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GeForce GTX 660 Ti Is A $300 Contender Worth Considering

GeForce GTX 660 Ti Review: Nvidia's Trickle-Down Keplernomics
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We begin by aggregating the performance of our seven games at 1920x1080, which is the upper-mainstream resolution that Nvidia is targeting with its $300 GeForce GTX 660 Ti.

According to the settings we chose on a per-game basis, picked to maximize visual quality at playable frame rates, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti is close to, if not slightly slower than a Radeon HD 7870. We already know this runs counter to Nvidia's expectations, which put the new card  between AMD's Radeon HD 7870 and 7950. However, after comparing lab results, the outcome of our testing appears tied to the way we picked settings for each game, likely taxing the 660 Ti's memory bandwidth more than less-demanding options would.

Perhaps our settings favor the Radeon cards. Perhaps theirs favor the GeForce-based boards. And maybe the most real-world outcome lies somewhere in between. But, I believe the truth is that GeForce GTX 660 Ti performs within 5%, plus or minus, of the Radeon HD 7870.

Frankly, a few percentage points doesn't sway our opinion one way or the other. Here's the real bottom-line: using our benchmark suite and settings, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti and Radeon HD 7870 trade blows. That fact alone justifies Nvidia's $300 price tag.

Your choice comes down to strengths, weaknesses, and features, then. If you don't tend to use anything more than 4x MSAA, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti will perform better than many of our results indicate, since you won't be taxing its memory subsystem as hard. Conversely, if you're a fan of lots of anti-aliasing, the Radeon cards tend to pull ahead in this price range.

From there, do you prefer AMD or Nvidia products? Any preference between Eyefinity or Surround? Does the idea of a tightly-controlled but more reliable 3D Vision ecosystem appeal to you, or is AMD's less-restrictive HD3D initiative sound better? If you've had good experiences with PhysX in the past, Nvidia's solution will likely eke out an advantage; there just aren't enough titles with the feature implemented to compel me, personally.

Like our game setting choices, there are no right or wrong answers other than to say the GeForce GTX 660 Ti is priced appropriately at $300, just like AMD's Radeon HD 7870. Time to sit back and wait for both companies to push each other on pricing (and indeed, 7870s are already starting to appear around $280).

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  • 33 Hide
    hellfire24 , August 16, 2012 2:07 PM
    waiting for a price cut down.who's with me?
  • 29 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , August 16, 2012 1:40 PM
    so, this is basically a card that costs 40$ less then a GTX 580, consumes 100W less power then a gtx 580 and its 8% better...hmm, intresting.
  • 26 Hide
    EzioAs , August 16, 2012 2:19 PM
    Clearly we need more price cuts on the 660ti. I expect AMD to lower the prices even more, heck online retailers sell Radeon cards lower than the MSRP, making 7950 and 7870 even more budget friendly. It's still sad really to see mid-range cards battling at $300+. It used to be $250 and lower
Other Comments
  • -7 Hide
    game junky , August 16, 2012 1:37 PM
    Hmm. I have been wanting to replace my 560 - this throws a wrench in the gears. I was sold on a ASUS 670 but I think I'll wait to compare specs with their 660ti - I just started ripping my BD collection so the additional RAM bandwidth might be worth the extra $100 but it is still an interesting option.
  • 29 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , August 16, 2012 1:40 PM
    so, this is basically a card that costs 40$ less then a GTX 580, consumes 100W less power then a gtx 580 and its 8% better...hmm, intresting.
  • 21 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , August 16, 2012 1:41 PM
    *edit, costs 100$ less then GTX 580.
  • 4 Hide
    rmpumper , August 16, 2012 1:43 PM
    That's strange - on techpowerup review the 660Ti is above 7950's average performance.
  • 1 Hide
    outlw6669 , August 16, 2012 1:49 PM
    game junkyI was sold on a ASUS 670 but I think I'll wait to compare specs with their 660ti.

    Asus' DCU2 Top ends up about 5% faster than stock, 8% slower than stock GTX 670 and still uses that excellent cooler.
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_660_Ti_Direct_Cu_II/1.html

    Still, the GTX 660Ti looks to be a decent card.
    Not really fond of how nVidia keeps nerfing their memory bandwidth though.
    Once prices drop a little, I could see it being an excellent mainstream card.
  • 24 Hide
    verbalizer , August 16, 2012 2:03 PM
    nice card, not OVERLY impressed...
    BUT THE PRICE...!
    c'mon SON let's be real here......
    ridiculous @ $300 beans..
  • 33 Hide
    hellfire24 , August 16, 2012 2:07 PM
    waiting for a price cut down.who's with me?
  • -5 Hide
    felipetga , August 16, 2012 2:10 PM
    I have been holding to upgrade my GTX 460 256bits. I wonder if this card will be bottlenecked by my C2Q 9550 @ 3.6ghz....
  • 21 Hide
    verbalizer , August 16, 2012 2:12 PM
    GPGPU = Kepler = FAIL....
    that's depressing but I understand nVidia has designated GTX 6 series as a gaming cards but c'mon SON.!!!
    ridiculous once again..
  • 26 Hide
    EzioAs , August 16, 2012 2:19 PM
    Clearly we need more price cuts on the 660ti. I expect AMD to lower the prices even more, heck online retailers sell Radeon cards lower than the MSRP, making 7950 and 7870 even more budget friendly. It's still sad really to see mid-range cards battling at $300+. It used to be $250 and lower
  • 20 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , August 16, 2012 2:21 PM
    GTX580 has lower average FPS but usually has a higher Minimum FPS than GTX660.
    i would take higher min fps over a higher average FPS anyday.

    on the final page, a graph comparing the min FPS of the games should have been there too.
  • 21 Hide
    BattleshipLorenzen , August 16, 2012 2:38 PM
    If you overclock (why wouldn't you?), then the 7870 is the obvious choice. 660ti doesn't leave much headroom, while Pitcarim cards scale beautifully with OC (and have plenty of headroom). I wonder about the inconsistent OC improvements - was the 660ti thermally throttled on the games where the OC didn't help (much), or was it just the memory bandwidth (i.e., those games/settings had more taxing memory loads)?
  • 23 Hide
    ilysaml , August 16, 2012 2:45 PM
    So am i the only one seeing that GTX 660Ti is a fail?
  • 21 Hide
    guru_urug , August 16, 2012 2:48 PM
    Indeed, the 660ti hasnt lived upto its hype. I'd pick a HD7870 over it, especially since the 7870 will fall down to the 250-280 range after AMD begins with the price cut.
  • 21 Hide
    ilysaml , August 16, 2012 2:49 PM
    BigMack70Compared to the "wow" of the GTX 670 launch, this is very "meh".... needs to get down closer to the $250 mark to have that "wow" factor.

    I've seen some HD 7870s getting close to this price, I guess it's a win-round for AMD.
  • 9 Hide
    tomfreak , August 16, 2012 2:54 PM
    lol Looks like the pitcrain 7870 is holding up pretty well. Can I say 660ti is between 7850 vs 7870 and on rare case above 7870?

    I guess a 1.1GHz 7870 will just on par with 660ti. Pitcrain is just a powerful thing.
  • 15 Hide
    supall , August 16, 2012 2:55 PM
    guru_urugIndeed, the 660ti hasnt lived upto its hype. I'd pick a HD7870 over it, especially since the 7870 will fall down to the 250-280 range after AMD begins with the price cut.


    Last month, you could have picked up a non-reference 7870 for well below the $300 price tag (some after mail-in rebate). With the 660TI being a "meh" product, I doubt you'll find any significant price drops until Black Friday.
  • -9 Hide
    jaquith , August 16, 2012 2:56 PM
    Considering 'other' sites jumped the gun, none of this is new or news to me. I would concur the OpenCL is IMO pointless; I consider both the GTX 600 & HD 7000 series 'gaming' GPUs.

    The nice things about the GTX 660 Ti are the added vRAM 2GB, 3-WAY SLI is supported, and the same architectural Kepler. My advice is if purchasing then get a non-reference GTX 660 Ti which allows over-volting and OC if and when needed by doing so you'll match the GTX 670's performance.

    3D Vision folks, my recommendation are the 4GB vRAM GTX 670 or 680's in SLI and as needed (2~4 WAY) depending on your resolution.

    Very thorough benchmark and review - http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/3026/nvidia-geforce-gtx-660-ti-review---3-way-sli-included
  • 20 Hide
    Yuka , August 16, 2012 3:03 PM
    I have the GTX670 and it falls short on newer games that use DirectCompute for some effects. It's ridiculous the performance hit it gets. In Dirt Showdown, with Global Lightning activated, the FPS drops a lot, even without MSAA activated at all!

    From what I'm thinking, the GTX6xx series will fall short when more games start using more GPGPU oriented programming for some visual effects, whereas the 7xxx series from AMD might not fall short.

    Cheers!

    Cheers!
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