There are currently three strong players in the sub-R3500 price range that contend for your wallet if you’re buying a new GPU: AMD’s HD6950, HD7850 2GB, the price-cut HD7870 2GB alongside Nvidia’s GTX560Ti and the GTX570. Its a no-brainer when choosing which side to go for, especially with that rather attractive pricing for the HD7870. When the GTX660 launches (probably next month) it’ll be contending for the performance crown in the sub-R3500 market.
Details aren’t concrete at this point in time but specs for the last of the GK104-based chips have been leaked previously (and should be taken with a pinch of salt). The card will probably be announced mid-way through August and will have either 1344 or 1152 CUDA cores, depending on how many shader modules are disabled. For comparison, the GTX670 ships with 1344 CUDA cores, so chopping off another shader module cluster is likely. Also likely is a 192-bit bus along with up to 1.5GB VRAM, all according to a report by SweClockers yesterday afternoon. If you’re holding out for one, I’d suggest waiting for the 2GB versions to start filtering out as 1.5GB of RAM may be a bottleneck for games that chew through that memory when you’re applying multiple levels of anti-aliasing.
As before with the GTX670 and GTX680, the GTX660 will be based off the Kepler architecture that restructures the GPU as you know it and streamlines the process of working through code, getting more work done in less time. The card will be capable of multi-monitor configurations and SLI, featuring GPU Boost and allowing more overclocking headroom. I’d expect performance to rival the HD7870 and at least eclipse the GTX580 in all benchmarks, with power consumption ranging anywhere from 140 to 160w. In fact, don’t be surprised if you see Dell’s Alienware X51 featuring this as an upgrade option sometime soon. It’ll be a big boon to system builders looking to fit a decent-performing rig into a ITX chassis for taking off to a LAN.
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