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Review: Gainward NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti Phantom

Martin takes a look at NVIDIA's latest GPU and puts it through it's paces for this benchmark and review.

Shogun 2 Total War

Shogun 2 Total War - GTX 660 TiShogun 2 Total War - GTX 660 Ti

For the next game I’ve opted to use Shogun 2 Total War as that will give any GPU a work out with its ability to have huge numbers of units on field at the same time along with the detail each unit is given, the scale of the game is absolutely incredible and I can’t wait for the announced Rome Total War 2.

For the settings in Shogun 2, I ran everything at its maximum running DX11, however I opted to use 2X AA. The IQ in this game is brilliant considering the scale, if you’ve ever played a total war game, there’s nothing in the same league when it comes to seeing thousands upon thousands of units on screen battling it out.

For Shogun 2, I decided to go for a “worst case scenario” I started up a custom battle with a full roster of units on both my side and the opposing side.  Since there’s many different types of gameplay in the game (Campaign, mini skirmishes) you’d likely expect a much better overall experience than my results would let you believe, here they are;

Shogun 2 Total War - GTX 660 Ti resultsShogun 2 Total War - GTX 660 Ti results

This is one game the kepler GPU’s seem to be very good at, it’s the one game I noticed a slight difference from running my 7970 DCII, as in the very intensive fights I do get some slow down on my 7970, that wasn’t there on the 660Ti, this could be down to an immature driver on my 7970, or that Nvidia’s performance on Shogun 2 is all out better.

When we look at the minimum frame rate, even when things got busy there wasn’t too much slow down. The difference between minimum, average and maximum is pretty much the same which would mean the performance was pretty consistent through its play through.

Overall the performance offered is very good in Shogun 2; the 660Ti is performing very well thus far.

Witcher 2

Witcher 2 - GTX 660 TiWitcher 2 - GTX 660 Ti

For the last game I’ve opted for Witcher 2, a very GPU intensive game from the Polish developers. Witcher 2 also happens to be a game which I consider to be one of the most visually impressive released. When the game first released, I found it to be the best looking game out, although it was quite the GPU hog when uber sampling was involved.

For my testing I ran the game with the “ultra” preset, although I disabled uber sampling. The game was running at 1920x1080 with full screen.

Given that this game is a DX9 title, I’m very impressed with the visual quality; I can’t help but wonder if they’d been able to make the game more efficient GPU wise if they’d opted for DX11 to recreate the same IQ. Here are the results for the game;

Witcher 2 - GTX 660 Ti resultsWitcher 2 - GTX 660 Ti results

The frame rate on this game, as you can see from the figures is pretty consistent throughout; the minimum frame rate dip isn’t one that most people would be able to feel. The maximum frame rate I’m surprised at, with it not being much higher than the average frame rate. In more intensive scenes I’d wager that the average FPS might take a high that however could be offset by higher maximum frame rates in lower intensive scenes.

Overall the performance was more than acceptable and as every other title bar Shogun2, I wasn’t able to tell a difference between my own card and the 7970 DCII.