Overclock.net › Member Blogs › Why Gk106 Is Overrated

Why gk106 is overrated

1. No voltage control unless it's an aftermarket board (reference= OnSemi NCP5395 voltage controller : It does not provide software voltage control via I2C, nor any monitoring features.); Max Boost voltage = 1.175v
** ASUS GTX 660 uses ASP1212 rebranded as Digi+ instead of 4 phase VRM with no control http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/asus-geforce-gtx-660-directcu-ii-oc_2.html#sect0
** MSI GTX 660 HAWK uses CHiL CHL 8318.
** ASUS GTX 650 TI Boost uses Richtek RT8867A with same garbage voltage control and monitoring as stock.

2. Late to the party. The GTX 660 TI (GK104) was launched in august which was bad enough, GTX 660 was in sept 2012. When 7870 Tahiti LE launched in January, this the GTX 660 was still sitting at $220 or so when the HD7870 Tahiti LE was $220-230.

3. Overpriced for the performance, at launch HD7870GE outperformed the $230 GTX 660

4. The GTX 650 Ti non BOOST is substantially slower than the HD 7850 and HD 7870 and it's the highest supported by the Arctic S1 Plus (http://www.arctic.ac/en/p/cooling/vga/430/accelero-s1-plus.html) : the main draw of low TDP cards is passive /silent cooling

5. 192-bit memory bus

6. Max OC is about 1200-1300MHz, with about 10-15% gains.
Ok, let's start out by first telling you the clock speed we achieved successfully. We were able to get the actual in-game clock speed of this GPU up to 1170MHz Boost clock which resulted in a 1215MHz actual in-game frequency. Anything above that, from 1225MHz and up, instantly locked up during gaming. 1215MHz actual in-game frequency this was the sweet spot for stability of the GPU. But not the sweet spot for performance.

The problem at 1215MHz is that the actual in-game frequency jumped all over the place while we were gaming, and in many situations dropped below the 1084MHz the card is specified for. In fact, we saw GPU clock go all the way down to 888MHz in order to keep the TDP in check. This was with +10% on the Power Target. This inherently gave us worse gaming performance than the card started at; it was underclocking the GPU.
Actual 3D performance gained from overclocking is 15.5%.
With the overclock in place, we see a near-10 per cent increase in 1080p performance in certain games.
Actual 3D performance gained from overclocking is 9.1%.
The resulting GPU and memory clock rates were 1083 and 6668 MHz, respectively.
That’s not much of overclocking, considering that Radeon HD 78xx and 78xx cards can reach 1200 MHz in GPU frequency and 7000 MHz in memory frequency, even though the boost frequency of our overclocked GPU was as high as 1175 MHz:
The resulting clock rates were 1160/1225/6788 MHz:

That’s a very good result, especially as the GPU clock rate was boosted to 1255 MHz at peak load while the temperature was still no higher than 62°C.
Ultimately, we were able to set the base clock at 1098MHz which resulted in an observed boost clock of 1228MHz, a 78MHz increase over the stock observed GPU clock.
Given the lower power limit and voltage requirements that NVIDIA imposes on the GTX 660 class GPUs, both the stock observed clocks and the overclock achieved in this power envelope are very impressive. We think that these chips have a lot more potential in them if NVIDIA would allow their card vendors to set power levels and voltages more freely, however, that would likely cause this level card become a valid substitute for GTX 660Ti and GTX 670 class cards.
The ASUS GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II TOP we reached on the basis of 1072/1527 MHz, a GPU clock of 1134 MHz and a memory clock of 1700 MHz. This corresponds to an overclocking (for the GPU) of almost six percent.

With the Zotac GeForce GTX 660 AMP! Edition, it went from 1111/1652 MHz for the GPU up to to 1152 MHz. The memory we made also at 1700 MHz circuit. For the model from Zotac, this means overclocking of 3.6 percent.
Not a huge amount of headroom on the core, peaking at 1,100mhz – this translates to a 6.5% increase. The GDDR5 memory had a lot of overclocking potential, hitting 1,736mhz before artifacting would occur.
Overclocked to 1,106MHz core and 6,806MHz memory the Palit card still doesn't have enough gumption to surpass a stock-clocked GTX 660, though it does close the gap.

GTX 660 OCed to 1150 base (with boost) trades blows with HD 7850 OCed to 1200MHz. see http://www.overclockers.ru/lab/53056_5/Test_videokarty_NVIDIA_GeForce_GTX_650_Ti_Boost.html

SLI is a reason to go with GK106 though: http://www.overclockers.ru/lab/53694_5/Testiruem_proizvoditelnost_videokart_NVIDIA_GeForce_GTX_650_Ti_Boost_v_rezhime_SLI.html#26

GTX 650 Ti boost Overclocked to 1300Mhz boost gets the same performance as GTX 660: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/60596-gtx-650-ti-boost-roundup-asus-evga-gigabyte-galaxy-msi-9.html
Die EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Superclocked zeigte sich da schon etwas taktfreudiger und ließ eine Steigerung von 1072 MHz auf 1258 MHz zu. Unter Zuhilfenahme von GPU-Boost lagen zeitweise 1320 MHz an. Dann aber liefen wir in die Drossel der maximalen Leistungsaufnahme. Für den Grafikspeicher war bei 1765 MHz schluss, was gegenüber den 1502 MHz ab Werk aber dennoch eine enorme Steigerung ist.
We found a very sweet tweak that will bring your boost frequency towards 1267 MHz stable, it will fluctuate depending on power draw / limits. Feel free to try our settings yourself. We applied:

Power Target 105%
GPU clock +40 MHz
Memory clock +350 MHz
Fan control RPM default
With the physical board power limit you are going see all card roughly ending at this overclock and boost frequency. For the memory we ended at 6696 MHz. At this stage the cooler RPM was set at default which kept the noise levels under control at 41~42 DBa and thus at okay noise levels.
... For all overclocked games above we have used the very same image quality settings as shown before. Overall we have been able to get another 10% performance out of those graphics card.
- http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/evga_geforce_gtx_650_ti_boost_sc_review,22.html
In our overclocking testing we were able to dial up the core by 183MHz, which is an 17% increase from the max GPU Boost clock the card ran at with the stock settings. The memory also scaled well, as we were able to increase the clock speed from 1500MHz (6Gb/s effective) to 1741MHz (6.9Gb/s effective).

7. Converting WAV to FLAC is slower than low-midrange AMD cards like the HD7770 http://ht4u.net/reviews/2012/nvidia_geforce_gtx_660_evga_gtx660_sc_msi_n660gtx_tf_oc_test/index34.php

8. GTX 580 is faster in Adobe Premiere , GK107 is very close to GK106 http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-Premiere-Pro-CS6-GPU-Acceleration-162/

9. I could only recommend it for people who use AutoCAD http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/AutoDesk-AutoCAD-2013-GPU-Acceleration-164/

10. Going AMD means you don't need a freak of nature modification with soldering and thin film capacitors just to increase volts beyond 1.22V (PCB modding kills any hope of resale value or warranty). see http://www.overclockers.com/guide-to-nvidia-gtx680-modifications/

11. Frame rating is not an issue with single cards (http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Frame-Rating-GTX-660-vs-HD-7870-plus-HD-7790-HD-7850-GTX-650-Ti-BOOST)

Long story short, best to get the GTX 670 or if you really can't afford that, get the GTX 660 Ti but realizing the 192-bit memory bus will hurt you at high AA and high resolution / 120Hz refresh rate.

The GTX 670 beat out the HD7950 until AMD put out the Boost BIOs.

* GK110 is a different beast, at least it has compute.

Comments (11)

first off we knew this and you probably learned this from reading my posts..
you do not even have a GTX 660 Ti and got mad because the GTX 650 Ti w/ Boost beat your HD 7850...
this is an obvious rant and fanboi continuation from when you got bumped from all the 'Frame Rating' threads..
While i say he has a point or two in the above "Rant", i do second what you said "Malmental"
Here we go again with the fanboy accusations... and of course malmental will defend Nvidia. As for the article, it's a very valid opinion to hold and it looks like you did your homework. Still though, a 660ti and a 670 is a big price bump up from the 650-600 cards. Might be time to start looking red at that point.
obvious troll is obvious. someone is truly butthurt, that nvidia beats his card. awwwwwww. Next time go team green. PS: Stop crying.
When someone argues something and backs it up, and you disagree, don't write him/her off as a childish fanboy. He has some legitimate points, and I'm A NVIDIA fan at that. That pisses me off, and this forum is above that kind of childish name calling, even if he is biased/wrong.

NVIDIA has been dropping the ball recently in my opinion, but the gk106 based cards don't disappoint me at all. They are not top of the line cards, and at their price point, performance vs price is pretty insignificant to me, but just my opinion. The titan series is what disappoints me more than anything.
But that said, think of the price vs performance this way: AMD is defiantly the cheaper way to go for CPUs, however intel creams them performance wise. However intel is generally more expensive. Most do pay that premium for intel. I certainly know it'll be a while before I go AMD again(And I mean god, if you're going to add new sockets every moth AMD, please stop using PGA CPUs at some point jeesh it like you hate hate the first time computer builders).
Maybe my argument doesn't really hold up in terms of GPUs, however I'm just trying to say there are multiple ways to look at it.
Did I say titan series? LOLOL series I must be tired. Anyway the titan is not bad, just could be better. Its not 1000$ good, but just my opinion as I don't actually own one lol.
The 650Ti Boost is a pretty nice card for the price; other than that, I don't really see anything that GK106 offers that Pitcairn/Tahiti LE doesn't, and at a lower price as well. Personally, unless I specifically needed an nVidia card in the $200-$300 range, I would get a 78xx.

The OP definitely did his research, though he does come off as anti-nVidia; the 7870GE launched like two full price points above the 660, and the 650 non-Ti is competing with the 77xxs, not the 78xxs. That being said, he does bring up a lot of good points, and those are why I believe that AMD won the performance sector war this gen. To each their own, I suppose.
HD 7870 is a much faster card than GTX 660 especially once you start overclocking. the GTX 660 is slower at stock. But more importantly with its strict Power target restrictions does not match the performance scaling of HD 7870 with overclocks. that has been well documented by hardocp

here is a MSI HD 7870 Hawk running at 1.325 ghz matching GTX 680 performance. 3D Mark 2013 firestrike graphics score - 7000 .


GTX 660 has no chance of this kind of performance scaling.
650 ti boost sli 150 $ + 150 $
godly 300$ bang for the buck

nvidia is clearly the winner for now if you want to talk about budget overpriced
since the scaling drivers are just magical
scales up to 116%
while the rest of are paid for like 800$ crossfire or what not even with oc all you get is terrible scaling around 40% which is actually terrible when talking about budget

anyway nvidias clearly the winner right now in terms of budget

i will agree that both nvidia and amd suck though since their overrated we'r in 2013 and we barely can even max out a game made back in 2005~2007 *crysis anyone*?
bleh would be nice if we could run crysis on 500fps by now i mean for ****s sake we are in 2013
@warm unless you have a 32-bit OS it will be quite hard to get 500fps on Crysis. I have 2 670's and I get like 45-60fps(only running 1) but that's because it has a 64-bit OS problem, that was never addressed because going 64-bit was not that popular in the XP days. Where I live the 650 Ti boost costs(after tax) $195 which puts it up against the 7850 and I don't think it is going to win, based on the benchmarks I have seen.

As for the OP, I have used both nVidia and AMD this generation and from a business stand-point, I am going to give it to AMD. Just look at Tom's Hardware GPU guide, the only cards they were giving to nVidia were the 650 Ti and the 670. Now if we are going into dual/tri/quad GPU set ups SLI is the clear winner, hence my 2 670s.
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