A smokin' fast GTX 670 card designed for overclocking
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.