Nvidia’s ‘Kepler’ onslaught continues with two newly launched GPUs – the GTX 660 and GTX 650. The GTX 660 is a mid-range card that will eventually replace the GTX 560 Ti whereas the GTX 650 sits in the range of the HD 7770 and GTX 560. ZOTAC has sent us its standard edition of the GTX 660 2GB, which is based mostly on Nvidia’s reference design. Let’s see how much of a performance difference there really is between this and the more potent, GTX 660 Ti and if it really offers good bang for the buck.
The card looks very similar to the GTX 660 Ti both in terms of size and design. ZOTAC has used the basic design from Nvidia for the PCB along with its custom cooler, which is something we can expect on all its cards from here on out. It’s nice to see OEMs going the extra mile in offering end users some value-added features without slapping a premium on them. The card is small enough to easily fit inside any mid-tower chassis. The open design of the cooler will blow air directly into the case rather than channel it out the back, so it helps if you have a good cross-ventilation system inside your cabinet.
Great design and build
Not very power hungry
Unlike the existing Kepler GPUs, the GTX 660 is the first to be based on the new GK106 silicon, a scaled down version of the GK104 silicon used in the GTX 660 Ti, GTX 670 and GTX 680. While the primary features remain pretty much intact, the GK106 die has a lower transistor count, which is why the power draw is less. You get a total of 960 shaders or CUDA cores instead of 1,344 while the ROPs remain the same at 24. Nvidia has made 2GB of GDDR5 RAM as standard on the GTX 660, which runs at an impressive 6,008MHz (effective speed). The memory bus remains at 192-bit, just like the GTX 660 Ti. ZOTAC has tweaked the frequencies just a little bit so the core now runs at 993MHz (980MHZ stock) while the memory is kept the same. It’s not much, but a boost nonetheless.
Good set of connectors
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