We are always clamoring for the “next big thing”, the biggest, brightest and the best. It really makes little difference what we are talking about, followers of a subject get positively rabid with anticipation for the next flagship. Tech followers naturally follow suit. When Intel is working on a new chip, AMD is threatening to return to relevance with FX processors or, seemingly more importantly, when the AMD/nVidia war is about to crown a new FPS king, tech headlines are full of news, leaks and anticipation. The recent HD 7970 launch, followed by the GTX 680, was especially interesting. AMD launched a card with absolutely mammoth performance, compared to past generations, making it look like nVidia would be hard pressed to fight back. But fight back they did, with the GTX 680 achieving previously unseen performance at astounding efficiency levels. Truth be told, these flagships weren’t actually the pieces with the greatest real anticipation. They were more of a foreshadowing to the real prizes to come.
The simple truth is that the greatest anticipation comes from the mid-priced cards, simply because they are going to be the pieces actually used by most. The flagships are a great predictor of what one can expect from them, but seeing a $300 card positively smoke the $600 card from six months ago is what most people want to see. With the performance of the GTX 680 as a barometer, the expectancy surrounding the GTX 660 Ti has been astounding. Using a GK104 at its core, the 660 Ti has the promise to stack up with the big boys at a lower price. CUDA cores are cut slightly from the 680 and 670 to 1344, and memory bus is dropped from 256 to 192 bit, but the clock speeds remain high at 915MHz with a 980MHz Boost Clock in stock configuration. With specs like that, and an announced $329 price point, it doesn’t take much to realize that the GTX 660 Ti looks poised to absolutely turn the mid-priced gaming market upside down.
Straight out of the gates, Gigabyte is introducing the non-reference GTX 660 Ti 2GB OC Edition. The Gigabyte 660 Ti OC Edition takes the already impressive 660 Ti GPU, mates it with its proven Ultra Durable platform, and gives it a hefty factory OC to 1032MHz Base and 1111MHz Boost Clock. Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable platform uses Japanese Solid Caps, 2oz of copper on the PCB, ferrite core metal chokes and 100% tested 1st Tier Memory. To keep the OC cool, the Windforce 2X Design is used with the Triangle Cool heatsink using two 8mm copper heatpipes and aluminum fin array. Gigabyte uses 2048MB of GDDR5 operating at 6008MHz on board. With dual link DVI-I, DVI-D, DisplayPort and HDMI, the Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti supports up to four displays simultaneously. PCIe 3.0 is native, as is SLI support for up to three cards. Following in the GK104 pattern, the Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti is incredibly power efficient, requiring only two 75 watt 6-pin PCIe connectors.