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MSI GTX 660 Ti Power Edition

Posted August 16, 2012 by Jake in Video Cards







Total Score


Release Date: Aug. 16, 2012
Price at time of Review: $310


Killer performance, Low temperatures, Low noise, Voltage-tweak overclocking, Upgraded power design, Excellent value


Larger than reference design, heavy.
Outstanding performance and value for gamers with a more modest budget.
Discuss in the Forum
by Jake
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Meet Kepler

First off, a bit of background about Nvidia’s Kepler for those who may be living under a rock and unfamiliar. As we first saw with the original GTX 680 launch, and then again with the GTX 670, Kepler is a significant improvement in hardware technology, performance, features, and software from previous GeForce generation cards. As we’ll explore during the course of this review in further detail, these improvements are quite innovative, and really move the gaming world forward.

Built upon the GK104 found in the GTX 680 and 670, the GTX 660 Ti shares a similar architecture to the flagship cards, but comes with slightly lower performance and a much more affordable price tag.

In order to achieve this performance, the GTX 660 Ti comes with 1344 CUDA cores, the same number found on the GTX 670. The memory runs at 192 Bit here rather than 256 Bit, but the 2GB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1502MHz, again the same as the GTX 670. Those specs along likely mean this new GTX 660 Ti should pack a serious punch when compared to the GTX 670. And if that’s the case, then AMD should be very concerned.

As for clock speeds, this MSI GTX 660 Ti Power Edition comes with a 1020MHz Base Clock (core) and 1502MHz memory. The GPU Boost clock on this particular MSI card is 1098MHz, but this is the minimum you can expect to achieve. As you’ll see in our Overclocking section part of this review, there is plenty more in the tank. Needless to say, that’s a great boost (or “overclock”) out of the box here.

Here’s an image that shows a bit more detail on the particulars:

Kepler certainly brings performance improvements, but the 28nm manufacturing process also reduces heat output. However, perhaps the most significant improvement is that Kepler brings twice the Performance Per Watt when compared to Fermi. “Awesome” might be considered an understatement in that context. Lower power consumption appears to be a hallmark of Kepler, and that’s particularly encouraging. The GTX 660 Ti has a TDP of about 190W or so. Killer performance is one thing, but killer performance at considerably lower power consumption is something special.

Let’s talk next about a groundbreaking new technology on Kepler cards: GPU Boost.

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    The overclock settings doesn’t work for me, the program either crashes, i get artifacts or crash to desktop. I’ve tried to tweak the setting for a long time both with the MSI gtx 660t and MSI 460 HAWK. But nothing seems to cut it, what can it possibly be?


    It simply means that those overclock settings aren’t stable. Every card is a bit different in terms of overclocking capability, so you’ll need to tweak your settings a bit to get it stable. You can increase the voltage and/or decrease the GPU/Memory clock speeds. Isolate them one at a time: GPU clock, Memory clock, voltage. Start by keeping the memory at stock, increase the GPU clock and voltage until you get artifacts, then back the clock down just a bit. Then increase the memory clock until unstable, then back it down just a bit. That *should* be your final stable overclock settings. Be sure to run 3DMark or MSI Kombustor to check for full stability. If you need more help, stop by our forums, we have plenty of people that can help further and in more detail!


    I have the MSI GTX 660ti PE, an Intel 2500K i5 3.3 GHz , 8GB RAM and ASUS Z-77 motherboard.

    I’m using MSI Afterburner and Kombustor to do the tweaking, but I can’t seem to find a stable overclock to save my life. The first thing I do is put the power limit % all the way up (since I read that Kepler GPU’s scale down if they reach the power limit.) Then I put the Core Voltage all the way up (+100) in order to make sure that the GPU gets all the power it needs. However, when I run the Tessy Speres on Plane v2 (GL4) stress test with Core Clock up just +50 and the Memory Clock at +0, I notice artifacts. If I put it higher, it tends to crash. I’m running the test at a 1080p resolution with AA at 8x MSAA.

    What am I doing wrong, and how do I go about getting a stable overclock close to the beautiful results you attained? I’m using Crysis 1 as a test on ultra settings with AA on max, but it tends to crash with or without overclock settings at certain points of the game. I’m very confused, as I was led to believe that this card could handle BF3 on ultra (which is a much newer game), so I would expect it could handle Crysis. Would overclocking my CPU help at all? Could the high AA have a role in this? Please help.

    BTW, my card comes with Default Clock of 1020 MHz, Default Memory of 1502 MHz and a Default Boost of 1098 MHz (I used GPU-Z to get these figures.)


      Hey Puma,

      A few things to keep in mind that overclocks vary, and especially amongst Kepler cards. There can be a considerable variance amongst clocks now, so it’s possible you have a card that won’t go very high.

      The other thing to keep in mind is that max’ing out the voltage and power % doesn’t necessarily mean high clocks. Overclocking graphics cards takes some playing around and patience. They’re more touchy than CPUs.

      Overclocking your CPU would help with overall game performance. Playing Ultra on BF3 can be a stretch, but it depends on the resolution you’re running as well. Don’t believe company claims that a card can play a certain games at MAX settings. Sure, it may play the game, but not necessarily very well. Is 30FPS playable? Sure. Is it great? No. Besides, dialing down the image quality on BF3 from Ultra to High won’t result in much noticeable visual drop, but it will increase performance. Same thing with AA. 8xAA will hurt a card, so drop it to 4xAA. You won’t really see a difference running around in game, but the performance will increase. So drop the AA and go to High and you should see a big jump in performance without losing much quality at all.

      Hope that helps.


    MSI 660TI PE 2GD5/OC and 2 Years later and this card still rocks, I have a triple monitor setup and it can play most games at 5760×1080 (3×1920 x 1080)
    Can play BF4 @1920×1080 at 60fps with almost everything on ultra.
    This card can overclock really well, got the ram up to 7008 mhz (1702mhz x 4)


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