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Design and Functionality

The iChill GeForce GTX 670 HerculeZ 3000 looks just splendid. It’s really got the appearance of a premium-class product.

A massive cooler with three fans covers the entire face side of the PCB while the metallic plates with figured screws add some severity to its design. Every interface connector is covered with a plastic cap – some manufacturers forget about such trifles. The card measures 295x100x59 millimeters, so it is going to block the adjacent PCI Express slot. It is also desirable to leave the third slot empty as well for the card’s fans to get enough air.

The iChill GeForce GTX 670 HerculeZ 3000 is equipped with DVI-I and DVI-D (dual-link), HDMI and DisplayPort connectors. There’s a vent grid in the mounting bracket to exhaust the hot air from the cooler.

That's the standard selection of video interfaces for a GeForce GTX 670. The same goes for two MIO connectors (you can use them to build 2-, 3- and 4-way SLI configurations) and two 6-pin power connectors which can all be found in their conventional locations.

 

As opposed to the reference GeForce GTX 670, whose peak power draw is declared to be 170 watts and which is recommended to be used with a 500-watt PSU, the Inno3D version needs up to 204 watts and a 550-watt PSU. There are reasons for these requirements as we will explain shortly.

The PCB is based on the GeForce GTX 680 design with full voltage regulator circuitry.

The power system formula is 5+2+1 phases (GPU+memory+PLL):

The GPU voltage regulator is managed by a PWM controller Richtek RT8802A which is installed on a dedicated PCB on the back side of the card.

 

The GK104 GPU was manufactured on 28nm tech process in Taiwan on the 9th week of 2012 (late February or early March). Like every other Kepler chip on off-the-shelf products, it is revision A2.

Its clock rate is 1020 MHz in 3D applications and the boost technology adds 51 MHz more. This is 105 MHz (or 11.5%) higher than the clock rate of the reference GeForce GTX 670 (915 MHz). That’s substantial overclocking although there are serially manufactured GeForce GTX 670s with even higher clock rates. The GPU clock rate is dropped to 324 MHz in 2D mode to save power. Our iChill GeForce GTX 670 HerculeZ 3000 turned out to have a GPU with 100% quality level, according to the latest version of GPU-Z:

Practice suggests that there is no direct correlation between the die’s ASIC quality and overclocking potential, yet chips with higher quality level are supposed to overclock better. We’ll check this out soon.

The card's 2 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory are represented by FCBGA chips from Hynix Semiconductor located on the face side of the PCB.

The chips are labeled H5GQ2H24AFR R0C, just like on the reference GeForce GTX 670. Alas, the memory frequency of the Inno3D card is only increased by 200 MHz to 6212 MHz (+3.5%) although these chips are known to have high overclocking potential. The 256-bit memory bus may become a bottleneck for GeForce GTX 680 and 670 cards in memory-hungry applications and a high memory frequency might make up for that to some extent. But what we have is that the memory bandwidth of the iChill GeForce GTX 670 HerculeZ 3000 is only 198.8 GB/s which is almost 90 GB/s lower compared to the reference AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition with its 384-bit memory bus.

The memory clock rate is dropped to 648 MHz in 2D applications.

GPU-Z provides a summary of the iChill GeForce GTX 670 HerculeZ 3000 specs:

Summing everything up, the iChill GeForce GTX 670 HerculeZ 3000 features a reinforced power system and pre-overclocked frequencies (1020/6212 MHz). It’s got some other special traits, though. Let’s take a look at its cooler.

 
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