Final Words

Looking at this data I’m reminded a great deal of the Radeon HD 6900 series launch. AMD launched the 6900 series after the GTX 500 series, but launch order aside the end result was very similar. NVIDIA’s second tier GTX 570 and AMD’s first tier Radeon HD 6970 were tied on average but were anything but equals. This is almost exactly what we’re seeing with the GTX 670 and the Radeon HD 7970.

Depending on the game and resolution we’re looking at the GTX 670 reaches anywhere between 80% and 120% of the 7970’s performance. AMD sails by the GTX 670 in Crysis and to a lesser extent Metro, only for the GTX 670 to shoot ahead in BF3 and Portal 2 (w/SSAA). Officially NVIDIA’s positioning on the GTX 670 is that it’s to go against the 7950 and not the 7970, and that’s a wise move on NVIDIA’s behalf; but the GTX 670 is surely nipping at the 7970’s heels.

With that said, there are a couple of differences from the 6900 series launch which are equally important. The first is that unlike last time the GTX 670 and Radeon HD 7970 are not equally priced. At MSRP the GTX 670 is $80 cheaper, while at cheapest retail it’s closer to $60. The second difference is that this time the competing cards are not nearly as close in power consumption or noise, and thanks to GK104 NVIDIA has a notable advantage there.

Much like the GTX 570 and the Radeon HD 6970, if you’re in the market for cards at these performance levels you need to take a look at both cards and see what kind of performance each card gets on the games you want to play. From our results the GTX 670 is doing better at contemporary games and is cheaper to boot, but the Radeon HD 7970 can hold its own here at multi-monitor resolutions and games like Crysis or Metro. Or for that matter it can still run circles around the GTX 670 in GK104's real weakness: compute tasks

On the other hand if you’re buying a gaming card on price then this isn’t a contest. For the Radeon HD 7950 this is the GTX 680 all over again. NVIDIA can’t quite beat the 7950 in every game (e.g. Crysis), but when it loses it’s close, and when it wins it’s 15%, 25%, even 50% faster. At the same time gaming power consumption is also lower as is noise. As it stands the worst case scenario for the GTX 670 is that it performs like a 7950 while the best case scenario is that it performs like a 7970. And it does this priced like a 7950, which means that something is going to have to give the moment NVIDIA’s product supply is no longer in question.

Outside of the obligatory AMD matchup, interestingly enough NVIDIA has put themselves in harm’s way here in the process. At 2560x1600 the GTX 680 only beats the GTX 670 by 7% on average. NVIDIA has always charged a premium for their top card but the performance gap has also been greater. In games that aren’t shader bound the GTX 670 does very well for itself thanks to the fact that it has equal memory bandwidth and only a slight ROP performance deficit, which means the GTX 680 is only particularly strong in Metro, Portal 2, and DiRT 3. The 7% performance lead certainly doesn’t justify the 25% price difference, and if you will give up that performance NVIDIA will shave $100 off of the price of a card, but if you do want that top performance NVIDIA intends to make you pay for it. Of course this is also why the GTX 670 is only priced $100 cheaper rather than $150. Potential buyers looking for a $350 GK104 card are going to be left out in the cold for now, particularly buyers looking for a meaningful GTX 570 upgrade.

Finally, the nature of NVIDIA’s power target technology has put partners like EVGA in an odd place. Even with a moderate 6%+ factory overclock the GTX 670 Superclocked just isn’t all that much faster than the reference GTX 670, averaging only a 3% gain at 2560. Since the GTX 670 virtually always operates above its base clock the culprit is NVIDIA’s power target, which keeps the GTX 670SC from boosting much higher than our reference GTX 670. Once you increase the power target the GTX 670SC can easily make an interesting niche for itself, but while this isn’t true overclocking it isn’t stock performance either. In any case it’s clear that for factory overclocked cards to really push the limit they’re going to need to go fully custom, which is what a number of partners are going to do in the coming months.

OC: Gaming Performance
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  • Galidou - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    Massive smackdown, lol it made AMD lower it'S prices by 50-60$, that's not massive.

    You know what's massive, my two radeon 6870 that I paid 130$ each and still compete with those 400$ cards... That's a massive smackdown because I bought them almost A FREAKING YEAR AGO. Take that abuser of the word ''massive'' :P
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    Not sure that comments was meant for me. I agree with you. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    I very recently ( a couple months ago) recommended a 6870 to a very close friend, I think the price was about $159 and it had maybe some rebate at the egg.
    He bought it and has been running it for his several sims, it was the best bang for the buck at the time in a level above his then current 3 or 4 running vid cards ( 4000+5000 series).

    So no doubt amd can have a deal worth purchasing, it's just not there at all in these 2 new generations. Not even a tiny bit.
    Reply
  • Galidou - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    And what's the reason for that, do you know? It's not because Nvidia IS SO FAR SUPERIOR ffs stop with that, it may be superior but it's not a civic vs a ferrari. AMD had the price/performance/die size superiority because they'Ve been doing(since radeon 4870) a shift in making the most heavy gpus in the world.

    Nvidia was focusing on a more computationnal approach and biggest gpu, strongest performance since... well since it's alive I think. Nvidia simply took AMD's way for this gen, forget about compute power a little and focus on smaller die for mazimum performance and low consumption while AMD made the move the other way, improved their compute power at the cost of die size and power consumption.

    That's what GCN is all about. it'S about the same thing that happened with GTX 2xx vs radeon 48xx cept that 4870 was more than TWICE smaller than GTX 2xx and almost as performant and sometimes even more. Not a mere 43% difference in die size, MORE THAN DOUBLE the size and still were so close in performance.

    And why am I doing this analysis and you didn't, because you were too much occupied at launching inflammatory disrespectful stuff, like lots of nvidia fanboys do. People don't deserve this in a ''computer part'' oriented discussion. You were at the same time saying people were stupid and disrespectful while you were doing the same, let's say even worse.

    Now get a neutral vision of things before commenting like you do, you wanna be a fanboy, at least do it in the light of respect. Did I call you any names now? Did I have to use the words ''stupid'', ''analphabet'', ''dumbfuck'', and so on... No because that was meaningless. Learn from the best of die like the rest.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    Yes you're a smack talker name calling disrespectful jerk.

    Yes of course you did, and you're a red fanboy and angry about all my absolutely valid points.

    That wall of text you have there is a big zero of hate - some toward me, so playing some innocent jay card doesn't work either, and BTW you've now posted a curse word, something I have never done.

    So you're a garbage mouth, and very disrespectful.
    Reply
  • Galidou - Monday, May 14, 2012 - link

    I never called you any names NEVER look at all my posts, I never called you even one name and you just did it again and again but I'm the one who lacks respect what's that:

    ''disrespectful jerk.''
    ''you're a garbage mouth''

    That word I posted was an example, it wasn't meant toward anyone it was an example.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    Oh stop your lying, you attack and call names more than anyone, it's your whole text every time. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    PS
    angry disser Galidou " And why am I doing this analysis and you didn't, "

    Why you are doing this analysis is because you are a pure amd troll and have to go back to the last generation to try to make some idiotic historical point because you have no current points and no current rebuttals.

    Furthermore you claim I am somehow unsound by not having made your crybaby last generation whining no real point but I have made the more pertinent point as nVidia beat amd in every single metric here.

    I guess for your "win" you need to squeal about respect as you do the same trash talk, then go back to a prior generation to try to whine about what exactly ?

    You having a neutral vision is one big fat joke.
    You're in with all the amd fanboys here telling lies and going back a generation and whining about that...

    It would be nice if your snide remarks could be directed at pertinent points I have made but so far you're incapable, and often just on a troll attack against me personally in at least two of your other posts.

    What were you spewing about up there anyway ? Power ? LOL
    Guess who loses that sonny.
    Reply
  • Galidou - Monday, May 14, 2012 - link

    these are the words you currently used in about 4-5 posts of yours, I don'T want to make any point with you toward video cards related discussion because of that, these are the words you use, I just want you to realize what you do:

    ''pathetic amd fanboys
    massive ignorance
    disrespectful jerk
    smack talker
    angry disser
    you're so ignorant
    most ignorant and clueless fools
    Where exactly is the brain ?
    (roll eyes at the immense ignorance, again)''

    and then at the same time use a sentence like:

    ''Thank me when you grow up enough to realize rebutting lies and fibs by others is an adult and responsible''

    The attitude words you used up there are so responsible... but no, you could just make your point and end it with a ''.'' but you ahve to add those words attacking everyone in your way, but sorry I forgot, I'm the one who attacks you, you're the perfect one... I'm maybe a troll but I'm not mad like you are.

    But hey, your arguments are so right that you gotta use all this stuff in your argumentation and call everyone a mad hater. Who's the hater? I already like Nvidia I'm no AMD fanboy.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    You're a total amd fanboy and a liar, and attacker, and name caller, and cursing rude jerk.
    I'm sure you enjoy playing an angel in between all of that.
    Reply

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