- Packaging and Specification
- Closer Look Part 1
- Closer Look Part 2
- Test bench and testing methodology
- Futuremark Benchmarks
- Cinebench OpenGL Benchmarks
- Catzilla Benchmark
- Unigine Heavens DX11 Benchmark
- Unigine Valley 1.0 Benchmark
- Battlefield 3 (Operation Swordfish) Benchmark
- Dirt 3 DX11 Benchmark
- Sleeping Dogs DX11 Benchmark
- Passion Leads Army (Unreal 3 Engine) Benchmark
- Resident Evil 5 DX10 Benchmark
- Resident Evil 6 DX9.0c Benchmark
- Sniper Elite V2 DX11 Benchmark
- View All
Asus’ DirectCU II graphic cards have made a good impression (however it should be noted that Asus is the only one who is sending the card without any condition as how one-or-two brands put forward in the past). Not only they use good fans and a well made heatsink with the direct heatpipe method, but also a heatsink which can be removed and cleaned easily. The PCB arrangement is very clean and organized.
They also do use high quality components. They do use Digital VRM which uses the voltage regulators on the card to reduce power noise and efficiency, together with Super Alloy chokes. Asus have their own branded overclocking software and monitoring utility, not to mention their ROG branded GPU-Z tool. One thing that I do like is the automatic driver and BIOS checker on their utility.
Rest of the features? They’re from Nvidia: PCIe 3.0 support, Nvidia GPU Boost, Nvidia 3DVision, Adaptive V-Sync, PhysX, etc.
The only Graphic card that I’ve received from Asus for evaluation purposes which had a proper packaging (to my knowledge) was Asus’ GTX 650Ti DirectCU II card. This card did come with the carton box, but the card wrapped like a ‘bubble-wrap Shwarma’ or something close enough. I see it as an important part considering that a single card takes good trip from the manufacturing factory to its import channels and then from distributors to retailers who sell it to end users who either pick up the card or get the retailer ship it to them.
But there have been times when things get shipped to others and at times some of the reviewers manage to misplace something or other. At one time I got a box of SSD drive without the SSD in it.
In any case, Asus does a very good job in packaging. Contains all the information an end users like to see: Specifications, features, connectors and even warranty period.
As far as what I can find, there are about 7 version of these cards from Asus alone. Specification of ALL the cards are as follows:
There are many variant depending on the memory, Core and memory clock, Asus’ features and dimensions. The one which is reviewed is the GTX 660 TI-DC2T-2GD5.
Looks wise, the card looks any Asus card with the DirectCU II cooler, which comes with 2x fans and with nickel plated heatpipes can be seen on the sides. Asus protects its connectors using these rubber covers on the SLI and PCIe interface. If you look near the PCIe interface (right) you will see a small fuse with a strip of green line on it which is usually acts as a over protection circuit.
With the Asus cards, you get the same outputs throughout their GTX660Ti variants: a vent, DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI-I where you can use the VGA adaptor.
As you can notice it easily, this is a dual slot graphic card. The actual sink is slightly longer than the PCB.
Once they’re dismantled:
The heatsink is very easy to remove, in case you require to do so to clean the card properly.
The plastic casing and the heatsink are separate units that can be easily detached using a Philips screw driver. The plastic which mounts 2x fans and the heatsink with 3x nickel plated heatpipes with copper direct heatpipe for better heat transfer and dissipation from the GPU’s core and thermal paste and a strip of black coloured pad to ensure proper contact.
The OEM of the fans is a company called ‘First D’. I couldn’t really find anything about this fan via online. But they come with a set of 11 blades each.
One the PCB, there’s a black coloured passive sink which is secured firmly on the card, protecting the MOSFETs from within.
Once 2x screws are removed, the sink comes out fairly easily. There’s a thermal pad that’s between the MOSFETs and the sink.
On the base where its over the PCB (Left) is where there are 2x bars to screw the heatsink against the plastic casing and another 4x screw mounts around the core area for securing the heatsink against the core. The copper direct heatpipe has a (by the feel of it) a good quality thermal paste. One the other side of the PCB is where there will be strips for providing better mounting of the card.
This heatsink made a very good impression. Easily to remove and easily to clean, re-apply TIM and re-install, for those who wish to do so.
The card has a very clean and organized PCB, as I would expect from the TOP series.
There is a total of 8x Hynix H5GQ2H24AFA chips in total- 6 from within and 2 on the top of the PCB. There are 2x secondary fuse near the 2x 6pin PCIe cable to act as a Over Protection Circuit On the top part of the PCB which has 2x VRAM chips, you will see Asus’ signature SAP CAPs which is placed directly on the other side of the GPU core which is implemented to give higher efficiency, better capacitance which at the end of the day will benefit overclockers.
Although this card’s base clock itself is factory OCed by 157MHz more in comparison to the stock card’s base clock and GPU boost core clock of +144MHz more in comparison to the stock version of the GPU.
The section where the heatsink is installed has low RDS (ON) MOSFETs and PWM phase controller. I am not really too sure which one is it since its hard to make out what written on them, but Asus is known to use Richtek on some models. As usual, all the caps are made in Taiwan and are solid caps. Next to the chokes and solid capacitors, just before the PCIe 3.0 interface, there’s a DIGI+ controller that well uses them on their cards and motherboards. This card uses a 6+1 phase design, which the phase, MOSFET and solid cap for the VRAM is towards the left of the PCB.
The card uses GK104 core which was released on August 16th of last year. Its manufactured by TSMC and its built using 28nm technology. The card comes with 7 SMX clusters and packed with 1344 CUDA cores. There are 8 geometry units, 112 texture units and 24 ROP. The card is typically made to run 2GB GDDR5 1502MHz on 6 GHz data rate on the 192-bit bus interface. The GTX 660Ti supports 1x Dual Link DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort, so it supports upto 4 cards on the single card.
On reference/stock cards, it comes with a default base clock speed of 915MHz and with a boost of atleast 980MHz. Asus’s TOP version of this card base core clock speed of 1059 MHz and boost clock speed of upto 1137MHz. In comparison to the “DC2” versions which represent the stock version, other than the core clock preset and not having the “TOP Series” being mentioned on it its practically the same. You’re getting a factory overclocked card. That’s all there’s to it!
There are also LED indicator on the PCB, near the 2x 6 pin PCIe power connector which indicates if the power is supplied through the connectors or not. The LEDs are off when the system is not on, green when its getting the power and red when its not.
It gives me great pleasure to say that I get hardware support from the manufacturers to review not only their own products, but others on behalf of the readers. Its some companies such as Asus, Gigabyte, Kingston, Western Digital and Coolermaster who give me hardware support by updating my test rig no strings attached and that helps me to help you! Thumbs up to these guys!
I would like to thank:
- Gigabyte India for providing Gigabyte 890GPA UD3H Rev 1.0 motherboard
- Asus India for providing Asus 990FX Sabertooth motherboard
- Kingston Taiwan for providing hardware support with memory kits and SSD drive.
- WD India for providing WD 300GB HLFS Velociraptor Hard Drive.
- Coolermaster India for providing Coolermaster GX450 RS-450-ACAA-D3 Power Supply
|Test Setup for:||Asus GTX660Ti TOP|
|Motherboard+ Processor||Gigabyte 890GPAUD3H Rev 1.0+ AMD 965BE|
|Memory||Kingston KHX1600C9D3P1K28G HyperX Genesis 8GB 1600MHz DDRIII|
|Primary OS drive||WD 1TB Velociraptor|
|Power Supply||Coolermaster GX450|
|Chassis||Coolermaster HAF XB|
Every Benchmark (Except Battlefield 3) have been done by running the tests 3 times. Scores that are posted are of 3rd run. The drive is formatted and OS + GPU Driver via Asus’ website installed. PhysX is disabled throughout the test.
3DMark 11 Performance Preset: Tested with standard setting preset by FutureMark with 1280x 720 Resolution+ Moderate Load
3DMark Vantage GPU benchmark:
|Performance Preset||High Preset|
|Shadow Shader Quality:||Performance||High|
|Shadow Resolution Quality:||Performance||High|
|POM Shader Quality:||Performance||High|
|Volumetric Rendering Quality:||Performance||High|
Unigine Heaven 3.0 DX11 Benchmark
Preset 1: Tessellation: Disabled; Shaders: Low; Anisotropy: Off AA: off
Preset 2: Tessellation: Extreme; Shaders: High; Anisotropy: 16x AA: 8X
Preset 3: Tessellation: Normal; Shaders: High Anisotropy: 4x AA: 8x
Unigine Valley 1.0 Benchmark
Basic: Render: DX9; Mode: 1280 x 720 2xAA Windowed; Preset: Basic
Extreme: Render: DX11; Mode: 1600 x 900 8xAA Windowed; Preset: Extreme
Extreme HD: DX11; Mode: 1680 x 1050 8xAA Full screen; Preset: Custom; Quality: Ultra
Battlefield 3 (Chapter: Operation Swordfish)
Preset 1: 1600 x 900 Resolution/ Preset: Ultra
Preset 2: 1680 x 1050 Resolution/Preset: Ultra
Preset 3: 1680 x 1050 Resolution/Preset: High
Preset 4: 1680 x 1050 Resolution/Preset: Medium
Benchmarked using Fraps
Sleeping Dogs DX 11 Benchmark
Preset 1: Quality AA: Normal; HD Textures: Off; Shadow Resolution: Off; Shadow Filtering: Normal; SSAO: Normal; Motion Blur: Off; World Density: Extreme
Preset 2: Quality AA: High; HD Textures: Off; Shadow Resolution: Normal; Shadow Filtering: Normal; SSAO: Normal; Motional Blur: Off; World Density: Extreme
Preset 3: Quality AA: High; HD Textures: On; Shadow Resolution: High; Shadow Filtering: High; SSAO: High; Motion Blur: Off; World Density: Extreme
Preset 4: Quality AA: Extreme; HD Textures: On; Shadow Resolution: High; Shadow Filtering: High; SSAO: High; Motion Blur: Off; World Density: Extreme
Dirt 3 DX11 Benchmark
Benchmarks done with Low, Medium, High and Ultra in-game presets using 1680 x 1050
Passion Leads Army (Unreal 3 Engine) Benchmark
DX9 Low Performance Preset
DX9 Medium Performance Preset
DX11 High Performance Preset
Metro 2033 Benchmark
Preset 1: DX11; Resolution: 1680 x 1050; Quality: Medium; AA: MSAA4X; Texture Filtering: AF 4X; DOF: Off
Preset 2: DX11; Resolution: 1280 x 1024; Quality: Medium; AA: MSAA4X; Texture Filtering: AF 4X; DOF: Off
Preset 3: DX11; Resolution: 1680 x 1050; Quality: Very High; AA: MSAA4X; Texture Filtering: AF 16X; DOF: On
Resident Evil 5 DX 10Benchmark
Preset 1: Resolution: 1680x 1050; AA: 2x; Motion Blur: On; Shadow DETAIL: High ; Texture Detail: High ; Overall Quality: High
Preset 2: Resolution: 1680x 1050; AA: c16x; Motion Blur: On; Shadow DETAIL: High ; Texture Detail: High ; Overall Quality: High
Resident Evil 6 DX 9.0C Benchmark
Preset 1: 1680 x 1050; Full screen: On; Display Freq.: 60; VSync: Off; AA: FXAA3HQ; Motion Blur: Off; Shadow Quality: High; Texture Quality: High; Screen Quality: High
Preset 2: 1680 x 1050; Full screen: On; Display Freq.: 60; VSync: Off; AA: FXAA; Motion Blur: Off; Shadow Quality: Medium; Texture Quality: Medium; Screen Quality: Medium
Sniper Elite V2 DX11 Benchmark
Preset 1: Texture Detail: Low; Shadow Detail: Low; AA: Low; Draw Distance: Low Anisotropic Filtering= off ; Motion Blur: On; Shader: On ; Advance Shadows= off; Super Sampling= 0
Preset 2: Texture Detail: high; Shadow Detail: high; AA: med; Draw Distance: high Anisotropic Filtering= off ; Motion Blur: On; Shader: On ; Advance Shadows= high; Super Sampling= 2.25x
Preset 3: Texture Detail: ultra; Shadow Detail: ultra; AA: med; Draw Distance: ultra Anisotropic Filtering= 16 ; Motion Blur: On; Shader: On ; Advance Shadows= high; Super Sampling= 4x
Typically I do a benchmark test but I was barely able to get a stable OC with 10MHz. It didn’t make sense since this card has a good core bump on the core.
Also I am including Unigine Valley 1.0 test.
Disclaimer: Now, I know most of the review websites are using frame rating testing method using FCAT, but typically that requires a good enough investment: from the DVI splitter to a secondary system+ storage fast enough to capture raw data from a capture card, not to mention a larger resolution panel.
Tested with Nvidia firmware 314.22
3DMark Vantage is the industry standard performance benchmark for DirectX 10 gaming PCs. It includes two graphics tests, two CPU tests and six feature tests. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark Vantage is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 10 under game-like loads.
3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC’s gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.
Its worth to note that the graphic score is highest of them all, even considering that its compared with the factory overclocked version of GTX 660 DirectCU II TOP 2GB GDDR5.
Cinebench 10 OpenGL Benchmark
The MAXON CINEBENCH R10 uses a wide range of algorithms and instructions which ensure that the tests performed deliver a very good overview of a system’s overall performance capabilities, also with regard to other CPU and graphics card-intensive tasks. MAXON CINEBENCH R10 supports up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and runs under Windows (2000, XP, Vista in 32-bit or 64-bit) or Mac OS X (with PowerPC and Intel processors). It’s a real-world test suite that assesses your computer’s performance capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation.
MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such and Spiderman, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more. MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32- and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC- and Intel-based). The resulting values among different Operating Systems are 100% comparable and therefore very useful with regard to purchasing decision-making. It can also be used as a marketing tool for hardware vendors or simply to compare hardware among colleagues or friends.
Amongst the graphic cards tested so far, Asus’ GTX 660 DirectCU II TOP 2GB GDDR5 does a better job. Asus’ HD7850 DirectCU II gets the highest score in OpenGL test.
Cinebench 11.5 OpenGL Benchmark
This procedure uses a complex 3D scene depicting a car chase which measures the performance of your graphics card in OpenGL mode. The performance depends on various factors, such as the GPU processor on your hardware, but also on the drivers used. The graphics card has to display a huge amount of geometry (nearly 1 million polygons) and textures, as well as a variety of effects, such as environments, bump maps, transparency, lighting and more to evaluate the performance across different disciplines and give a good average overview of the capabilities of your graphics hardware. The result given is measured in frames per second (fps). The higher the number, the faster your graphics card.
It’s a computer test focused to check your computer graphics capabilities. The test can analyze if your computer is suitable for latest games or watching HD movies in best quality. It can also suggest what hardware modules of your computer should be replaced in order to get best performance. The benchmark will also check software configuration of your system and will suggest improvements that may cause your computer to work faster and more efficiently.
There are four tests available:
KITTY – 576p (1024 x 576) – for testing netbooks and ultrabooks, requires 256 MB of GPU memory.
CAT – 720p (1280 x 720) – for testing the low end desktop computers, requires 512 MB of GPU memory.
TIGER – 1080p (1920 x 1080) – for current desktop computers, requires 1024 MB of GPU memory.
CATZILLA – 1440p (2560 x 1440) – for most demanding high-end computers, requires more than 1024 MB of GPU memory CUSTOM based on your own options and features settings.
- Heavy GPU load, extreme hardware stability test.
- Support of DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0.
- Comprehensive use of hardware tessellation technology (3 presets).
- Advanced ambient occlusion.
- Dynamic global illumination.
- Volumetric cumulonimbus clouds of high physical fidelity.
- Simulation of day-night shift and changing light conditions.
- Dynamic sky with light scattering.
- Interactive experience with fly/walk-through modes.
- Support of NVIDIA SLI and ATI CrossFire technologies.
- Stereo 3D modes:
- Separate images
- 3D Vision
- 3D Surround
- Support of multi-monitor configurations.
- Based on the latest, most advanced version version of powerful UNIGINE engine.
- Extreme hardware stability testing
- Per-frame GPU temperature and clock monitoring
- Advanced visual technologies: dynamic sky, volumetric clouds, sun shafts, DOF, ambient occlusion
- Multi-Platform support for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X
- 64 000 000 square meters of extremely detailed, seamless terrain
- Procedural object placement of vegetation and rocks
- The entire valley is free to be explored in interactive fly-by or hike-through modes
- User-controlled dynamic weather
- Support for stereo 3D and multi-monitor configurations
- Benchmarking presets
- Command line automation support
- Highly customizable reports in CSV format
This is one of the new test that I’ve added recently so there’s no data of the previous card to compare it with yet.
Battlefield 3 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. It is a direct sequel to 2005′s Battlefield 2, and the twelfth installment in the Battlefield franchise. It is the first game in the series that does not support versions of Windows prior to Windows Vista as the game only supports DirectX 10 and 11.Battlefield 3 debuts the new Frostbite 2 engine.
This updated Frostbite engine can realistically portray the destruction of buildings and scenery to a greater extent than previous versions. Unlike previous iterations, the new version can also support dense urban areas. Battlefield 3 uses a new type of character animation technology called ANT. ANT technology is used in EA Sports games, such as FIFA, but for Battlefield 3 is adapted to create a more realistic soldier, with the ability to transition into cover and turn the head before the body, as well as “drag fallen comrades into safety and mount weapons on almost any part of the terrain”.
When it comes to actual gameplay, the card gives the best performance even with ultra settings.
Working with AMD, the developers of Dirt 3 have continued their support for DirectX® 11 with the inclusion of contact hardening shadows through Shader Model 5.0, improved high definition ambient occlusion, and stunning tessellation support with realistic water, snow, and cloth.
Giant IronHorse’s shooter is one of the most graphically advanced Chinese titles to date, in part thanks to the use of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3. Featuring a range of DirectX 11 effects, such as tessellation and Bokeh depth of field, PLA also makes extensive use of NVIDIA’s GPU-accelerated PhysX technology to generate realistic, physics-led effects. To help promote PLA, and to get gamers ready for its launch later this year, Giant IronHorse has released the first-ever Chinese-developed DirectX 11 benchmark featuring the aforementioned range of effects.
Nvidia’s cards doesn’t seem to be a good performer on DX9 games, for those who are still playing them, in comparison with AMD’s HD7850. On DX11 mode, it’s the opposite story, but there’s a difference of ~6fps between GTX 660Ti and GTX 660.
Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom using MT Framework v1.4 Havok engine
More than a decade after the Raccoon City incident, a new outbreak of bio-terror is set to engulf the world. Packed with an intricately woven story, all-out excitement and sheer, bone-chilling terror, this game is unprecedented in its scale and scope. Dripping with intense fear and realism, the heart-pounding drama of Resident Evil 6 is the pinnacle of horror entertainment.
Sniper Elite V2 is a 2012 tactical shooter video game developed by Rebellion Developments using Asura Engine.
If you need a good factory overclocked card, here you go! The card performs well with DX10-DX11 higher settings. If you don’t want to overclock but need that boost, DC2T does the job, or else you’re happy with GTX 660Ti stock or GTX 660, depending on the cost.
But it should be noted that GTX 660 and GTX 650Ti TOP edition still has headroom to overclock, but when it comes to performance this card sweeps in. Remember, you’re paying a premium over the reference versions of GTX660Ti, but as pointed out, they do use a sink for the MOSFETs and Phase, not to mention the fuse to protect from over voltage on the 2x 6Pin PCIe Power Connector and on the PCIe interface and the SAP components.
|India (Online Retail)||U.S.||U.K.|
I couldn’t find DC2T version of the card in Amazon U.S., but there is DC2O version which comes with the base clock of 1058MHz. 967MHz, that’s 52MHz more than the reference version and 92MHz lesser than the DC2T edition. The DC2O version costs $308.45 at the time of writing.
The Indian pricing is not bad, considering the U.K. price translates to Rs. 22,461.51/- after conversation (1 British Pound= Rs. 83.75 INR at the time of writing).