It's big for a mid-range card, but Palit surely has a sound offering with their GeForce GTX 660 Ti JetStream edition, quite impressive.
But let's first discuss the GeForce GTX 660 Ti as reference product all by itself. NVIDIA has a product in their hands that might become the best selling product ever. Initially I did expect a new GPU for this product series, but they went ahead with the Kepler based GK104 that's being used in the GTX 670 and GTX 680 as well. it really proofs how sturdy and efficient that GPU is.
The release also confused me a little bit, as realistically the GeForce GTX 670 will become an obsolete product. The difference in performance are very close, especially the factory overclocker products (which all board partners send out for review). Bare in mind that a reference GeForce GTX 660 Ti is a good chunk slower then the GTX 670, all the factory OC based products are clocked roughly 100 MHz above the reference clock -- that's what brings it so close to that GTX 670. The 192-bit memory bus definitely has en affect, but being GDDR5 and running at roughly 6 Gbps really isn't as big of an Achilles heel as I expected. The fact that this mid-range product is equipped with 2GB of memory, does help as well as it is a great balance in-between frame buffer needs and 1920x1200 monitor resolutions. We have no doubt though that there also will be 3 GB version of this card.
If you do purchase the reference clocked based products, hey now worries, crank open the power limiter to it's maximum and clock it at 1 GHz on the core clock frequency. You will have forfeited a tiny little bit on power consumption but immediately the card will be at competitive GTX 670 performance levels.
What about the competition then ? Well if I purely look at reference clocked products then priced at 300 USD the closest product from AMD is the Radeon HD 7870. At 50 bucks higher the next one in line is the R7950. We expect the factory overclocked GTX 660 Ti's to be at that price level. Realistically though the real competitor at reference clocks is that R7870, and that is a problem for AMD. We so expect price drops as a result of this release. Performance wise with an exception here and there the GeForce GTX 660 Ti wins with a healthy margin.
The GeForce GTX 660 Ti is a card that is downright perfect for those gaming at 1920x1080/1200. Your performance will be near perfect and completely in balance with the games of 2012. In Battlefield 3 you are at roughly 45 frames per second on average with 4x AntiAliasing, 16xAF at Ultra quality settings. That's in 1920x1200 by the way. If we take Anno 2070 at the same resolution with the same settings in the very best quality we average out at 70+ FPS. Crysis 2 with the High Quality texture pack in DX11 at Ultra settings .. roughly 50 FPS. These are the scores that matter.
Power consumption then, it's low if you place it into context with the game performance. Roughly 135 Watt is what we measure during gaming. The card is allowed to peak to 150 Watts.
It seems to be the trend with all the factory overclocked and custom cooled 660 Ti products we test, but the noise levels for this product are absolutely fine. The JetStream cooler does a superb job really, in a closed chassis you just won't be able to hear it. Even when you stress the card heavily during gaming it remains a silent product. So that the slot cooler certainly is good for something ;)
Directly related to the cooler is obviously temperatures. The card will idle at give or take 30 Degrees C and we measured a maximum of 65 Degrees C under full workload. Overclocked with an added 100 Mv it actually remains at the 65 to 70 Degrees C, that's very good.
Overclocking - Your maximum added (software based) voltage will be 100 Mv. The Power Limiter will get you a little extra out of the board, an extra +28% on the power design is possible. However at default the card was clocked slower then the competition so it all ends roughly at the same boost frequency really. Once the GPU reaches it's maximum power state or a certain heat level, it will start throttling down. regardless of it, we where able to add another 150 MHz on the core. That in combo with the power limiter at +128% and an added 100Mv will make the card boost stable towards 1293 MHz. The memory can be overclocked as well, add +405 MHz and you'll end up at 6920 MHz. Your card already was 10% faster then reference and now is another 10% faster.
We really like Palit's JetSTream version of the GeForce GTX 660 Ti. The factory clock makes it perform in vicinity of the GeForce GTX 670. The custom cooler does what it needs to do, it's downright silent and keeps the card below 65~70 Degrees C. And if you need a little extra, there is tweaking room left. With all tweaks applies the product will max out at roughly 1300 MHz, depending on power usage at that stage it can throttle down a bit here and there. But the 1300 MHz was pretty consistent in our tests. Not bad if you look at the reference boost clock of 980 MHz eh ?
Mind you that for a limited time only you'll find a coupon inside the box for a free downloadable copy of Borderlands 2 (released September 21, 2012).
The Palit GeForce GTX 660 Ti JetStream edition can be purchased for roughly 300 USD / EUR, for that money you get a very competitive product with excellent cooling. playing the latest games won't be a problem at all and in the 1920x1080/1200 monitor segment, it's a home run really. As such we can wholeheartedly recommend this product.
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