 minus 1 cuda core. This missing cuda core is easily made up for by over-clocking the 670 which is stupid-simple to do. My EVGA came factory oc'ed to the speeds of a 680 and when all things are equal the cards are what, within 1% of each other when it comes to FPS / Scores? There will always be a crowd for simply the best where price is of no concern but for the rest of us it's about SMART choices. For 100$ less I get 1% less speed that I can well make up for by over-clocking the card further (mine will hit a boost of over 1200) and really there is not a compelling reason to spend that extra 100$.

There may even be an argument that the 670 can boost further than the 680 because it has less cores to push, it would be an interesting article to see. There Maximum PC and then there's Maximum PC Value. The 670 is the Maximum PC Value card, it's luxury enough that not everyone has one but it's able to compete with cards much pricer.

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vrmlbasic

I don't know, if you're spending 400 bucks already, what's another hundred to get to the real Top of the Nvidia Line?

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joshnorem

It's still the fastest single-GPU card available. The power consumption is a definite advantage as it makes upgrades easier, sucks less power and also runs quieter too. 

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Given that a 680 isn't really any faster than an overclocked 580, I don't see why you girls are getting all wet over this. These aren't fast cards. The only bullet point worth mentioning is power consumption, which you can do between tree hugs, I suppose.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Ill informed? The 680 had been benchmarked against an EVGA 580 Superclock, and lost to the older card in a number of measures. The 600 series is nothing to get excited about. You people sure lose your minds when someone criticizes your advertisers.

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SilverSurferNHS

not a given, woefully ill-informed