EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SuperClocked Video Card Review
By Gabriel Torres on September 18, 2012


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

The new GeForce GTX 660 is the latest GPU from NVIDIA, and EVGA is providing six different video card models based on this new GPU. Let’s see how the SuperClocked model fared on our tests.

In the table below, you can see the six models that EVGA is releasing and how they compare to the standard GeForce GTX 660. The “Signature 2” models feature a custom cooling solution with two fans. All models use the same clock rate for the memory (6,008 MHz).

Model

Base Clock

Memory Configuration

MSRP

Standard GeForce GTX 660

980 MHz

2 GB

USD 230

SuperClocked 2 GB

1,046 MHz

2 GB

USD 230

SuperClocked 3 GB

1,046 MHz

3 GB

USD 270

SuperClocked 2 GB Signature 2

1,046 MHz

2 GB

USD 230

SuperClocked 3 GB Signature 2

1,046 MHz

3 GB

USD 270

FTW 2 GB

1,072 MHz

2 GB

NA

FTW 3 GB

1,072 MHz

3 GB

NA

FTW 2 GB Signature 2

1,072 MHz

2 GB

USD 240

FTW 3 GB Signature 2

1,072 MHz

3 GB

USD 280

At USD 230, the new GeForce GTX 660 is the quintessential mid-range video card, targeted to users who want to buy a powerful video card but don’t want to spend the money on an expensive high-end model. It comes to replace the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, and its main competitor is the Radeon HD 7850.

The new GeForce GTX 660 uses the PCI Express 3.0 interface, similarly to its main competitor, while the GeForce 560 Ti, which we also included in our comparisons, uses the PCI Express 2.0 interface. This new GPU has an automatic overclocking feature that increases the core clock from 980 MHz to 1,033 MHz when more performance is needed (1,046 MHz to 1,111 MHz on the EVGA’s SuperClocked model).

In the table below, we compare the main specifications for the video cards included in our review. The prices listed below were researched at Newegg.com and do not include rebates.

Video Card

Core Clock

Shader Clock

Memory Clock (Effective)

Memory Interface

Memory Transfer Rate

Memory

Shaders

DirectX

Price

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

822 MHz

1,644 MHz

4,008 MHz

256-bit

128.3 GB/s

1 GB GDDR5

384

11

USD 190 - 230

GeForce GTX 660

980 MHz

980 MHz

6,008 MHz

192-bit

144.2 GB/s

2 GB GDDR5

960

11

USD 230

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

1,046 MHz

1,046 MHz

6,008 MHz

192-bit

144.2 GB/s

2 GB GDDR5

960

11

USD 230

Radeon HD 7850

860 MHz

860 MHz

4.8 GHz

256-bit

153.6 GB/s

2 GB GDDR5

1,024

11.1

USD 200 - 230

You can compare the specs of these video cards with other video cards by taking a look at our “AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table” and “NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table” tutorials.

Now let’s take an in-depth look at the EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SuperClocked.

The EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SuperClocked

Below we have an overall look at the EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SuperClocked. It requires one six-pin auxiliary power connector.

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC
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Figure 1: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SuperClocked video card

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC
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Figure 2: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SuperClocked video card

The reviewed video card comes with one DVI-I connector, one DVI-D connector, one HDMI connector, and one DisplayPort connector.

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC
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Figure 3: Video connectors

The cooler uses a 65 mm radial fan placed beside an aluminum heatsink, which is connected to a copper base using an 8 mm heatpipe. The plate that holds the heatsink touches the memory chips located on the component side of the printed circuit board, but the memory chips located on the solder side of the printed circuit board don’t have any cooling mechanism. The GeForce GTX 660 has a TDP of 140 W, 10 W less than the TDP of the GeForce GTX 660 Ti.

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC
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Figure 4: The heatsink

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC
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Figure 5: The base of the heatsink

The EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SuperClocked (Cont’d)

In Figure 6, you can see the video card with its cooler removed. We were impressed by how short the printed circuit board is, at 6.7” (170 mm). The video card, however, is a little longer, at 9.5” (240 mm) because of the fan.

It uses a voltage regulator with four phases for the GPU and one phase for the memory chips. The voltage regulator circuit uses a digital design and is controlled by an NCP5395G chip. All coils use ferrite cores and all capacitors are solid.

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC
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Figure 6: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SuperClocked video card

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC
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Figure 7: Voltage regulator

The reviewed video card uses eight Samsung K4G20325FD-FC03 GDDR5 chips, each one storing 2 Gbit of data, comprising the 2 GB of memory available on this video card. These chips can run up to 6 GHz. On this video card, they are accessed at 6,008 MHz.

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC
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Figure 8: Memory chips

In Figure 9, you can see the accessories that come with this video card.

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC
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Figure 9: Accessories

Before seeing the performance results, let’s recap the main features of this video card.

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SuperClocked include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

How We Tested

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

Driver Versions

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin. Thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a very popular DirectX 9 game that was released in 2010. Though this game uses an old version of DirectX, the number of textures that can be represented on one screen can push most of the top-end graphics cards to their limits. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty uses its own physics engine that is bound to the CPU and thus does not benefit from PhysX.

We tested this game at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600. The “Graphics Quality” was set to “Extreme” and the “Texture Quality” was set to “Ultra.” We then used FRAPS to collect the frame rate of a replay on the “Unit Testing” custom map. We used a battle between very large armies to stress the video cards.

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

248.3

 

GeForce GTX 660

232.7

7%

Radeon HD 7850

218.7

14%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

210.6

18%

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

180.7

 

GeForce GTX 660

171.4

5%

Radeon HD 7850

138.4

31%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

133.5

35%

Far Cry 2

Released in 2008, Far Cry 2 is based on a game engine called Dunia, which is DirectX 10. We used the benchmarking utility that comes with this game at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600, setting overall quality to “ultra high,” maximizing all image quality settings, adjusting anti-aliasing to “8x,” and running the “Ranch Long” demo three times. The results below are expressed in frames per second and are an arithmetic average of the three results collected.

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

FarCry 2

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

96.5

 

GeForce GTX 660

91.5

5%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

82.5

17%

Radeon HD 7850

81.4

19%

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

FarCry 2

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

65.5

 

GeForce GTX 660

61.5

7%

Radeon HD 7850

57.6

14%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

55.2

19%

Aliens vs. Predator

Aliens vs. Predator is a DirectX 11 game that makes full use of tessellation and advanced shadow rendering. We used the Aliens vs. Predator Benchmark Tool developed by Rebellion. This program reads its configuration from a text file. (Our configuration files can be found here.) We ran this program at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600, with texture set at “very high,” shadows set at “medium,” anisotropic filtering set at “8x,” and anti-aliasing set at “2x.”

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

Aliens vs. Predator

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

50.2

 

GeForce GTX 660

48.1

4%

Radeon HD 7850

44.1

14%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

42.8

17%

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

Aliens vs. Predator 

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

39.8

 

GeForce GTX 660

35.8

11%

Radeon HD 7850

33.4

19%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

29.5

35%

DiRT3

DiRT3 is a DirectX 11 game. We measured performance using this game by running a race and then playing it back using FRAPS. We ran this game at 1920x1200 and 2560x1536 with image quality set to “ultra,” and with anti-aliasing set at “8xMSAA.”

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

DiRT3

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

72.2

 

GeForce GTX 660

69.6

4%

Radeon HD 7850

64.9

11%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

62.9

15%

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

DiRT3

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

60.8

 

GeForce GTX 660

55.8

9%

Radeon HD 7850

44.6

36%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

40.2

51%

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is another DirectX 11 game. We used the in-game introduction to measure the number of frames per second, using FRAPS. We ran the introduction in two resolutions, 1920x1200 and 2560x1536, maximizing all image quality settings, configuring anti-aliasing as “MLAA” and anisotropic filtering at “16x.”

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

189.4

 

GeForce GTX 660

179.4

6%

Radeon HD 7850

164.4

15%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

156.3

21%

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

148.2

 

GeForce GTX 660

132.4

12%

Radeon HD 7850

118.3

25%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

112.1

32%

Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3 is the latest installment in the Battlefield franchise released in 2011. It is based on the Frostbite 2 engine, which is DirectX 11. In order to measure performance using this game, we walked our way through the first half of the “Operation Swordbreaker” mission, measuring the number of frames per second using FRAPS. We ran this game at 1920x1200 and 2560x1536, maximizing all image quality settings, configuring anti-aliasing as “4xMSAA” and anisotropic filtering at “16x.”

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

Battlefield 3

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

62.5

 

GeForce GTX 660

60.6

3%

Radeon HD 7850

57.8

8%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

54.4

15%

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

Battlefield 3

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

48.8

 

GeForce GTX 660

44.3

10%

Radeon HD 7850

41.7

17%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

38.6

26%

3DMark 11 Professional

3DMark 11 Professional measures Shader 5.0 (i.e., DirectX 11) performance. We ran this program at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600, selecting the four graphics tests available and deselecting the other tests available. We used two image quality settings, “performance” and “extreme,” both at their default settings. The results being compared are the “GPU Score” achieved by each video card.

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

3DMark 11 - Performance

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

3409

 

GeForce GTX 660

3214

6%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

2766

23%

Radeon HD 7850

2748

24%

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

3DMark 11 - Performance

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

2096

 

GeForce GTX 660

1958

7%

Radeon HD 7850

1671

25%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

1589

32%

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

3DMark 11 - Extreme

1920x1200

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

1987

 

GeForce GTX 660

1914

4%

Radeon HD 7850

1667

19%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

1566

27%

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

3DMark 11 - Extreme

2560x1600

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

1360

 

GeForce GTX 660

1226

11%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

1128

21%

Radeon HD 7850

1093

24%

Media Espresso 6.5

Media Espresso is a video conversion program that uses the graphics processing unit of the video card to speed up the conversion process. We converted a 449 MB, 1920x1080i, 18,884 kbps, MPEG2 video file to a smaller 640x360, H.264, .MPG4 file for viewing on a portable device such as an iPhone or iPod Touch.

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

Media Espresso 6.5

Seconds

Difference

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC

30

 

GeForce GTX 660

31

3%

Radeon HD 7850

35

17%

GeForce GTX 560 Ti

36

20%

Conclusions

We were really impressed by the EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SuperClocked. It was between 3% and 12% faster than the standard GeForce GTX 660, and the best news: both cost the same. The reviewed video card was between 8% and 36% faster than its main competitor, the Radeon HD 7850, and between 15% and 51% faster than the video card it replaces, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti.

We highly recommend the EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SuperClocked for the user who is looking for a powerful video card but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on a high-end model.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/EVGA-GeForce-GTX-660-SuperClocked-Video-Card-Review/1636


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