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Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti Windforce

9
Posted August 16, 2012 by Jake in Video Cards

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Overview

Hardware:
 
Manufacturer:
 
Price at time of Review: $319
 

WHAT WE LIKED:

Excellent performance, Low temperatures, Low noise, High overclocking potential, Custom PCB with improved VRMs, Great price.
 
BOTTOM LINE:
Excellent performance and price for gamers not wanting to compromise performance for affordability.
Discuss in the Forum
by Jake
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Summary

When Kepler first launch with the GTX 680, it was revolutionary in many regards. The GTX 670 continued those innovations forward, still maintaining excellent performance but coming with a lower price tag. And now the GTX 660 Ti takes Kepler into more performance-oriented “mainstream” territory, hitting the $300 price range. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this new card is a racehorse under the hood, nearly as fast as the GTX 670, which isn’t surprising given its vast similarities. But the 660 Ti costs quite a bit less; in fact, the value here is so good that we’d recommend the 660 Ti over the 670 from here on out.

What even more interesting is that the GTX 660 Ti should be positioned against the Radeon 7950, but as we saw during testing, not only did this new Kepler card trounce the AMD counterpart, it also beat the flagship 7970 in many instances as well. AMD must be pretty nervous at this point, and we suspect consumers will be the beneficiaries with likely price adjustments in the near future.

In terms of innovation, the Kepler lineup features Adaptive V-Sync, FXAA improvements and performance, and multi-screen Surround support. But arguably the most ground-breaking is GPU Boost. GPU Boost, in our opinion, is nothing short of revolutionary. The concept isn’t entirely new though, as Intel’s Sandy Bridge Turbo was the real innovator, but Nvidia appears to have taken the same approach with GPUs as Intel has been with CPUs. It’s really a new way of thinking, continually monitoring and dynamically adjusting the card’s processes to provide optimal performance. And not simply gaming performance; power consumption, temperatures, and loads are all monitored and adjusted steadily for peak efficiency. Suffice it to say, we’re huge fans of GPU Boost.

Seeing the new Base Clock and Boost Clock is certainly like deja vu for overclocking enthusiasts, and the “free” turbo boost can really be seen as a value-added performance feature that is provided out of the box. In that sense, “overclocked” cards like this Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti Windforce are unquestionably a great deal, as this card is set to retail for $319, essentially giving you great cooling, low noise, and a factory “boost” for only $20 more than the reference Nvidia card. Factor in that this new card is almost as fast as a GTX 670, and on par or better than a Radeon 7970 in many instances, and we’re left with a card that is simply outstanding.

We continue to be impressed by Nvidia’s Kepler products, and the GTX 660 Ti is no different, packing serious horsepower at a price point that we think will really shake things up. Gigabyte has done an excellent job with this particular card, offering consumers plenty of features for a great price.

Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti Windforce

 

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9 Comments


  1.  
    DB5

    Man 2 of these would be perfect for my upcoming gigabite build. =/




  2.  
    JRsmallz

    “WHAT WE DISLIKED:Lack of upgraded power design components for serious 24/7 overclocking.”

    Did I miss the part of the review where this was elaborated on or….?




  3.  

    That comment was inadvertently included. It’s been fixed, sorry for the confusion. To clarify, this card does indeed sport a custom PCB and improved power design. Thanks for the comment and your eagle eyes.




  4.  
    Packet

    I am a bit dubious of reviews that read exactly the same way. Not that I don’t think the work was done here but this statement of ..

    “As we expected, the Twin Frozr IV card is doing a great job at keeping the GTX 660 Ti cool, running only 32°C at idle and logging an impressive load temperature of 71°C during a heavy Crysis 2 gaming session. ”

    The other positive to note here is the Windforce cooler is extremely quiet, one of the best we’ve tested on an Nvidia card of any model.

    A lot of the lines in both reviews are identical including the part about the twin frozr.

    Both the Gigabyte and MSI cards you reviewed looked good and pretty neck and neck for performance with MSI getting perhaps a 1 framerate lead more often but yet the overcock on the memory got a bit higher on the Gigabyte and sometimes it wins.

    I would like to understand more about the VRM’s mentioned on this board vs the MSI,
    and the custom PCB vs MSI’s.

    I would also like to see SLi results of two of each vs eachother, and Sli results of them together. There is a utube video that shows an MSI and Galaxy card 660Ti together with as much as a 20% gain over a 680 that is popular right now.

    Guess I am wondering if the MSI support and following is worth buying 2 of their overclocked card with 2 fans vs the 2 Gigabytes that have just a slightly higher boost speed and what seems like less I have read support? This card is so new they have only 2 reviews at newegg vs 40 for the msi card.




  5.  

    Thanks for the typo spot! We had three GTX 660 Ti reviews due at the same time, and we sometimes we receive samples at the last minute, with little time to meet the deadline. In such instances, rather than re-writing each review from scratch, we tend to use the same template for each card since they’re nearly identical. We’re victims of circumstance on occasion, and occasionally the odd typo or mistake gets missed, particulary in the wee hours of the morning when bleary-eyed to meet the embargo deadline. So no need to be “dubious”, there’s nothing sinister going on.

    As for seeing SLI results, unfortunately that’s not possible because we don’t have multiple samples of each card to test. It’s safe to say, however, that both the Gigabyte and MSI are extremely similar in clock speed and results, so SLI results will be nearly identical as well. If you, or anyone else, can spot the difference between 75.2fps and 76.1fps, for example, then you’re Superman and have our respect and endless admiration! The reality is you won’t see a difference between them.

    The VRMs are difficult to comment on, it’s a bit of like trying to compare Coke vs Pepsi; they both work and achieve similar results overall. The VRMs on both cards are beefed up from the reference card, able to achieve better overclocking and stability, as well as longer-lifespan due to them being better components. This is impossible to tell without running the cards 24/7 for many months, and even then there may be no failure to note.

    Lastly, I wouldn’t trust Newegg reviews for the paper they’re written on. Both the Gigabyte and MSI cards are excellent, but customer support is the stuff of folk legend, everyone seems to have a different story/result to tell. Unfortunately we don’t work through the retail channels so it’s difficult to comment on what a typical customer might experience.

    Bottom line is both cards are top notch, you really can’t go wrong with either. Subtle pros and cons to each model, but in the end if it means that much just flip a coin and let a higher power decide your gaming fate 🙂




    •  
      Packet

      Thanks for quick response Jake. They are both excellent in depth reviews.
      I am having a difficult time deciding what to buy and I realize what you say they are so close in framerates of about 1 or less or the same with the GB one in awhile pulling ahead in the 1650 res like on Crysis II.

      I realize too that just like ram or cpu’s it depends on what you get vs the specs. But pretty good guess that any that clock that high to begin with have been sorted out for higher capable speed.

      I have some older ballistix DD2 that has to be sorted in the right order to clock higher in my old foxconn destroyer and either of these cards would be much more than my current BFG GTX 260 Maxcores as I search to build a new DDR3 system due to the 4GB limitation.
      .
      Somehow I figure DDR5 systems or something else will be next. That GB 660Ti card did very well in anatech tests vs the single fan evga SC too. They unfortunately did not have an MSI to test. But still the framerates were close.
      I certainly agree newegg reviews mean little as you get newbie that can’t figure out to enable the battery on a motherboard and rate it as DOA.




  6.  
    Packet

    Actually the Destroyer has a ddr 2 limit of 8gb though somewhere on the foxconn channel it claims 16gb. Still looking.




  7.  
    Ravyu

    What is the size of this beast. My case supports max 263mm 10.4′




  8.  

    Whata beast…indeed 2 would be nice let alone one of these! I think this is going to go perfect with my new cpu and mobo combo.





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