Everybody wants the new NVIDIA Kepler GTX 680 or 670 video cards but let’s face it, odds are you probably can’t afford one. With the economy being in the shape it is in, especially if you are a typewriter repairman, a cobbler, a door-to-door encyclopedia Britannica salesman, or a Y2K specialist, you are most likely finding it hard to justify spending over $400 for a graphics card and are just waiting for the next bang-for-buck GPU release. Traditionally, the GeForce video cards in the $200 range offer the best performance-per-dollar while cards in the lower high-end/upper mainstream have been less than impressive. Some of them downright suck and didn’t make sense for anyone to buy them when they were released. The GTX 465, for example, was hot, loud, consumed too much power and under-performed. Thankfully, NVIDIA released the impressive GTX 560Ti the following year and erased all doubts regarding the potential of the Fermi architecture.
With the new Kepler GTX 660Ti, NVIDIA hopes to improve the performance further compared to Fermi-refreshed 500 series video cards. Built from the same GK104 core as the GTX 680, the GTX 660Ti packs a heavy punch for such a lightweight card, living up to the ‘Titanium’ namesake. It is a 150W TDP card, similar to the GTS 450, but is in fact up to twice as fast on average as a GTX 470. The GTX 660Ti is equipped with 1344 CUDA cores, seven SMX units and 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 192-bit bus width, which is almost identical to the GTX 670 except for the smaller bus width. NVIDIA AIBs are also releasing pre-overclocked variants that have 1GHz+ base clocks and one of them is MSI, offering a Power Edition variant designed for performance tuners who are more discerning of their budget.
The MSI GTX 660Ti OC Power Edition video card ships with a base clock of 1019 MHz and 6008 MHz memory clock. The GTX 660Ti OC Power Edition, much like the high-end enthusiast class Lightning series video cards, is capable of MSI’s triple overvoltage feature and has an enhanced 5+2 PWM design for superior overclocking performance. The PCB components used on the GTX 660Ti OC Power Edition also carry MSI's Military Class III stamp, guaranteeing longer life and better efficiency than reference designs. In order to sufficiently cool the GTX 660Ti OC Power Edition video card while overclocking, MSI utilizes their Twin Frozr IV design which consists of a form-in-one PCB component heatsink, a nickel-plated copper base heatsink, high-airflow propeller design and dual 80mm PWM fans.