Originally Posted by raghu78
the HD 7870 is faster than GTX 660 according to most reviews. even techpowerup's earlier reviews show a different picture. maybe the inclusion of borderlands 2 in the TPU charts and driver changes has affected the charts. even the stock HD 7870 is faster according to their PCS+ HD 7870 review
"The ASUS GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II is still a great video card; the cooler keeps this GPU very cool at idle and full load. Even overclocked the temps were in the 60s with this video card. We did get that 10% overclock, which isn't a lot, but it did give us 10% more free performance out of the video card. There was no reason to test the overclock against a 7870 with the highest possible overclock as our results show the 7870 better performing anyway. In the two games it wasn't, the Radeon HD 7870 can be overclocked further taking it over the performance of the overclocked GTX 660. The point is, you can get more gaming performance when overclocking a Radeon HD 7870 than you can out of an overclocked GTX 660.
In general the HD 7870 is clearly faster than GTX 660. The gap widens with overclocking because of a full 256 bit memory system and 32 ROPs which helps performance scaling. Nvidia's restrictions on the power target for GTX 660 make it even worse.
At max overclocks of 1.2+ Ghz a HD 7850 would actually edge out GTX 660 which struggles to hit 1.2+ Ghz because of power target restrictions. GTX 660 though has Nvidia exclusive features like TXAA, PhysX which are a clear value add.
The OP said which card offers the best price/performance without taking the manual overclocking into consideration?
The answer is pretty well the 660 when compared to the 7850.
Overclocking wasn't and won't be a guarantee to hit a certain clock. Above 1.2+ GHz ... it is pretty difficult on the 7850 but more common on the 7870.
There is no point in taking a much slower card at stock settings for only $20 less just to overclock it to edge out the 660 by a couple of frames, and that is not even guaranteed on all cards, and it actually doesn't have the same features as the GTX 660.
The review of that PCS+ 7870 is pretty old and since 21-September, on the other hand I put a newer review 11-October and that shows the 660 trade blows with the 7870 with a newer driver revision.
Most of the time the 7850 is the better choice since it is much cheaper, but in this particular case the GTX 660 is the better choice.Edited by HeadlessKnight - 10/21/12 at 9:57am