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::>Graphics cards > 2014 > 05 > Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC

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15-05-2014


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Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC graphics card review and testing

The range of the Taiwanese company Palit has two solutions based on goods for moderate price 28nm GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 (Kepler).

Our test lab had visited graphics card Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F) with 2 GB of memory standard GDDR5, a key feature of which is the presence of factory overclocking. The ordinary version of Palit GeForce GTX 660 (NE5X66001049-1060F) without the prefix "OC" in the title is smaller and uses the same PCB design and cooling system as overclocked model, but operates at frequencies recommended by NVIDIA engineers for graphics card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660. In this review we will try to find out should the users rely on significant performance growth due to the factory overclocking? But first let's look at the table of specification.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

Model

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F) 

Graphics core

NVIDIA GK106 (Kepler)

Q-ty of universal shader CPUs

960

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 11.2 (Shader Model 5.0), OpenGL 4.3, NVIDIA GPU Boost, NVIDIA TXAA, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync, NVDIA G-SYNC, NVIDIA Surround, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA 3D Vision, 3-way NVIDIA SLI, NVIDIA CUDA

Basic/dynamic frequency of graphics core, MHz

1006 / 1072

Frequency of shader block, MHz

1006

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1527 (6108)

Memory capacity, GB

2048

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

192

Bus type

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital – up to 4096 x 2160

Analog – up to 2048 x 1536

Screening  interfaces

1 x DVI-I
1 x DVI-D
1 x HDMI
1 x DisplayPort

HDCP support and HD-video decoding

Yes

Dimensions taken from official website (according measurements in own test lab) , mm

196 х 112 (210 х 112)

Minimal capacity of power unit, W

450

Drivers

Drivers can be downloaded here: support page or producer website GPU

Producer website

Palit

For the graphics card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 of “reference” design base GPU frequency is 980 MHz, and in mode NVIDIA GPU Boost it can reach 1033 MHz. Thus, factory overclocking of graphics core of Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC is 26 MHz (2.65%) for the base and 39 MHz (3.77%) for the dynamic operation mode. As for the memory chips, according the information of NVIDIA engineers the effective frequency was increased to 100 MHz (1.66%).

Package and content

 Model Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F) is shipped in a cardboard box of medium size with usual for Palit company style. On the front side of the packaging manufacturer specifies certain characteristics of the graphics card, and draws attention to the supported key technologies (NVIDIA 3D Vision, NVIDIA SLI, NVIDIA GPU Boost).

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

Reverse side of the package also has some important information. Here are the basic characteristics of the accelerator for 12 languages as well as present a description of some technologies (DirectX, NVIDIA TXAA, NVIDIA PhysX). Slightly below there are the basic system requirements. Note that the power supply unit must have a capacity at least 450 W and provide 24 A at line 12V.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

Graphics accelerator and complete accessories are neatly laid in extra cardboard box.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

Supplied set of video accelerator Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F) comprises:

  • a brief installation and operation guide;
  • CD with drivers and utilities;
  • adapter DVI ↔ D-Sub;
  • power adapter from two 4-pin peripheral to a single 6-pin power connector PCIe.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

To display an image from the graphics card to the monitor screen, plasma screen, TV or projector the following set of interfaces is provided:

  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DisplayPort.

Taking into account the presence of the supplied DVI-to-VGA adapter, most users should not have any problems regarding the connection of the device to display images in the most common scenarios of use. It is worth to note the support of standard resolution 4K Ultra HD (4096 x 2160) which is become more popular.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

Design and circuitry

Graphics Card Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC has an overall length of 210 mm and a height of 112 mm (according the measures taken in our lab). At the same time the length of its PCB is 173 mm (according to information from the official website). As you can see, it is more compact than analog reference (length 241 mm), which significantly increases its compatibility with a variety of system cases.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

During testing, we did not make the dismantling of the cooling system, because the same design of PCB and radiator of cooling system we have already seen, for example, when considering a graphics card Palit GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST OC. It is important to note that the elements layout on the PCB and organization of the power supply stabilization system of graphics card Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC generally follows the design of the "reference" sample. VRM module made according to 4+1 phase (for the GPU and memory chips respectively) using the PWM controller ON Semiconductor NCP5395G. Taiwanese developers traditionally applied affordable and qualitative circuitry with extended life span.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

Availability connectors for SLI bridge allows you to combine the two adapters based GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

To provide additional power options, in addition to slot PCI Express 3.0 x16 the device has one 6-pin connector which is located on the side face of the board. Nothing prevents connecting and disconnecting the cable.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

The central part of the graphics accelerator Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC is produced according to 28-nm chip NVIDIA GK106 (Kepler). Its option for NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 has 960 unified shader processors (or CUDA cores in the terminology of NVIDIA) and 24 rasterization blocks. Graphics core frequencies are slightly increased in comparison with “reference” 1006 MHz for basic mode and 1072 MHz taking into account features NVIDIA GPU Boost. Exchange data with the memory is realized via a 192-bit interface. The other characteristics are shown in “screenshot” above.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

Memory capacity of 2 GB is collected using eight chips of 256 MB each; half of them is soldered on the back of the PCB. Samsung K4G20325FD-FC03 chips are used. According to the documentation they are designed for the effective frequency 6000 MHz. Due to factory overclocking the video card Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC memory has a frequency of 6108 MHz that is 100 MHz higher than the nominal.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

Cooling system

Cooling system of graphics card Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC occupies two expansion sections and consists of two aluminum radiators and plastic case with integrated 92mm fan. Radiator mounted on the GPU is pierced with two copper heat pipes 6 mm in diameter, which are not in contact with the GPU directly but are soldered to the copper cooler. Second small aluminum cooler is provided for removing excess heat from the power transistors on a circuit.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

At full load the graphics core temperature was 72 degrees, and the cooling system was working at capacity of 46%. Generated noise can be described as “below the average”.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

After the forced increase of ration speed to the maximum the generated noise became more pronounced but did not exceed the scope of comfortable level in daytime. GPU temperature in this mode decreased on 14 degrees that indicates about a decent “margin of safety”.

Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC (NE5X660S1049-1060F)

In idle mode the core and memory frequency automatically fall and as a result heat of these elements is decreased. GPU temperature in a quiet mode is only 27 degrees, and the cooling system is virtually silent.

In general, the original cooling system used in the Palit GeForce GTX 660 OC has showed a decent efficiency among similar solutions.


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