Another GK104 Option for $299
If you missed our live stream with PC Perspective's Ryan Shrout and NVIDIA's Tom Petersen discussing the new GeForce GTX 660 Ti you can find the replay at this link!!
While NVIDIA doesn't like us to use the codenames anymore, very few GPUs are as flexible and as stout as the GK104. Originally released with the GTX 680 and then with the dual-GPU beast known as the GTX 690 and THEN with the more modestly priced GTX 670, this single chip has caused AMD quite a few headaches. It appears things will only be worse with the release of the new GeForce GTX 660 Ti today, once again powered by GK104 and the Kepler architecture at the $299 price point.
While many PC gamers lament about the lack of games that really push hardware today, NVIDIA has been promoting the GTX 660 Ti as the upgrade option of choice for gamers on a 2 -4 year cycle. Back in 2008 the GTX 260 was the mid-range enthusiast option while in 2010 it was the GTX 470 based on Fermi. NVIDIA claims GTX 260 users will see more than 3x the performance increase with the 660 Ti all while generating those pixels more efficiently.
I mentioned that the GeForce GTX 660 Ti was based on GK104 and what you mind find interesting is that it is nearly identical to the specifications of the GTX 670. Both utilize 7 SMXs for a total of 1344 stream processors or CUDA cores and both run at a reference clock speed of 915 MHz base and 980 MHz Boost. Both include 112 texture units though the GeForce GTX 660 Ti does see a drop in ROP count from 32 to 24 and L2 cache drops from 512KB to 384KB. Why?
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 15, 2012 - 01:35 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 660ti, gpu boost, gpu
Gamers have been eagerly awaiting the release of the midrange NVIDIA graphics card thanks to some rather enticing rumors and leaks. Due to launch sometime soon, the GTX 660 Ti is packing some quality hardware and may be the next 8800GT as far as popularity levels with gamers craving the best price/performance. However, that is dependent on pricing–which has been up in the air for a while. Rumored prices have included an MSRP of $349 and retail pre-orders for $299 and just under $400 (and guesses everywhere in between).
US-based computer retailer CompUSA has provided us with further information that suggests the price will, in fact, be the ever-desired $299 price point rather than previous rumors that suggested it would be priced closer to the GTX 670. Gamers rejoice!
Specifically, a reference version of the PNY-manufactured NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti recently appears on CompUSA’s website where customers could purchase it. This card is listed as being model number “VCGGTX660TXPB-C Bundle.” While it is unclear what the “-C” designator means, it is more proof that it is the same (or a very similar) model as the card leaked by MacMall (when it showed up for pre-order ahead of the release date). Speaking of bundles, the CompUSA card gets even better as it is the PNY GTX 660 Ti and a game coupon for Borderlands 2 for the $299 price–not bad at all.
While I have not personally ordered one (so I can’t confirm if CompUSA will actually sell it to me ahead of the official release or if it was just a mistake on its part for making the store page live early), you can try to get your hands on the 660 Ti now for $299 USD.
I’m extremely happy to see the $299 price, and I look forward to see the cards from other manufacturers. Custom and factory overclocked cards should also be interesting as far as pricing and where they fit compared to saving up a bit more money and simply going with a GTX 670. What do you think, will you be picking one of these graphics cards up?
Overclocked and 4GB Strong
Even though the Kepler GK104 GPU is now matured in the market, there is still a ton of life left in this not-so-small chip and Galaxy sent us a new graphics card to demonstrate just that. The Galaxy GeForce GTX 670 GC 4GB card that we are reviewing today takes the GTX 670 GPU (originally released and reviewed on May 10th) and juices it up on two different fronts: clock rates and memory capacity.
The Galaxy GTX 670 GC 4GB graphics card is based on GK104 as mentioned below and meets most of the same specifications as the reference GTX 670. That includes 1344 CUDA cores or stream processors, 112 texture units and 32 ROP units along with a 256-bit GDDR5 memory bus.
The GC title indicates that the Galaxy GTX 670 GC 4GB is overclocked as well - this card runs at 1006 MHz base clock, 1085 MHz Boost clock and 1500 MHz memory clock. Compared to the defaults of 915 MHz, 980 MHz and 1500 MHz (respectively) this Galaxy model gets a 10% increase in clock speed though we'll see how much that translates into gaming performance as we go through our review.
Of course, also in the title of the review, the Galaxy GTX 670 GC includes 4GB of frame buffer, twice as much as the reference cards. The goal is obviously to attract gamers with high resolution screens (2560x1600 or 2560x1440) as well as users interested in triple panel NVIDIA Surround gaming. We test both of those resolutions in our game collection on the following pages to see just how that works out.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | August 10, 2012 - 05:34 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tesla, quadro, nvidia, maximus, kepler, gk110
At SIGGRAPH 2012 NVIDIA announced a refresh of its Maximus workstation platform technology. Maximus is a technology aimed at professionals that work with simulations or content creation and editing. The updated platform features a Tesla K20 accelerator card as well as a Kepler-based NVIDIA Quadro K5000 graphics card. The K5000 in particular has 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus and 1536 CUDA cores. NVIDIA states that the Quadro graphics card has 2.1 Teraflops of single precision compute power and draws 122 watts.
The K20 on the other hand features a GK110 Kepler GPU with Dynamic Parallelism and Hyper Q features that reportedly enable more than 1 Teraflop of peak double precision performance. Unfortunately, we do not know much more than that on the new K20 Tesla card as the exact specifications are still listed as “to be announced.” It is slated for a Q4 2012 release.
The Quadro K5000 workstation GPU
Beyond the hardware itself, the company’s Maximus platform has received software support from several high-profile software companies and system integrators. Some of the companies that certify and support Maximus are Adobe, Autodesk, Mathworks, and Paradigm among others. Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, and Supermicro are OEMs that support the hardware and manufacture Maximus-powered workstations.
The Tesla K20 accelerator card.
The second-generation Maximus technology will be available in desktop workstations as early as December 2012. Further, the NVIDIA Quadro K5000 will be available for purchase as a separate discrete card in October 2012 for $2,249 (MSRP). The Tesla K20 will (for now) only be available integrated in a workstation, but NVIDIA lists the MSRP at $3,199.
More information on the NVIDIA Maximus refresh can be found in the company’s press release.
Subject: General Tech | August 9, 2012 - 07:06 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tegra 3, nvidia, kepler, financial results
Popular graphics card manufacturer NVIDIA announced its second quarter financial results for fiscal year 2013 in a conference call today. While some aspects of the business delivered less revenue than expected, its mobile Tegra and desktop/notebook graphics card divisions were up. In total, the company brought in a 13% quarter-over-quarter increase and $1.04 billion in revenue.
Tregra is proving a successful product for NVIDIA.
NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang was part of the conference call today and he seemed positive about the company’s performance. He stated that “Our investments in mobile computing and visual computing are both paying off.” Thanks to the company’s successful 28nm Kepler architecture–and despite early yield issues–NVIDIA managed strong GeForce graphics card sales and a increased notebook graphics market share. The company attributes this increase to new Kepler-based notebook models from Acer, Apple, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and Sony.
On the mobile front, NVIDIA has seen several successes in securing design wins. One such device is Google’s new 7” Nexus 7 tablet that is proving to be a popular device–running NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 processor. The company’s Tegra 3 SoC is further included in the upcoming Surface tablet from Microsoft.
While they do not have many numbers on it yet, the company announced its cloud computing technologies at the GPU Technology Conference earlier this year. The mobile and cloud compute tech positions the company “right at the center of the fastest growing segments of computing,” according to Jen-Hsun Huang.
The company’s Professional Solutions Business has not done well for the company, but they are hoping to turn it around with new Tesla products and the planned NVIDIA Maximus technology.
Compared to the previous quarter (Q1 FY13), the company’s operating expenses have increased from $390.5 million to $401.1 million–a 2.7% increase. Fortunately, the company still managed to pull off a 97% increase in net income from $60.4 million to $119 million. Earnings per share have also increased from $.10 to $.19 which is likely to please shareholders. As far as GAAP revenue is concerned, it is up from the $924.9 million of the previous quarter.
Going into the third quarter, NVIDIA expects to see increased revenue between $1.15 billion and $1.25 billion. The company does not expect see any noticeable changes in gross margins. Further, they expect operating expenses to decrease to be approximately $350 million–compared to $401.1 million in the previous quarter.
It seems like desktop graphics and Tegra mobile chips are the company’s big winners this quarter. The increased expected revenue is likely NVIDIAs expectation that it will sell more GeForce graphics cards once the mid-range Kepler cards are more fleshed out. Overall, it looks like things are good for NVIDIA.
You can listen to the full conference call here.
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 6, 2012 - 12:56 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: pny, nvidia, kepler, gtx 660 Ti, geforce
I reported earlier today that a Swedish retailer had listed a GTX 660 Ti for pre-order at 2,604 SEK (~$387). Assuming that figure was legitimate, it puts a serious hurt on the dreams of a $300 gaming card that performs very closely to the more expensive GTX 670 Kepler-based NVIDIA GPU. Bringing some of that hope back is graphics card news and reviews website Videocardz that claims to have found US-retailer based figures for the upcoming NVIDIA graphics card. In two screenshots, the site captured a page from what appears to be Cost Central that lists the MSRP of the GTX 660 Ti at $349.99. Even better is the second screenshot. It shows a–likely reference design–PNY Technologies GTX 660 Ti for $299.99 USD. The model number listed on both sites is VCGGTX660TXPB, which seems to indicate that it is being sold for less than MSRP over at MacMall.com.
The MSRP does further suggest that most graphics cards should be closer to $400 than $300, however. Especially for a new product, the MSRP is usually a good indication of where prices are centered around. With an MSRP of $349.99 for what is likely a reference card, custom designs should be more expensive and may even push that $400 mark.
On the other hand, it may yet be possible to snag a small number of designs for closer to $300 from some retailers with some shopping around and instant rebates, but it is difficult to say with 100% certainty either way until the cards are official and they are actually purchasable on major retailers’ websites.
In this case, I’m hoping to be proven wrong, as I do want to see a $300 GPU with hardware specifications that are very close to the GTX 670! Now that we have US pricing, it appears that the launch is imminent; therefore, it should be possible to get your hands on one–and see the final prices–very soon.
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 5, 2012 - 08:33 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 660ti, graphics cards, gaming
Update: US-based retailers are starting to list the GTX 660 Ti as well, and at least one card is listed for $299, so there may be some hope despite the $349.99 MSRP. See the $299 PNY GTX 660 Ti graphics card here.
The GTX 660 Ti is an NVIDIA Kepler-based graphics card that has seen several leaks and even a full review ahead of official release. In the leaked review, rumored specifications were confirmed, and the card was shown to be very close to the existing GTX 670 GPU. Sometimes it was merely a couple of frames behind the $400+ GPU.
On the podcast, Ryan, Josh, and Jeremy speculated that–should the GTX 660 Ti be priced closer to the $300 mark in the rumored $300-400 pricing–it would be a very desirable gaming graphics card. Hardware-wise, the GTX 660 Ti is nearly identical to the GTX 670, and only sees a reduction in the memory bus from 256-bit to 192-bit. For a $100 cheaper card, gamers would be getting extremely close to the performance of the much more expensive GTX 670 Kepler card.
Unfortunately, it may not be the gaming card that people have been hoping for. According to Tom’s Hardware, a Swedish retailer has listed the GTX 660 Ti on its website for pre-orders at just under $400. At that price point, the GTX 660 Ti is much less desirable, and will be hard to justify versus springing for the GTX 670 for a bit more money.
Here’s hoping that the pre-order pricing is simply higher than the prices people will see once actual cards from NVIDIA and partners are officially released en masse. Do you think that there is still hope for the GTX 660 Ti as the gaming card of choice, or will you be looking elsewhere?
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 31, 2012 - 03:03 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 670, gtx 660ti, graphics cards
Last week, additional information leaked about the upcoming Kepler-based NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti graphics card. Those rumors suggested that the GPU would be very similar to the one found in existing GTX 670 (which we recently reviewed).
We speculated that the GTX 660 Ti could be an awesome card, assuming the price was right. While we do not have any pricing information–the best guess from rumors is that it is in the $300 to $400 range–as a result of Tweaktown breaking the release date, we now know that the latest rumors were true.
The GTX 660Ti will feature 1344 CUDA cores and 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 192-bit memory bus. This puts the GTX 660 Ti very close to the current 670 in terms of potential performance. According to the leaked benchmarks, that seems to be the case. The GTX 660 Ti is only a couple of frames behind the GTX 670 in Just Cause 2 and Dirt 3, for example. Considering this card is likely to use a bit less power and cost less, it is shaping up to be a rather desirable card. If this ends up being on the low end of the $300-400 range (rumors suggest otherwise, however), I suspect many gamers are going to opt for this new Kepler card rather than the more expensive and only very slightly faster GTX 670.
What do you think about the GTX 660 Ti, is the card you were hoping for?
Subject: General Tech | July 26, 2012 - 02:16 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: SFF, retro, podcast, nvidia, llano, kepler, Intel, amd, 7870 Hawk, 7870, 1999
PC Perspective Podcast #211 - 07/26/2012
Join us this week as we talk about the MSI HD 7870 HAWK, Building a Gaming PC from 1999, a Llano SFF System Build and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
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- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malvantano
This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
Program length: 0:53:21
- PCPer moving to pcper.com/live
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- Quakecon - Hardware Workshop @ pcper.com/workshop (August 4th, 2012, 2pm CT)
Join me this weekend at Fry's!!
- Fry's Electronics, 1077 East Arques Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Podcast topics of discussion:
- Week in Reviews:
- 0:21:20 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
News items of interest:
- 0:22:15 ECS Pre-announced AMD AMP Memory profiles
- 0:25:10 New passive CPU cooler can handle 100w
- 0:27:15 ARM, TSMC to Produce 64-bit Processors With 3D Transistors
- 0:30:20 Falcon Ridge to double Thunderbolt performance
- 0:31:40 Drobo Thunderbolt prices
- 0:35:10 Radeon HD 7990 delayed again probably
- 0:36:35 New Dawn Demo from NVIDIA
- 0:40:00 Check out this cool DX11 demo video
- 0:44:15 Intel and AMD financials
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- Quakecon coverage at pcper.com/workshop. Hope to see you there!
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 25, 2012 - 08:55 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: A New Dawn, video, nvidia, kepler
NVIDIA has released a demo for their latest GPUs which might be a little familiar for long-time PC gamers. A New Dawn is a remake of their Dawn demo for the GeForce FX line of graphics processors -- now with less fake Subsurface Scattering.
What better way to gratify your purchases than scantily clad demihumans?
It has been just months shy of a decade ago when NVIDIA revealed Dawn to attendees of the 2002 Game Developer’s Conference. Dawn, titled after both lead character as well as setting, was set to promote NVIDIA’s GeForce FX line of graphics processors.
Less lensflare than a dance-pop video.
Every day I'm fluttering -- ROFL.
A New Dawn demonstrates the progression between early-stage DirectX 9 through current DirectX 11.1 hardware. Dawn has been remodeled and reskinned with actual subsurface scattering to liven up her skin; fine-grained hair with blur shaders to prevent aliasing; and certainly no extra clothing. Her environment is modeled and tessellated -- a step up from the box she used to reside in.
A New Dawn is available for download from NVIDIA’s website if your system meets the minimum specifications -- which, if you have a Kepler GPU, is quite forgiving for a system that a Kepler GPU would make sense to be in.