We’ve expanded our testing suite considerably since the X79 chipset release, and will continue to use the same methods for most of the motherboards and CPU’s we test. In the interests of thoroughness and accurate results, we run each test at least three times, and some tests more than that. We average the total of all the tests from each benchmark then report the average here.
The OS we use is Windows 7 Pro 64bit with all patches and updates applied. We also use the latest drivers available for the motherboard and any devices attached to the computer. We do not disable background tasks or tweak the OS or system in any way. We turn off drive indexing and daily defragging. We also turn off Prefetch and Superfetch. This is not an attempt to produce bigger benchmark numbers. Drive indexing and defragging can interfere with testing and produce confusing numbers. If a test were to be run while a drive was being indexed or defragged, and then the same test was later run when these processes were off, the two results would be contradictory and erroneous. As we cannot control when defragging and indexing occur precisely enough to guarantee that they won’t interfere with testing, we opt to disable the features entirely.
Prefetch tries to predict what users will load the next time they boot the machine by caching the relevant files and storing them for later use. We want to learn how the program runs without any of the files being cached, and we disable it so that each test run we do not have to clear Prefetch to get accurate numbers. Lastly we disable Superfetch. Superfetch loads often-used programs into the memory. It is one of the reasons that Windows occupies so much memory. Vista fills the memory in an attempt to predict what users will load. Having one test run with files cached, and another test run with the files un-cached would result in inaccurate numbers. Again, since we can’t control its timings so precisely, it we turn it off. Because these four features can potentially interfere with benchmarking, and and are out of our control, we disable them. We do not disable anything else.
We are revamping our testing method in order to better represent motherboard performance and offering to the consumer. Also we want to make it an easier read for you without miles of endless charts. We ask that you provide feedback in an effort to help us deliver better reviews for you.
|Case||Thermaltake Level 10 GT|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-3770K/Intel Core i7-2600K|
|Motherboard||ASUS Maximus V Gene
|Ram||16GbpsB Patriot Viper Xtreme 2400MHz +|
|CPU Cooler||Swiftech H20-220 Edge|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital Velociraptor 300GB|
|SSD||Intel 510 series SATA III 120GB|
|GPU||ASUS GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP|
|PSU||Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W|
|Mouse||Tt eSPORTS Black gaming mouse|
|Keyboard||Tt eSPORTS Meka G1 mechanical gaming keyboard|
We will use the following applications to test the performance of the graphics card.
|Just Cause 2|
|Sniper Elite V2|
The ASUS 660 TI TOP definitely has overclocking in its blood as it almost seemed like it wanted to overclock itself. All it took was starting up GPU tweak and a little tuning, and we had a stable clock in almost no time at all. The GPU was able to push out a nice boost clock of 1170 which netted it a 1275 dynamic clock which is pretty good if i may say so for a card on ai as 1275 on teh gpu is very high and not really even a consideration on previous gen cards.
|Clock||Max stable MHz
|GPU Base clock||1092|
|GPU Boost Clock||1170|
|Max dynamic clock Observed||1275|
|Memory clock||1750 (7000)|
Memory overclocking was very good netting a 7000MHz QDR stable clock, which is 8 MHz shy of a 1GHz overclock on the memory and that in itself is aweome.
In order to ensure no system bottleneck we clocked the CPU to 4.6GHz to ensure there is no reason the system will slow down the cards performance at all.
Some may ask why we chose the mainstream Z77 system, and we can explain. Up until recent the X79 enthusiasts platform did not really support PCIe Gen 3 on the Nvidia 600 series GPU’s. Because of the inherent instability many have seen with the X79 platform with Gen 3 products, Nvidia has been hesitant to enable it, and now there is a workaround via registry to get it working. However, in order to ensure the most consistent testing possible, we have stuck to the natively supported Z77 platform.
Important note: Overclocking can cause component failure. Please exercise caution when attempting any level of overclock on system components.
The temperatures were recorded with full loaded Heaven benchmark looping for over 30 minutes or longer depending how long it took for the card to level out in temps and sat at a plateau for more than 10 minutes.
|GPU Temperatures||Temperature (Idle/Load)|
|ASUS GTX660 Ti DCII TOP OC||32C/71C|
|ASUS GTX660 Ti DCII TOP||32C/69C|
The DCII cooler as we have seen before is proven very effective and the heat dump even when overclocked is easily managed with maybe a mild purr from the DCII’s fans.
3DMark 11 is the newest in Futuremark’s suite of benchmarking utilities. Its a fully capable DirectX11 benchmark which also stresses and analyzes the system performance as a whole to simulate a heavy rendering environment such as a high end game or other app the end user may run. This benchmark was run with Performance settings 5 times and all runs were averaged for the result below.
3DMark 11 shows a nice picture of the cards placement as it falls right behind the 670/680′s and well ahead of the 580. Now we just need some 7950′s to add to this mix. ASUS has a nice showing here clearly leaping over the previous gen 580, but against the other 660 Ti competitors, it really is a neck and neck race.
Heaven Benchmark version 3.0 is the newest iteration from Unigine and a improvement to stability along with I am noticing much more consistent scoring as well.
In order to make sure we got these cards tested and up to show off to you guys we did not have time to retest our card suite in this newest benchmark, although we hope to update that very soon. Till then, you can compare the different 660 Ti’s we have here.
Metro 2033 has always been extraordinarily stressful for GPU’s, and this has not changed with time. The 660 Ti cannot play Metro 2033 without minimum framerate, but for a midrange performance card it definitely holds its own as the previous generation flagship GTX580 is bested by this midrange beast.
The ASUS DCII TOP comes out battling for the top spot amongst the 660′s here but the higher memory speed and slightly higher sustained boost clock from the Zotac simply allows it a slight advantage.
We brought a rather old but good game back for testing this card.
Just Cause 2 was a tough call as it was virtually a photo finish with less than a tenth of a frame splitting the top 2 cards.
Those of you that have been paying attention to games recently will know that Sniper Elite V2 was recently released on the scene only a few months back. It is a fun game and once we found a benchmark tool we knew we had to put it in a review. The game is as it sounds: you are a sniper and your job is to sneak around and kill pretty much anything that moves. It has an x-ray mode that shows bones breaking or being shattered with hits.
Here the 660 Ti’s definitely shine as they clearly leap over the previous gen 580 again and from the looks of the FPS numbers this could be in or even beating the 7950 territory.