NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti Video Card Review w/ ASUS, EVGA & MSI

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ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP

ASUS will be launching three NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti video cards this month. The interesting thing to highlight with ASUS is that there is absolutely no difference between any of the cards in regards to their physical design or the components used on the cards. The difference is solely based on yield and binning differential. 

 ASUS GTX660 Ti Graphics Cards
Standard
OC
 TOP
Model GTX660TI-DC2-2GD5 GTX660TI-DC2O-2GD5 GTX660TI-DC2T-2GD5
GPU boost clock 980MHz 1058MHz 1137MHz
GPU base clock 915MHz 967Hz 1059MHz
Memory clock 6008MHz 6008MHz 6008MHz
Memory interface 192-bit 192-bit 192-bit
Price  $304.99  $314.99  $329.99

ASUS informed us that the standard card with the will be available on launch date for $304.99 or less, but both the OC and TOP models will be slightly delayed. ASUS expects the OC version to be available early next week and the TOP is expected to show up at retailers in 10 to 14 days. All three of the cards feature 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at 6008MHz (1502MHz), so the only difference in them is the GPU clock speed on the 1344 CUDA cores. As you can see the standard ASUS card is clocked at the NVIDIA default clock speeds of 915MHz base clock and 980MHz boost clock.  The ASUS OC version steps up the game a bit, so you are getting 52MHz more on the base clock and an extra 78MHz on the boost clock.  For those that want the best cards the TOP version is overclocked to 1059MHz on the base and to 1137MHz on the boost.  This is an overall increase of 144MHz on the base clock and 157MHz on the boost clock. At the end of the day ASUS is charging an extra $25 to give you a base clock that is 15.7% higher than the NVIDIA reference design. If you don’t want to mess with manually overclocking your graphics card, this extra cost is easily justifiable.

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP

We received the ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP 2GB video card from ASUS to review today. This is very different from the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti reference design as it features a custom PCB, GPU cooler and is factory overclocked. ASUS has become very good and making video cards over the years, so this card should be top notch. The ASUS part number of the card that we are looking at today is GTX560TI-DC2T-2GD5. This card is a TOP version with a base clock of 1059MHz and a boost clock of 1137MHz on the 1344 CUDA cores. The 2GB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1502MHz (6008MHz effective).

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP

The ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP bundle is pretty sparse.  It comes with a DVI to VGA video adapter, a 4-pin MOLEX to 6-pin PCIe power adapter, the setup guide and driver disc (inside the setup guide booklet). At launch NVIDIA will be providing Borderlands 2. Borderlands 2 comes out on September 18, 2012, so obviously it will be a game key that you’ll be able to use next month.

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP

The ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP is 10.7″ in length and is a dual-slot card. As you can see the GPU cooler is offset to the right for some reason and hangs off the right side of the PCB.

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP

Flipping the ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP graphics card over we can see that it is pretty bare with the exception of six GDDR5 memory chips that make up part of the 2GB of on-board memory. This PCB is custom designed and uses ASUS
DIGI+ VRM with 6-phase Super Alloy Power (SAP) technology. SAP components are the choke, capacitor and the mosfet. This is of course the heart of the video card, so having good quality components here is critical for power efficiency and stable overclocking.

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP

ASUS claims that Super Alloy Power (SAP)
gives you a 15% performance boost, 2.5 times longer lifespan, 35°C
cooler operation. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti reference design has a 4 phase GPU PWM design that is analog. ASUS also uses 9 POSCAPs (solid electrolytic chip capacitors) versus just 2 on the NVIDIA design to lower power noise, enhance overclocking and improve overall stability.

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP

The ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP video card uses 2GB of Hynix GDDR5 memory. The exact part number is H5GQ2H24AFR-ROC.  According to the Hynix website these specific IC’s are rated to run at 6.0Gbps at 1.6V. 

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP

The ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB GDDR5 graphics card has a total of four display connectors.  You have a  dual-link DVI-I, dual-link DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs. All of the video outputs are standard size, so no adapters are needed, which is nice.  The only downside to using full size connectors is that the exhaust fan outlet is small, so it will be interesting to see how this card does when we test temperatures.

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP

ASUS went with their custom DirectCU II GPU cooling system to help keep this Kepler based video card nice and cool. This DirectCU II cooler uses three copper heat pipes that are in direct contact with the GPU to speed up heat dissipation for over 20% cooler performance.

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP

You can see that the heatsink stops short of the end of the card, so ASUS has a metal ‘shield’ that helps direct air from the end of the card to the exhaust port.

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP

The ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP has two 80mm cooling fans for doubled airflow. These fans are pretty quiet and can be easily controlled with the ASUS GPU Tweak utility if you’d like to manually adjust the pair of fans. The Kepler GPU is the heart of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti, so keeping it cool is critical and a good GPU cooler is necessary. 

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti Dust Proof Fan

ASUS also uses what they call a dust-proof fan that is better sealed to prevent dust from getting into the housing assembly and ruining the fan bearing. ASUS says the fans on this card should last 50,000 hours due to the dust-proof technology versus the 40,000 hours of a standard cooling fan. This is something you can’t see by just looking at the card, so we’ve included the ASUS marketing slide that highlights this technology.

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti supports triple-SLI and has a pair of SLI connectors along the top of the PCB for multi-GPU systems. You can also see that ASUS uses a brace that helps to add rigidity to the card to prevent the PCB from flexing.

ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP

ASUS used two 6-pin PCIe power connectors on the ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP video card and recommends at least a 550 Watt power supply with a minimum +12V current rating of 38A. ASUS has a pair of LED lights under each PCIe power connector. These two LED lights are a form of quick diagnostic for issues when connecting power to the video card. Depending on the presence or lack of presence of power connections ( or secure fitting ) the card will display an LED – RED or Green. Green meaning power connections are correct and Red meaning power connections are not.

ASUS made a 15 minute long video on this card, so you can watch that above if you like.

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