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Written by David Ramsey   
Thursday, 16 August 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI GTX 660-Ti Power Edition Video Card
Closer Look: MSI N660Ti Power Edition
N660Ti PE Detailed Features
Features and Specifications
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX11: 3DMark11
DX11: F1 2010
DX11: Batman: Arkham City
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 3.0
DX11: Battlefield 3
Temperature and Power Consumption
MSI N660Ti PE Overclocking
GTX 660 Ti Final Thoughts
MSI N660Ti PE Conclusion

MSI N660Ti PE Temperatures

We're at the start of a transition: for years the PC industry has produced faster and more powerful CPUs and GPUs, which always came with ever-higher power draws. But as the industry moves to smaller and smaller fabrication processes, we're seeing power draws drop, and clever designs save even more power. Users benefit from GPUs that disable large portions of their circuitry when idle, leading to dramatically lower power draws and very cool idle temperatures. At the other end of the scale, reduced power at the higher end means smaller coolers, quieter fans, and less heat to worry about dissipating.

At the start of this test, I measure the idle temperature of the card with the card sitting at the Windows desktop, using the GPU-Z utility. Next, I start FurMark's stress test and let it run until the temperature curve flattens and the temperature has not varied more than 1 degree in the last five minutes.

FurMark does two things extremely well: drive the thermal output of any graphics processor higher than applications of video games realistically could, and it does so with consistency every time. FurMark works great for testing the stability of a GPU as the temperature rises to the highest possible output. The temperatures discussed below are absolute maximum values, and not representative of real-world performance.

MSI's Twin Frozr cooler may have a silly name, but it's very effective on the N660Ti Power Edition:

msi_n660ti_pe_temps.jpg

At 11 degrees Celsius over ambient temperature, the card runs pretty cool at idle. At 70 degrees under Furmark load, the load temperature is the same as we recorded for the MSI N680GTX Lightning and the reference design NVIDIA GTX670; this implies a ceiling that NVIDIA wants to keep a Kepler GPU under. Amazingly, even under this load, the card's fans did not ramp up noticeably and overall the card was almost inaudible.

VGA Power Consumption

The new generation of video cards-- AMD's Southern Islands and NVIDIA's Kepler-- are certainly fast, but their new power saving features are almost as impressive. The move to a smaller process has helped, but both products benefit from a variety of power-saving techniques, including aggressively underclocking and undervolting themselves in low demand scenarios, as well as turning off unused portions of the card. Both companies also use other, proprietary methods to keep power usage low.

To measure isolated video card power consumption, Benchmark Reviews uses the Kill-A-Watt EZ (model P4460) power meter made by P3 International. A baseline test is taken without a video card installed inside our test computer system, which is allowed to boot into Windows 7 and rest idle at the login screen before power consumption is recorded. Once the baseline reading has been taken, the graphics card is installed and the system is again booted into Windows and left idle at the login screen. Another power reading is taken when the display sleeps, and then I measure the power under a heavy gaming load. Our final loaded power consumption reading is taken with the video card running a stress test using FurMark.

Below is a chart with the isolated video card power consumption (not system total) displayed in watts for each specified test product:

Situation Power Card delta
Windows login, no video card 52 watts --
Windows login, video card 61 watts 9 watts
Windows desktop 61 watts 9 watts
Windows desktop, display sleep 59 watts 7 watts
Gaming load 330 watts 148 watts
FurMark load 247 watts 195 watts

Video Card Power Consumption by Benchmark Reviews

VGA Product Description

(sorted by combined total power)

Idle Power

Loaded Power

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 SLI Set
82 W
655 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 Reference Design
53 W
396 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 Reference Design
100 W
320 W
AMD Radeon HD 6990 Reference Design
46 W
350 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 Reference Design
74 W
302 W
ASUS GeForce GTX 480 Reference Design
39 W
315 W
ATI Radeon HD 5970 Reference Design
48 W
299 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Reference Design
25 W
321 W
ATI Radeon HD 4850 CrossFireX Set
123 W
210 W
ATI Radeon HD 4890 Reference Design
65 W
268 W
AMD Radeon HD 7970 Reference Design
21 W
311 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Reference Design
42 W
278 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Reference Design
31 W
246 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 Reference Design
31 W
241 W
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Reference Design
25 W
240 W
ATI Radeon HD 6970 Reference Design
24 W
233 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465 Reference Design
36 W
219 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Reference Design
14 W
243 W
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 11139-00-40R
73 W
180 W
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 Reference Design
85 W
186 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Reference Design
10 W
275 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Reference Design
9 W
256 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 Reference Design
35 W
225 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (216) Reference Design
42 W
203 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 Reference Design
58 W
166 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Reference Design
17 W
199 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Reference Design
18 W
167 W
AMD Radeon HD 6870 Reference Design
20 W
162 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Reference Design
14 W
167 W
ATI Radeon HD 5850 Reference Design
24 W
157 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST Reference Design
8 W
164 W
AMD Radeon HD 6850 Reference Design
20 W
139 W
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT Reference Design
31 W
133 W
ATI Radeon HD 4770 RV740 GDDR5 Reference Design
37 W
120 W
ATI Radeon HD 5770 Reference Design
16 W
122 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 Reference Design
22 W
115 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Reference Design
12 W
112 W
ATI Radeon HD 4670 Reference Design
9 W
70 W
* Results are accurate to within +/- 5W.

Kepler's not the power miser AMD's Southern Islands is; in particular, there's no provision for turning off the additional, non-primary video cards in a multi-card system. Still, nine watts when sitting at the Windows desktop is less than a third as much power as a Fermi-based GTX580 would use, and the loaded power draw is less than half. NVIDIA's said that "performance per watt" was one of their goals with the Kepler architecture, and it's obvious that they've succeeded.



 

Comments 

 
# Good To See,...RealNeil 2012-08-16 07:08
Usually when something comes out that waxes the competition's offerings, we see prices come down. I wonder it this 660Ti series of cards is going to influence prices on the Radeon side?
Good read, and now it's official, I want one (or two) of them.
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# RE: Good To See,...David Ramsey 2012-08-16 07:37
Well, that's what we saw when the GTX 670/680 were introduced: immediate AMD price drops.
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# RE: MSI GTX 660-Ti Power Edition Video CardJohn Lauro 2012-08-16 19:12
As those are dual link dvi, could you support 6 monitors (assuming only 1920x1200 or less and not 2560x1600 on the dvi ports)?
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# RE: MSI GTX 660-Ti Power Edition Video CardDavid Ramsey 2012-08-16 19:37
A dual-link DVI port has the bandwidth to support resolutions higher than 1920x1200. You can't run two monitors off a dual-link port, so the answer to your question is "No."
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# RE: RE: MSI GTX 660-Ti Power Edition Video Cardhcforde 2012-08-17 19:51
There are splitters that can be used to expand to 2 monitors for DVI and another type of splitter for Display Ports. The Display Port ones are a bit pricy because it is a bit more sophisticated. One I saw went to 2 dp monitors and the other went to 2 DVI monitors. Max res was 1920*1200 for both
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# RE: RE: RE: MSI GTX 660-Ti Power Edition Video CardDavid Ramsey 2012-08-17 21:21
You know that DVI splitters will only provide the same image to two different monitors, right?
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: MSI GTX 660-Ti Power Edition Video CardJohn Lauro 2012-08-17 21:44
A cheap splitter that is true, but if you use something like the matrox TripleHead2Go ##matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/th2go/digital/ you will get the hir-res image spread over multiple monitors where each lower-res monitor displays a different portion.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: MSI GTX 660-Ti Power Edition Video CardDavid Ramsey 2012-08-17 21:48
Interesting. I was unfamiliar with that product.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: MSI GTX 660-Ti Power Edition Video Cardhcforde 2012-08-18 03:47
On the cheap ones you can extend the desktop over the 2 monitors and also have 2 distinct displays.
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# RE: MSI GTX 660-Ti Power Edition Video CardDoug Dallam 2012-08-16 20:39
Only thing to say here: 22nm kicks the lama's ass. Getting close to a disruption in Moore's Law, unless we can find a way to get over silicon.
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# RE: MSI GTX 660-Ti Power Edition Video CardJohn Lauro 2012-08-18 06:03
Are you sure you are not thinking of a DMS-59 connector to dual DVI or VGA? It looks similar to a dual link DVI connector but is a little wider and doesn't have the cross on the side, just dense pins.
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# RE: RE: MSI GTX 660-Ti Power Edition Video Cardhcforde 2012-08-18 19:38
I have used both. The Nvidia NVS series of cards uses the DMS-59.
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# RE: MSI GTX 660-Ti Power Edition Video Cardjhs 2013-02-17 06:59
msi n660 twin frozr and msi n660 ti power edition. Which between this 2 is better? and how much is the different?
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