Temperatures & Acoustics / Power Consumption
For all temperature testing, the cards were placed on an open test bench with a single 120mm 1200RPM fan placed ~8” away from the heatsink. The ambient temperature was kept at a constant 22°C (+/- 0.5°C). If the ambient temperatures rose above 23°C at any time throughout the test, all benchmarking was stopped. For this test we use the 3DMark Batch Size test at its highest triangle count with 4xAA and 16xAF enabled and looped it for one hour to determine the peak load temperature as measured by GPU-Z.
For Idle tests, we let the system idle at the Windows 7 desktop for 15 minutes and recorded the peak temperature.
While there really wasn’t that much to distinguish any of these cards apart from the others in the performance testing, one would have hoped temperatures would be a deciding factor in some cases. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case since every one of the custom GTX 660 Ti’s provided excellent cooling results, beating the reference design by a significant margin. The only odd man out was the EVGA SC which actually posted higher than reference results but remember, our “reference” card is just the SC with a different BIOS so it still makes use of the upgraded internal heatsink.
What you see below are the baseline idle dB(A) results attained for a relatively quiet open-case system (specs are in the Methodology section) sans GPU along with the attained results for each individual card in idle and load scenarios. The meter we use has been calibrated and is placed at seated ear-level exactly 12” away from the GPU’s fan. For the load scenarios, a loop of Unigine Heave 2.5 is used in order to generate a constant load on the GPU(s) over the course of 20 minutes.
If we had to split hairs, ASUS obviously won this round with some incredibly low acoustics even though it does have extremely high clock speeds. However, the competition isn’t all that far behind and regardless of what this chart shows, we can almost guarantee that the GTX 660 Ti cards from MSI, Gigabyte and Galaxy will sound just as quiet regardless of what our highly sensitive meter says. Once again, EVGA’s SC edition trails the pack but it still provides an extremely quiet gaming experience.
System Power Consumption
For this test we hooked up our power supply to a UPM power meter that will log the power consumption of the whole system twice every second. In order to stress the GPU as much as possible we once again use the Batch Render test in 3DMark06 and let it run for 30 minutes to determine the peak power consumption while letting the card sit at a stable Windows desktop for 30 minutes to determine the peak idle power consumption. We have also included several other tests as well.
Please note that after extensive testing, we have found that simply plugging in a power meter to a wall outlet or UPS will NOT give you accurate power consumption numbers due to slight changes in the input voltage. Thus we use a Tripp-Lite 1800W line conditioner between the 120V outlet and the power meter.
The GTX 660 Ti isn’t exactly the most efficient card in NVIDIA’s current lineup and with a bit of overclocking, it consumes more power than a GTX 670. Unfortunately, that causes its performance per watt to fall somewhat in comparison to other SKUs.
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