Seven GeForce GTX 660 Ti Cards: Exploring Memory Bandwidth

Seven GeForce GTX 660 Tis landed in our lab. Today, we're benchmarking them, measuring their noise and temperatures, and conducting a more in-depth analysis of the impact a 192-bit memory interface has on performance. The results are enlightening!

Even though Nvidia's GeForce GTX 660 Ti hasn’t been around for long, there are almost as many third-party board designs as the much more mature GeForce GTX 670. Of course, this isn't particularly surprising; there is no real GTX 660 Ti reference design, compelling vendors to create their own product.

We covered the card's technical specifications in GeForce GTX 660 Ti Review: Nvidia's Trickle-Down Keplernomics. So, today, we're focusing on those retail cards with aftermarket tweaks and optimizations. We have a total of seven submissions from Asus, Gainward, Gigabyte, Galaxy, MSI, Palit, and Zotac. EVGA wasn’t able to send us a sample this time around, and we never heard back from Point of View (which is fine, since they don't sell in the U.S. anyway).

When we finished up with our benchmarks, we discovered that different tests led us to divergent conclusions about the cards we tested. The game and settings you use can have a huge impact on the performance of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 660 Ti. This was perhaps most evident in our launch story, which many of you pointed out didn't always jive with some of the other reviews out there. And yet, we picked the settings for each test we ran based on what the GeForce GTX 660 Ti could handle, yielding both playable performance and optimal graphics quality. That's what any gamer is going to do.

So, what caused the discrepancy? We're including an in-depth memory bandwidth analysis, which should really spell out why our results came out the way they did, and why we think they're right on the money. We're also taking a good look at the usable GPU Boost clock rates for these cards. After all, you never know what you’ll find when you dig deep enough!

Technical Specifications

As you already know, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 660 Ti uses the same GK104 silicon as its GeForce GTX 670. The new card's memory interface is cut back from 256 to 192 bits, though. Also, one of its four render back-end clusters is disabled. The GPUs are otherwise completely identical, including seven SMX blocks with a total of 1344 CUDA cores and 112 texture units.

Each of the remaining ROP clusters can output up to eight 32-bit pixels, for a total of 24 pixels per clock. The three 64-bit memory interfaces provide the aggregate 192-bit pathway. And coincidentally, the GPU and memory clock rates are the same as GeForce GTX 670. Then again, that fact doesn't really apply to today's story; six of the seven cards are overclocked right from the factory.

Let’s first have a look at the seven cards’ technical specifications.


Asus GTX 660Ti DirectCU II
Gainward GTX 660 Ti Phantom
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Ti Windforce 2x OC Edition
Galaxy GeForce GTX 660 Ti GC 3 GB
MSI N660 Ti PE 2GD5/OC
Palit GTX 660 Ti JetstreamZotac GeForce GTX 660 Ti AMP! Edition
Shaders1344
Texture Units
112
ROPs
24
GPU Clock
915 MHz
1006 MHz
1032 MHz
1006 MHz1019 MHz
1006 MHz
1033 MHz
Boost Clock
980 MHz
1085 MHz
1111 MHz
1084 MHz1088 MHz
1085 MHz
1111 MHz
Pixel Fill Rate
22.0 GPix/s
24.1 GPix/s
24.8 GPix/s24.1 GPix/s24.5 GPix/s
24.1 GPix/s
24.8 GPix/s
Texture Fill Rate102.5 GTex/s
112.7 GTex/s
115.7 GTex/s
112.7 GTex/s114.2 GTex/s
112.7 GTex/s
115.7 GTex/s
Memory Clock
1502 MHz
1527 MHz
1502 MHz
1502 MHz1502 MHz
1527 MHz
1652 MHz
Memory Interface
192-bit
Bandwidth
144.2 GB/s
146.6 GB/s
144.2 GB/s
144.2 GB/s
144.2 GB/s
146.6 GB/s
158.6 GB/s
Memory
2 GB GDDR5
3 GB GDDR52 GB GDDR5
Die Size
294 mm²
Transistors
3.54 Billion
Power Connectors
2 x 6-pin
Street Price
£260

£255

£250

£260


On paper, Gigabyte and Zotac appear to have the most attractive boards, the former offering overclocked specifications almost right at Nvidia's MSRP, and the latter juicing memory performance, which we suspect will play a big role in alleviating bandwidth limitations, for just £5 more.

Two of the cards, from Gainward and Palit, aren't available to our U.S. audience right now. So, we don't have prices listed for them.

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  • mi1ez
    That graphics scaling bit has definitely helped me decide my next GPU! What was looking like my first Nvidia GPU has changed back to another AMD. Just need some monies now. (Please?)
  • bagpussroxx
    When I buy a new GPU it's for at least 2yrs and that 192bit interface is really going to start showing it's limitations in games far sooner than that, so the 660Ti is a no go for me.

    Paying an extra £40 for a 670 may hurt in the short term, but will pay dividends in the long run.

    At £250 these 660Ti cards are way overpriced, they should be occupying the £180-£200 price point.