Nobody can accuse nVidia of not wringing as much as it can from its new technology. We've seen the GK104 chip being drafted in for use in the GTX 670, 680 and 690 graphics cards. 

See: more graphics cards reviews.

And, as if that stunning trio weren't enough to be going on with, now the GK104 chip finds itself at the centre of yet another brand new card - the nVidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti

This is essentially a GTX 670 with one of the four memory controllers removed. As such, the 660 Ti sees the memory interface fall from 256-bit to 192-bit, while the number of raster operations has also been cut by a quarter - from 32 to 24. However, nVidia is matching the GTX 670's 2GB of GDDR5 memory, rather than slicing a quarter off that too.

For its on-paper figures, the 660 Ti could almost be mistaken for its more powerful sibling. Both the 660 Ti and GTX 670, for instance, have a core-clock speed of 915MHz - although, in this case, Asus has clocked the speed up to a very decent 967MHz - a good bump in performance. 

If you shop around then there are models (some even from Asus) which push the core clock up to four figures. The boost clock also allows this figure to jump to 1058MHz.

The memory-clock speed hasn't been altered from its factory setting, and both this unexpanded 660 Ti and the GTX 670 share a 1502MHz figure (boosted to 6000MHz once the effects of the GDDR5 RAM have been taken into account). 

That slashed 192-bit memory interface does result in a painful cut to the memory bandwidth, though, and the Asus card can muster a figure of just 144.2GBps - a mighty fall of 48.1GBps. 

The reduction of the memory controllers hasn't resulted in cuts everywhere, though. Both the 660 Ti and the GTX 670 have 112 texture units, and the standard editions of either card would have an identical texture fill-rate of 102.5GTps. 

With the aid of the enhanced core clock speed, the Asus version of the 660 Ti pushes this fill-rate up to a very healthy 108.3GTps. 

And – again like the GTX 670 – the 660 Ti boasts 1344 stream processors. 

Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti: Performance

The 660 Ti does have more modest power requirements, slicing the TDP from 170W to 150W, although we found the difference between the two to be only around 7-9 watt on average when fitted. 

As expected, the 660 Ti finishes several frames behind the GTX 670 in every test. Crucially, it just about stays ahead of the Radeon 7870. These cards are roughly the same price, so the 660 Ti's newer architecture ought to make it the best buy here. 

In BattleForge, it came up with figures of 62.0 and 41.6 frames per second at resolutions of 1680 x 1050 and 1900 x 1200 respectively. This compared with 59.4 and 41.2fps in the case of the 7870. The GTX 670 is a good five to six fps clear. 

In Crysis, the difference to the 7870 is even smaller, with the 660 Ti’s figures of 33.9 and 22.7fps comparing with the 7870’s 33.7 and 22.6fps. 

Stalker: Call of Pripyat saw similar results, with the 660 Ti's figures of 72.6 and 49.9fps only just staying ahead of the 7870's 72.6 and 49.9fps. 

The difference to the GTX 670 was approaching double figures.

Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti: Specs

  • nVidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti
  • 2GB GDDR5
  • 967MHz core clock (1058MHz GPU Boost)
  • 1502MHz memory clock (6008MHz DDR effective)
  • 400MHz RAMDAC
  • 192-bit memory interface
  • 1344 stream processors
  • 112 texture units
  • 24 ROP units
  • PCI-E interface
  • DirectX 11
  • 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort
  • two 6-pin PSU connectors needed
  • 2-year warranty
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti
  • 2GB GDDR5
  • 967MHz core clock (1058MHz GPU Boost)
  • 1502MHz memory clock (6008MHz DDR effective)
  • 400MHz RAMDAC
  • 192-bit memory interface
  • 1344 stream processors
  • 112 texture units
  • 24 ROP units
  • PCI-E interface
  • DirectX 11
  • 2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort
  • two 6-pin PSU connectors needed
  • 2-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

The Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti is a nice card that offers decent performance, and just about gets the nod ahead of the now rather old-fashioned 7870 cards. However, the loss of a memory controller is a significant setback, and given that the price difference between this and the GTX 670s is only around £20, we can't really recommend this over its more expensive sibling. Once the price falls another £20, it may start to become a very interesting product.

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