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.
Although we generally shun automated gaming benchmarks, we do like to run at least one to see how our GPUs scale when used in a ‘timedemo’-type scenario. Futuremark’s 3DMark 11 is without question the best such test on the market, and it’s a joy to use, and watch. The folks at Futuremark are experts in what they do, and they really know how to push that hardware of yours to its limit.
Similar to a real game, 3DMark 11 offers many configuration options, although many (including us) prefer to stick to the profiles which include Performance, and Extreme. Depending on which one you choose, the graphic options are tweaked accordingly, as well as the resolution. As you’d expect, the better the profile, the more intensive the test. The benchmark doesn’t natively support 2560×1600, so to benchmark with that, we choose the Extreme profile and simply change the resolution.
Through our normal benchmarks, both the GTX 660 and HD 7850 have scaled pretty much evenly, and 3DMark 11 backs all that up. In the best case, the GTX 660 will perform about 35% faster than the HD 7850 – not bad given the slim price difference.