Conclusions and Final Thoughts
While the overclocked speeds of the Galaxy GTX 670 GC 4GB were able to help it differentiate from the reference cards, the truth is that most users are going to be comfortable overclocking a base card to similar levels. The clock speeds of 1006 MHz base and 1085 MHz boost basically match the GTX 680 though of course you have one fewer SMX, and thus 192 fewer shaders. At modest resolutions like 1080p, the GTX 680 is still going to be faster though probably still overkill.
The 4GB frame buffer is also going to be overkill for a 1080p gamer and you should only be concerned about this feature if you are going to (or already did) pick up one of those dirt-cheap Korean 2560×1440 monitors or are looking at a triple-display NVIDIA Surround configuration. If you are going to buy THREE of those Korean displays for Surround, then definitely so. Our results showed that the Galaxy GTX 670 GC 4GB was able to keep up with the GTX 680 in Surrounding testing thanks at least in part to the added memory.
There are a host of new features included on Kepler, starting with the addition of being able to support more than two displays. Yes, the AMD cards can still support 6 outputs if you can find one of those magic DP hubs but I think that the four NVIDIA has included are probably enough for most users. I really still wish that NVIDIA wasn't 2+ years behind on this — but we have it now so NVIDIA fans can stop being pestered by the AMD camp.
GPU Boost is the other big contributor to the success of Kepler as it enables the GPU to perform optimally for EACH game and allows the GPU clock to scale accordingly. In my testing the feature works — and works rather well — and yet still is flexible enough to allow gamers to overclock their new graphics cards with some easy to manipulate software. Yes, there are going to be some slight variances in performance for the same card in different environments as well as variances from card to card. However, until I am proven wrong I don't believe that it will be a dramatic difference that will plague consumers.
I am a big fan of both the new Adaptive VSync and Frame Rate Target options as well, because they give users the ability and added flexibility that we haven't seen before. The eternal debate of vsync on versus vsync off hasn't been put completely to rest, but with the capability to smoothly scale under 60 FPS now an option on the GTX 680/670 I can see enabling that more and more in my own gaming. Frame rate targeting allows gamers that are on older or less strenuous games to slow down the GPU and decrease power consumption rather than wasting both to unneeded frames.
Pricing and Availability
Currently the Galaxy GTX 670 GC 4GB is selling for $469 – a pretty hefty $70 increase over the reference card costs. Yes, you are getting both factory overclocked speeds AND twice the frame buffer, but that puts the card dangerously close to the GTX 680s.
- Galaxy GeForce GTX 670 GC 4GB – $469
- GeForce GTX 670 2GB – $399
- GeForce GTX 680 2GB – $499
- Radeon HD 7950 3GB – $349
If you are definitely going with a multi-monitor configuration then the 4GB frame buffer might be enough to push you over the edge but it would take a sub-$450 cost to really get me excited about this offering for more gamers.
Galaxy has really put together a great graphics card with a custom cooler with understated looks and touches like the blue illuminated GTX 600 logo and the "kepler" script on the bottom in addition to providing better cooling capability and low noise. The overclocked speeds and 4GB of GDDR5 memory running at 6.0 GHz give the Galaxy GTX 670 GC 4GB a lot of bragging rights for gamers while also offering performance advantages for ultra-high resolution gaming at a cost lower than the cheapest GTX 680s.