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Card outperform an $80 more expensive AMD GPU in power, gaming, and noise

Today NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) announced the third performance addition to its new Kepler family of 28 nm GPUs (the 600 Series).  Many were writing NVIDIA off when Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) beat it to the market, dropping Graphics Core Next (GCN) on the market in January and then fleshing its lineup out in following months.  

I. Well-Positioned, Strong Performer

While AMD likely did gain from the head start, NVIDIA is ready to respond.  Not only did the GeForce GTX 680 decimate AMD in single-card performance, but now the GeForce GTX 670 has arrived to go toe-to-toe with the Radeon HD 7950 -- AMD's similar price offering -- and pull into a rough tie with the Radeon HD 7970, a card which commands $80 USD more today.  When you throw in NVIDIA's GPU computing (CUDA) lead, it's in an excellent buy.
GeForce 670
[Image Source: NVIDIA]

To be clear, an AMD price cut is all but certain.  Diamond's card already dropped to $450 USD (still $50 USD more than the GTX 670) on Newegg.com, and PowerCooler trimmed $20 off the MSRP.  More cuts will likely follow in days to come.

But NVIDIA has certainly thrown down the gauntlet with its latest launch and will all but surely see strong sales.

GeForce 670
The GeForce 670, decloathed. [Image Source: AnandTech]

If there's a weakness to be said for the Kepler lineup it's that the company is still missing a low-to-mid range option, say a $300-$340 USD GeForce GTX 660.  There's the ultra-high GeForce GTX 690 -- a dual-GPU card that launched at the end of April, there's the $500 flagship GTX 680, the high-end single die solution, and there's the new GTX 670.  But the 28 nm Kepler GK104 does not reach lower than $400 USD -- yet.

NVIDIA does have some other, lower end, GeForce 600 series cards that are shipping to OEMs, built on the general Kepler format -- GK107, GK114, GK116, and GK119.  But these aren't mass market cards and they're built on a 40 nm process and thus are bound to not enjoy as great power and temperature performance as their 28 nm kin.

II. Specs

That's the basic situation now let's look at the specs.

General1 2
(Click to enlarge)
General table
(1 "Real world" Power, Noise, and Temperature levels taken courtesy of AnandTech)
(2 Both GPUs are produced
 on processes by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Comp., Ltd. (TPE:2330).)

Cores
(Click to enlarge)Cores

Memory
(Click to enlarge)Cores

Well, the specs paint a pretty clear picture.  The NVIDIA card is an exercise in efffciency -- it grows the transistor count much less than AMD and is quieter.  It also holds a substantial lead in power during stressful scenarios like HD gaming. But even comparing to AMD, NVIDIA still arguably earns a win in these metrics.  The AMD cards are a tiny bit warmer, but they're decibels louder (and remember, decibels are a logarithmic scale).

III. Conclusions

What's there to say about the GeForce GTX 670?  It's a bit tardy, but now that it's here, it brings the heat and is priced to kill.  It would be nice to see AMD get very aggressive in pricing to keep a step ahead of NVIDIA, but there are no guarantees.

If you want to dig more into individual game performance (AnandTech labels it as 80-120% of the Radeon HD 7970 in performance in assorted games), overclocking, or SLI, read the following reviews:

In-Depth (gaming + compute + overclocking) Basic (gaming + overclocking) Again, the GTX 670 is one mean machine and the perfect item for a gamer with a slightly higher budget, for whom the GTX 680 was a tad to rich for their blood.

NVIDIA earns a hearty congratulations for playing comeback kid and wowing with Kepler.  As we said with AMD's head-start, though, much depends on supply.  It is crucial that NVIDIA deliver sufficient shipments.  Fortunately, NVIDIA typically seems a bit ahead of the supply curve vs. AMD.  So expect it to be in good shape, with mid-range to ultra-high end monopolized by GK104 for now.

Sources: NVIDIA, AnandTech



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"midrange"
By Soulkeeper on 5/10/2012 8:14:42 PM , Rating: 5
midrange used to mean $150-$200
now it's $350-$400
incredible




RE: "midrange"
By SPOOFE on 5/10/2012 8:23:17 PM , Rating: 4
Screw that, I still consider $150 to be mid-range.


RE: "midrange"
By DBCooper71 on 5/10/2012 8:28:24 PM , Rating: 1
But consider that these cards double as room heaters too, only slightly noisier than your average heater :)


RE: "midrange"
By someguy123 on 5/10/2012 10:14:00 PM , Rating: 2
the GK cards are quite cool. where have you been?

anyway, I think this is more like a highend card rather than midrange. the 580/570 were priced similarly to the 680/670 at launch, and the 560 was what filled the gap for their midrange. Wait for the 660 if these two cards are too expensive.


RE: "midrange"
By Samus on 5/11/2012 1:52:47 AM , Rating: 2
I've never spent more than $250 on a videocard and I never will. You're all right budget $100, midrange $150-$200, high end $300 max.

This $400-$500 videocard BS has to stop. The most expensive card I ever bought was a Guillemot TNT2 Ultra, which was the fastest videocard in the world when it was released in 1999, and it cost $218. Now the highest performing single GPU card in the world is almost triple that price.

That's some hella tech inflation. Everything else has gotten cheaper, especially every other ultra-high performance type of semiconductor (chipsets, CPU's, memory, etc.

Like AMD said, these days, you can get a CPU cheaper than a CPU fan. So why the hell aren't videocards the same way?


RE: "midrange"
By TakinYourPoints on 5/11/2012 3:50:46 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
This $400-$500 videocard BS has to stop.


Why?

Your argument is based on the idea that you need to spend money on a high end video card in order to get a good experience. You don't, $250 is plenty for 1080p monitors, which most people have.

Where spending $400+ makes sense is for people who have higher res displays or do multimonitor gaming. Those people have already spent a good amount on 2560x1440/2560x1600 monitors or three 1080p monitors, so it follows that they spend extra to support all those extra pixels.

For the rest it isn't necessary to spend that much on a card since they don't need it, which is great. That said, I really don't see the point complaining about niche $400+ cards given that they clearly aren't for you or the majority of gamers out there.


RE: "midrange"
By Nfarce on 5/13/12, Rating: 0
RE: "midrange"
By Totally on 5/11/2012 12:03:27 AM , Rating: 2
this card will sell for that amount when it gets renamed to 750/760 ti


RE: "midrange"
By superstition on 5/14/2012 12:33:26 AM , Rating: 2
One guy created the 1975 Fairchild F8 microprocessor.

Do you think one guy can create something like Kepler?

Final Fantasy 7 had a huge development team, but Square says it's practically impossible to fund a remake with updated graphics.

As complexity increases, so can development expense.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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