The newest member of NVIDIA's GeForce Kepler family is also its most important. The new GeForce GTX 660 Ti launched today targets a cost-performance sweet-spot with its US $299 reference price. What makes this price-point of particular importance to GPU makers is that graphics cards priced around it compete directly with premium game console bundles from the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 line, transforming ordinary desktop PCs into lean and mean gaming monstrosities. By NVIDIA's own statistics, PCs are growing as a gaming platform, and the $299 price-point is one of its prime movers.
The GeForce GTX 660 Ti is derived from the 28 nm GK104 silicon, the same chip that powers GeForce GTX 670, Kepler poster-boy GeForce GTX 680, and the flagship GeForce GTX 690. It is closer to the GeForce GTX 670 in more specifications than the GTX 680 is, down to the same chip. It has the same number of CUDA cores with 1,344, and the same set of clock speeds with 915 MHz core, 980 MHz GPU Boost, and 6.00 GHz memory. The only points of difference between the two are memory bus width with 192-bit (against 256-bit on the GTX 670), and ROP count with 24 (against 32 on the GTX 670). The memory bus is narrower by 25%, resulting in a memory bandwidth of 144 GB/s (against 192 GB/s on the GTX 670).
The GeForce GTX 660 Ti, with its starting price of $299, is also NVIDIA's most expensive performance-segment GPU to date. Its predecession includes the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, the GTX 460 1 GB, the GTX 260, and the 9800 GT – all of which had slightly lower price points. Given that AMD has two SKUs in close-quarters with this price-point, the Radeon HD 7870 and Radeon HD 7950, NVIDIA would have chosen this price-point as well. In this review, we test this notion.
The ASUS GTX 660 Ti Direct CU II TOP is, essentially, the same board as the famous GTX 670 which was the first and only graphics card to bag a 10.0 perfect score during TPU review. A large dual-fan cooler keeps the card cool and increased clock speeds out of the box to ensure an additional performance improvement over the relatively low clocks of the NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti reference design. ASUS is, price wise, asking $330 for their card, a $30 increase over the NVIDIA reference design.
GeForce GTX 660 Ti Market Segment Analysis
GTX 660 Ti
GTX 660 Ti
| HD 7970
|Memory Bus Width
You will receive:
- Graphics card
- Driver CD + documentation
- Borderlands 2 Steam coupon (not pictured)
- PCI-Express power cable
- DVI adapter
The GTX 660 Ti DC II TOP looks exactly like the GTX 670 DC II TOP which we reviewed not too long ago. A large dual fan cooler covers the card. As you can see from the second photo, the actual PCB is quite a bit shorter than the cooler - something we've seen before on other cards from the company.
The card requires two slots in your system.
Display connectivity options include two dual-link DVI ports, one full-size HDMI port and one full-size DisplayPort. You may use all the outputs at the same time thanks to NVIDIA Kepler's new display output controller.
An HDMI sound device is included in the GPU as well. It is HDMI 1.4a compatible and includes HD audio and Blu-ray 3D movies support. The DisplayPort outputs are version 1.2 which enables the use of hubs and Multi-Stream Transport.
You may combine up to four GTX 660 Ti cards from any vendor in a multi-GPU SLI configuration for higher frame-rates or better image- quality settings.
Pictured above are the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front
). If you choose to use these images for voltmods, etc., please include a link back to this site or let us post your article.
A Closer Look
ASUS is using a three heatpipe DirectTouch cooler to keep the card cool. Two of the heatipes are double length for extra cooling performance.
After removing the main cooler, we find an additional small heatsink on the card which cools voltage regulation circuitry.
The card requires two 6-pin PCI-Express power cables for operation. This power configuration is good for up to 225 W of power draw.
Please note that the power plugs are reversed, which is an improvement over the GTX 670. If you look below the power plugs on the GTX 670, you can see a piece of silvery metal with a screw in it which makes connecting and disconnecting power-cables on the GTX 670 a bit difficult. Rotating the connectors, like on this card, solves this problem elegantly.
For voltage control, the card uses an unknown voltage controller which has been rebranded to ASUS Digi+. My best guess is that it is a rebranded CHiL 8318, like on other GTX 600 cards by ASUS.
The GDDR5 memory chips are made by Hynix and carry the model number H5GQ2H24AFR-R0C. They are specified to run at 1500 MHz (6000 MHz GDDR5 effective).
NVIDIA's GK104 graphics processor introduced the company's brand-new Kepler architecture. It is NVIDIA's first chip to be produced on a 28 nm process at TSMC Taiwan. The transistor count is 3.54 billion.
Benchmark scores in other reviews are only comparable when this exact same configuration is used.
|Test System - VGA Rev. 17
||Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.7 GHz
(Ivy Bridge, 8192 KB Cache)
||ASUS Maximus V Gene
||2x 4096 MB Corsair Vengeance PC3-12800 DDR3
@ 1600 MHz 9-9-9-24
||WD Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500 GB
||Antec HCP-1200 1200W
||Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1
||NVIDIA: 304.79 Beta
GTX 660 Ti: 305.37 Beta
ATI: Catalyst 12.7 Beta
LG Flatron W3000H 30" 2560x1600
3x Hanns.G HL225DBB 21.5" 1920x1080
- All video card results were obtained on this exact system with exactly the same configuration.
- All games were set to their highest quality setting unless indicated otherwise.
- AA and AF are applied via in-game settings - not via the driver's control panel.
Each benchmark was tested at the following settings and resolution:
- 1280 x 800, 2x Anti-aliasing. Common resolution for most small flatscreens today (17" - 19"). A bit of eye candy turned on in the drivers.
- 1680 x 1050, 4x Anti-aliasing. Most common widescreen resolution on larger displays (19" - 22"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
- 1920 x 1200, 4x Anti-aliasing. Typical widescreen resolution for large displays (22" - 26"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
- 2560 x 1600, 4x Anti-aliasing. Highest possible resolution for commonly available displays (30"). Very good looking driver graphics settings.
, released in 2012 for the PC, is a highly successful third-person horror shooter that revolves around the adventures of novelist Alan Wake who has to battle the "darkness" which takes over living and dead things. Alan's signature flashlight is used to strip the forces of darkness of their protection to make them vulnerable to conventional weapons.
The engine of Alan Wake
uses DirectX 9, but features complex lighting effects, making it a quite demanding title. We benchmarked with the highest settings possible.
Batman: Arkham City
is back on the LCD screen with Batman: Arkham City
, a sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum
, by Rocksteady Games and WB. It was released on the PC platform in November. Batman is imprisoned in Arkham City, an infamous district of the DC Universe that contains the scum of Gotham, most of whom Batman helped put in there. In order to get out, he must go through scores of baddies and encounters many of the iconic supervillains along the way - he's not entirely alone.
Batman: Arkham City
uses the same Unreal Engine by Epic as Batman: Arkham Asylum
does, but, it has, thanks to the engine's modularity, been overhauled and outfitted with the latest technologies, including a graphics engine that takes advantage of DirectX 11.
Arguably one of the most anticipated online shooters in recent times, Battlefield 3
is the latest addition to some of the most engaging online multiplayer-shooter franchises. It combines infantry combat with mechanized warfare including transport vehicles, armored personnel carriers, main battle tanks, attack helicopters, and combat aircraft - pretty much everything that goes into today's battlefields. Infantry combat is coupled with role-playing elements which make the experience all the more engaging. It also has a single-player campaign which adds a few gigabytes to its installer.
Behind all this is a spanking new game engine by EA-DICE, Frostbite 2. It makes use of every possible feature DirectX 11 has to offer, including hardware tessellation and new lighting effects, to deliver some of the most captivating visuals gamers have ever had access to. Not playing this game on the PC is a grave injustice to what's in store. Faster PCs are rewarded with better visuals.
, a card-based RTS, is developed by the German EA Phenomic Studio. A few months after the launch, the game was transformed into a Play 4 Free branded game. That move, and the fact that it was included as a game bundle with a large number of ATI cards, made it one of the more well-known RTS games of 2009. You, as a player, assemble your deck before the game to select the units that will be available. Elemental force choices can come from the forces of Fire, Frost, Nature, and Shadow to complement each other.
The BattleForge engine has full support for DX9, DX10, and DX10.1. We used the internal benchmark tool in DirectX 11 mode with the highest settings possible to obtain our results.
Sid Meier's Civilization V
(or Civ 5
in common jargon) is the latest addition to the franchise of masterfully crafted real-time strategy games that let you play God to a nascent civilization of your choice all the way up to the space age. Civilization V
uses large 3D worlds that are procedurally generated and takes advantage of the hardware tessellation features offered by DirectX 11 to exponentially step up the complexity of cities, models, terrains, and objects. This generation of GPUs can be expected to handle large texture loads that come with such eye candy.
After the tremendous success of Far Cry
, the German game studio Crytek released their shooter Crysis
in 2007. The game was by far the most hyped and anticipated game in 2007, and forums were full of "Can my system run Crysis?" threads because of the high hardware requirements of this game. Just like in Far Cry
, the plot evolves on a small island with a thick and richly detailed jungle world. A lot of attention has been given to small details like accurate physics. When you, for example, fire on a tree trunk, it will shatter and the tree will fall over and leave a stump behind. Enemies in a car can be stopped by shooting the tire of the car. The game graphics are, even today, top notch, yet the game still runs well on most computers.
takes the player into an alien-infested New York City. The game adds a tactical options mode that allows several ways to attack a heavily infested enemy location. The new Nanosuit 2.0, that the player uses, offers more freedom in ability use; multiple abilities can, for example, be used at the same time. To better accommodate a given play style, weapons can be customized with silencers, laser sights, or even a sniping scope.
For rendering, Crytek's CryEngine 3, which comes with reduced system requirements compared to the first Crysis
game, is used. Since Crysis 2
is a multi-platform game, with major development focus on the console, the graphics on launch day were only DirectX 9. DirectX 11 functionality was added later in a patch. We used the DX11 version and the high-res texture pack for our benchmarking.
Blizzard's Diablo 3
is the latest release in one of the most popular action RPG series of all time. You, the hero, will experience epic adventures on your journey to defeat Diablo, the master of Hell. Diablo 3
set the record for the fastest-selling PC game - selling over 3.5 million copies on the first day of its release. It was also the most pre-ordered game on Amazon.
Blizzard's DirectX 9 engine provides the player with an isometric view on the action. The game has been tuned to run well on most computer systems to let as many players as possible experience the game. We tested Diablo 3
running at the highest image-quality settings.
Dragon Age II
Dragon Age II
is the second game in BioWare's Dragon Age
franchise and was released in March 2011. You will be able to pick your hero, named Hawke, from several classes and grow him over the course of the adventure. Gameplay takes you through a linearly narrated story of Hawke's rise to become the legendary "Champion of Kirkwall".
BioWare's Lycium Engine has support for DirectX 11, using tessellation, advanced dynamic lighting, and camera effects like depth of field. We benchmarked the DX11 version with details set to the highest possible.
Developed by Flying Wild Hog, a studio that prides itself with the fact that its creation is PC exclusive (bless them), Hard Reset
is a first-person shooter that's set in a future cyberpunk setting of a dystopian world. It reintroduces many of the gameplay mechanics that have made classics such as Quake
wickedly fun to play and that are sorely lacking in today's tactical military shooter, thus creating a 'void' for Flying Wild Hog to fill.
The game uses the studio's in-house Road Hog Engine, which isn't particularly heavy on new-generation DirectX features, but can still be taxing for some GPUs.
Max Payne 3
Max is back! The long anticipated third release in the Max Payne
series is the first game developed by Rockstar, which took over the title from Remedy Entertainment. In this first-person shooter, using an over-the-shoulder camera view, you battle the bad guys using game-changing features like Bullet Time or Last Stand. The maps have scenic locations taking the player to places like New York, Sao Paulo, and Panama.
The Max Payne 3
game engine uses DirectX 11 with tessellation and very detailed textures. We tested the game with details set to the maximum possible.
is a first-person shooter game that is set in a post-apocalyptic Moscow - inside the metro system as the name suggests. You will fight mutants or other humans who want to take away your shelter. The game has many gameplay elements similar to STALKER
; the engine also has similar features. This is because two STALKER
engine programmers left GSC Game World and started their own company which made Metro 2033
The engine has support for all the latest eye candy like DirectX 11 and tessellation. Unfortunately, it leaves a less than satisfactory impression, making it a candidate to surpass Crysis
for the highest hardware requirements. We tested the game in DirectX 11 mode with details set to "Very High".
Sniper Elite V2
Sniper Elite V2
is a tactical shooter letting you play the Battle of Berlin during early May 1945. You are an American elite sharpshooter who is located behind enemy lines to stop the German V-2 rocket program. Gameplay does not only focus on full frontal assault, but also requires elements of stealth and patience to gain the upper hand. Sniper Elite V2
features a complex ballistics simulation, forcing players to account for factors including gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration, and aim stability.
Sniper Elite V2
uses DirectX 11, including tessellation, contact hardening shadows, and DirectCompute-based effects, including anti-aliasing.
For our testing, we used the Sniper Elite V2 benchmark tool, in DX11 mode, with highest settings and super sampling disabled.
STALKER: Call of Pripyat
STALKER: Call of Pripyat
continues shortly after the events of the prequel STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl
. The player is one of many stalkers who are attracted by the Zone in hopes of finding fame, wealth, and artifacts. Over the course of the game, you meet Strelok, the protagonist of the first STALKER
game, and team up with him to progress through the Zone.
An updated X-Ray Engine 1.6 powers the game with support for DirectX 11 using DirectCompute Shaders to improve shadow rendering and tessellation to improve model quality.
, released in July 2010, is a sequel to Blizzard's award-winning strategy game StarCraft
. In the 26th century, three species, namely, Terrans, Protoss, and Zerg, are at war. The campaign takes you through many missions on different planets where you have to face various enemy factions or, sometimes, several of them at once. StarCraft II
features a similar number of units - some of them new - as the original game. Due to the massive success of the first game, Blizzard chose to focus a large aspect of the game on multiplayer combat through Battle.net. The campaign serves as a good introduction to units and concepts – the real action is in competitive multiplayer combat.
The StarCraft II
engine supports only DirectX 9, but several patches have improved rendering quality and available options considerably. We tested the game using a recorded 1 vs. 1 multiplayer replay in the late-game phase. Please note that StarCraft II
is very CPU limited on high-end cards, especially on lower resolutions, so you may not see much scaling between some cards. StarCraft II
does not support multi-monitor gaming, because it would provide an unfair advantage in competitive multiplayer as a larger portion of the map would be visible.
Total War: Shogun 2
Set in 16th century feudal Japan, Total War: Shogun 2
takes the player on a quest for domination to conquer and unite the warlords of Japan. Moving away from the European setting of previous Total War
games, the game is now designed around the principles of the brilliant Chinese general Sun Tzu and his book The Art of War
. Gameplay switches between real-time battles, during which units on the battlefield are controlled, and turn-based strategy, which focuses on diplomacy, economy, and production management. Taking control of a castle involves several different stages which adds more complexity to warfare in Shogun 2.
We benchmarked using the highest settings possible in DirectX 11 mode, which was added via a patch after release.
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
This isn't just a game - it's a masterpiece; a very large sandbox game that rejects the quality-quantity inverse proportionality. By genre, TES: Skyrim
is a role-playing game - it combines some of the best elements of older titles in the franchise with some new sandbox elements to churn out an extremely engaging and addictive game. It makes use of Bethesda's Creation Engine which isn't visually intensive in that it doesn't use taxing graphics features. Instead, the game's presentation itself, with large open worlds, ends up taxing your hardware. Faster GPUs result in smoother gameplay with most eye candy turned on.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
World of Warcraft
is the most successful massively multiplayer online game in the world with far over 12 million monthly subscribers. The game is centered around the epic battle between the Horde and Alliance factions with many other races getting involved in a long and complex story line. Although World of Warcraft
was released in 2004, Blizzard has, especially with new expansions, always added incremental improvements to the graphics. One key success factor of World of Warcraft
is that it will run on a large number of slower systems, but, at the same time, also deliver a decent graphics experience on high-end systems. We tested the game in DirectX 11 mode with details set to "Ultra".
3DMark 11 is the very latest benchmark test from the house of Futuremark, which has given out some of the most comprehensive benchmark applications for PC enthusiasts and gamers. 3DMark 11, as the name might probably suggest, makes use of the Microsoft DirectX 11 API and puts every feature of it at its disposal to use, creating astonishingly realistic visuals. In the process, it evaluates DirectX 11-compliant GPUs and lets gamers know what to expect from upcoming games that make use of the API in terms of visual realism. The tessellation and depth-of-field tests are particularly of interest here. 3DMark 11 has no proper support for multi-monitor configurations.
Unigine Heaven 2.0
Unigine Heaven was one of the first demos that supported DirectX 11. Heaven is a technology demonstration for the Unigine engine which supports DirectX 9 through 11 and OpenGL. Version 2.0 adds more scenes and, optionally, more complex tessellation features. Although there is some controversy surrounding the benchmark and as to whether it is an accurate representation of what to expect from future games in regard to DirectX 11, we still decided to use this test to get an insight into the potential of future gaming.
Cooling modern video cards is becoming more and more difficult, especially with users asking for quiet cooling solutions. That's why engineers are now paying much more attention to the power consumption of new video card designs. An optimized fan profile is also one of the few things that board vendors can do to impress with reference designs where they are prohibited to make changes to the thermal solution or components on the card.
For this test, we measured the power consumption of the graphics card only, via the PCI-Express power connector(s) and PCI-Express bus slot. A Keithley Integra 2700 digital multimeter with 6.5-digit resolution was used for all measurements. Again, the values here reflect only the power consumption of the card measured at DC VGA card inputs, not of the whole system.
We chose Crysis 2
as a standard test representing typical 3D gaming usage because it offers the following: very high power draw; high repeatability; is a current game that is supported on all cards because of its DirectX 9 roots; drivers are actively tested and optimized for it; supports all multi-GPU configurations; test runs in a relatively short time and renders a non-static scene with variable complexity.
Our results were based on the following tests:
- Idle: Windows 7 Aero sitting at the desktop (1280x1024, 32-bit) with all windows closed and drivers installed. Card left to warm up in idle mode until power draw was stable.
- Multi-monitor: Two monitors connected to the tested card, both using different display timings. Windows 7 Aero sitting at the desktop (1280x1024 32-bit) with all windows closed and drivers installed. Card left to warm up in idle mode until power draw was stable.
- Average: Crysis 2 at 1920x1200, Extreme profile, representing a typical gaming power draw. Average of all readings (12 per second) while the benchmark was rendering (no title/loading screen).
- Peak: Crysis 2 at 1920x1200, Extreme profile, representing a typical gaming power draw. Highest single reading during the test.
- Maximum: Furmark Stability Test at 1280x1024, 0xAA. This results in a very high non-game power consumption that can typically be reached only with stress-testing applications. The Card was left running the stress test until power draw converged to a stable value. On cards with power-limiting systems, we disabled the power-limiting system or configured it, if possible, to the highest available setting. We also used the highest single reading from a Furmark run which was obtained by measurements taken faster than the power limit could kick in.
- Blu-ray Playback: Power DVD 9 Ultra was used at a resolution of 1920x1200 to play back the Batman: The Dark Knight disc with GPU acceleration turned on. Playback started around timecode 1:19 which has the highest data rates on the BD with up to 40 Mb/s. Playback was left running until power draw converged to a stable value.
Idle power consumption of the ASUS GTX 660 Ti DC II ends up a bit higher as other Kepler based NVIDIA cards, which is probably due to the different voltage regulation circuitry design. All these cards are based on the same GK104 GPU and use the same 2D clock and voltage settings. The should, in theory, all use the same power. Compared to what AMD has to offer, NVIDIA has a clear advantage in multi-monitor power and Blu-ray power consumption.
Under load, the card has modest power requirements with well below 150 W during gaming, which is in-line with what we have seen from other GK104 based cards with relative performance taken into account.
In the past years, users would accept everything just to get more performance. Nowadays, this has changed and users have become more aware of the fan noise and the power consumption of their graphic cards.
In order to properly test the fan noise that a card emits, we use the Bruel & Kjaer 2236 sound level meter (~$4,000) which has the measurement range and accuracy we are looking for.
The tested graphics card was installed in a system that was completely passively cooled. That is, passive PSU, passive CPU cooler, and passive cooling on the motherboard and on a solid state drive.
This setup allows us to eliminate secondary noise sources and test only the video card. To be more compliant with standards like DIN 45635 (we are not claiming to be fully DIN 45635 certified), the measurement was conducted at 100 cm of distance and at 160 cm over the floor. The ambient background noise level in the room was well below 20 dBA for all measurements. Please note that the dBA scale is not linear but logarithmic. 40 dBA is not twice as loud as 20 dBA. A 3 dBA increase results in double the sound pressure. The human hearing perception is a bit different and it is generally accepted that a 10 dBA increase doubles the perceived sound level. The 3D load noise levels were tested with a stressful game, not with Furmark.
Fan noise of the ASUS GTX 660 Ti DC II TOP is outstanding. It is, by far, the quietest GTX 660 Ti reviewed today, especially under load where it is quieter than most other cards. Noise levels are exactly the same as on the famous GTX 670 DC II TOP.
The graphs on this page show a combined performance summary of all tests and resolutions from previous pages. Each graph shows the tested card as 100% and all other cards' performance is relative to it. A sixth graph summarizes all tests in all resolutions to calculate the total relative performance of the review sample.
Performance per Watt
Using the relative performance scores from the previous page, and the typical gaming power consumption result, the following graphs show the efficiency of the cards in our test group.
Performance per Dollar
If you are looking for the best bang for the buck, then you will love this graph. We looked up the current USD price of each card on the popular online shop Newegg and used that value and the relative performance numbers to calculate the Performance per Dollar Index.
The overclocking results listed in this section were achieved with the default fan and voltage settings as defined in the VGA BIOS. Please note that every single sample overclocks differently which is why our results here can only serve as a guideline for what you can expect from your card.
The maximum stable clocks of our card are 1115 MHz core (5% overclock) and 1740 MHz memory (16% overclock).
Both GPU and memory overclock are a bit on the lower side - other cards do better here. Overclocking, nevertheless, still yields a nice performance improvement which puts the card on the same level as the GTX 670.
Important: Each GPU (including each GPU of the same make and model) will
|Maximum Overclock Comparison
||Max. GPU Clock
||Max. Memory Clock
||Max. OC Perf.
|ASUS GTX 660 Ti DC II
|Palit GTX 660 Ti JetStream
|MSI GTX 660 Ti Power Edition
|ZOTAC GTX 660 Ti Amp! Edition
overclock slightly differently based on random production variances. This table
just serves to provide a list of typical overclocks for similar cards, determined
during TPU review.
Using these clock frequencies, we ran a quick test of Battlefield 3
to evaluate the gains from overclocking.
Actual 3D performance gained from overclocking is 9.7%.
Temperatures are good and within the typical range of other GTX 660 Ti cards we have tested.
Important: GPU temperature will vary depending on clock speed, voltage settings,
|GPU Temperature Comparison
|ASUS GTX 660 Ti DC II
|Palit GTX 660 Ti JetStream
|MSI GTX 660 Ti Power Edition
|ZOTAC GTX 660 Ti AMP! Edition
cooler design, and production variances. This table just serves to provide
a list of typical temperatures for similar cards determined during TPU review.
Modern graphics cards have several clock profiles that are selected to balance power draw and performance requirements.
The following table lists the clock settings for important performance scenarios and the GPU voltage that we measured. We performed the measurement on the pins of a coil or a capacitor near the GPU voltage regulator.
||1055 - 1260 MHz
||1.000 - 1.175 V
The card uses NVIDIA's dynamic overclocking mechanism, which means it will dynamically adjust clock and voltage based on render load, temperature, and other factors.
For the graph below, we recorded all GPU clock and voltage combinations of our benchmarking suite for the 1920x1200 resolution. The plotted points have transparency - they can add up to indicate more often used values. A light color means the clock/voltage combination is rarely used; a dark color means it's active a lot.
Value and Conclusion
- According to ASUS their GTX 660 DC II TOP will retail at around $330.
- Overclocked out of the box
- Large performance increase over the last generation
- Extremely quiet in both idle and load
- Up to four active displays makes Surround gaming possible with one card
- Native full-size HDMI & DisplayPort output
- Support for PCI-Express 3.0 and DirectX 11.1
- Support for CUDA and PhysX
- Memory not overclocked
- Dynamic OC can't be turned off
- Manual overclocking is more complicated than before
- No technology similar to AMD's ZeroCore power
||NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 660 Ti will be a hit, of that I am sure. The card delivers excellent performance levels at reasonable power consumption which enables board partners to create low-noise custom designs. The new GTX 660 Ti is almost twice as fast as the last-generation GTX 560 Ti, but comes at a $50 higher introductory cost. |
The ASUS GTX 660 Ti uses the same DirectCU cooler which we've come to love on their GTX 670. The PCB design has also been completely revamped. The card, thanks to the overclock out of the box, achieves a 5% performance improvement over the reference design. This makes the card just 8% slower than GTX 670, and 5% faster than AMD's HD 7950, which is more expensive. In our MSI GTX 660 Ti review today, we noticed that MSI's card delivers higher performance levels at lower clocks than any other card, both at stock and overclocked. The ASUS GTX 660 Ti DC II does not show such improvements which is why I deducted a bit from the score.
ASUS has done the right thing and kept the cooling design exactly the same as on the GTX 670 which reached a perfect 10 score in TPU review - low noise was a big contributor to that win. The GTX 660 Ti DC II emits the same ultra-low noise levels in both idle and load. I've been using the GTX 670 DC II in my rig for a while now and I cannot hear the graphics card fan, no matter what games I play. While overclocking does provide a significant performance boost, reaching GTX 670 levels, we have seen better overclocking potential from other cards today, but the difference is relatively small.
Overall, the card is an excellent implementation of a custom GTX 660 Ti design, and its price of $330 is the same as all other GTX 660 Ti cards we reviewed today. At that price the card easily beats AMD's HD 7950 in all important criteria: performance, power, noise, heat, performance per Dollar, and performance per Watt. A lower price, around the $300 mark, would put more pressure on AMD though, and would make the card more interesting for the group of gamers shopping in the $250-$300 range.