Gigabyte's N670OC-2GD employs the company's Windforce 3X cooling solution on a GeForce GTX 680 PCB. Although GeForce GTX 670 only needs two six-pin power connectors, Gigabyte deploys one six-pin and one eight-pin plug on this model.
After paving the way for a potentially-screaming overclock, Gigabyte only sets a 980 MHz base clock with an average GPU Boost frequency of 1059 MHz. Its 2 GB of GDDR5 memory run at the reference 6008 MT/s data rate, meaning performance, overall, should be pretty similar to what we'd expect from a reference card.
During testing, we overclocked this card to a 1059 MHz base clock quite easily, so we are somewhat surprised by the conservative factory overclock.
The extremely light Windforce 3X cooling solution gets optimized in time to make it onto Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 670 card. We did have a less-than-favorable experience with our Windforce-equipped GeForce GTX 680 sample, but modifications to the temperature-dependent fans help bring acoustics back under control. Both GPU-Z and our ears suggest that the changes we suggested last time around made it into the GeForce GTX 670 design.
Instead of a very audible 40% fan duty cycle, similar to what we've seen on the Radeon HD 7870 and GeForce GTX 680 prior to Gigabyte's firmware update, this card's fan starts at 20%, or 810 RPM. Along with Asus' board, Gigabyte's Windforce 3X-cooled GeForce GTX 670 is one of the quietest cards in this round-up at idle.
Though it employs three fans and is easily the longest submission, the N670OC-2GD is so light that it doesn't require a supporting frame or a back-plate.
Gigabyte's solution almost begs to be run in SLI mode, as it's the slimmest two-slot card we're testing today.