Nvidia's GeForce GTX 680 may have wiped the performance crown off the AMD Radeon HD 7970 earlier this year, but for $ 500, the initial Kepler offering wasn't available to most system manufacturers. That situation improved slightly in May with the GTX 670, a popular choice among enthusiasts that delivers incredible value. In our tests, it delivered GTX 680-like performance at a $ 100 discount.
While nothing matched the GTX 670's price-performance ratio, the $ 400 entry fee remained steep. Gamers who wanted to spend less still had $ 230 for the HD 7850, $ 300 for the HD 7870, or a card from the last generation of Nvidia. Of course, it would only be a matter of time before Nvidia tried to fill that void with tons of hearsay about a GeForce GTX 660 Ti slated to launch in mid to late summer.
Well, we're here and the rumors have proven true: Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 660 Ti has set its crosshairs on the HD 7870. Assuming the price is competitive (more on that in a second), the GTX 660 Ti appears to be one that AMD's offering really hurts, as it shares the same DNA as existing Kepler products and the same number of CUDA cores and texture units as it does the GTX 670 has.
Nvidia has been pretty aggressive on Kepler's pricing and we'd be looking for the GTX 660 Ti, which retails for around $ 300. Given that we expect it to deliver performance on par with the HD 7950 at $ 350, this could spell disaster for AMD and prompt the company to take another price cut. As fun as it is to speculate, let's go ahead and see where our Gigabyte evaluation board ranks …
Gigabyte's GTX 660 Ti in detail
There is no official Nvidia reference board for the GTX 660 Ti, so it is left to manufacturing partners to develop their own products. This means that the design and length of the circuit boards can vary significantly between cards.
We have received Gigabyte's version of the GTX 660 Ti (GV-N66TOC-2GD). The circuit board of the board is 8.5 "long, which is pretty compact on its own, but the cooler pushes it down to 25.0 cm (9.84"), slightly longer than the HD 7870 reference design. At that length, the Gigabyte's GTX 660 Ti will easily fit into most ATX cases as it is still much shorter than high-end cards like the HD 7970.
The GTX 660 Ti's GPU comes with 1344 CUDA cores and 7 SMX units, 1 SMX unit and 192 CUDA cores, which are fewer than the GTX 680 but the same number as the GTX 670. The TAU number is the same also the GTX 670, while the ROPs were reduced from 32 to 24.
The storage subsystem was converted from the GTX 680 and GTX 670 with four 64-bit controllers for a 256-bit bus to a 64-bit controller with a 192-bit bus. Combine that with 2048MB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1502MHz (6008MHz DDR) and you get 144.2GB / s of bandwidth, which is not bad, although it's 33% less than the GTX 670 and here is the difference in performance.
Nvidia's specification for the base clock speed is 915 MHz, while the average boost clock speed is 980 MHz. Gigabyte has increased this to 1032 MHz and 1111 MHz while the memory operates at the standard of 6008 MHz.
What really makes the iteration of Gigabyte unique is the WindForce 2X solution. The cooler uses two extremely quiet 75mm PWM fans attached to a custom cover. Underneath these fans is a massive heat sink made up of three main parts connected by 8mm copper heat pipes.
At the heart of this setup is the largest block with a unique RAM heat sink to cool the GDDR5 modules and Triangle Cool technology, which uses a series of fins and triangular clip modules to better flow air over the heat sink to steer.
According to Gigabyte, Triangle Cool technology can lower temperatures by up to 10% compared to conventional designs. So we're excited to see how cool this card is.
In order to provide the card with sufficient juice, the Nvidia specification requires two 6-pin PCI Express power connections – identical to the HD 7870, 7850 and GTX 670. Nvidia also says that those who have a single GTX 660 Ti Want to use graphics card should have a 450 watt power supply or higher.
Of course, the GTX 660 Ti supports SLI (in this case 3-way SLI), so it has two connections. The only other ports are on the I / O control panel, where you can find two dual-link DVI-I ports, a single HDMI 1.4a port, and a DisplayPort 1.2 port.