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Seven GeForce GTX 660 Ti Cards: Exploring Memory Bandwidth

A GeForce GTX 660 Ti For Everyone?

All seven GeForce GTX 660 Ti graphics cards in today's story are decent. There is no real winner, and the best model for you depends largely on what you want from a new graphics card.

Asus' GTX 660Ti DirectCU II has the most powerful cooler and is the quietest card in our round-up. But even though it manages to keep the GPU running at low temperatures, the same cannot be said for the PCB or some of the components mounted on it, which get very hot. The cooler keeps up with the GPU under full load, maintaining low fan speeds. However, the rest of the card can use more airflow. More disturbing was the card's failure during our benchmarking session. It was never overclocked, and its GPU Boost levels were pretty low (about 250 MHz behind MSI's N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC). We could even get through our suite without it crashing, so we can't give it any sort of recommendation.

Gainward's GTX 660 Ti Phantom and Palit's GTX 660 Ti Jetstream are based on Nvidia's reference GeForce GTX 670 board design. They monopolize three slots without giving back great cooling or exceptional acoustics in return.

The Galaxy GeForce GTX 660 Ti GC 3 GB is a good board that demonstrates solid acoustic performance and aggressive GPU Boost clock rates. But its 3 GB of GDDR5 get in the way more than they help.

Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 660 Ti Windforce 2X OC Edition uses 10 cm fans, which is a first for the company. An updated firmware does good things for this card's noise levels. It might be a little louder than Asus' GTX 660Ti DirectCU II, but it also has a 1033 MHz GPU clock rate to show for it. Gigabyte built this card to be thin and light, which makes it ideal for SLI configurations.

The MSI N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC demonstrates that, once again, the company can build a really nice cooler that lets GPU Boost do its job to make the card faster even than what we were expecting.

Zotac's GeForce GTX 660 Ti AMP! Edition gets ambitious, shooting for high clock rates and a compact form factor. As a result, though, Nvidia's GPU Boost feature isn't able to stretch its legs. This would be a great addition to a mini-ITX-based platform thanks to its dimensions, though.

The price points of these cards are also of interest. Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 660 Ti Windforce 2X OC Edition sells for as low as $300. Galaxy's GeForce GTX 660 Ti GC 3 GB is at the other end of the spectrum at $340. Meanwhile, Zotac's fast and compact GeForce GTX 660 Ti AMP! Edition is a scant $10 more than the $300 MSRP Nvidia set at launch. Each card has advantages and disadvantages that we've explored in depth, so pricing, availability, and brand preference will likely steer your decision more than any one glaring omission. Overall, though, we think GeForce GTX 660 Tis will become more attractive once they've come down in price compared to Radeon HD 7870 and 7950.

Our last few comments concern the 660 Ti's 192-bit memory interface. Our benchmarks show that this can really put Nvidia's GeForce GTX 660 Ti at a disadvantage, even at 1920x1080 and without obscene texture detail settings. Whether or not you run into a performance problem depends mostly on the game you're playing. In general, though, the card really starts to run out of steam at anti-aliasing settings at and beyond 4x MSAA. This is too bad, since the GPU goes underutilized at that point. The problem is unique to this card. None of the other Kepler-based boards experience it. We're not saying the GeForce GTX 660 Ti is a bad card, but there are competing configurations that demonstrate better balance.

  • scotthulbs
    I'd Like to know which 2GB model 660ti you used in this comparison? I would like to see how if perhaps the Zotac memory overclock has much of an effect on performance. If you used the Zotac in this comparison that may very well be the reason it outperforms the 3GB Galaxy card? Maybe run this same test overclocking the memory, it seems as though the 660ti with its memory overclocked can nearly reach GTX670 Bandwidth. I'd like to see how much that helps overcome the narrow bus.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    The problem with wider memory interface is that it exponentially increases the chip's die-size. Hence, cost per wafer and power consumption will increase a lot.

    IMO both AMD and Nvidia should use the XDR2 memory in the next series of cards. That would give the same bandwidth at half the interface size.
    Reply
  • iknowhowtofixitThis review reinforces what I have been saying for weeks. The GTX 660Ti is overpriced at $300. Since you can easily find a HD7950 for $300 or less after rebates, it makes the 660TI irrelevant. To me, the 660Ti needs to be $60-$75 cheaper before it can achieve bang for the buck status.it is because of the 660ti that the 7950 prices dropped to $300 or less with MIR: so tell me how irrelevant they are now?
    Reply
  • ahrensy
    For the Batman Arkham City tests on the 670 and 660ti, was the PhysX setting set to Off, Low or High?
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    9537131 said:
    it is because of the 660ti that the 7950 prices dropped to $300 or less with MIR: so tell me how irrelevant they are now?

    The 7950 has been our for months now compared to the 660ti and the price drop happens before the release of the 660ti. Nvidia should really have predicted that the 7950 prices should come down even more so it makes almost no sense that they release the 660ti at $300.

    The 7870 performs just slightly slower compared to the 660ti but beats it once you crank up the AA really high and it costs $50 less. On the other hand the 7950 is overall faster than the 660ti and even surpass the the $60+ 670 once you crank the AA really high as well. For the 660ti to sell, Nvidia should really lower it to $260 imo.....or they could just rely on fanboys
    Reply
  • 9537133 said:
    The 7950 has been our for months now compared to the 660ti and the price drop happens before the release of the 660ti.

    AMD?rel=ugc]http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/28433-amd-cuts-hd-7000-series-price-even-further]AMD cuts HD 7000 series price even furtherTuesday, 21 August 2012 08:57 (after the 660ti release)
    AMD has already dropped the HD 7970 from US $479 to US $429, HD 7950 from US $399 to US $349 and the HD 7870 down from US $349 to US $299. The new price cut skips the HD 7970 graphics card but includes the HD 7950, HD 7870 as well as the 1 and 2GB versions of the HD 7850.

    The most important is probably the price cut for the 3GB HD 7950 which battles it out with Nvidia's recently released GTX 660 Ti. The HD 7950 3GB is, according to the report, will receive a US $30 price cut placing it at US $320. The HD 7870 2GB graphics card got another US $50 price cut pushing it down to US $250 which probably makes it one of the most interesting mid-range graphics cards on the market.

    cheers! :)
    Reply
  • FormatC
    9537132 said:
    For the Batman Arkham City tests on the 670 and 660ti, was the PhysX setting set to Off, Low or High?
    PhysX was off, because it affects the overall performance. PhysX is dead - ok, not quite, but almost ;)
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    9537134 said:
    AMD?rel=ugc]http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/28433-amd-cuts-hd-7000-series-price-even-further]AMD cuts HD 7000 series price even furtherTuesday, 21 August 2012 08:57 (after the 660ti release)
    AMD has already dropped the HD 7970 from US $479 to US $429, HD 7950 from US $399 to US $349 and the HD 7870 down from US $349 to US $299. The new price cut skips the HD 7970 graphics card but includes the HD 7950, HD 7870 as well as the 1 and 2GB versions of the HD 7850.

    The most important is probably the price cut for the 3GB HD 7950 which battles it out with Nvidia's recently released GTX 660 Ti. The HD 7950 3GB is, according to the report, will receive a US $30 price cut placing it at US $320. The HD 7870 2GB graphics card got another US $50 price cut pushing it down to US $250 which probably makes it one of the most interesting mid-range graphics cards on the market.

    cheers! :)

    If you check the price of the 7950s before this news at most online retailer (Newegg, NCIX), you'll know that the price drop happens already although the official news from AMD was a couple of weeks later
    Reply
  • 9537136 said:
    If you check the price of the 7950s before this news at most online retailer (Newegg, NCIX), you'll know that the price drop happens already although the official news from AMD was a couple of weeks later
    now you are talking complete nonsense unless you do not understand there were two price drops and the latter of which is because of the 660ti; as the article stated.so you want to see pricing history . . :)
    Sapphire?rel=ugc]http://pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-100352sr]Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card
    now how much sense does it make to drop prices and not tell anyone?
    :pfff:
    Reply
  • Cryio
    Tom's, I want to make a request article. Where should I post it? :D
    Reply