I posted previously but MSI just released their Power Edition with the fourth iteration of their Twin Frozr cooler, which sort of complicates the decision for me. I am currently looking at the Gigabyte, Asus TOP, and said MSI card.
With this it could really just be a matter of perference...I personally would choose the ASUS card it has the highest stock clocks and has a great cooler...If you were going for the best value the Gigabyte one is almost 30 dollars cheaper then the other two but comes at a little lower clock speed which you could adjust yourself. I have a MSI card much older though but it has the twin frozr cooler on it and I have never been impressed with it but like you said this is a new design so it could be better
Well the MSI twin frozr cards have been known to get loud, but this is a new version so that might have changed, but they do have a non reference cooler, however I believe that the asus and gigabyte cards are a better alternative. MSI is advertising better power circuitry however the voltage on gtx600 cards is limited to 1.175v i believe so until now that extra power can't really be unleashed.
The Asus gtx 670 top has a nice cooler, nice stock clocks, however users are reporting quite a lot of problems with them, and they cost more than the gigabyte cards. The asus card has a 6 phase power supply, and a CHL voltage controller so it is nicely outfitted too. The direct cu ii cooler is dual slot and cools well while being silent.
I think that the best option is the gigabyte card in my opinion, it is the cheapest of the three, as it costs the same amount as the reference design. It has a 5 phase power circuitry, and it has the windforce cooler, which is also a dual slot cooler. Note both the windforce cooler on the gigabyte card and the direct cu cooler on the asus card are made by coolermaster so they are pretty similar. The gigiabyte card has three fans, and the memory modules are also cooled by the cooler, while asus apparently does not have that. From what i have seen they overclock very nicely, and I would get the gigabyte card. The cooler is actually a bit cooler than the asus one, however it is a bit louder, but both are more or less silent. The gigabyte card is better cooled than the asus card in my opinion, as the vram modules are cooled, and overall it has slightly lower temperatures. The asus card does however come with a backplate, while the gigabyte card does not, and some people don't like the fact that gigabyte uses blue pcb, instead of the regular black one.
From what I've read the fan speed curve on the Asus card is mediocre at best so it runs kind of hot. I really don't know how much this will matter though and if I can make a different fan profile to mitigate this issue. However, it has a backplate which comes out as a plus for it.
EDIT: Oh, two new posts popped up as I was writing this, my bad.
I'm leaning towards the Asus but a quick question: Does setting up a custom fan profile void the warranty? Went looking around some more and that seems to be what quite a few people have done, and their temperatures constantly stay less than 65.
Well even though the gigabyte is cooler, it has been said that asus does set their auto fan speed a bit low, a custom fan curve would be better. Of course there is the silicon lottery however in the techpowerup reviews the gigabyte card is more or less 1fps behind the asus card when overclocked. If you want the maximum performance then get the asus card, if you want value go get the gigabyte card although it is close performance wise.
If you had to give the back plate a monetary value, despite to my knowledge the lack of any 670 back plate being sold, how much would you think it's worth? Blindly guessing, I would think around $15 or more. The EVGA 680 back plate is $25. That kind of makes the $30 premium easier to swallow, and with performance so close I guess it just comes down to quality in materials and the warranty between the two, of which I really know nothing about.
Well the asus card uses better quality power circuitry, and I would say it has a higher quality design as it has a backplate and is out of metal, it has a nice feel to it. The gigabyte card uses plastic on its fan shroud, but its components are good too. I had a asus gtx 570 direct cu, and they do feel very solid, and when they work they are great. Mine was defective so I didn't get to use my 570, but as far as looks and feel the asus cards are quite nice. However note that people have had problems with the asus gtx 670 TOP, just look on newegg at the customer reviews, however when the card runs properly it runs really well.
Just wondering, because all I've gotten info on is the Gigabyte and Asus variants, is there any reason to choose them over the MSI? How's the cooling on the MSI, and how well does it perform compared to the Asus prior to overclocking it yourself? Also, I hear the MSI card has been made to have its fans spin in reverse during startup to blow out dust, and I'm not really sure how effective that would be. Finally, about this triple overvoltage, which apparently you can't take advantage of right now, if you can in the future, how much would it improve performance? Would it put the MSI above the Asus? I honestly have no knowledge when it comes to overclocking, overvolting, etc.