by Rob Williams on September 14, 2012 in Graphics & Displays
With the release of its GeForce GTX 660, NVIDIA has delivered what we feel to be one of the most attractive Kepler offerings to date. It may be a step-down from the Ti edition released last month, but the GTX 660 delivers great performance across the board, and priced at $229, it won’t break the bank.
At Techgage, we strive to make sure our results are as accurate as possible. Our testing is rigorous and time-consuming, but we feel the effort is worth it. In an attempt to leave no question unanswered, this page contains not only our testbed specifications, but also a detailed look at how we conduct our testing.
The below table lists our testing machine’s hardware, which remains unchanged throughout all GPU testing, minus the graphics card. Each card used for comparison is also listed here, along with the driver version used.
||Graphics Card Test System
||Intel Core i7-3960X – Six-Core, 4.20GHz, 1.35v
||GIGABYTE G1. Assassin 2 (X79)
||Corsair Dominator GT 4x4GB – DDR3-2133
||AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB (Catalyst 12.8)
AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB (Catalyst 12.7)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 2GB (GeForce 306.23)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2GB (306.02)
||On-Board Creative X-Fi Audio
||Kingston HyperX 240GB Solid-State Drive
||Corsair Obsidian 700D Full-Tower
||Corsair H70 Liquid Cooler
||Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
When preparing our testbeds for any type of performance testing, we follow these guidelines:
- No power-saving options are enabled in the motherboard’s BIOS.
- No virus scanner or firewall is installed.
- The OS is kept clean; no scrap files are left in between runs.
- Machine has proper airflow and the room temperature is 80°F (27°C) or less.
To aide with the goal of keeping accurate and repeatable results, we alter certain services in Windows 7 from starting up at boot. This is due to the fact that these services have the tendency to start up in the background without notice, potentially causing inaccurate test results. For example, disabling “Windows Search” turns off the OS’ indexing which can at times utilize the hard drive and memory more than we’d like.
The services we disable are:
- Windows Defender
- Windows Firewall
- Windows Search
- Windows Update
Game settings will be tackled on the individual game pages.