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Sound Level Comparison, With Video

Seven GeForce GTX 670 Cards, Benchmarked And Reviewed
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Sound Level Test Under Full Load

In addition to presenting our measurement results and bar charts, we shot some videos to allow our readers to form their own, subjective opinion about the sound level of our test candidates. The numbers on their own don't fully reflect the sound spectrum generated by these cards, and different people perceive noise in a different way.

We set the microphone amplifier gain for the loudest card (Zotac's AMP! Edition board). Thus, you can compare the sound level of all cards with some semblance of relativity.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 670

The reference card has a single radial fan. It’s a simple design, but its cooling performance and resulting sound level are acceptable, as long as you install it in a case that effectively exhausts hot air and does not merely whirl it around inside.

Nvidia GTX 670 Referenz - Full Load

Asus GTX670-DC2T-2GD5

Can you hear me now? No! The redesigned, slimmer Asus cooler is a winner. We were impressed by this card. Apart from its fan, nothing else makes noise. No chirping, resonance, vibration, or bearings banging around.

Asus GTX 670 DirectCUII

Gainward GTX 670 Phantom

When Gainward redesigned its Phantom cooler, the company took a step in the wrong direction. We'd already noticed that in testing the GeForce GTX 680, and the fan remains very audible here as well, even when our case is closed up. Consequently, we deem this fat bumblebee an acoustic disappointment. However, sound output can be somewhat controlled by manually adjusting the card's fan control curve. Gainward would be well advised to look how competitors like Galaxy/KFA² have mastered this aspect of their design.

Gainward GTX 670 Phantom

Galaxy/KFA2 67NPH6DV6KXZ

Have you heard such a thing as coil chirping louder than a card's cooling fan? It's regrettable that the Galaxy/KFA2 GeForce GTX 670 generates all of that extra noise because its cooler does move plenty of air, and its fan is clearly optimized for quiet operation at reasonable temperatures. The chirping sound prevented this card from attaining a higher spot in our ranking, though we're also sure that aggressive fan throttling and higher thermal readings will thwart attempts at significant overclocking beyond Galaxy's factor settings.

KFA² GTX 670 EX OC

Update (6/29/2012): Galaxy responded to our feedback after the German version of this piece went live, and is sending another sample for us to test.

Gigabyte N670OC-2GD

Gigabyte hit pay dirt with its new fan throttling curve. The card simply does the right things at the right time, whether under idle or load. We also like its slim form factor, and the card's performance is only outshone by Asus. We are happy that our input helped convince Gigabyte to change the fan throttling curve of its GeForce GTX 680 card’s Windforce 3X cooler, and we really appreciate that Gigabyte's updated implementation made its way to this GeForce GTX 670 as well.

Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Windforce 3X

Palit GTX 670 JetStream

Like the GeForce GTX 680 that came before it based on the same JetStream design, this card is a noisemaker. Unfortunately, it doesn't translate that noise and the advantage of a big three-slot cooler into exceptional thermal performance. As with the Gainward submission, we recommend tuning this board's fans manually.

Palit GTX 670 Jetstream

Zotac GTX 670 Amp!

Zotac's card is the gaming Ferrari. It's up there as the most expensive GeForce GTX 670 in our round-up. It's also quite fast. Whereas you want your super-car to let out a throaty bellow, though, that's not an attractive quality in a graphics card, and this one is fairly loud. In our opinion, we would have liked to see Zotac trade some of its cooler's excellent heat dissipation for a lower fan speed (and less noise). With that said, the AMP! Edition board isn't so loud that it's unusable. We'd still probably throttle the fan using a software utility, though. We also noticed some resonance between the fans, which can result in an annoying low-frequency wail at certain RPM levels.

Zotac GTX 670 Amp!

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    LonelyMan , June 29, 2012 4:31 AM
    Where is the msi gtx 670 power edition?
  • 10 Hide
    FormatC , June 29, 2012 4:53 AM
    Quote:
    Where is the msi gtx 670 power edition?
    The roundup was published in German on May 22, 2012:
    http://www.tomshardware.de/Nvidia-Geforce-GTX-670-Roundup,testberichte-241027.html

    Sorry, but at this time (and 4 weeks later too) MSI was unable to deliver one of this cards. When MSI starts so late with this cards, then this is not our fault. ;) 
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    LonelyMan , June 29, 2012 4:31 AM
    Where is the msi gtx 670 power edition?
  • 0 Hide
    zerokontrol , June 29, 2012 4:34 AM
    Typo on conclusion. "not to loud on loud." That would be the Gigabyte card.
  • 3 Hide
    user 18 , June 29, 2012 4:50 AM
    On the Gigabyte card's page:

    Quote:
    During the course of our testing, we effortlessly set this card to run at 1059 MHz, so we're not sure why Gigabyte held back so much. During testing, we overclocked this card to 1059 MHz quite easily, so we are somewhat surprised by the conservative factory overclock.


    This seems to be saying the same thing twice. Error, or am I missing something?
  • 2 Hide
    hellfire24 , June 29, 2012 4:50 AM
    hey man,where's MSi Twinfrozer IV OC edition?
  • 10 Hide
    FormatC , June 29, 2012 4:53 AM
    Quote:
    Where is the msi gtx 670 power edition?
    The roundup was published in German on May 22, 2012:
    http://www.tomshardware.de/Nvidia-Geforce-GTX-670-Roundup,testberichte-241027.html

    Sorry, but at this time (and 4 weeks later too) MSI was unable to deliver one of this cards. When MSI starts so late with this cards, then this is not our fault. ;) 
  • 7 Hide
    monkeymonk , June 29, 2012 4:57 AM
    Please do this with the 680s
  • 4 Hide
    user 18 , June 29, 2012 4:59 AM
    Also, the second chart on the 'Sound Level and Temperature: Overclocked' page is missing the 'Mhz' label on the speed for the Palit card. It should read '1059 Mhz', while it reads only '1059'.
  • 2 Hide
    LonelyMan , June 29, 2012 5:10 AM
    I'd like to see one for the 680s too, in which the 680 classified and lightning will be present, including others. :D 
  • 5 Hide
    hellfire24 , June 29, 2012 5:14 AM
    please also do battlefield 3 benchmark!
  • 1 Hide
    erunion , June 29, 2012 5:24 AM
    I've been waiting for this review.
  • 0 Hide
    xxplosiv88 , June 29, 2012 5:44 AM
    So glad I bought the ASUS GTX 670 2 weeks ago now :) 
  • 3 Hide
    FormatC , June 29, 2012 5:56 AM
    Quote:
    please also do battlefield 3 benchmark!
    All cards were tested for our charts too (with BF3). Please wait a little bit, our team will update this results soon. :) 

  • -3 Hide
    FormatC , June 29, 2012 6:09 AM
    My phone shows me the right content :D  iPhone? :D 
  • 1 Hide
    fantastik250 , June 29, 2012 6:09 AM
    Love the video's on the graphic card sounds.

    I am wondering, if it would make any difference for sound if the video card's fans were pointing down, instead of pointing at the side. Or if the fan's sound profile, would change because of the orientation of the card.
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , June 29, 2012 6:37 AM
    there have been some reports and rumours that retail 670/680 are achieving much less overclock/boost than the review samples.

    can you take a look at that?
  • -6 Hide
    manwell999 , June 29, 2012 7:30 AM
    "Rather, we suspect a driver problem. There doesn't seem to be any other explanation."

    Tired of this kind of selection bias where any aspect that is subpar is dismissed as a driver issue. Another explanation is the spec sheets are misleading or the conclusions you have about what to expect from extra hardware capacity are wrong.
  • 1 Hide
    keigo_kanzaki , June 29, 2012 8:13 AM
    I would like to read GTX 680 comparison too, and using PCIE 3.0 spec :) 
  • 6 Hide
    hellfire24 , June 29, 2012 10:21 AM
    Quote:
    All cards were tested for our charts too (with BF3). Please wait a little bit, our team will update this results soon. :) 


    thanks man,team toms FTW!
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , June 29, 2012 11:07 AM
    Hmm... no EVGA ? :( 
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