NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti Shootout - Clash of the Titans

By James Lu - 16 Aug 2012

Ti is Back

Ti is Back

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 GTX 660 Ti utilizes the same GK104 core as the GTX 680 and 670.

Meet the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti

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.

GeForce GTX 660 Ti and competitive SKUs compared

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
Manufacturing Process 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 40nm 40nm
Core Clock 915MHz 915MHz 1000MHz 800MHz 772MHz 822MHz
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
Memory Bandwidth  144.2GB/s 192.3GB/s  153.6GB/s 240GB/s 192.4GB/s 128GB/s
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


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