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Mystery behind GK106

post #1 of 7
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So I read many reviews about the GK106 based GTX 660 today and from all reviews I've read with Nvidia's claim that the card utilizes a full GK106 die. But really I got a suspicion that the version of GK106 in the GTX 660 is not the fully utilized partly due to the odd SMX number and the GPC where one of which are halved and its just bothers me a bit.

The reason I'm asking this is that I'm planning an upgrade from my current card and I want to ensure that I really am getting the best out of my money. Continuing on, my theory is that soon there would be a revision coming out for the GTX 660 Ti that will utilize a full GK106 with exactly 6 SMXs and 3 GPCs with no odd numbers with a 256 bit memory bus to compensate the loss Cuda cores from the GK104. My guess on why the GTX 660 Ti is using a GK104 at the first place is to recycle bad yelds due to the transition to the new 28nm process that doesn't qualify for either a GTX 670 or GTX 680 to keep loss to a minimum. I believe once they have a steady level of good 28nm yelds the GTX 660 Ti would transition to a GK106 die making both models cheaper to produce hence a smaller die which requires less component to assemble, less power circuitry etc.

Similarly this happened with that GTX 260 back in 2008 where later in release they released a revision with more Cuda cores increasing from 192 to 216.

So I was wondering what do you guys think about this theory should I wait for a fully utilized GK106 in theory or buy the card now?(Actually I don't need the card right now and actually getting it for the cause of university, since I'm doing a design degree next year I would expect a lot of usage involving CAD. I also have been doing some CAD in high school lately with slow rendering times on models due to old hardware so I was hoping that by upgrading to newer hardware I would get faster rendering times... workstation cards are not an option due to the cost and also I heard that GeForce cards can be soft modded to use Quadro drivers when Quadro cards a pretty much identical to their GeForce counterpart besides its ability to use Nvidia's tweaked driver)

Used Creo Element, ArchiCAD and Artlantis which only utilizes CPU but would expect university to use more mainstream CAD programs such as Solidwork and AutoCAD which utilizes GPU acceleration.

Thanks,
Edited by nGm@ze - 9/13/12 at 8:43pm
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post #2 of 7
I think it may be possible with a new revision perhaps GTX660 Ti-256 ? wink.gif It's likely that the GTX 670 will be out-phased and the new rev GTX660 Ti will fill the gap up to GTX 680. Just speculations...
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post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gripen90 View Post

I think it may be possible with a new revision perhaps GTX660 Ti-256 ? wink.gif It's likely that the GTX 670 will be out-phased and the new rev GTX660 Ti will fill the gap up to GTX 680. Just speculations...

I don't think so, but you may be right. Look at all the 560's and 580's on sale now days tongue.gif
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post #4 of 7
That's a lot of speculation, particular when one thing you're supposing is that nV is lying to us about whether the 660 is a fully-enabled GK106. I'm inclined to say they're probably not lying, first off, and secondly you have no real reason (at least, not that you've spelled out) to believe that if they DO release a model with a fully-enabled GK106 that it will come equipped w/a 256-bit bus.

I think the 660ti in it's current incarnation is an exceptional value at around $300. A well OC'd 660ti will hang with a stock 680 (+66% cost, roughly), esp. when you aren't running real high AA levels. I doubt that any future incarnation of the 660ti will be any better overall in terms of perf vs. what they do now. If anything, I'd think they'd feel it's already too fast for it's price point given the current 670/680 pricing.

IOW if you're interested in a nice $300 gpu, I'd grab a 660ti in it's current version.
    
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brettjv View Post

That's a lot of speculation, particular when one thing you're supposing is that nV is lying to us about whether the 660 is a fully-enabled GK106. I'm inclined to say they're probably not lying, first off, and secondly you have no real reason (at least, not that you've spelled out) to believe that if they DO release a model with a fully-enabled GK106 that it will come equipped w/a 256-bit bus.
I think the 660ti in it's current incarnation is an exceptional value at around $300. A well OC'd 660ti will hang with a stock 680 (+66% cost, roughly), esp. when you aren't running real high AA levels. I doubt that any future incarnation of the 660ti will be any better overall in terms of perf vs. what they do now. If anything, I'd think they'd feel it's already too fast for it's price point given the current 670/680 pricing.
IOW if you're interested in a nice $300 gpu, I'd grab a 660ti in it's current version.

You got a point there, why would they lie considering that it may damage their reputation if a revision does gets released and there is no prove and its just pure speculation at the moment I'm afraid. Guess I'll have to wait and see since I don't really need it this year yet and to be honest I'm no looking to invest a tonne on an aging platform aiming at the mid $250 range, so yea.

And also remember guys suggestions are still open if you would like to help out smile.gif

Many thanks,
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post #6 of 7
The 260 was different - it was always made with the same die as the 280 (285 after die-shrink), they just disabled fewer cores for the revision.

Nvidia have lied to us before about something similar though. The GTS450 was claimed to be a fully enabled chip, and had 192 cores and a 128-bit bus. But actually the same chip appeared in some laptop GPUs with a 192-bit bus.

I do think that GK106 might well be a 1152-core die with a 192-but bus. But such a GPU would be too close to the 660Ti (1344/192), which needs to be protected as it's the best way of losing low-binned GK104s.

If I'm right, however, it doesn't mean that we'll ever see a GTX660(Ti) with 1152 cores. It's more likely that such a chip will be reserved for laptops, or will appear in the refined GTX7 series - just like the fully enabled GTS450 appeared revised as a GTX550Ti, with the full 192/192 configuration.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blibbax View Post

The 260 was different - it was always made with the same die as the 280 (285 after die-shrink), they just disabled fewer cores for the revision.
Nvidia have lied to us before about something similar though. The GTS450 was claimed to be a fully enabled chip, and had 192 cores and a 128-bit bus. But actually the same chip appeared in some laptop GPUs with a 192-bit bus.
I do think that GK106 might well be a 1152-core die with a 192-but bus. But such a GPU would be too close to the 660Ti (1344/192), which needs to be protected as it's the best way of losing low-binned GK104s.
If I'm right, however, it doesn't mean that we'll ever see a GTX660(Ti) with 1152 cores. It's more likely that such a chip will be reserved for laptops, or will appear in the refined GTX7 series - just like the fully enabled GTS450 appeared revised as a GTX550Ti, with the full 192/192 configuration.

u actually got a point there, they did indeed add a few memory controllers in the gk116 but it wasnt really a lie to be honest. they actually published a block diagram of an fully enabled gk106 die back in the release of the gts 450 where some reviews claimed that the yelds wasnt as good at the time therefore they chose to disable the controllers. as the yelds become more refined they decided to release this fully enabled sku from what i learned so far. but yea good theory btw. i guess i'll just purchase when i need it, thanks anyways...

edit: found this http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-geforce-gtx-650-benchmark,3297-16.html. turns out the the 1152 core version was probably confused with the 960 core version offered through the retail channel. looks like they might not be lying after all.
Edited by nGm@ze - 10/10/12 at 3:40pm
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