Today, NVIDIA launched a graphics card that’s packed with powerful high-end features, but will be available at an affordable price. This new card is called the GeForce GTX 660 Ti, and is based on the latest NVIDIA Kepler architecture (which debuted with the GeForce GTX 680).

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Here are some features and specs:

  • Cores: 1344
  • Base Clock: 915 MHz
  • Boost Clock: 980 MHz
  • Memory: 2 GB GDDR5
  • Form Factor: Dual Slot
  • Recommended Power Supply: 450 Watts
  • Thermal Design Power: 150 Watts
  • Power Connectors: 2 x 6-pin

This card can support up to four displays, and features the following connectors: Dual-DVI (2), HDMI (1), DisplayPort (1). Even if you aren’t going to drive four displays, it’s nice to know you have multiple connectivity options so that you won’t have to resort to adapters in most cases.

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I was able to get my hands on a GeForce GTX 660 Ti card prior to the product announcement, and decided to install it in the HP Z820 workstation that I’ve been using. Installation was extremely quick and easy (see video at the end of this post, a 36 second job!) and it worked great with the two 27” Samsung Series 9 displays that I’m using (2560x1440 resolution). Since many gamers run 1920 x 1080 resolution, I figured these “beyond HD” resolution displays would be a good test of the capabilities of this card. After installing the NVIDIA driver package, I had no problem setting up the multi-mon display properties and the default settings worked great.

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DirectX 11 Games

Since the GeForce GTX 660 Ti is targeted at gamers, I decided to see how some of the latest DirectX 11 games would perform with this card. I ran both Max Payne 3 and Battlefield 3, and both performed very well. I ran both games at max resolution (2560 x 1440) on the Samsung 27” displays connected to my HP Z820. These LPS displays make the scenes in the games look truly amazing. The level of detail at this resolution is impressive, and you can see why this latest crop of PC games has become so popular.

In order to ensure that these games work well with the GTX 660 Ti, NVIDIA has worked closely with some of the mainstream game studios in order to integrate hardware features with software features. A couple examples of this are advanced anti-aliasing, and tessellation improvements. TXAA is a powerful anti-aliasing technology (supported only on Kepler-based cards like the GTX 660 Ti) that helps to mitigate issues you’d typically see with objects that are distant in the game’s scene. Because of the scaling of this content at these distances, aliasing patterns can present themselves due to the traditional method of rendering these types of 3D scenes. TXAA enables these aliasing artifacts to be “smoothed out” which greatly helps reduce this kind of aliasing, especially when the scene is in motion.

Another powerful feature supported by the GTX 660 Ti is DirectX 11 tessellation. With this feature, the effective triangle count of objects in the game’s scene can be increased by advanced algorithms. This creates more natural looking objects and characters, especially when objects are close to the “camera” in the game’s environment.

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The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti video card will definitely appeal to the gaming Windows community due to the high performance and reasonable cost (look for pricing details at http://nvidia.com and through the companies that are producing cards based on the GeForce GTX 660 Ti design). I’m looking forward to trying out additional games and other applications with this card! Perhaps I’ll try more than two displays as well.

Finally, here’s a video that I put together that shows an install of the GTX 660 Ti, and also a quick demo of a DirectX 11 game in action (Max Payne 3):

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