NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 660 Ti 2GB Reference Video Card Overclocked

We overclock the upcoming GEFORCE GTX 660 Ti 2GB to see what kind of performance we can get out of it.
@TweakTown
Published Thu, Aug 2 2012 2:22 AM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Introduction and Overclocking

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I woke up to a lot of messages this morning and a couple of emails and to no shock to us none of them came from NVIDIA. Everyone that contacted me, though, had heard from NVIDIA and told us that they had been accused by NVIDIA that they sent us the video card. I suppose the approach by NVIDIA is that if they blame everyone, someone will say we're sorry.

It seems to be the approach that NVIDIA took for the GTX 680 and GTX 670 which we reviewed early, and like both those times it seems that it's not working this time around again. It seems that NVIDIA made an effort to contact everyone but us. We don't really mind, all it does is help reinforce the fact that they don't want to deal with us.

In the end it doesn't bother us; if they don't want to deal with us, that's fine. The problem is I'm not sure they quite realize that we can continue to get samples of upcoming models without them. The 600 series is really a lost cause when it comes to building a relationship with NVIDIA. The presence and strength we've shown with this series, though, might be enough to get them to the table. Every model that launches, though, helps cement our presence in Taiwan.

That's enough about NVIDIA, though; let's get into what we're really here for - the overclocking of the upcoming GTX 660 Ti. There's not a whole lot we can do before we get into the overclocking side of things. If you want to know a bit more on the default specifications of the GTX 660 Ti then I recommend you look at our original article as we will move from here straight into the overclocking side of things.

Once we've had a look what we can do with the clock speeds we'll quickly look at our testbed and see the cards we'll be including in our graphs. Of course from there it's all about one thing; performance! So let's take a quick look at how we went with overclocking!

Overclocking

When it came to the overclocking side of things it came as no surprise that when we loaded up MSI Afterburner we didn't have the ability to adjust the voltage since we're still a few weeks away from the model officially launching. We don't doubt, though, that over the next week or two we'll see an updated version of Afterburner that will be able to bring with it the ability to adjust the core voltage.

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Looking above, though, you get a good idea what we managed to do with the clock speeds as the core moved from 915Mhz to a very solid 1070MHz. That resulted in our boost clock moving from 980MHz to 1148MHz. We also bumped up the 2GB of GDDR5 memory from 6004MHz to 6320MHz QDR.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS and Corsair.

We won't go into a whole lot of detail here; the testbed side of things is covered above fairly well while the cards we're using today are the same as what you saw in the original GTX 660 Ti review with the removal of the GTX 580 which has been replaced with the overclocked GTX 660 Ti.

Let's get started!

The FPS Numbers Explained

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

Benchmarks - 3DMark 11

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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Starting off with 3DMark 11 we can see a really nice boost in performance. You can see from the Performance standpoint we're sitting at levels that are close to the GTX 680 while the Extreme preset falls back slightly sitting closer to the GTX 670. Out the gate, though, you can see we've got some super strong performance.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.5

Developer Homepage: http://www.unigine.com

Product Homepage: http://unigine.com/press-releases/091022-heaven_benchmark//

New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

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Heaven sees a really strong boost in performance, but you can see we're not quite at the level of the GTX 670 or GTX 680. This is of course no doubt due to the fact that we're dealing a smaller 192-bit memory bus. Under extreme load, the smaller bus is what seems to impact performance the most and that is obvious under Heaven.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo

Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test

Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/UK/default.aspx

Product Homepage: http://www.hawxgame.com/

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 is an arcade-style flight action game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft. The game is the sequel to Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., released in 2009.

The game begins with Colonel David Crenshaw participating in a routine patrol mission in the Middle East. After halting an insurgent attack, a volley of missiles is fired at the Air Force base that Crenshaw was stationed at, with one of the missiles disabling Crenshaw's aircraft, resulting Crenshaw being in enemy captivity. A joint strike force composed of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and a Ghost Recon squad executes an operation to rescue Crenshaw. In Scotland, Royal Navy Pilot Colin Munro encounters an unidentified passenger aircraft that explodes from an on-board bomb when undergoing training exercise. In Russia, an air force squadron led by Colonel Denisov and Captain Dmitri Sokov engages separatist aircraft but is ordered to retreat from the region after numerous Russian military installations have been attacked.

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Across the board you can see we've got a nice boost in performance, but it's hardly needed in this instance as we get extremely strong FPS. You can see, though, that the overclock sees the 2560 x 1600 number line up with the HD 7970 GHz Edition.

Benchmarks - Mafia II

Mafia II

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.2kczech.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.mafia2game.com/

Buy It Here

Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video game, the sequel to Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. It is developed by 2K Czech, previously known as Illusion Softworks, and is published by 2K Games. The game is set from 1943 to 1951 in Empire Bay (the name is a reference to New York's state nickname "The Empire State"), a fictional city based on San Francisco and New York City, with influences from Chicago and Detroit. The game features a completely open-ended game map of 10 square miles. No restrictions are included from the start of the game. There are around 50 vehicles in the game, as well as licensed music from the era.

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Mafia II sees some very strong FPS and you can see the overclock helps the GTX 660 Ti line up with a reference clocked GTX 670 in this instance.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark - Test A Scene 1

Developer Homepage: http://www.capcom.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.lostplanet2game.com/

Lost Planet 2 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition which is also made by Capcom, taking place ten years after the events of the first game, on the same fictional planet. The story takes place back on E.D.N. III 10 years after the events of the first game. The snow has melted to reveal jungles and more tropical areas that have taken the place of more frozen regions. The plot begins with Mercenaries fighting against Jungle Pirates. After destroying a mine, the Mercenaries continue on to evacuate the area, in which a Category-G Akrid appears and attacks them. After being rescued, they find out their evacuation point (Where the Category-G appeared) was a set-up and no pick up team awaited them. The last words imply possible DLC additions to the game, "There's nothing to be gained by wiping out snow pirates... unless you had some kind of grudge."

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Moving to the ever intensive Lost Planet 2 we can see some really strong gains with the most appreciated being seen at 2560 x 1600 as we see ourselves moves from just over 60 FPS into the 70 FPS realm.

Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator

Aliens vs. Predator

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.rebellion.co.uk/

Product Homepage: http://www.sega.com/games/aliens-vs-predator/

Aliens vs. Predator is a science fiction first-person shooter video game, developed by Rebellion Developments, the team behind the 1999 original PC game, and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The game is based on the Alien vs. Predator franchise, a combination of the characters and creatures of the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise. There are three campaigns in the game, one for each race/faction (the Predators, the Aliens and the Colonial Marines), that, while separate in terms of individual plot and gameplay, form one overarching storyline.

Following the storyline of the campaign modes comes the multiplayer aspect of the game. In this Multiplayer section of the game, players face off in various different gametypes in various different ways.

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Aliens vs. Predator also sees some great gains; unfortunately the gains aren't quite strong enough to bring the 2560 x 1600 numbers up to a playable level. Below that, though, you can see we've got some excellent FPS at both 1920 x 1200 and 1680 x 1050.

Benchmarks - Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.2

Timedemo or Level Used: Dark Tower

Developer Homepage: http://www.eidos.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.justcause.com/

Just Cause 2 employs the Avalanche Engine 2.0, an updated version of the engine used in Just Cause. The game is set on the other side of the world from the original Just Cause, on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. Panau has varied terrain, from desert to alpine to rainforest. Rico Rodriguez returns as the protagonist, aiming to overthrow the evil dictator Pandak "Baby" Panay and confront his former mentor, Tom Sheldon.

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Just Cause 2 like our other benchmarks sees some strong gains which puts the GTX 660 Ti numbers in line with the GTX 670. The most appreciated gains again, though, are at 2560 x 1600 as we move from the 60 FPS range to the 70 FPS range making sure gameplay is ultra-smooth.

Benchmarks - Metro 2033

Metro 2033

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.thqnordic.com/

Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released in March 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360.[3] In March 2006, 4A Games announced a partnership with Glukhovsky to collaborate on the game.[4] The game was announced at the 2009 Games Convention in Leipzig;[5] a first trailer came along with the announcement.[6] A sequel was announced, currently titled Metro: Last Light.

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Like Aliens vs. Predator we see some strong gains, but not quite enough to push the 2560 x 1600 number to playable levels. Considering the HD 7970 GHz Edition is the only one that is able to break the 60 FPS barrier here, though, it doesn't come as much of a surprise.

Benchmarks - Dirt 3

Dirt 3

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.codemasters.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.dirt3game.com/

DiRT 3 boasts more cars, more locations, more routes and more events than any other game in the series, including over 50 rally cars representing the very best from five decades of the sport. With more than double the track content of 2009's hit, DiRT 3 will see players start at the top as a professional driver, with a top-flight career in competitive off-road racing complimented by the opportunity to express themselves in Gymkhana-style showpiece driving events.

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We continue to see those strong gains and you can again see the overclock here on our GTX 660 Ti helps push us from the 60 FPS range into the 70 FPS range making sure that our gameplay is ultra-smooth.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01

Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long

Developer Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/

Buy It Here

The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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We can see a good bump in performance across the board, but it comes as no surprise that the gains aren't really needed here.

Let's see what happens when we turn on AA and AF, though, on the next page.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here we see video cards go from playable FPS to an unplayable FPS and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

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While we see a nice little boost in performance you can see the numbers at 2560 x 1600 aren't quite where they need to be for a smooth gaming experience. 1920 x 1200, though, sees a nice boost that gives us a bit more breathing room.

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Like our other benchmarks we do see a nice little bump in frames here; unfortunately the intensity of the AvP engine means that even overclocked, playable numbers with AA and AF just aren't an option.

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Far Cry 2 sees a nice little bump in FPS and you can see the overclock is enough to push us to that 30 FPS minimum that we want at 2560 x 1600 making the game playable. Of course at 1920 x 1200 we get a bit more breathing room, but with already strong FPS, it's not really necessary.

NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 660 Ti 2GB Reference Video Card Overclocked 33 | TweakTown.com

Like Aliens vs. Predator we do see a bit of a boost in performance; unfortunately the intensity of the Metro 2033 engine means that AA and AF still isn't an option, even when we move over 1100MHz on the core.

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Finishing up with Just Cause 2 we can see the overclock helps give us some more breathing room at 1920 x 1200, but moving to 2560 x 1600, you can see we continue to fall short of that 60 FPS number we're always on the hunt for to provide a solid gaming experience.

Final Thoughts

Today we get a good idea with what's going on with the overclocking side of things; even if we don't have the opportunity to play with the voltages. I think the performance gains we've seen today without the assistance of extra voltages is really positive as we should see even stronger performance when the ability to adjust voltages is added to the equation.

To be completely honest, though, the overclocking on the GTX 660 Ti could've been poor and we would continue to think extremely highly of it. The fact that we're seeing over 1100MHz via boost with no voltage adjustment makes us feel even more excited about the model and even more excited about what partners will offer us in the near future.

The GTX 660 Ti is going to be a real thorn in the side of AMD. Along with looking like it will hit at a strong price point, we can see the performance speaks for itself. Combining this with the fact that companies will be offering us non-reference designs from launch and it looks like NVIDIA have got a fantastic model on their hands.

While this marks an end to our GTX 660 Ti pre-launch coverage come launch day later in the month we'll check out what partners are doing while hopefully we also get the chance to look at the SLI side of things. Considering the price, overclocking ability and overall performance, SLI could be something that grabs the real attention of gamers on a budget.

If you're about to buy a new video card we'd probably recommend you take the time to hold off a few weeks to see what's going on with the GTX 660 Ti from partners. We're sure AMD don't want to hear it, but looking at what the GTX 660 Ti can do over the past few days, it's hard to tell people to go out and buy a HD 7000 series based video card right now.

In the end the ball is clearly in AMD's court now. What they choose to do with it is unknown, but word is that we'll see a GHz Edition of the HD 7950. While it's possible that this can compete from a performance stand point, we're not 100% sure it will be able to from a price stand point. Still, the coming weeks and months are going to be no doubt very interesting.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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