This Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 then is one of the Kepler cards we've been desperately waiting for.

The second tier cards, and lower, in the Kepler line up were always going to generate more interest than either of the overly expensive GTX 680 or GTX 690.

And they're going to sell a hell of a lot more too.

The key thing here though is that there is so little difference in performance and architectural terms between the Nvidia GTX 680 and GTX 670.

In fact with the frame rates you're getting with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 it's going to be rather difficult for us to recommend anyone buying the GTX 680 if they're going to leave it at stock speeds.

You can push the GTX 670 to the sort of performance that's really knocking on the door of its Kepler big brother. But then if you're into your overclocking and can spend the extra on the GTX 680 there is a bit more performance waiting inside that version of the GK104 GPU.

The issue for the consumer of whether they can afford, or even need, the extra performance the GTX 680 has to offer over the GTX 670 must have Nvidia's money men rubbing their hands with glee.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 670
Which Nvidia card to go for?

The issue at the top-end is not whether to buy AMD or Nvidia, it's just which Nvidia card to opt for.

The Nvidia GTX 670, if it comes out priced against the HD 7950 as promised, will do bad things to any further sales of AMD's top-end GPUs.

The head-to-head battle, in performance terms, is with AMD's top graphics card, the Radeon HD 7970. That card is priced higher than the GTX 670 and, on balance, they perform at about the same levels as each other.

That's got to be a little gut-punch for AMD, with its top card being out-played by Nvidia's second tier component.

The green graphics giant has been able to wait on this card, seeing how the market unfolds and, by virtue of being late to the party, has been able to tweak performance and price to the nth degree.

That means it has been able to aim both barrels at the two AMD Southern Island cards in its sights.

That said, AMD has been able to keep prices high on its cards since the turn of the year as Nvidia struggled to get anything out onto the digital high street until now.

We liked

Scratch that, we love the fact the Nvidia GTX 670 offers almost the same sort of gaming performance you get out of a stock-clocked GTX 680.

If that's bad news for the top single-GPU Kepler card it's worse for the entire of AMD's graphics division.

Being on a par with the top Southern Island card, the AMD Radeon HD 7970, with it's brand spanking new Graphics Core Next architecture, makes this second tier GTX 670 a comparative bargain.

It's also got all the goodness that comes with the Kepler architecture, namely the excellent performance per watt, great cooling and the incredibly impressive GPU Boost technology.

We disliked

There's not a whole lot to dislike about the GTX 670 itself, but it's tough not to be frustrated with the graphics ecosystem as a whole.

The fact is that £330/$400 for a graphics card is a lot of money, especially for a second tier card. But that is what the market dictates thanks to the precedent AMD has set, and so for this performance we have to pay through the nose.

It's still comparatively good value against the £400/$500+ GTX 680, but feels like a lot of money to spend on a GPU.

We'd have loved Nvidia to take a stand here for the PC gaming market and release a great card for a great price. It could have completely blown AMD out of the market, sold a shed load of cards and given the PC gaming market a real shot in the arm.

Verdict

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 is a great little card.

The size of the PCB is impressive and will make for some interesting small form factor cards in the future.

It's almost GTX 680 performance for £100/$100 less, but at £330/$400 it still prices itself out of most pockets.