Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: We don’t have any performance numbers to discuss in regard to the GeForce GTX 650 unfortunately, but looking back through our numbers, summarizing the more powerful GeForce GTX 660’s performance is fairly straightforward. With a few exceptions, the GeForce GTX 660 performed somewhere in between the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition and stock, original Radeon HD 7950. Of course, as expected, the GeForce GTX 660 also finished a few percentage points behind the more powerful GeForce GTX 660 Ti across the board.
There is one other aspect of performance we want to quickly discuss as well. During many product briefings, NIVIDA likes to set the stage for a new GPU launch by discussing the expected performance improvements it will offer over previous generations of graphics cards. The GeForce GTX 660, for example, is targeting roughly the same market segment as the GeForce 9800 GT that launched a few years ago and the GeForce GTX 460, which landed in 2010. Current data suggests that many gamers are still using DX10-class products, which aren’t nearly as powerful as the current-generation of cards.
If you’ve got a GeForce 9800 GT or GTX 460-class graphics card and have been holding off on an upgrade, our testing suggests that you can expect a 2X – 4X performance improvement by moving to a card like the new GeForce GTX 660. In addition to increased performance, however, newer cards also offer other benefits, like lower-power, lower-noise (usually), and additional features like full DX11 support. In any case, if you were wondering how much faster a GTX 660 is than an older card like a 9800 GT or GTX 460, now you know.
The GeForce GTX 660 and GTX 650 should be available immediately from your favorite retailers at prices hovering around $229 and $109, respectively. We can't say how the GTX 650 fits in the current landscape without testing one, but at its expected price point, the GeForce GTX 660 is looking very strong. As our testing has shown, the GeForce GTX 660 is faster than the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition overall and it's also priced a few dollars lower than AMD's offerings, which is a clear win for NVIDIA. AMD and its partners are offering a free copy of Sleeping Dogs with select Radeon purchases right now, but ultimately the GeForce GTX 660 means another round of price cuts for the Radeon HD 7800 series are due.
Above is a chart comparing the specific GeForce GTX 660 cards from MSI, Gigabyte, and ZOTAC we tested. With only a few MHz separating the highest and lowes clocked cards, the end result are a group of cards that ultimately offer very similar performance. The coolers on the MSI and Gigabyte cards, however, offered lower temperature than ZOTAC's. But the ZOTAC card offers a somewhat smaller form factor and also includes a game. Considering they'll all be priced between $229 and $239, it's really a toss up. They're all solid offerings.
In the end, the new GeForce GTX 660 is another strong product in its category, from NVIDIA. The GPU offers great performance in its segment, it's relatively quiet, power consumption is in-line and the GeForce GTX 660 is priced competitively. You can't ask for much more than that.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660