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Testing Participants

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Ultra Durable (GV-N670OC-2GD)

Although the biggest out of the three makers of graphics cards in this review, Gigabyte has only one GeForce GTX 670 so far. It is the GV-N670OC-2GD model.

Next to the huge left eye of some Decepticon portrayed on the box, you can see the graphics card’s model name, memory type and amount, and the name of its cooling system. The pre-overclocked nature of the product is mentioned as well.

 

Then you can read key product features and specifications from the back of the box. The graphics card comes with two power adapters, a CD with drivers and a brief installation guide.

The accessories are scanty, we must admit. We expected more from such a renowned brand and a rather expensive product. On the other hand, the recommended price of this card is $399, which equals that of the reference Nvidia GeForce GTX 670. The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Ultra Durable is manufactured in Taiwan (its PCB, in China) and supplied with a 3-year warranty.

It looks exactly like the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 Ultra Durable we’ve tested recently due to the Triangle Cool system deployed on its face side.

 

  

The card measures 275x108x40 millimeters, so it is 34 millimeters longer than the reference GeForce GTX 670. Well, roomy system cases are widespread today and installing a long graphics card shouldn't be a problem. The good news is that the card isn't tall and can be easily used in various SLI configurations.

Like the other two cards in this review, the Gigabyte GTX 670 Ultra Durable is equipped with the same video interfaces as the reference GTX 670: two dual-link DVIs, one HDMI version 1.4a, and one DisplayPort 1.2:

Having the same MIO connectors for SLI configurations as the reference GTX 670, the Gigabyte version differs from the latter in its power connectors. It has one 6-pin and one 8-pin plug instead of the reference card’s two 6-pin connectors.

 

Gigabyte has endowed this product with a high-quality power system (as we’ll see again shortly). The peak power consumption of the card is specified to be 170 watts, like that of the reference sample, although a 550 rather than 500-watt power supply is recommended for it now.

The PCB is 266 millimeters long and has the GeForce GTX 680 design instead of the shortened GTX 670.

Moreover, the power system of the Gigabyte GTX 670 Ultra Durable is even more advanced than that of the reference GeForce GTX 680. Instead of the latter’s 4+2 formula and uninstalled fifth phase, we can see here a 5+2 power system without any empty places for more phases.

Like its cousin Radeon HD 7970 Ultra Durable, this model features high-quality components: a PCB with 2 ounces of copper, Japanese solid-state capacitors, ferrite-core chokes, and low RDS(on) MOSFETs. Consequently, Gigabyte claims the card to have a 5 to 10% lower GPU temperature, 10 to 30% higher overclocking potential and 10 to 30% higher efficiency compared to the reference sample. That’s what the Ultra Durable series is all about.

Our card carries a regular 28nm GK104 “Kepler” revision A2 in its standard configuration you could see above in the table. Judging by the marking, this sample was manufactured on the 10th week of 2012 (early March):

The base GPU clock rate in 3D mode is 980 MHz, which is 65 MHz or 7.1% higher compared to the reference GeForce GTX 670 and but slightly lower compared to the reference GTX 680. The boost clock rate is up to 1058 MHz high at the same voltage of 1.175 volts. When the graphics card switches into the power-saving 2D mode, its GPU frequency and voltage drop to 324 MHz and 0.987 volts, respectively.

There are 2 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory on the face side of the PCB in FCBGA-packaged chips from Hynix Semiconductor. They are labeled H5GQ2H24AFR R0C.

The card’s memory frequency is 6008 MHz in 3D mode, in full compliance with the GeForce GTX 670 specs. The memory bus is 256 bits wide. The clock rate drops to 648 MHz in 2D mode. Thus, the Gigabyte version is no different from the reference GeForce GTX 670 when it comes to its memory subsystem.

Here is a summary of the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 Ultra Durable specs:

 
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