Test Configuration – Hardware
- Intel Core i7-3770K reference 3.50 GHz/Turbo to 3.7GHz, overclocked to 4.8 GHz; HyperThreading is on, supplied by Intel.
- EVGA Z77 FTW motherboard (latest Beta BIOS, USB/PCIe 3.0 specification; CrossFire/SLI 16x+16x), supplied by EVGA
- 8 GB OCZ DDR3 PC 1866 Kingston RAM (2×2 GB, tri-channel at 1866 MHz; supplied by Kingston)
- EVGA GTX 660 Ti Superclocked, 2 GB (EVGA base clocks of 980/3004MHz and also overclocked, +70MHz/+190MHz), supplied by Nvidia
- GeForce GTX 680, 2 GB reference clocks, supplied by Nvidia.
- GeForce GTX 670, 2 GB reference design and clocks, supplied by Nvidia
- GeForce GTX 580, 1.5GBreference design and clocks, supplied by Nvidia
- GeForce GTX 560 Ti, 1GB reference design and clocks, supplied by Nvidia
- BFG GTX 280, reference design and clocks
- PowerColor Radeon HD 7970, 3 GB with custom cooling at stock clocks (925/1375MHz)
- Onboard Realtek Audio
- 2 x 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200-12 HDDs; one for AMD and one for Nvidia
- Thermaltake ToughPowerXT 775W power supply unit supplied by Thermaltake
- Thermaltake Overseer RX-I Full Tower case, supplied by Thermaltake
- Thermaltake Water2.0 Pro CPU watercooler, supplied by Thermaltake
- Philips DVD SATA writer
- HP LP3065 2560×1600 thirty inch LCD.
Test Configuration – Software
- Nvidia GeForce 305.37 Beta drivers for all GTXes. High Quality
- AMD 12.7 Beta Catalyst drivers; latest CAPs. High Quality – optimizations off; use application settings
- Windows 7 64-bit; very latest updates
- Latest DirectX
- All games are patched to their latest versions.
- VSync is off in the control panel.
- AA enabled as noted in games; all in-game settings are specified with 16xAF always applied; 16xAF forced in control panel for Crysis.
- All results show average, minimum and maximum frame rates except as noted.
- Highest quality sound (stereo) used in all games.
- Windows 7 64, all DX10 titles were run under DX10 render paths; DX11 titles under DX11 render paths.
- 3DMark 11
- Heaven 3.0
- Left 4 Dead 2
- Serious Sam 3 BFE
- Far Cry 2
- Just Cause 2
- Resident Evil 5
- Alien vs. Predator
- STALKER, Call of Pripyat
- Metro 2033
- F1 2010
- H.A.W.X. 2
- Lost Planet 2
- Shogun II
- Civilization V
- Crysis 2
- Dirt 3
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- Batman: Arkham City
- Max Payne 3
- the Secret World
Before we get to the EVGA GTX 660 TI Superoverclock’s performance charts, let’s look at overclocking, power draw and temperatures.
Overclocking, Power Draw, Noise and Temperatures
Overclocking the GTX 660 Ti is just as easy as overclocking the GTX 670, 680 and 690. What is not surprising is that we could not match the GTX 670 overclock since the EVGA Superclocked edition is already overclocked +65MHz on the core. We were able to add an additional +70MHz for a total offset of +135MHz over the base clocks that Nvidia set for the reference GTX 660 Ti. On top of that, we were able to get +190MHz on the memory, about half what we achieved with the GTX 670.
We did not adjust the GTX 660 Ti’s voltage. Temperatures were never an issue and the fan profile remained at stock which meant that the GTX 660 Ti is also extraordinarily quiet at maximum load – the fan profile rarely went over 30% and the temperatures remained well under 80C under the most stressful conditions and highest load. In contrast, the PowerColor HD 7970 is much more noticeable when it ramps up under load even though it uses custom cooling.
Kepler is extraordinarily power efficient – much more so than Tahiti. Under load, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti typically draws up to 134W of power in most non-TDP apps. This is what you should experience with the power target slider set at its default 100% setting. For our testing of the GeForce GTX 660 Ti, we maxed the slider out at +123% as we do for all Kepler cards. Likewise, we also max the PowerTune slider for AMD cards. At this setting, GTX 660 Ti will draw up to 165W in non-TDP apps. There is absolutely no comparison with the HD 7970 or even the HD 7950 as they use much more power.
Let’s head to the performance charts and graphs to see how the EVGA Superclocked GTX 660 Ti compares with the rest of the Kepler family – the GTX 680 and GTX 670, as well as the last generation GTX 560 Ti that it replaces and the former flagship GTX 580 as well as against the stock (original, 925/1375MHz) AMD HD 7970. As an added bonus, we are going to look at Nvidia’s flagship from four years ago – the GTX 280 – to see how it stacks up against the modern cards.