MSI GTX 660 Twin Frozr
OverviewHardware: Video Cards
WHAT WE LIKED:Impressively low temperatures, Low noise, Sleek aesthetics, Good mid-range performance, GPU Boost, Great value
WHAT WE DISLIKED:Heavier cooler design
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Since the initial launch of the GeForce GTX 680, the Nvidia Kepler family of cards have proven to be juggernauts for the most part, providing an excellent combination of performance, innovation, features, and value offered to consumers. That includes the GTX 670 and 660 Ti, with the launch of the GTX 660 continuing that trend for the most, though it’s not quite the powerhouse of its more powerful siblings. While this new card shares a very similar nomenclature to the 660 Ti, the reality is this GTX 660 is a bit handcuffed due to the fewer cores. But it’s not as expensive either, instead focusing on the competition’s Radeon 7850 and 7870 offerings.
It’s safe to say the GTX 660 beats the Radeon 7850 in nearly every facet, and matches up very well against the 7870, beating it in many instances but 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.
MSI’s Twin Frozr III is a previous generation design (with the TF IV now available on more premium card models) but it continues to impress us, maintaining outstanding temperatures and lower noise levels under load. The cooler does add a bit of additional weight due to the metal shroud, but the stability bar across the top of the PCB helps avoid problems of twisting or warping when sitting in a motherboard PCI Express slot. And under the hood, the all solid capacitors will help prolong the lifespan of the card, coupled with a 3 year warranty provided by MSI.
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 MSI GTX 660 Twin Frozr set to retail around $240, 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 is the victor.
We continue to be impressed by Nvidia’s Kepler products, and the GTX 660 extends that trend into more mainstream territory with a very enticing price tag for gamers on a more modest budget. With full Kepler features and respectable horsepower at a great price point, we think MSI has done an great job here with the GTX 660 Twin Frozr.
MSI GTX 660 Twin Frozr