Temperatures & Acoustics / Power Consumption
For all temperature testing, the cards were placed on an open test bench with a single 120mm 1200RPM fan placed ~8” away from the heatsink. The ambient temperature was kept at a constant 22°C (+/- 0.5°C). If the ambient temperatures rose above 23°C at any time throughout the test, all benchmarking was stopped. For this test we use the 3DMark Batch Size test at its highest triangle count with 4xAA and 16xAF enabled and looped it for one hour to determine the peak load temperature as measured by GPU-Z.
For Idle tests, we let the system idle at the Windows 7 desktop for 15 minutes and recorded the peak temperature.
At just north of 80 degrees, the GTX 670’s temperature results aren’t all that great but they’re still a long shot away from being too high. Considering the sub-par quality of our sample’s heatsink, we’re actually surprised that temperatures weren’t even higher.
What you see below are the baseline idle dB(A) results attained for a relatively quiet open-case system (specs are in the Methodology section) sans GPU along with the attained results for each individual card in idle and load scenarios. The meter we use has been calibrated and is placed at seated ear-level exactly 12” away from the GPU’s fan. For the load scenarios, a loop of Unigine Heave 2.5 is used in order to generate a constant load on the GPU(s) over the course of 20 minutes.
Much like the other GTX 600-series cards, the GTX 670 is generally quiet but an odd buzzing / ticking noise in our unit’s fan kept it from posting class-leading results here. However, it should be noted that this is an exception rather than a rule for all GTX 670 cards. In the coming days, we’ll have a review of an EVGA reference card and it didn’t exhibit any odd fan noises and we've been told by fellow reviewers that their samples were dead silent. As such, we’ll chalk this up to a single sample issue that shouldn’t be repeated with retail cards.
System Power Consumption
For this test we hooked up our power supply to a UPM power meter that will log the power consumption of the whole system twice every second. In order to stress the GPU as much as possible we once again use the Batch Render test in 3DMark06 and let it run for 30 minutes to determine the peak power consumption while letting the card sit at a stable Windows desktop for 30 minutes to determine the peak idle power consumption. We have also included several other tests as well.
Please note that after extensive testing, we have found that simply plugging in a power meter to a wall outlet or UPS will NOT give you accurate power consumption numbers due to slight changes in the input voltage. Thus we use a Tripp-Lite 1800W line conditioner between the 120V outlet and the power meter.
According to NVIDIA, the GTX 670 has a TDP of just 170W, which puts it roughly into the same territory as AMD’s Pitcairn XT. Considering the performance we have seen on previous pages, this is nothing short of astounding and should cement this card as a perf. per watt leader.
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