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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti Review Roundup

I grabbed my current video card, an MSI GTX 560 Ti, in February 2011- and to the dismay of my wallet I'm starting to get the upgrade itch again. With today's release of the GTX 660 Ti, both Nvidia and AMD now have all of their cards on the table when it comes to this generation of performance gaming cards.

  Release Date Current Price
GTX 680 03/22/12 $500
HD 7970 01/09/12 $420
GTX 670 05/10/12 $400
HD 7950 01/31/12 $350
GTX 660 Ti 08/16/12 $300
HD 7870 03/05/12 $300
HD 7850 03/05/12 $230

I spent this morning reading a bunch of reviews of the 660 Ti from various sites:

The general consensus going into each review was a concern for the 660 Ti's 192-bit memory bus. In cutting down from the 256-bit bus of the GTX 670, you're looking at a theoretical drop in performance of up to 25% in memory-intensive applications. Thankfully the price was also cut by 25% when compared to the 670, so any improvement over that number makes the 660 Ti a pretty solid performer for the money.

In the end, as is almost always the case, the performance of the cards in Nvidia's and AMD's lineups match the current price. Each review puts the 660 Ti somewhere in the ballpark of the 7870 and the 7950 depending on the games and settings used.

As far as upgrading goes, I'm conflicted. Here's what Anandtech had to say at the end of their review:

"The GTX 660 Ti is actually a great upgrade for the GTX 560 Ti (and similar cards) from a performance standpoint, but despite the similar name it can’t match the GTX 560 Ti’s affordability. This entire generation has seen a smaller than normal performance increase at the standard price points, and the GTX 660 Ti doesn’t change this. If you’re frugal and on Fermi, you’re probably going to want to wait for whatever comes next."

Personally, I feel like the best thing to do at this point is to wait a couple of months. The most demanding games that I own at the moment are Metro 2033, Battlefield 3, and Civilization V. I've already beaten Metro, and I'm fine with the performance I'm getting in BF3 (which I haven't played in a while) and Civ V. The biggest downside to my 560 Ti is the 1GB of VRAM, but it hasn't exactly hamstrung me while playing at 1920x1080. My backlog of Steam games is like a greatest hits list from 2008-2011, so there's no problem there. In the end, half of the games we get are console ports anyway, so until the next generation of consoles hit the market I doubt we'll be seeing a huge number of games that push the envelope graphically.

If you're looking to pick up a 660 Ti right now, the best deal is probably the MSI 660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC - Newegg has it for $300 after rebate and it includes a coupon for a free copy of Borderlands 2. For me, it's back to trolling Newegg's list of open-box DX11 cards and keeping an eye on secondhand GTX 580 prices.


  1. hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)


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