NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti Review
NVIDIA’s GTX 660 Ti is a strong addition to their 2012 product lineup.
NVIDIA‘s GeForce GTX 660 Ti GPU has had PC enthusiasts excited this year, being the first mid-range graphics card in their lineup to feature their high-powered Kepler HPC architecture. In fact, the GTX 660 Ti has a lot in common with its pricier brother, the GTX 670 – which sells for about $100 more than the $300 GTX 660 Ti.
Rage’s new The Scorchers DLC running on the GTX 660 Ti
Of course, that price cut means that some features need to be removed, and so the GTX 660 Ti‘s memory interface is shortened from 256-bit to 192-bit. Almost everything else from the GTX 670 remains the same though, including its 2GB of GDDR5 memory, 112 texture units, and 1344 stream processors. This GPU is built to stand toe-to-toe with the pricier AMD Radeon 7870, and outperforms it in all the latest major releases. According to Nvidia’s press releases, it even performs better than the Radeon 7950 in games like Max Payne 3 and Battlefield 3 at 1080p. In our tests, the GTX 660 Ti was able to get near-or-above 60 FPS in The Elder Scrolls V : Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City, Rage, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution with maximum, or close to maximum settings.
Rage: The Scorchers gameplay on the GTX 660 Ti
Though the major home consoles like PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are still thriving, PC gaming is undeniably on the rise. While there used to be a fairly large gap between PC and console game sales, PC has just about caught up this year and is on track to actually eclipse console videogame sales by 2014. Diablo 3 sold over 3.5 million units in under 24 hours, and 10 million in three months. For comparison, when Diablo 2 was released, it sold only 4 million in its entire first year of release.
NVIDIA PhysX comparison video
Digital platforms such as Steam can definitely be attributed to this success, but PC gaming also appeals to those seeking the latest tech advancements. With most major consoles being over six years old at this point in time, their GPUs and processing power are essentially tapped out. Although we’re still seeing some technical marvels from this generation’s console hardware such as The Last of Us, the Uncharted series, and the recently unveiled The Phantom Pain, there’s no argument against the fact that PC hardware has majorly surpassed their limitations in the time since their inception. As Cliff Bleszinski of Epic Games has stated, “Next-gen’s here. It’s been here. It’s a high-end PC.”
DX11’s Tessellation feature: click for animated comparison
With features like DirectX 11’s Tessellation, PhysX and the all-new TXAA Anti-aliasing, there’s a definite graphical upgrade in comparison to console ports in games which take advantage of these features, such as Batman: Arkham City, Borderlands 2, Max Payne 3, and Crysis 2. Tessellation essentially makes models less blocky, and can be utilized to make surface textures such as cobblestones and brickwork appear much more detailed and lifelike, as opposed to their normal, flat appearance. The PhysX technology is utilized to create convincing particle effects, cloth simulation, and fluid simulation.
NVIDIA’s PhysX feature in full effect with Batman: Arkham City
If you’re a console gamer looking to get started in the PC world, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti is the perfect card (as we stated in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide For Gamers). It packs a lot of punch for its price range, and can run on a 450 watt power supply. If you want solid performance and you’re on a budget, you’d be hard pressed to find a better GPU for your rig than the GTX 660 Ti from NVIDIA.