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
POST A COMMENT

414 Comments

View All Comments

  • Vertigo2000 - Monday, May 14, 2012 - link

    That's some bad, bad math comprehension. 300 and 365 are already the calculated areas.

    300 mm sq. = 17.3205 mm x 17.3205 mm

    365 mm sq. = 19.1050 mm x 19.1050 mm

    365 mm sq. is 21.667% larger than 300.
    Reply
  • chimaxi83 - Thursday, May 10, 2012 - link

    Pay no attention to this known banned from the forums troll. Poor, sad little man you are lol, sucks to be you doesn't it? Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, May 10, 2012 - link

    I agree, the targeted "forum trusted end user alpha males" amd's pr campaign handlers coddle and coach and follow and email and bribe with free amd hardware and event tickets are gonig to be sorely pressed making up enough fanboy lies to earn their freebies.
    They are sad, and muted, bringing down the entire amd fanboy morale - the lies need to be too big this time - and evil amd already scapled the crap outa their fanbase, lost in their power perf area, lost in frame rate, lost their 3G future fantasy ram argument - all they have left is blowing chunks about overclocking the unstable poor drivers 7000 series - not to mention the GTX570 slamming their 78xx series, and a single GTX680 outselling their entire 78xx series at the egg...
    I've seen more than one reviewer mention the 680 back orders were so great and the 79xx and 78xx sales so stalled, that they hoped for some kind of change... now the egg is full of 670's...
    amd fanboys need a whole wheel barrel full verdetrol just to not off themselves
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    What kind of weird conspiracy crack are you on? :S Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    I guess you're so ignorant you didn't read the fired AMD employees testimonies concerning and explaining their "use" of amd fanboys, preferably the "trusted alpha male" type from long established forums all over the web, including anand's here.
    If you're entirely clueless, as you are, you have a lot of homework to do to be able to understand.
    Now, with your rude attack due to your personal ignorance above, I think all of us can fairly completely ignore your sad, pathetic, amd pro backing smack talk comment above that, where put down the entire comments section as an argumentative and sad place.
    Kind of ironic that after trying to defend another amd fanboy who smarted back about not being sad, you wound up saying this place is sad, and yes we've all seen your amd favoritism for some time now.
    You are sad, amd has lost, and has been forced down into shame by their superior, nVidia.
    Reply
  • Galidou - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    LoL Cerise is still here launching inflammatory stuff at everyone who says something about AMD. Look at the mad Nvidia fanboy crying setting fire to the rain...

    Whoever loses, you don't have to get so MUCH mad when speaking of computer parts, they are freaking computer parts, not women intimate parts... get laid before speaking of ignorance...

    Why is it always the nvidia fanboys who gets so mad, are they freaking lacking real life sex so they become obsessed by video cards. I don't even want to think at what kind of picture they look at when they try to evacuate the pressure.... NO I DON'T...
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    Amd lost, and lost badly, and all you do is attack me, so you lose too. Reply
  • Gastec - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Omg he's just a troll and you have fallen into his trap. Went me talking to the walls painted 6 months ago....Ah but maybe the troll reads this and replies. And if he's a mad troll he will copy my comments store it in a .txt. or .doc and use it "against" me in future ..."fights" Pfff! Sayonara suckers! Reply
  • Galidou - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    ''Now, with your rude attack due to your personal ignorance''

    LOL, I wonder who's rude?

    ''your sad, pathetic, amd pro backing smack talk comment above that, where put down the entire comments section as an argumentative and sad place''

    I think that just answered my last question. Just sad to see someone who gather this information to use it like you do, good job.

    ''You are sad, amd has lost, and has been forced down into shame by their superior, nVidia. ''

    I think the only one who lost, it's you. You lost your sanity just for speaking about video card companies, according so much importance to it while it's so much irrelevant. 90% of the people will continue going to best buy and get a geforce 8600gt or a Radeon 2600xt for 120$ thinking they got the deal of the year because it has a 30$ rebate on it and allow them to run their game at 720p. GG
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    Ah yes, another whose only "information" in 2 consecutive posts is 100% personal attack.
    Thank me when you grow up enough to realize rebutting lies and fibs by others is an adult and responsible thing to do. Something you obviously are absolutely incapable of, since expertise is not in your arsenal.

    BTW - the gentleman who had to be corrected on his lackluster amd excuse concerning gpu core size vs amd's ability to for the 3td time in a few months, reduce prices, it has been pointed out, lied about the nVidia core size exaggerating it's dimensions (by mistake of course!).

    ROFL hahahha - you pathetic amd fanboys have to lie all the time....

    Not 300mm, 294mm sonny boy. ROFL

    When it's so bad no lie is too big or too small, this is what happens - this is what we're (well not you of course, you're just an attacking troll) dealing with.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now