I've searched high and low for the answer to this question. I was looking into the GTX 670 card. I see EVGA, Gigabyte, and ASUS are what most people are recommending. I want to know, no matter the price, which is the best brand and model of GPU in regards to mainly performance. I am NOT using watercooling. I will possibly be overclocking it in the future, as I learn more about it. My case is the NZXT phantom, and my mobo runs only 77W. I will also have an aftermarket fan on the CPU. This being said, the cooling of the GPU shouldnt be a factor in the answering of my question about best brand of gtx 670. Please someone shed any light on this if there's something you feel I'm missing about the cooling aspect, but mainly give me a solid answer. And, as I said, best brand AND model, i.e. EVGA 'FTW' or 'superclocked', etc.
I say Windforce, one of the best in cooling/noise while still very good at Kepler Boost and OCing, not to mentiom same price as Reference model. From the aforementioned Techpowerup.com review Gigabyte Windforce left, MSI PE right, ASUS Top 670 have been out of stock for a long time:
After doing my research I decided on the gigabyte windforce gtx 670. However, I'm sad to say I'm one of those who have been getting lots of crashes to windows and "display driver has stopped working and has recovered" during BF3 play.
Bad batch maybe, I don't know but it's been a disappointment to say the least.
I could save you the time and give you my conclusion reading through all these and the 1.3Ghz+ OC result tally:
There is no difference in between these card's probablity to reach a stable 1.3Ghz+ OC that can't be explained by just Silicon lottery luck which is not entirely in the manufacture's control.
So instead of focusing on which factory OC card have a higher factory OC and should/could reach the best OC result, you should focus more on which card runs quieter/cools better/cost less
I looked through all the user feedback on there and no Gigabyte user had the problem like what lobobast had so I think that might just be bad luck and not even a bad batch(btw @LoboBast you should RMA like ASAP).
The Asus TOP have been out for a while. Though the issues were corrected, they have not restocked them yet. Also, the non top models are locked. So the main 3 brands to go for are MSI PE, EVGA FTW, and Gigabyte OC (three fans).
The evga ftw has high core and boost clock, the gigabyte has a lower one but takes a bit more power, it has a 6 and 8 pin connector. You can pretty much overclock to match the previous.
The MSI PE is more expensive if you don't count the rebate. Boost clock is lower than Evga but its a good card too. MSI voltage technology allows you to overclock much easier since you can adjust gpu clock, memory clock, and PLL clock.
In terms of price, I've seen the Evga ftw for $399 at various sites. Same as the gigabyte. The MSI fluctuates now and then. Lots of good things about the Gigabyte in terms of being quiet and cool. Evga has good customer service and reputability. I'm not sure about Gigabyte, though there is a 3 year warranty.
In Bf3 you could use the 4gb. It uses up nearly 2gb anyway. So performance wise it will perform for you based on the programs that use a lot of Vram. Bf3 is one that is known to use a lot. Others, not so sure they are fine around 2gb
My bad for not stressing which one, it is the Gigabyte N670-OC/2GD, aka Windforce 3X. It is just so much more popular(171 reviews) than the non-OC model(1 review on newegg) that I assume everyone would just realize it is the 3 Fan version.
p.s 2 GB is perfectly fine unless you push MSAA and some other highly GPU vram taxing/low visual return stuff to the max along with Ultra everything else. If that's your hobby you will have to pay more to get the 4GB 670/680 or 3GB 7970 Ghz.
Thanks sherlockwing and mocchan. I am ordering the CPU, mobo, and GPU next weekend after I get paid. I do like to go a little over the top with these kinda things, as to futureproof it. The 4GB I would buy if and only if I have the extra money. Thanks again for all your help, everyone.