Nvidia launches GTX 660Ti, EVGA Superclocked Edition tested
Graphics card manufacturer NVIDIA has launched its mid-range Kepler chips, henceforth to be known as GeForce GTX 660Ti. Variations at different clockspeeds will be on sale from all the usual board partners today, and reviews should be hitting the web as you read.
Of all the graphics cards released this year, NVIDIA’s 660 series is the one I’ve been looking forward to the most. Ever since I first laid eyes on the company’s new Kepler architecture for GTX 6xx cards, this is the card I've been waiting for. The firm's 670 and 680 chips dominate at the more expensive end of the GPU market, and everything about those two has suggested that the 660s would leave AMD’s mid-range HD78xxs in the dust.
Going by past strategies for GPU launches, a few weeks ago I'd have predicted that the 660 would be the chip to ensure we'd never need to spend by more than £200 on a graphics card again. So is a revolution in graphics card pricing is underway, or has the firm has chickened out of undercutting its top end cards and done something to prevent the performance per pound ratio rising too rapidly?
I've had GeForce GTX 660 Ti for a day or so to find out.
Despite the obvious potential of Kepler as a scaleable chip architecture (GTX 670s can outperform GTX 680s with the right clockspeeds), the GTX 660Ti is not the card I was hoping for - mainly because of the cost. Rather than a new sub-£200/$250 chip I anticipated, NVIDIA’s released another cut down version of the GTX 680 which will sell for £250/$300 minimum. Disappointingly, we’ll have to wait for the non-Ti GT 660 later in the year before the interesting stuff happens.
Before my cynicism overwhelms me, though, let me point out that the GTX 660Ti is by no means a bad card. In fact, it's almost perfectly pitched in terms of performance and price by comparison to existing options. The problem is that we wanted something which challenged existing preconceptions about price, not reinforced them. And this particular sale strata of cards is becoming - to my mind - irrelevant. If you’re on one screen, they’re over powered and not great value. If you’re gaming in ultra high resolutions you’re better off going for something in the next price bracket up.
On page 2: see how the GTX 660Ti stacks up against the competition.