The release of NVIDIA's latest graphics card, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti, has been highly anticipated due to its upper mid-range positioning, which makes it the first sub-US$300 Kepler architecture card NVIDIA has made. At a relatively affordable launch price of US$299, and utilizing the same GK104 core found in NVIDIA's flagship GTX 680, it offers value while still retaining enough heavy firepower for most gaming needs.
It's also well overdue because there has been a void between their existing mid-range series (consisting of the GeForce GTX 550 Ti / 560 / 560 Ti) and their newer enthusiast cards which are the GeForce GTX 670 and GTX 680 launched in Q2 2012. This meant that NVIDIA was losing potential customers who would have otherwise opted for the AMD Radeon HD 7800 series that has been available since Q2 2012! Better late than never, and this dilemma should end from today's official launch and availability of the GeForce GTX 660 Ti series of cards.
As NVIDIA did with the previous generation 560 series, the 660 cards will come in a few different configurations: The Ti - short for Titanium - will be the best in the line-up, with more shader processors (or CUDA processors to be more exact) and the highest default clockspeeds. The regular version 660, which is expected to be a September release, is likely to have lower clock speeds, while the SE version, which is rumored, but has yet to be confirmed by NVIDIA for the 660, will be the most affordable, with the lowest clockspeeds and likely less processing units and reduced memory bus width.
The GeForce GTX 660 Ti is based on the same GK104 core that powers both NVIDIA's flagship GTX 680 and the GTX 670. Obviously the only reason the GTX 660 Ti debuted so late in the game despite using the same core is \because NVIDIA was using the cores that didn't quite make the grade for the more premium GPUs. This could probably also contribute to other factors such as overclockability, which we'll find out soon.
The GTX 660 Ti GPU is actually very close specs-wise to the GTX 670. Both utilize 3.54 billion transistors (since it's the same GK104 core), but interestingly it still boasts 1344 CUDA cores and 112 texture mapping units. Both also share the same default clock speeds of 915MHz on the core, with memory running at 6008MHz DDR. However, it loses eight raster operating units, going down from 32 to 24, and memory bus width has also been cut back from 256 bits to 192 bits. Consequently, memory bandwidth is also lower at 144.2GB/s compared to 192.3GB/s as listed for the GTX 670. Nevertheless, you can see that the GTX 660 Ti is positioned just a tad behind the high-end enthusiast cards. Collectively speaking, the GTX 660 Ti seems to be a much more powerful mid-range GPU than its GTX 560 Ti predecessor was in its heyday.
Pricing on the GTX 660 Ti is set at US$299 , which makes it US$100 cheaper than the GTX 670 and US$200 less than the GTX 680 - great value, especially when you consider that it only takes a slight hit in hardware specifications. At this price, it also goes head-to-head with AMD's upper mid-range Radeon HD 7870, which has a newly reduced SRP of US$299; we'll be very interested to see how the two compete as well as the performance differential between itself and the almost similar GTX 670.
Here’s a quick look at how the GeForce GTX 660 Ti compares against its competitors.
|Model||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670||
AMD Radeon HD 7870
|AMD Radeon HD 7950||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti|
|Core Code||GK104||GK104||Pitcairn XT||Tahiti Pro||GF110||GF104|
|Transistor Count||3.54 Billion||3.54 Billion||2.8 Billion||4.3 Billion||3 Billion||1.95 Billion|
|Stream Processors||1344 Stream processing units||1344 Stream processing units||1280 Stream processing units||1792 Stream processing units||512 Stream processing units||384 Stream processing units|
|Stream Processor Clock||915MHz||915MHz||1000MHz||800MHz||1544MHz||1644MHz|
|Texture Mapping Units (TMU) or Texture Filtering (TF) units||112||112||80||112||64||64|
|Raster Operator units (ROP)||24||32||32||32||48||32|
|Memory Clock||6008MHz GDDR5||6008MHz GDDR5||4800MHz GDDR5||5000MHz GDDR5||4000MHz GDDR5||4008MHz GDDR5|
|DDR Memory Bus||192-bit||256-bit||256-bit||384-bit||384-bit||256-bit|
|PCI Express Interface||PCIe ver 3.0 x16||PCIe ver 3.0 x16||PCIe ver 3.0 x16||PCIe ver 3.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16||PCIe ver 2.0 x16|
|Molex Power Connectors||2 x 6-pin||2 x 6-pin||2 x 6-pin||2 x 6-pin||1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin||2 x 6-pin|
|Multi GPU Technology||SLI||SLI||CrossFireX||CrossFireX||SLI||SLI|
|DVI Output Support||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||1 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link||2 x Dual-Link|
|HDMI||1||1||1||1||1 (mini-HDMI)||1 (mini-HDMI)|
|DisplayPort||1 (version 1.2)||1 (version 1.2)||1 (version 1.2 HBR2)||2 (version 1.2 HBR2)||None||None|
|HDCP Output Support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Street Price||Launch Price: US$299||Launch Price: US$399||Current Price: US$299||Current Price: US$349||Current Price: US$379||
Current Price: US$199