We all have welcomed the GeForce GTX 660 Ti on the market a few weeks ago with a lot of positive feedback. Face it the Ti edition is good, very good .. but realistically being a mid-range product at the price in the 300 EUR/USD segment, it is still too expensive for mainstream.
That changes with the 'regular' GeForce GTX 660 that is released as we speak. The GeForce GTX 660 is based on a new chip, the GK106. The card will be one of the more anticipated dedicated graphics card series for a long time as the price performance ration of the GeForce GTX 660 should be pretty interesting. This product is going to sit in the 229 EUR/USD segment of the market, and can address pretty much any modern game at everybody's favorite monitor resolution 1920x1080/1200 with extremely acceptable framerates and image quality settings.
Being based on the Kepler GPU architecture obviously NVIDIA had to put some breaks on it in order for the 660 series of product not to compete too much with their bigger brothers. Being more cost effective to produce the GK106 silicon was designed, it really is a new chip, opposed to the GK104 being used on the 660 Ti model.
NVIDIA shaved down the the number of shader processors a little towards 960 (active) if you compare a little with high-end. To understand the positioning a little better simply keep keep in mind that the GeForce GTX 680 has 1536 of them. So that's roughly 38% less shader processors. More had to be done though, the GeForce GTX 670 and 680 all use a 256-bit memory bus, and the GTX 660 series has a 192-bit memory bus tied towards 2 GB of memory. But with the memory running at 6008 MHz in combo with the memory bandwidth gDDR5 memory these days offers, really the difference will be noticeable but certainly not by excessive standards. The last change can be found in the raster operation engine, now cut down to 24 units opposed to 32 that the 670 and 680 use. More on that latest in the technology overview of this article though.
The ever so popular clock frequencies then, the reference (baseline) products will be clocked at 980 MHz and are to boost towards 1033 MHz. Realistically though the boost feature is an average, and you'll notice that these cards will boost to roughly 1100 MHz. With a TDP of 140 Watts the GeForce GTX 660 isn't going to consume heaps of power either, in fact with your average gaming experience the card typically uses roughly 115 Watt as we have measured. Not bad, no Sir.
The GeForce GTX 660 graphics cards will be launched in the 229 USD/EUR range. For that amount of money it becomes an accessible product series for many games, and with so many PC games being released this year that will make this series a might fine offering.
Now there will be MANY of SKU's released by the board partners, we'll handle them in chronological order as the come in -- this review we'll look at ASUS offering in the form of a GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II TOP edition, it's factory overclocked pretty high, is pimped out and custom cooled. Let's head on over to the next page shall we ?
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