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Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 And 660 Review: Kepler At $110 And $230

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September 13, 2012 1:35:18 PM

Was waiting for GTX 650 to see if it can beat the old GTX 550 Ti but it seems other than power draw it's no match. Might as well keep my GPU until next NVidia lineup. GTX 660 on other hand is only €50 cheaper than GTX 660 Ti meaning its a no budget saver to buy non Ti version. Fail...
September 13, 2012 2:19:12 PM

AMD wins again!
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September 13, 2012 2:22:30 PM

Buy a 7770 or 7870 instead.
Wait for sales on whichever one is needed and then grab one -
AMD 7770 can be had for just over $100.
AMD 7870 can be had for about $220.
September 13, 2012 2:23:55 PM

Goddamn Mike NY Gmail or whatever the hell your name is supposed to be, here, proper commenting etiquette:

1. Read the article.
2. Understand what the article is talking about.
3. If you find an urge to comment about "______ sucks" or "_______ wins again", especially when the article says the opposite of what you want to post, chances are your comment will look dumb as hell when it's posted and earn you 20 downvotes. Therefore, don't post that goddamn poor excuse of a "comment".
September 13, 2012 2:25:38 PM

How "nice" of u tomshardware. By only compared 7750/7770 vs 650 in high detail but not comparing 7750/7770 on the Ultra detail, then when u pull out a 460 SE/9800GT for benchmark, u are taking away 650(why?).

Is it because 650 performance is too poor to show off on benchmark? It doesnt take a genius to figure out the huge diff between 6870 vs 650. 7770= 6850 speed. So I guess even the 7750/460SE are putting shame on 650 on those high quality detail? too shy to show off 460SE/9800GT up against 650?

I dare u put on a detailed benchmark with 650 up against 7770/7750/GTS450/550ti/460/9800GT/9800GTX on all condition. Not a selective benchmark.
Anonymous
September 13, 2012 2:30:04 PM

Why are there giant gaps in both lineups? AMD has the 7770 at $130 and 7850 at $230 -- nvidia has the 650 and 660 at similar price points -- ideally for my budget would be something in the $150-170 price range, but I either have to compromise or shell out more. It seems like an obvious market gap.
September 13, 2012 2:30:17 PM

LaHawzelGod damn Mike NY

Thanks for the attempted compliment, but call me Mike. I'm glad you've been paying attention.

It was more of a joke than anything else to simply write "AMD wins again!" and it was actually pretty funny! I try to balance things out so that no one company is viewed too favorably.

For example, I recently bought an Nvidia GTX 460 1 GB 256 bit card for $70, new, with a 3 month warranty for a friend to upgrade his gaming computer. Unusual? Yes. Great deal? You better believe it! Of course, if an equivalent AMD card was available at a cheaper price, that's the one I would've bought.

Now, relax and try to control yourself. Refrain from the use of profanity in future posts. Thanks.
a b Î Nvidia
September 13, 2012 2:31:01 PM

Nice article to be honest. I'm really glad you tested the Radeon cards with the new driver compared to other review sites.

I've got nothing else to say on the GTX650 but to just point out that it's a weak card.

On the other hand, the GTX660 is probably the only Kepler (besides the 670) that impresses me. I don't know about everyone else though. To point out one thing, most Radeon 7870s can be found at $240 or lower without MIR. The GTX660 is priced well for a release MSRP and makes the 660ti offers less value, kind of like the 670 vs 680. For 8xMSAA, the performance does cripple but I think at this price point, most people are going to stay with 4xAA or possibly lower.
September 13, 2012 2:34:59 PM

EzioAsNice article to be honest. I'm really glad you tested the Radeon cards with the new driver compared to other review sites.I've got nothing else to say on the GTX650 but to just point out that it's a weak card.On the other hand, the GTX660 is probably the only Kepler (besides the 670) that impresses me. I don't know about everyone else though. To point out one thing, most Radeon 7870s can be found at $240 or lower without MIR. It's priced well for a release MSRP and makes the 660ti offers less value, kind of like the 670 vs 680. For 8xMSAA, the performance does cripple but I think at this price point, most people are going to stay with 4xAA or possibly lower.


Exactly - Savvy TH readers will wait for sales on whichever one is needed and then grab one!
AMD 7770 can be had for just over $100 on sale.
AMD 7870 can be had for about $220 on sale.
September 13, 2012 2:35:28 PM

Gtx 660 is the only option in mid-range gpu
a b Î Nvidia
September 13, 2012 2:37:38 PM

Quote:
Why are there giant gaps in both lineups? AMD has the 7770 at $130 and 7850 at $230 -- nvidia has the 650 and 660 at similar price points -- ideally for my budget would be something in the $150-170 price range, but I either have to compromise or shell out more. It seems like an obvious market gap.


The 6870 might be more compelling at that price point. Newegg still sells them. It's too bad that AMD didn't release a 7830 or something similar from the Nvidia side. But chances are, you probably can get the 7850 or 660 below $200 by the end of the year. Fingers cross though.
September 13, 2012 2:37:43 PM

mikenygmailThanks for the attempted compliment, but call me Mike. I'm glad you've been paying attention.It was more of a joke than anything else to simply write "AMD wins again!" and it was actually pretty funny! I try to balance things out so that no one company is viewed too favorably.For example, I recently bought an Nvidia GTX 460 1 GB 256 bit card for $70, new, with a 3 month warranty for a friend to upgrade his gaming computer. Unusual? Yes. Great deal? You better believe it! Of course, if an equivalent AMD card was available at a cheaper price, that's the one I would've bought.Now, relax and try to control yourself. Refrain from the use of profanity in future posts. Thanks.
they cant even dare to put up a weaker 460SE up against 650 let alone a full 460. I guessing the 650 got trash hard when u put serious shader and resolution on it. It is a garbage card @ $110.
a b Î Nvidia
September 13, 2012 2:38:58 PM

mubin said:
Gtx 660 is the only option in mid-range gpu


That is if you don't need the compute performance in which AMD clearly leads
Anonymous
September 13, 2012 2:39:37 PM

I totally agree with TomFreak

another thing, i would prefer more comparison to old cards like the 460 1GB (256bit). i am sure alot of gamers still use that old card
September 13, 2012 2:39:41 PM

Buy a 7850, overclock it. Win.
September 13, 2012 2:48:10 PM

TomfreakHow "nice" of u tomshardware. By only compared 7750/7770 vs 650 in high detail but not comparing 7750/7770 on the Ultra detail, then when u pull out a 460 SE/9800GT for benchmark, u are taking away 650(why?). Is it because 650 performance is too poor to show off on benchmark? It doesnt take a genius to figure out the huge diff between 6870 vs 650. 7770= 6850 speed. So I guess even the 7750/460SE are putting shame on 650 on those high quality detail? too shy to show off 460SE/9800GT up against 650?I dare u put on a detailed benchmark with 650 up against 7770/7750/GTS450/550ti/460/9800GT/9800GTX on all condition. Not a selective benchmark.


Dude, we included the 650 for reference at high details in the rest of the benchmarks. The info is there, just trying to keep it focused.

It's all there. Just look for it.

Tomfreak I guessing the 650 got trash hard when u put serious shader and resolution on it.


It did, look at the numbers from the other high detail benches. The 460 kills it.

But the 460 192-bit is too expensive for a direct comparison, so I didn't include it in the standard low-detail benches. It has a higher price point than the 7770.
September 13, 2012 2:55:50 PM

NVIDIA seriously needs to step up their mid range cards! The 650 is weaker than expected...
a b Î Nvidia
September 13, 2012 3:01:45 PM

Gman450 said:
NVIDIA seriously needs to step up their mid range cards! The 650 is weaker than expected...


True. I thought it could at least give the 7770 some competition, but as it turns out it's slower than the 7750. But actually, that's to be expected since it's basically a GT640 with GDDR5. They should probably called it a GT645 or GTS640. It doesn't deserve the GTX name
September 13, 2012 3:09:03 PM

CleeveDude, we included the 650 for reference at high details in the rest of the benchmarks. The info is there, just trying to keep it focused.It's all there. Just look for it.It did, look at the numbers from the other high detail benches.
according to the bench, each game have 2 presets, the similar priced 7770/7750 is missing on the second higher bench on most games. Would be love the 6870 being replace with 7770/7750 on the second game bench.
September 13, 2012 3:13:16 PM

WHY didn't they add the 7770 to the 1920 x 1080 preset? =\
September 13, 2012 3:37:47 PM

I will be the first to admit the AMD makes some great hardware at affordable prices.
I will also say that I prefer Intel and Nvidia because if one buys strictly on price . . .
You will get what you pay for.

I have had some bad experiences with Athlon and Radeon products, that is just me but I will never go there again. I would rather pony up some more money for a better quality product.

Intel makes solid CPU's that are the industry standard. I do not want a chip that is 90% compatible or has AMD making some lame excuse that Microsoft needs to fix Windows in order for the chip to achieve maximum performance.

Nvidia has much better drivers and tech support if there is a problem. For example look at the game RAGE, when it was released the reputation of the game was irreparably damaged because of AMD driver issues. AMD admitted they had a problem and issued a few patches until they got it right. Id software responded quickly with a patch for the game. I didn't know what all the fuss was about because the game always ran just fine on my computer.

Nvidia charges a little more because they work harder at making cards that are going to work right, first time, every time. I save money by purchasing last years top of the line card when the prices drop after the next generation is introduced. If you want maximum benchmark performance for your dollar, by all means buy a Radeon. Just do not complain if you have to wait a while for a driver fix for every new program that is released. I have bought or been asked to fix too many AMD computers that were incompatible or overheating due to a defect.

Nvidia the way it is meant to be played.
a b Î Nvidia
September 13, 2012 3:49:42 PM

JoeMomma said:
I will be the first to admit the AMD makes some great hardware at affordable prices.
I will also say that I prefer Intel and Nvidia because if one buys strictly on price . . .
You will get what you pay for.

I have had some bad experiences with Athlon and Radeon products, that is just me but I will never go there again. I would rather pony up some more money for a better quality product.

Intel makes solid CPU's that are the industry standard. I do not want a chip that is 90% compatible or has AMD making some lame excuse that Microsoft needs to fix Windows in order for the chip to achieve maximum performance.

Nvidia has much better drivers and tech support if there is a problem. For example look at the game RAGE, when it was released the reputation of the game was irreparably damaged because of AMD driver issues. AMD admitted they had a problem and issued a few patches until they got it right. Id software responded quickly with a patch for the game. I didn't know what all the fuss was about because the game always ran just fine on my computer.

Nvidia charges a little more because they work harder at making cards that are going to work right, first time, every time. I save money by purchasing last years top of the line card when the prices drop after the next generation is introduced. If you want maximum benchmark performance for your dollar, by all means buy a Radeon. Just do not complain if you have to wait a while for a driver fix for every new program that is released. I have bought or been asked to fix too many AMD computers that were incompatible or overheating due to a defect.

Nvidia the way it is meant to be played.


You're quite ignorant if you thought that Nvidia never release bad drivers. Their Forceware 196.75 causes the video cards to overheat. I've had an issue where browsers (Chrome and Firefox) lags as hell when browsing on 29x.xx (didn't quite remember the full version name). But yeah, it's good that Nvidia step it up on the driver section. AMD is also stepping it up. Maybe they haven't quite catch up to what Nvidia does but their drivers now are way better than older versions
September 13, 2012 3:58:51 PM

Oh well I guess that means budget buyers will be flogging the HD 7770 clearly it is the dominant player in that market.
September 13, 2012 3:59:47 PM

Nvidia driver 306.23 is WHQL. 306.02 is Beta.
September 13, 2012 4:15:55 PM

Tomfreakaccording to the bench, each game have 2 presets, the similar priced 7770/7750 is missing on the second higher bench on most games. Would be love the 6870 being replace with 7770/7750 on the second game bench.


The price difference is too large to compare the 7770/7750 with the 7850/660. The only reason I included the 650 in the high detail chart was to give a reference point for the difference in ability between the 660 and 650.

It'd be nice to include every possible combination, but we don't have infinite time, and I like to focus the charts on what makes sense. That means similar price points.
September 13, 2012 4:26:37 PM

JoeMomma said:
Nvidia charges a little more because they work harder at making cards that are going to work right, first time, every time.


As a hardware reviewer I test AMD, Intel, and Nvidia products on a daily basis. They all have quirks: I've gotten hardware that fails with processors from all 3.

Hardware fails at times, that's a fact of life. In the hundreds of products that have gone through my hands, I haven't noticed one manufacturers stuff work or be more reliable significantly more than others.

As for drivers, they all have quirks. If you think only one manufacturer has driver problems you're living in a bubble.
September 13, 2012 4:35:33 PM

I am not saying that any drivers or chips are perfect or flawed. I do not test hardware for a living and I can not say that I have reviewed hundred of different chips. All I said is that in my limited experience I have had more problems and failures with AMD than I have with Nvidia and Intel. So I stick with what has worked well for me in the past. I have been building PC's since 1980. When were you even born?

Cleeve: I am surprised that an employee of Tom's would resort to insults.
Shame on you. I hate forum trolls, You are bad and you should feel bad.
September 13, 2012 4:35:54 PM

NEXT UP: GTX660 with less shaders and HD7830.
September 13, 2012 4:42:35 PM

Wish they would have thrown in a 7950, that's the card i'm looking at.
September 13, 2012 4:43:36 PM

JoeMomma said:
All I said is that in my limited experience I have had more problems and failures with AMD than I have with Nvidia and Intel. So I stick with what has worked well for me in the past.


Good stuff, do as you like. However, things change over time, so if you've pre-decided that driver reliability is a constant over decades, I don't know if that strategy is a good one.

JoeMomma said:
I have been building PC's since 1980. When were you even born?


How does my date of birth affect performance and reliability, exactly? Does my adult son somehow validate my experience as a hardware reviewer? If I was 25 and had been testing hardware for the past 10 years is the experience invalid?

JoeMomma said:
Cleeve: I am surprised that an employee of Tom's would resort to insults.
Shame on you. I hate forum trolls, You are bad and you should feel bad.


Not sure what you're referring to as an insult, chief. Unless you consider a difference of opinion as an insult.

Still not feeling bad. Ah well, you'll have to live with it I guess... :) 
a b Î Nvidia
September 13, 2012 4:45:40 PM

geekapproved said:
NEXT UP: GTX660 with less shaders and HD7830.


Approved! That would be lovely
September 13, 2012 4:58:15 PM

This one time, I played a bad Video game. Because that game was run by a video card, I no longer use video cards. Because that video card was in a computer, I no longer use computers. Because that computer was powered by electricity, I no longer use electricity.

This is why I also dislike AMD graphics cards. Me and Joe are the same.
September 13, 2012 5:01:50 PM

they should have added the GTX 460 to the list since it is about the same price as the 650.
September 13, 2012 5:04:06 PM

RealiBradThis one time, I played a bad Video game. Because that game was run by a video card, I no longer use video cards. Because that video card was in a computer, I no longer use computers. Because that computer was powered by electricity, I no longer use electricity. This is why I also dislike AMD graphics cards. Me and Joe are the same.


I actually laughed out loud at this one.

Well played, sir. You have earned a thumbs up from this humble fan.
September 13, 2012 5:06:15 PM

JoeMommaI am not saying that any drivers or chips are perfect or flawed. I do not test hardware for a living and I can not say that I have reviewed hundred of different chips. All I said is that in my limited experience I have had more problems and failures with AMD than I have with Nvidia and Intel. So I stick with what has worked well for me in the past. I have been building PC's since 1980. When were you even born?Cleeve: I am surprised that an employee of Tom's would resort to insults.Shame on you. I hate forum trolls, You are bad and you should feel bad.


Telling you that if you think that Nvidia and others are free of driver problems, you're living in a bubble, is not an insult. I'd go as far as saying that it is simply adding emphasis to an attempt to teach you. That AMD's current drivers are at the least more or less on-par with Nvidia's current drivers and you're complaining about AMD's past as if it is still accurate is a clear sign of a lesson being needed if you want to be accurate about what you're saying. FYI, I say this without any intent at all of offending you.
a b Î Nvidia
September 13, 2012 5:08:59 PM

Looks to me like the GTX650 does actually compete with the HD7750 in games, or will once prices settle; there's the issue of that unnecessary PCIe power connection, but board partners will undoubtedly fix that. The choice between those two cards appears to depend on the game, meaning the card itself is not crippled or somehow pointless, unlike everything else I've been seeing from nVidia lately.
Of course I did say in games; nVidia's compute performance remains an unexplained disaster, although there are many who won't care.
September 13, 2012 5:10:03 PM

So the 660 is the mid-range's 670.

BTW: Anti-aliasing is NOT dependent on the GPU power? I always thought it was, GPU utilization always increased...or does it matter if it's SSAA or MSAA?

Also, the 660 seems to post better min. frame rates than the 660 Ti at times. You think that's because of higher clock rates?

And how do ROPs affect performance? More=better i guess? Or only for the same generation?
September 13, 2012 5:15:36 PM

ojasBTW: Anti-aliasing is NOT dependent on the GPU power?


It's certainly a factor. But memory bandwidth is usually the bottleneck.
September 13, 2012 5:17:11 PM

I always find it funny how people say they are a fan of this or that in the computer world. With how quickly things change, being a fan does nothing.

Example: When AMD came out with their cpu that was better than the current Intel cpu's at the time, fans of Intel still bought Intel even though there was no reason to. At the time, AMD beat Intel in most every way. Then, Intel came back and beat the hell out of AMDs chips.


In the tech world, you can only be a fan for a generation or so, because next round everything changes. A company that had horrible quality and or performance might dominate next time. Things change too quickly to stick with a brand forever.

People need to be a fan of quality, performance and innovation in probably that order.
September 13, 2012 5:40:29 PM

ojasSo the 660 is the mid-range's 670.BTW: Anti-aliasing is NOT dependent on the GPU power? I always thought it was, GPU utilization always increased...or does it matter if it's SSAA or MSAA?Also, the 660 seems to post better min. frame rates than the 660 Ti at times. You think that's because of higher clock rates?And how do ROPs affect performance? More=better i guess? Or only for the same generation?


Yes, I'd say that the 660 is to the 660 Ti as 670 is to the 680. The better minimums are probably caused by the GPU clock frequency being higher. The frequency controls more than just the frequency that the cores are running at and some of the other hardware, such as ROPs, running a little faster can help something like that when the amount of ROPs and the memory bandwidth are too low.

ROPs and memory bandwidth are generally the greatest bottle-necks on heavy levels of AA. What kind of AA can change the performance impact that it has, but the GPU's cores and such don't really impact AA much because they aren't what performs AA, that's done by the ROPs.

http://www.ehow.com/facts_7495049_raster-operation-proc...

The GTX 660 Ti and 660 have fewer ROPs than the Radeon 7800 and 7900 cards do. The ROPs (except on the Tahiti GPU from the Radeon 7900 cards) are literally a part of the memory controllers because they are what sends the finished frames out to the frame buffer. Having insufficient ROP performance and thus also insufficient memory bandwidth (fewer ROPs generally means a thinner memory connection which although not necessarily means lower memory bandwidth, but it often does) means that when you use AA, you have less hardware to run it on. Cutting down the ROPs and memory controllers from the GPU like Nvidia did is similar to what you'd get if you take a Phenom II x4 CPU and go down to an Athlon II x3. about 33% less processing power at the same frequency and less memory/cache performance from the lack of L3 cache to feed the weaker core processing power is like a double-whammy on performance. That's a big part of why the 660 Ti and the 660 struggle far more than even the GTX 670/680 with AA.
September 13, 2012 5:53:19 PM

Quote:
Is this enough to run a GTX 650?

I have a 400w PSU Dual Rail. (3zone - some korean PSU)

+3.3v - 35a
+5v - 28a
+12v1 - 10a
+12v2 - 10a

I'm currently running an HD 6670 GDDR5. (AMD Athlon II X2 245 2.9ghz, 4GB DDR2 800)


I think that it should be fine, assuming that the PSU isn't poor quality and/or old enough to have degraded too much. However, your CPU might be an issue too, depending on the games that you play. You might be better off saving up and getting a new system or also at least upgrading your CPU to a decent Phenom II x3 or x4. However, the Radeon 7750 is probably the better option except maybe unless you play games and at settings in which the GTX 650 excels at.
September 13, 2012 6:08:42 PM

JoeMommaWhen were you even born? Cleeve: I am surprised that an employee of Tom's would resort to insults. Shame on you. I hate forum trolls, You are bad and you should feel bad.


Your name is an insult itself, and yet you are accusing Cleeve of insults?
Age discrimination to boot? Grow up, troll.
September 13, 2012 6:09:27 PM

JoeMommaNvidia the way it is meant to be played.


Joe, the guy who is meant to be banned. :) 
September 13, 2012 6:12:59 PM

blazorthonI think that it should be fine, assuming that the PSU isn't poor quality and/or old enough to have degraded too much. However, your CPU might be an issue too, depending on the games that you play. You might be better off saving up and getting a new system or also at least upgrading your CPU to a decent Phenom II x3 or x4. However, the Radeon 7750 is probably the better option except maybe unless you play games and at settings that the GTX 650 excels at.


(sorry, i deleted my post because i've changed my mind :p )

I'm choosing between upgrading CPU or GPU(Limited Budget).

I guess i will just go with the CPU... I found a Phenom II X4 965 and the price is $111 in usd, I think 6670 GDDR5 still a decent GPU and it trade blows with GT 640. I'm only playing at 1440x900. I'll just keep it.

The PSU i have is a korean surplus, i bought it for $10, I was going to buy a Brandnew/Quality one($40-50) back then, but one i only got $30, because i bought a cooler to replace my broken stock cooler.

By the way, I have another option, I got scooter here(Value is $300), i'm already seaching for someone to trade/swap with my scooter.. My target is an i5 2400/2500k with motherboard and ram or even a Phenom II X4+mobo+ram with a decent PSU. Then i will use my old system for Home CCTV.
September 13, 2012 6:20:16 PM

about time they released some proper kepler competition in these price points. i dont think amd will drop prices this time as fast as they did with the 660ti release. 650 was underwhelming, but 660 looks looks quite good.
September 13, 2012 6:45:56 PM

Regor245(sorry, i deleted my post because i've changed my mind )I'm choosing between upgrading CPU or GPU(Limited Budget). I guess i will just go with the CPU... I found a Phenom II X4 965 and the price is $111 in usd, I think 6670 GDDR5 still a decent GPU and it trade blows with GT 640. I'm only playing at 1440x900. I'll just keep it.The PSU i have is a korean surplus, i bought it for $10, I was going to buy a Brandnew/Quality one($40-50) back then, but one i only got $30, because i bought a cooler to replace my broken stock cooler.By the way, I have another option, I got scooter here(Value is $300), i'm already seaching for someone to trade/swap with my scooter.. My target is an i5 2400/2500k with motherboard and ram or even a Phenom II X4+mobo+ram with a decent PSU. Then i will use my old system for Home CCTV.


This might be a conversation better placed in the forums, but as a side note, if money is too tight, you could go for a Llano build and have a Hybrid CF setup to make use of the Radeon 6670 since you already have it. A Phenom II CPU (assuming that your motherboard supports them, given that you have an Athlon II, it probably does) could also be used even with your current memory (Phenom II supports DDR2 and DDR3, just not both at the same time) and motherboard. So long as you stick with an AMD APU/CPU, you can reuse parts of your current build so that you can afford better upgrades with the parts that you replace, although if you get the budget to get an i5, that would probably be much more ideal CPU performance for future-proofing as well as current CPU-bottle-necked gaming.
September 13, 2012 7:03:30 PM

AMD dropped the price of the 7850 and 7870 yesterday, now the 7870 can be had for $250 and the 7850 is $200. I would say the nvidia cards aren't worth it as of now but if the price drops a bit, they are nice. If OC is taken into account, the 7850 completely destroys the 660 for performace/price.

the 650 is really meh as expected, the 7750 are going for under $100 and this card just isn't price competitive. the 7750 also got a clock increase to 900mhz that wasn't shown in this review, I'd expect it to be faster while costing less.
September 13, 2012 7:15:17 PM

The 650 is $119 on Newegg, not $109.
September 13, 2012 7:18:00 PM

Cleve you said that "If you think only one manufacturer has driver problems you're living in a bubble."
I like Nvidia because of the frequency of their driver updates.
Have all of them been perfect over the years, of course not.
But over the years Geforce cards have worked well FOR ME.
Your mileage may vary and I would never disrespect anybody that has a good setup that is different from mine. This is a waste of time attempting to win an internet discussion with reason and logic. You have already decided that I am an idiotic jerk for merely stating an opinion. FORUM SUCK!

I felt that saying that I was living in a bubble was disrespectful and highly unprofessional from a forum moderator. Ask you boss how they feel you handled someone with a differing opinion. You should be fired and your keys to the interwebs be taken away.
!