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Test Setup And Benchmarks

Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 And 660 Review: Kepler At $110 And $230
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Both the GeForce GTX 650 and GeForce GTX 660 are aimed at gamers with 1920x1080-capable displays. Because they serve up different performance levels, though, you'll need to tweak your favorite title's detail settings based on each card's capabilities. Because of this, we're putting the GeForce GTX 650 and its competition through less-demanding presets than the GeForce GTX 660 and its segment.

In addition to single-card testing, we're also testing the GeForce GTX 660 in SLI to see how it stacks up against AMD's Radeon HD 7850 in CrossFire. We're also overclocking the GTX 660 to see how well it does at its limit.

Finally, the Radeon HD 7850 that we had so many problems with in our Pitcairn launch story finally died on our test bench. We want to thank Jared and Mike at Itech Systems in Winnipeg, Manitoba for loaning us a replacement so that we could collect the data we needed for today's comparison.

Test System
CPU
Intel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E), 3.3 GHz, Six Cores, LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled, Overclocked to 4.2 GHz
Motherboard
ASRock X79 Extreme9 (LGA 2011) Chipset: Intel X79 Express
Networking
On-Board Gigabit LAN controller
Memory
Corsair Vengeance LP PC3-16000, 4 x 4 GB, 1600 MT/s, CL 8-8-8-24-2T
Graphics
MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti
1019/1097 MHz Base/Boost GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1502 MHz

Reference GeForce GTX 660
980/1033 MHz Base/Boost GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1502 MHz

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660
1033/1098 MHz Base/Boost GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1502 MHz

Zotac GeForce GTX 660
993/1059 MHz Base/Boost GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1502 MHz

MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti
880 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1050 MHz

Zotac GeForce GTX 550 Ti
900 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1025 MHz

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650
1111 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1250 MHz

MSI N450GTS Cyclone (GeForce GTS 450)
850 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 980 MHz

Afox GeForce GT 640
902 MHz GPU, 1 GB DDR3 at 891 MHz

Reference Radeon HD 7870
1000 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1200 MHz

Reference Radeon HD 7850
860 MHz GPU, 2 GB GDDR5 at 1200 MHz

Reference Radeon HD 6870
900 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1050 MHz

Reference Radeon HD 7770
1000 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1125 MHz

Reference Radeon HD 7750
800 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1125 MHz

Reference Radeon HD 6670
800 MHz GPU, 1 GB GDDR5 at 1000 MHz

All overclocked cards reduced to reference specification for testing
Hard Drive
Samsung 470-Series 256 GB (SSD)
Power
ePower EP-1200E10-T2 1200 W
ATX12V, EPS12V
Software and Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 x64, Service Pack 1
DirectX
DirectX 11
Graphics Drivers
Nvidia: 306.23 beta
(except GeForce GTX 650, which required 305.57 drivers)
AMD: Catalyst 12.8
Benchmarks
Battlefield 3
Campaign Mode, "Operation Swordfish" 60-second Fraps
Crysis 2
DirectX 11, 60 second Fraps
Batman: Arkham City
Version 1.0.0.0, Built-in DirectX 11 Benchmark
Metro 2033Full Game, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene
DiRT Showdown
Version 1.0.0.0, DirectX 11 Benchmark
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Update 1.4.27, THG Benchmarks save, 25-second Fraps
Max Payne 3
Version 1.0.0.4.7, Chapter 3, save 16, 65-second Fraps
World Of Warcraft: Mists Of Pandaria Beta
Elwynn Forest area, 30-second Fraps
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