Skip to main content

GeForce GTX 660 Ti Review: Nvidia's Trickle-Down Keplernomics

GeForce GTX 660 Ti Is A $300 Contender Worth Considering

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).

  • game junky
    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 $100 but it is still an interesting option.
    Reply
  • crisan_tiberiu
    so, this is basically a card that costs 40$ less then a GTX 580, consumes 100W less power then a gtx 580 and its 8% better...hmm, intresting.
    Reply
  • crisan_tiberiu
    *edit, costs 100$ less then GTX 580.
    Reply
  • rmpumper
    That's strange - on techpowerup review the 660Ti is above 7950's average performance.
    Reply
  • outlw6669
    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.
    Reply
  • verbalizer
    nice card, not OVERLY impressed...
    BUT THE PRICE...!
    c'mon SON let's be real here......
    ridiculous @ $300 beans..
    Reply
  • hellfire24
    waiting for a price cut down.who's with me?
    Reply
  • felipetga
    I have been holding to upgrade my GTX 460 256bits. I wonder if this card will be bottlenecked by my C2Q 9550 @ 3.6ghz....
    Reply
  • verbalizer
    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..
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    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
    Reply