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Gigabyte GTX 660 Windforce

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Posted September 13, 2012 by Jake in Video Cards

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Overview

Hardware:
 
Manufacturer:
 
Release Date: September 13, 2012
 
Price at time of Review: $230
 

WHAT WE LIKED:

Very low temperatures, Low noise, Good mid-range performance, GPU Boost, Great value
 

WHAT WE DISLIKED:

Lengthy cooler design
 
BOTTOM LINE:
Matches very well against AMD at a better price point for value-conscious gamers.
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by Jake
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Summary

As we’ve seen with the previous Kepler-based GTX 680, 670, and 660 Ti cards, they’ve proven to be impressive, in terms of performance, innovation, features, and value offered to consumers. The GTX 660 continues that trend, but in a more tempered fashion, not quite the juggernaut of its more powerful siblings. While this new card shares a very similar nomenclature to the 660 Ti, the reality is this GTX 660 isn’t nearly as powerful due to the fewer cores, nor as expensive though either, and focuses on the competition’s Radeon 7850 and 7870 offerings.

In that context, the GTX 660 handily beats the Radeon 7850 in nearly every regard, and matches up very well against the 7870, beating it in many instances and falling back in a few too, though it does depend on the particular game title. That said, this new Nvidia card does offer dynamic overclocking, voltage and power control, not to mention GPU Boost which is groundbreaking, all of which are clearly lacking in Radeon cards, so the advantage goes to Nvidia beyond the framerate charts.

Gigabyte’s Windforce cooler continues to impress, keeping things very cool under load, and with low noise levels as well. The cooler does add a couple inches to the overall length of the card, but this shouldn’t be a problem for most mid-tower cases, even ones with close-fitting hard drive cages. The durable components are designed to provide a longer lifespan for the card, coupled with higher voltages and power draw for more aggressive overclocking if you want to push things beyond the already-high Boost Clocks.

In terms of value, we’ve seen recent price drops by AMD in response to Nvidia’s impressive Kepler cards, so a non-reference Radeon 7870 currently retails for about $260 or more. With the Gigabyte GTX 660 Windforce set to retail around $230, we think that’s a great deal considering it’s rather evenly matched in performance against the 7870. Factor in the Kepler-only GPU Boost, dynamic clock and voltage control, and low temperatures, and we believe the GTX 660 gets the nod overall.

We continue to be impressed by Nvidia’s Kepler products, and the GTX 660 is no different, packing strong features and respectable horsepower at a price point that we think will entice gamers on a modest budget. Gigabyte has done an great job with the GTX 660 Windforce, offering consumers plenty of bang for their buck.

Gigabyte GTX 660 Windforce

 

 

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2 Comments


  1.  
    Liviu

    You didn’t even mention the version of nvidia drivers that were used for this test.
    the latest 306.02 Nvidia drivers are way superior to the 296.10 WHQL drivers that were prolly used with this test.




  2.  

    Actually, the latest drivers are always used for our tests. On occasion, we have to use Beta drivers since the cards aren’t officially launched and therefore not supported by current “publicly available” drivers. In those instances, however, we receive drivers directly from Nvidia for testing. We don’t use old drivers, nor can we use future drivers that may have optimization tweaks; we can only use the most current ones available at the time of review.





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