NVIDIA GTX 660Ti Roundup with ASUS, Galaxy, MSI Reviewccokeman , BluePanda - August 16, 2012
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The front of the packaging is fairly mundane but the messaging is far from that. The front panel identifies this card as a Power Edition series card that can make use of a triple over voltage feature due to the enhanced PWM controller and 5+2 phase design. As such the GTX 660Ti PE is a factory overclocked card that comes with a three-year warranty. Highlighted on the front is that the GTX 660Ti PE is equipped with the latest revision of MSI's Twin Frozr cooling solution. The back panel list the generic feature set for the GTX 660Ti along with the system requirements. Where the packaging gets interesting is when you flip open the front cover and find a window that shows off the card. There is a wealth of information about the MSI specific features of this Power Edition card including the Military Class III components, Twin Frozr IV cooling solution, and MSI Afterburner functionality.
Internally the packaging has a foam core that holds the GTX 660Ti PE with the accessories held in a cardboard compartment beside and under the card. The bundle of accessories includes a quick start guide, manual, driver and utilities disk, DVI to VGA adapter, and a pair of dual 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCIe connectors to power the GTX 660Ti PE. Most newer power supplies should have at least one PEG connection. Included is pretty much all you will need to get the card installed and running.
The MSI GTX 660Ti Power Edition is about as far as you can get from a reference card. Using NVIDIA's GK104 Kepler core at its base, the MSI GTX 660Ti Power edition features a non-reference black PCB with an enhanced 5+2 phase power delivery circuit, a dual fan Twin Frozr revision IV cooling solution, and MIL-STD-810G certified parts used as a base for the Military Class III component selection that allows MSI to offer its Triple Overvoltage controls. The card is designed to be used in a PCIe 3.0/2.0 expansion slot and measures 9.75 inches in length from the expansion slot bracket to the edge of the slight overhang on the Twin Frozr IV shroud allowing the card to fit in smaller form factor cases. The dual 80mm "Propeller Blade" fans push up to 20% more airflow than a conventional design. The back side is rather pedestrian without a backplate or any thing to show the brand. On the back are two Hynix memory modules that help make up the 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The top view of card shows a bracket on the spine of the card that is actually part of the "Form in one" heat sink covering the memory and PWM circuit. The bottom view shows the four 6mm heat pipes and how they spread the thermal load to the fin array.
Connectivity options are standard for the GTX 6XX series with a pair of Dual Link DVI ports, an HDMI 1.4a port, and a full size DisplayPort 1.2 port. By using these connection points the GTX 660Ti supports three monitors in a surround configuration. At 5760x1080 the GTX 660Ti is not going to give you the best overall combination of FPS and visual quality but it can deliver playable frame rates with some visual quality compromises. Adding 3DVision to the mix in surround may well prove a bit too much for a single GTX 660Ti but most assuredly is an option in SLI or on a 1080 display. The back end of the card is open to allow the thermal load to be vented from the front and rear of the card. The fin array hangs over the PCB by roughly 5mm.
Along the top of the card are two SLI bridge connections that allow this card to be used in an SLI configuration using more than two cards, provided you have a motherboard to support the configuration. Power is supplied via two 6-pin PCIe connections that deliver up to a maximum of 225W. The board power design is 170W and up to 190W when overclocked. However the Triple Overvoltage feature of the MSI GTX660Ti Power Edition allows for voltage increases to the memory, GPU core, and an auxiliary voltage for an increase in stability.
To manage the thermal load of a factory overclocked video card with the potential for some serious overclocking and over volting, MSI has equipped the GTX 660Ti Power Edition with its Twin Frozr IV cooling solution. This solution uses two propeller blade fans that push 20% more air than conventional designs. This allows the cooling solution to run up to 14 °C cooler and 17dBa quieter than reference designs. A unique feature of the propeller blade fans and Twin Frozr IV is the the dust removal technology that spins the bades in reverse when the system starts to help prevent dust buildup in the large heat sink. The heat sink uses a nickel plated copper base with four 6mm heat pipes radiating out to the aluminum fin array so that airflow from the fans can carry the thermal load out into the chassis airflow stream. Under the main heat sink is the "Form in one" plate that acts as both a stiffener for the PCB and to cool the memory modules and enhanced PWM circuit.
The Twin Frozr IV cooling solution uses a pair of "Propeller Blade" 80mm fans to push up to 20% more air through the heat sink. These fans are made by Power Logic and are carried under part number PLD08010B12HH. These fans are PWM controlled, 10mm thick, run on 12v, use two ball bearings, and spin at up to 4000RPM at 34.5dBa. Power consumption is 4.20 watts at 0.35a. The noise generated by these fans seems lower than the advertised 34dBa maximum rating. With the case buttoned up the card is virtually silent when the fan speed is ramped up. Controlled by the card the fans are dead silent.
MSI has put together a custom PCB for the GTX 660Ti Power Edition. The black PCB sets off the card nicely. MSI uses Military Class III components on this card for added reliability and stability. An enhanced 5+2 phase PWM circuit is capable of delivering up to 17% more current to the CPU for improved overclocking. The Military Class III components include a Tantalum core Hi-C Cap with 15% less current leakage, Super Ferrite chokes that are 10% more efficient yet are able to handle 30% more current flow, and solid aluminum core capacitors that have a 2x improvement in resistance over standard capacitors. By using these components MSI can utilize the Triple Overvoltage feature of this Power Edition card to increase the voltage options available to the enthusiast for improved overclocking margins without fear of cooking the card. Even so MSI offers a three-year warranty.
The GTX 660Ti is built around the 28nm GK104 Kepler core. Surprisingly the GTX 660Ti uses the same four GPC (Graphics Processing Cores), seven SMX design as seen on the GTX 670. On board are 3.54 billion transistors, 1344 CUDA cores, 24 ROPs, 112 Texture units, and 2GB of GDDR5 memory running through a 192-bit bus. Clock speeds on the reference cards are going to be the same as the GTX 670 at 915MHz on the core with a 980MHz "Boost" clock on the Gk104 core. MSI has the Power Edition clock speeds significantly boosted up on the OC model seen here to 1019MHz stock with a 1079MHz "Boost" clock. The memory sees a slight boost to 1502MHz (6008MHz effective) over the GTX 670. The memory used on this card is from Hynix and rated for operation at 1500MHz using part number H5GQ2H24AFR-R0C.
As a custom built video card, the MSI Power Edition cards usually over perform the reference versions by way of the higher clock speeds but really shine when you put all of the cooling and power features to use while overclocking. If the past is any indication of how well MSI can deliver, than the GTX 660Ti should deliver exceptional performance and overclocking. Add in Triple Overvoltage controls and the MSI GTX 660Ti should offer increased overclocking margins.