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Gainward GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Phantom review

Gainward GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Phantom Review

Manufacturer: Gainward
UK Price (as reviewed):
£259.80 (inc VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): Currently unavailable

It was only last week that we looked at a GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB, in the form of Zotac's amp! Extreme Edition. Despite having a decent cooler and a hefty overclock, it still trailed the GTX 670 2GB even though the faster card costed just a fraction more. However, the market being what it is, prices have shifted now to the point where currently the cheapest GTX 670 2GB is around £290 again, meaning there's a slightly increased price difference between it and the £260 Gainward Phantom version of the GTX 660 Ti 2GB. With other board partners having versions of the same card for £40 less, however, it'll still need to overclock well and feature an effective cooler to justify its price.

Gainward GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Phantom review Gainward GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Phantom Review
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The last Gainward card we looked at was its Phantom edition of the GTX 670 2GB, and bar a few necessary alterations to the PCB the two cards are actually identical – not surprising given that the GTX 660 Ti is simply a GTX 670 2GB with a single disabled memory controller. It thus sports the same cooler with its industrial black box design, shrouded in a plastic casing that feels disappointingly cheap. Size wise, it takes up three expansion slots and measures 247mm in length, which makes it fairly massive compared to Zotac's dual slot, 193mm model.

As a brief recap, the GTX 660 Ti is a 28nm GK104 Kepler GPU with 1,344 stream processors and 112 texture units. Its three 64-bit memory controllers make up its 192-bit memory interface and active ROP count of 24. The Phantom card features the standard rear I/O panel, with dual DVI ports, a HDMI output and a DisplayPort serving video output duties.

Gainward GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Phantom review Gainward GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Phantom Review
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A 10 per cent core overclock gives the card a 1,006MHz core clock speed (1,084MHz boost), whilst the memory has only been given a tiny 25MHz (100MHz effective) bump over stock speeds to 1.527GHz (6.108GHz effective). These are the exact same overclocks featured on the Phantom GTX 670 2GB too, and lends the card 146.6GB/s of total memory bandwidth.

Continuing the similarities between the Phantom GTX 670 2GB and this card is the PCB, which is identical bar the memory chip placement. As with every other GTX 660 Ti 2GB card we've seen, the two 256MB GDDR5 memory chips that would traditionally serve the fourth memory controller have been double stacked on the third memory controller and moved to the rear of the PCB as a result. Elsewhere, the PCB has dual SLI connections and sports the usual four GPU VRMs and two for the memory, for a total of 6+1 phase power. The card also requires two six-pin PCI-E power connections to run.

Gainward GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Phantom review Gainward GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Phantom Review Gainward GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Phantom review Gainward GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Phantom Review
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A separate aluminium heatsink sits atop the six VRMs, and the GPU is cooled again by the same cooler used in the Phantom GTX 670 2GB. As well as the fin stack, the contact plate is also aluminium and only makes direct contact with the GPU, not the memory chips. It also has just three copper heat pipes for heat transfer duties, and is cooled by two 80mm fans that exhaust some of their air back into your case. While the six front mounted memory chips will receive some airflow from the fans, the two on the rear are left to fend for themselves.

Specifications
  • Graphics processor Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB, 1,006MHz (boosting to 1,084MHz)
  • Pipeline 1,344 stream processors, 112 texture units, 24 ROPs
  • Memory 2GB GDDR5, 6.108GHz effective
  • Bandwidth 146.6GB/sec, 192-bit interface
  • Compatibility DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4.1
  • Outputs/Inputs 2 x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
  • Power connections 2 x 6-pin PCI-E, top-mounted
  • Size 247mm, triple slot
  • Warranty Two years