Gigabyte GTX660Ti Windforce Review
Technology is still happily following Moore's Law. Every new generation is so much faster than the last it's difficult to keep up. In some ways it's actually better to just stick with the midrange cards, because the premium models will be outperformed so much by the next batch that it's pointless to spend a fortune on an expensive card.
There is one element of the current generation that hasn't been so beneficial though, and that's the pricing. When we first saw the GTX680 and HD7970 prices we were shocked at how much they were, but hoping that the usual midrange ones would remain as affordable as ever. Then the GTX670 appeared and it, although powerful, still wasn't exactly within the pocket of the majority of people. Now, with the GTX660Ti, we're still finding it difficult to explain where the card fits in the grand scheme of things.
Performance is only average in our synthetic benchmarks, but in gaming it's generally up there with anything else that you care to choose. Of course certain games are better than others, so if there is a particular title that you're desperate to see in all its glory then you have to look carefully, but generally it's fair to say that the GTX660Ti has you covered.
So when looking at the performance alone it's very close to a GTX670, so it should be a bargain, right?
Except the price is also really close to a GTX670. Pricing is only rumoured at the time of writing this, but we expect it to come in around £270. That's not exactly midrange pricing, even if the performance is good. We can't see why you wouldn't save the little extra and get the more powerful and well-rounded GTX670. nVidia claim in their literature that this is in the same segment as the HD7870, but with the performance of a HD7950. Yes in terms of the amount of models above it that's true. It's the third card in the single-GPU range. But if the price is to be believed it's not remotely close to either of those, and is actually competing with a stock HD7970. Given how powerful that card is, and how much overclocking headroom is available from AMDs behemoth, it's not even close. The GTX660Ti is either £50 too much, or 15FPS too weak in performance.
Back to the specifics of the Gigabyte Windforce card itself it is unquestionably a mixed bag. The cooler is ugly. There is no two ways about it. It doesn't look at all as if it was designed for this card. But it performs excellently, keeping the GTX660Ti cool in all scenarios and, most importantly, it's whisper quiet even under full loading. It's definitely a case of function out-doing form.
So all in all it's a great gaming card, and if those final few notes needed to put a GTX670 in your rig are too much to shoot for then it's the most affordable nVidia card. Realistically though if you're looking for power on a budget you'd be better off with an AMD HD7950. Still you can't deny the results, and for that reason we give it our OC3D Gamers Choice award.