|ASUS GeForce GTX 660Ti DirectCU-II TOP|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 16 August 2012|
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ASUS GeForce GTX 660Ti DirectCU-II TOP
ASUS DIGI+VRM Digital Power Tuning Enhances GPU Overclocking Results
Manufacturer: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by ASUS.
Many computer hardware enthusiast recall when NVIDIA unleashed their GeForce GTX 580 video card onto the gaming landscape back on November 2010, setting the bar so high the closest threat to the $500 price point was a combined pair of the competition's best graphics cards. Under two years later, NVIDIA returns with a 150W mid-range solution that beats their former flagship. Built upon the NVIDIA GK104 GPU, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti offers the same high-end features found on the top-end GTX 680, but with a much more affordable price tag. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP, model TI-DC2T-2GD5.
Of the many platforms available for gamers to enjoy video games, there's no question that the highest quality graphics come from PC. While game developers might not consider PC gaming as lucrative as entertainment consoles, companies like NVIDIA use desktop graphics to set the benchmark for smaller more compact designs that make it into notebooks, tablets, and smartphone devices. NVIDIA's Kepler GPU architecture is an example of this, delivering unprecedented performance while operating cooler and consuming far less power than previous flagship discrete graphics cards.
ASUS further extends GeForce GTX 660 Ti's functionality with proprietary features available only on their brand of video cards, which for the GTX 660 Ti series include: DirectCU-II Standard (TI-DC2-2GD5), DirectCU-II OC (TI-DC2O-2GD5), and DirectCU-II TOP (TI-DC2T-2GD5). Clocked to 1137 MHz, the ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti TOP model features a 7% faster GPU boost speed, or 157 MHz over the reference design. Its DirectCU-II design yields 20% cooler performance, with 9dB less audible fan noise. Combined with the ASUS GPU Tweak software, GTX 660 Ti DirectCU-II TOP utilizes digital DIGI+ VRM with 6-Phase Super Alloy Power (SAP) electronic components to achieve even greater GPU clock speeds with stable overclocked performance.
NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 660 Ti graphics card is designed around the same 28nm GK104 Kepler GPU architecture found in the GeForce GTX 680 and 670, and replaces NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 570 series in terms of performance. NVIDIA GPU Boost enables 1344 CUDA cores to dynamically adjust power and clock speeds based on real-time game or application demands. GeForce GTX 660 Ti's core count and clock speeds are identical to GTX 670, with the same being true for the card's 2GB memory buffer - albeit reduced to 192-bit bandwidth. Designed to occupy the $300 price point, GeForce GTX 660 Ti competes on cost with AMD's Radeon HD 7870 but matches performance with the more expensive Radeon HD 7950. In this article, Benchmark Reviews will test the GeForce GTX 660 Ti and discover how this combination performs with DirectX 10/11 generation video games.
In addition to a new and improved Kepler GPU architecture with NVIDIA GPU Boost technology, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti video card delivers further refinement to the user experience. Smoother FXAA and adaptive vSync technology results in less chop, stutter, and tearing in on-screen motion. Overclockers might see their enthusiast experiments threatened by the presence of NVIDIA GPU Boost technology, but dynamically adjusting power and clock speed profiles can be supplemented with additional overclocking or shut off completely. Adaptive vSync on the other hand, is a welcome addition by all users - from the gamer to the casual computer user. This new technology adjusts the monitor's refresh rate whenever the FPS rate becomes too low to properly sustain vertical sync (when enabled), thereby reducing stutter and tearing artifacts. Finally, NVIDIA is introducing TXAA, a film-style anti-aliasing technique with a mix of hardware post-processing, custom CG file style AA resolve, and an optional temporal component for better image quality.