NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Review


Test Setup

CPU: Intel i5-3770K

Thermal Paste:  Noctua NT-H1

CPU Cooler:  Cooler Master TPC 812

Motherboard: Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H

RAM: 2x4GB Patriot Viper Xtreme II 1600MHz DDR3

OS HDD: Patriot Pyro 60GB SSD

Secondary HDD: Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD

OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit



Our philosophy in this review will likely be a bit different from most others'.  There are many comparative benchmark numbers floating around the internet, but we're going to target metrics for those who might be finally looking to upgrade their cards from a few generations back, like the wildly-popular 9800GT.  We're going to throw the 9800GT into our results, and show how it compares to the GTX 660 and NVIDIA'S last-gen GTX 560 Ti.  This will give you a direct comparison to an older card, and we'll tie in the GTX 560 Ti to show how much Kepler has improved over the GTX 500 series.


Temps and Voltages

Temps were okay with the reference cooling with a single blower fan, idling at 30°C and under load rising to 64°C.  Again, not great, but we'll see much, much better performance when we review the retail versions of the cards.  Idle voltages were 0.862V, and under load they increased to 1.137V for 99% TDP.




Since we are testing a reference card and not one from a 3rd party manufacturer, detailed overclocking results likely won't reflect performance from a "normal" chip.  Our sample could be hand-picked off the line for OC potential or other similar criteria.  Additionally, the reference cooling system likely won't be representative of most GTX 660s you'll be able to buy, so differing thermal performance also comes into play.  As such, we'll be saving overclocking on the GTX 660 for actual retail cards, which will be more representative of actual consumer performance.

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