Gigabyte’s GTX 660 is similar to MSI’s board in that it’s overclocked and has a cooler with a silly name—Windforce. The board is clocked at the same base and boost clock speeds as the MSI card, too, running at 1,033MHz and 1,098MHz, respectively. The cooler features four copper heat pipes, aluminum fins, and two large 10cm fans breathing down on the whole shebang. Even though the board sports a smallish 7.5-inch PCB, the cooling apparatus is so large that it’s 2-inches longer than the PCB and extends the length of the card to 9.5 inches. With a cooler this large you expect it to perform quite well, and it does. It kept the card absolutely silent even when the board was being tortured in the Lab, and allowed it to run at a moderately cool 63 C under full load.
This small gaming PC isn't as wee as our Wee Ass-Kicking Machine, but it kicks more ass
Way back in December 2010, we built an awesome Mini-ITX gaming rig dubbed the Wee Ass-Kicking Machine. It featured a Core i7-870 CPU, a GeForce GTX 460 GPU, 4GB of DDR3, a 1TB hard drive, and a 120GB SSD—all crammed into a Silverstone SG07 chassis not much larger than a shoebox. The total cost? Around $1,600 (at the time).
It’s, uh, been a while since then, though, and I thought it was high time we built another Mini-ITX gaming rig. This one’s not quite as small, but it’s got a lot more oomph. We’re using the BitFenix Prodigy, which has room for a full-size ATX PSU, scads of hard drives, and even a 240mm radiator (if you swing that way), while still being small enough to be lugged around by its convenient carrying handles.
This week it’s a full-house in the Podcast room as Deputy Editor Gordon Ung is back from vacation (and IDF) and is joined by Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang, Editor Josh Norem and our new intern Chris Zele who was offered the gig despite previously working for the Geek Squad at Best Buy.
The GTX 660 is the first 28nm Kepler board based on a new GPU dubbed GK106, and the final 6-series card to support high-performance features like GPU Boost and SLI. Compared to the GTX 660 Ti, the GTX 660 offers the same 2GB of DDR5 memory, the same 192-bit memory interface, and the same number of ROP units, but loses two SMX units compared to the GTX 660 Ti, giving it just 960 CUDA cores compared to 1,344 in the previous cards (and the 1,536 in the GTX 680). At $230 it’s our new favorite GPU in the price-to-performance category.
Technology and Lindsay Lohan don't seem to have a lot in common, but like the oft troubled celebrity, technology seems to always age faster than anyone thought possible. In a sense, there's no such thing as future proofing. We bring this up because a pair of popular mid-range graphics cards from yesterday -- Nvidia' GeForce GTX 560 and 550 parts -- are on the verge of becoming obsolete tomorrow.
It seemed like a foregone conclusion that Nvidia's GeForce GTX 660 Ti would be based on the GPU maker's 28nm Kepler architecture, and lest there was any lingering doubt, a Swedish overclocking site got its hands on a spec sheet that seemingly confirms as much. If the information is correct, the GTX 660 Ti is essentially a GTX 670 card with a narrower memory bus (192-bit versus 256-bit). Here's what we know.
Nvidia's engineers sure have been busy recently! Just days after releasing a WHQL-certified driver designed specifically for the Windows 8 Release Preview, a new beta driver has landed in our laps today. The GeForce 304.79 beta drivers are important for a couple of different reasons: they're the first drivers to enable TXAA anti-aliasing as well as the first unified Windows drivers to integrate Windows 8 in with Windows XP, 7 and Vista. The drivers are promised to work with notebooks and desktops alike.
Playing around with operating systems in their beta stages can be problematic when it comes to driver support, as Windows 8-rocking gamers can no doubt attest; the graphics card beta drivers released for the various Previews haven't exactly been bug-free. Those error-rife days may be in the past for GeForce owners now that Nvidia has released new WHQL-certified drivers for the Windows 8 Release Preview.
Nvidia's rolled out its latest iteration of beta drivers, and these looks like a must-have for GTX 600-series owners. In addition to the usual performance tweaks and added SLI and 3D Vision profiles for GTX 400, 500 and 600-series cards, the GeForce 304.48 beta drivers pack in fixes for some troublesome problems that have been irking GeForce GTX 600 adopters.
Windows 8 Release Preview up and running? Check. Nvidia GeForce graphics card? Check. Appropriate GPU drivers for Windows 8? You can check that one off as well, assuming you're running Windows 8 with a GeForce graphics card. If so, Nvidia's new GeForce R302 preview driver is just for you. Bear in mind that it's to be used only with the Win 8 Release Preview build, so if you're rocking an earlier version, these aren't the drivers for you.