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.