OC: Power, Temperature, & Noise

Our final task is our look at GTX 670’s overclocking capabilities. Based on what we’ve seen thus far with GTX 670, it looks like NVIDIA is binning chips based on functional units rather than clockspeeds. As a result GTX 670 could have quite a bit of overclocking potential, albeit one still limited by the lack of voltage control.

GeForce 600 Series Overclocking
  GTX 670 EVGA GTX 670SC GTX 680
Shipping Core Clock 915MHz 967MHz 1006MHz
Shipping Max Boost Clock 1084MHz 1188MHz 1110MHz
Shipping Memory Clock 6GHz 6GHz 6GHz
Shipping Max Boost Voltage 1.175v 1.162v 1.175v
       
Overclock Core Clock 1065MHz 1042MHz 1106MHz
Overclock Max Boost Clock 1234MHz 1263MHz 1210MHz
Overclock Memory Clock 6.9GHz 6.6GHz 6.5GHz
Overclock Max Boost Voltage 1.175v 1.162v 1.175v

Because of the wider gap between base clock and boost clock on the GTX 670 we see that it doesn’t overclock quite as far as GTX 680 from a base clock perspective, but from the perspective of the maximum boost clock we’ve slightly exceeded the GTX 680. Depending on where a game lands against NVIDIA’s power targets this can either mean that an overclocked GTX 670 is faster or slower than an overclocked GTX 680, but at the same time it means that overclocking potential is clearly there.

We’re also seeing another strong memory overclock out of a GK104 card here. GTX 680 only hit 6.5GHz while GTX 690 could hit 7GHz. GTX 670 is only a bit weaker at 6.9GHz, indicating that even with the relatively small PCB that NVIDIA can still exceed the high memory clocks they were shooting for. At the same time however this is a luck of the draw matter.

The EVGA card meanwhile fares both worse and better. Its gap between the base clock and and maximum boost clock is even larger than the reference GTX 670, leading to it having an even lower overclocked base clock but a higher overclocked maximum boost clock. The real limiting factor however is that it couldn’t reach a memory overclock quite as high as the reference GTX 670 – again, luck of the draw – which means it can’t match the overclocked reference GTX 670 as it’s going to be more memory bandwidth starved more often.

Moving on to our performance charts, we’re going to once again start with power, temperature, and noise, before moving on to gaming performance. We’ll be testing our GTX 670 cards at both stock clocks with the maximum power target of 122% (170W) to showcase what is possible at validated clockspeeds with a higher power cap, and a true overclock with a maximum power target along with the largest clock offsets we can achieve.

Not surprisingly, since we’re almost always operating within the realm of the power target as opposed to the TDP on the GTX 600 series, our power consumption closely follows our chosen power target. Cranking up the power target on the GTX 670 for example to 170W puts us within 6W of the GTX 680, which itself had a 170W power target in the first place. This is true for both Metro and OCCT, which means power consumption is very predictable when doing any kind of overclocking.

This also means that power consumption is still 18W-30W below the 7970, which in turn means that if these overclocks can close the performance gap, then the GTX 670 still has a power consumption advantage.

As to be expected, with an increase in power consumption comes an increase in load temperatures. However the fact that we’re only able to increase power consumption by about 30W means the temperature rise is limited to 4-5C, pushing temperatures into the low 80s. This does end up being warmer than the equivalent GTX 680 however due to the 680’s superior heatsink.

Finally, when it comes to noise we’re also seeing the expected increase, but again it’s rather small. Under Metro the amount of noise from the reference GTX 670 rises by under 3dB when pushing the power target higher on its own, while it rises 3dB when adding in our full overclock. Again the smaller cooler means that the GTX 670’s fan has to work harder here, which means our gaming performance may be able to reach the GTX 680, but our noise is going to slightly exceed it. As a point of reference, in the process we’ll also exceed the GTX 580’s noise levels under Metro. Still, in both OCCT and Metro none of our GTX 670 cards exceed the Radeon HD 7900 series, which means we've managed to increase our performance relative to those cards without breaching the level of noise they generate in the first place.

Power, Temperature, & Noise OC: Gaming Performance
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  • Galidou - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    LoL you're still so much into it's almost like you wanna make me feel that you're gonna save the world with your knowledge. Pollution will be eradicated by the light of your mesurements(in milimeters that is).

    Sorry if my english ain't at your level, maybe why you beleive I'm young, but it is in fact my third language. The only fanboy here is you, I know that this 670 is AMAZING, if I were in the market for a 300$ video card with what I see now, I'd dish an extra 100 to get it without hesitation.

    OMG sonny boy you had to mention this like it was all the supernatural 6mm difference... who gives a darn but you... If you're that old and ''responsible'' commenting like you do about video cards, WOW, it's even worse than I think, the word responsible might even have to change definition just because of you.

    I have never seen someone so irresponsible in forums when speaking about video cards. And I'm not the only one who might think that way for sure.

    You'Ve been doing personnal attacks on this forum on a regular basis and all that because of what, because of your knowledge in video cards. I'd prefer to be the most stupid man on earth instead of using any form of knowledge the way you do.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    Another gigantic wall of text with nothing on the topic, and nothing but attacking. Goodbye, you missed all the discussions, and all you've got to add now is your hatred. Reply
  • Galidou - Monday, May 14, 2012 - link

    I never said your discussions were fulled with lies or anything, it's just the way you bring up your argumentation. It makes me feel like not everyone will listen to you because of that. You do it in a harsh way and bring everyone down with you at the same time.

    You think calling everyone an ignorant is really necessary to explain anything related to the topic even if their argumentation is flawed? I don't think so. I already know Nvidia won for this gen, and they won big time. It's nice to see some nice bang for your bucks at the top, and I mean, if it wasn't for the fact that I only run in 1080p and the most anticipated game I'll play is diablo 3, I'd get one right now. But darn it dude, calm down...
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - link

    You calm down amd fanboy, you LOST, amd LOST, and is LOSING, and amd is near broke.
    And you're very upset over it.
    Reply
  • Gastec - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - link

    Aha! Busted! You are looking forward for AMD to get broke, closed so we would all be forced to buy video cards from only one corporation: nVidia. Because that way your share of money will get bigger. You greedy bastard! Reply
  • jamyryals - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    While highly entertaining to me, your comments are actually a bit disturbing when one thinks about what you are like in real life. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    Yes, don't forget to personally attack me, use the usual blabber the most ignorant and clueless fools on the net use to do so, it's a very short list, so it won't be too hard for you unless you try to remember how to spell basement.
    Now back to the topic I brought up.
    It's a sad time for amd fanboys and no amount of lies can help.
    After the reviewer smacked down all 79xx CF setups as not able to recommend, we have this very next follow up review - and it's easy to say everyone is absolutely amazed by the massive performance of this next step nVidia GTX670 - beating amd and their fanboys at the very heart and I do mean their dark little love it to death fanboy talking point amd heart - die size / power use / price perf / fan noise...

    It's a total and complete smackdown, exceeding even in muliti monitor with the nVidia 3+1surf - a complete smackdown - no area left for the and fanboy to grab onto - extreme sadness the era has ended.

    Consolation prize is vehemently claiming amd "OC's better", but it's a very difficult and voltage increasing road of heat and instability to that little nugget - while the nVidia fan comfortably uses a new technology for OC, and "enjoys some OC anyway" even without touching a thing, if we are to believe the angry and defeated amd fans protestations..
    Reply
  • SlyNine - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    You need to take a step back and read your comments. You seem to think you're the only person with a valid opinion. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    Oh more personal attacking ?
    You can have your opinion, even if it's ridiculous and stupid, and rest assured, I may use the facts to prove that it is, and thus, you may whine I seem to think only my opinion is valid.

    I see now you went on a half page excuse rant for amd in the prior page trying to justify it's terrible loss with much spinning and distortions - look buddy, why don't you take some of your own advice ?

    It's obviously very important to you, given your actions - so it would be better if you made more attempts like the one I just referred to, and also had the guts to correct those spinning and lying for amd, as then I wouldn't be so busy.

    We can thank snakefist for pointing out past page 25 here that the nVidia core size is 294mm on a side not 300mm - so there we go again, another lie by an amd fan corrected...

    ( to be fair there was some misinformation concerning that comporting to the error the poster made)

    Thanks for telling me to read my own posts, I assure you I do, although now I've skipped reading your entire rant on the prior page. It's laughable BTW.

    Reply
  • haakon_k - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    While a bit entertaining to me, your comments are actually highly disturbing when one thinks about what you are like in real life.

    *my version
    Reply

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