- Graphics Cards
- Headphones & Headsets
- Keyboards & Mice
- Sound Cards
- RAIDR Express SSD
- Why ROG?
- ROG PRO
- About ROG
The mid-range for anyone interested in a new graphics card just got reinforced with a proper sweet spot component courtesy ASUS and NVIDIA’s 28nm GK104-based GTX 660 GPU, which packs around 3.5 billion transistors. This is an affordable card that will still tear through any current game in 1080p on high settings (or gamer settings as Crytek likes to call them), and if you’re on a moderate budget, it’s a very decent choice. Slightly tamer than the GTX 660 Ti, the “OEM” GTX 660 uses 960 CUDA cores and carries 2GB GDDR5 on a 192-bit memory interface. Needless to say, this is a PCI Express 3.0/DX11/SM 5.0 card, so no worries there.
ASUS veers off the beaten reference path by plonking the DirectCU cooler on this one. We’ve looked at DirectCU cards plenty times before, and the same holds true here: direct contact copper pipes, bigger heat dissipation area, a better heatsink with improved thermal properties, and dual fans that manage to hit a good balance between air power and reasonable decibel levels. Actually, this is a very quiet card, even by 28nm standards, where pretty much all cards are now virtually silent by the standards of eras bygone.
Likely the biggest attraction is once more the fact that this is a TOP edition card, so ASUS puts in GPUs that prove more overclockable from the get go. Out of the box the GTX 660 runs at 1137MHz in boost clock, which is roughly 10% faster than the core boost NVIDIA lists in the reference specs. The base clock is 1072MHz, and the memory is 6.1GHZ GDDR5. I just wrote that without even thinking about it, but just a few years ago numbers like 6GHz memory would get you labeled a liar and thrown out of a room even if it was full of very optimistic overclockers.
The overclocking and overvolting theme extends to DIGI+ VRM digital voltage controls, and venerable Super Alloy Power components. The solid state capacitors are rated for a nice 50,000 hours, and the chokes have those concrete cores we’ve been hearing a lot about lately. GPU Tweak makes an appearance, of course, rounding off a very nice and very tunable product for the asking price.
OK, let’s move to the product itself, shall we? The box uses the new design as you can see, and also inside we have the modified packaging from recent ASUS GPU outings:
This packing style is a little trickier to open up and unfold, but that’s only because it’s more intricate and helps keep the card firmly secured in place for shipping, preventing those awkward DOA moments you get with…well, you know!
So in addition to cardboard, we have tight shrink wrapping to prevent unwanted in-box travel, which is a definite plus. Then there’s a foam base to buffer the backplate and add more overall protection.
Above we have the GTX 660 DirectCU II TOP out in the open. The design is very consistent with all current ASUS graphics cards. On the back, we have plenty of display options for NVIDIA 3D Surround multi-monitor setups:
The front is nice, but leaves room between the shroud and the PCB. Thermally speaking that’s probably better, but I’m personally more fond of cards where the shroud/PCB touch or nearly touch all the way around.
From the side, this two-slotter looks nice, with the heatpipes quite apparent.
Here, let’s get a closer look at those, plus the fact that you only need a single 6-pin connector to power this card:
We can also zoom in on some of the capacitors and part of the heatsink:
Finally, the PCB underside, or backplate as I like to rather erroneously refer to it. This isn’t a MATRIX card so you don’t get a literal bullet-stopping plate protecting the underside, but the PCB looks good and feels very sturdy:
Let us know what you think of the GTX 660, which by the way is going to be accompanied by the GTX 650 soon enough. Is this your choice for mid-range performance, or would you go with something else? I’m interested in what you think of the GTX 660′s market position in light of the 660 Ti being available, so don’t let that comment section go quiet.
Learn How To PC DIY
You've got the hardware, now crank it to the max! Check out our full coverage of PC build, overclocking, and feature guides.
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
What makes ROG kit so special? Discover its unique innovations and exclusive technologies.
ROG Forum Hot Threads
Winter Wonderland 2013
- Winter Wonderland 2013
10:27:05 3 Dec, 2013 · 101 replie(s)
- 3770k temps at 4.8ghz
20:37:44 28 Nov, 2013 · 97 replie(s)
- Random freezing and glitching
16:09:10 29 Nov, 2013 · 87 replie(s)
- What is LINUX?
17:36:03 11 Nov, 2013 · 80 replie(s)
- Addicted to Hardware more than gaming?
05:18:15 26 Nov, 2013 · 78 replie(s)
- BSOD "0x0000000a Hero
20:16:26 26 Nov, 2013 · 65 replie(s)
- New Black Edition worked for about ...
15:02:26 29 Nov, 2013 · 62 replie(s)
- Maximus Formula VI Bios 1002 - now ...
17:39:25 18 Nov, 2013 · 47 replie(s)
- What are best graphics cards for 2-...
18:21:58 27 Nov, 2013 · 45 replie(s)
- My god, it's done. No going back...
00:35:26 30 Nov, 2013 · 44 replie(s)
- Broken seal
18:33:44 14 Nov, 2013 · 43 replie(s)
- Nvidia GeForce 331.82 WHQL Driver
11:08:33 19 Nov, 2013 · 38 replie(s)
- Asus Maximus VI Hero Issue - Need a...
11:36:32 28 Nov, 2013 · 38 replie(s)
- Arne's Linux adventure
12:04:04 30 Nov, 2013 · 37 replie(s)
- ASUS ROG is not always what it looks
13:45:41 11 Nov, 2013 · 32 replie(s)
- ASUS-Z87-A problem with sound. Help...
16:26:44 23 Nov, 2013 · 31 replie(s)
- Anyone Have a Look? (Vbios, Overclo...
02:59:45 30 Nov, 2013 · 31 replie(s)
- Christmas Season STEAM giveaway!
18:23:10 28 Nov, 2013 · 30 replie(s)
- Help please, New Build.. MAX VI GEN...
05:13:39 23 Nov, 2013 · 28 replie(s)
- Company Of Heroes STEAM Giveaway
22:35:14 18 Nov, 2013 · 27 replie(s)
It is that time of the year when folks in the Northern Hemisphere a...By HiVizMan, in "Team ROG & Competitive OC Discussion"3770k temps at 4.8ghz
hello guys i have a custom watercooled pc with 360 mm rad and 28...By Braindamage, in "General Hardware, Overclocking & Tweaking"Random freezing and glitching
CORSAIR Dominator Platinum 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2...By Korvan, in "General Hardware, Overclocking & Tweaking"What is LINUX?
I know I probably sound lame, but could someone please explain to m...By TotalONE, in "ASUS Software, Windows, Linux or SteamBox"Addicted to Hardware more than gaming?
Whats up y'all. Just curious if anybody here gets overwhelmed with ...By John Smith, in "PC Gaming"BSOD "0x0000000a Hero
Hello guys! New to the forum :) I have the same problem and it dri...By septerra, in "Maximus VI Series Motherboards"New Black Edition worked for about 20 mins
4930k 2 titans rampage iv black 900d dominator plat ax1200i ...By BeeF_DriPPings, in "Rampage Series Motherboards"Maximus Formula VI Bios 1002 - now missing from asus update site??
So this weekend i went to support on asus and downloaded the latest...By mcurtis, in "Maximus VI Series Motherboards"What are best graphics cards for 2-WaySLi/Crossfire under 650$ (in total)?
Well, most of you would have already seen my post asking about my b...By Hyper Droid, in "Build Advice"My god, it's done. No going back...
That's it guys, I've done it, there's no going back.... What am ...By Hyper Droid, in "PC Gaming"Broken seal
Hello guys I have just bought a new evga 780 hydro cooper classi...By Braindamage, in "General Hardware, Overclocking & Tweaking"Nvidia GeForce 331.82 WHQL Driver
Havent installed and tried them yet. But here's the new WHQL fo...By Krebb, in "G750 Series Notebooks"Asus Maximus VI Hero Issue - Need advice dont know what to do
Hello all, I completed a new comp build with the following compo...By RickH89, in "General Hardware, Overclocking & Tweaking"Arne's Linux adventure
So, have Ubuntu "up and running" on my RIG...like the look so far. ...By Arne Saknussemm, in "ASUS Software, Windows, Linux or SteamBox"ASUS ROG is not always what it looks
I am a regular user of computer products, I am also engaged as a co...By Aurvangir, in "G750 Series Notebooks"ASUS-Z87-A problem with sound. Help required.
Hello guys, today i got my new hardware, i got this motherboard Asu...By Madnix, in "TUF and ASUS Motherboards [Intel]"Anyone Have a Look? (Vbios, Overclock) 765, 770 and 780m
Hi guys, just dropping by to show you guys a link I stumbled upon e...By abeepak1, in "G750 Series Notebooks"Christmas Season STEAM giveaway!
[B][COLOR="#B22222"]Hi ROGers![/COLOR][/B] Time for my second [B]S...By EnthusiastBuild, in "PC Gaming"Help please, New Build.. MAX VI GENE.. Power cycling..
Hello.. When I power it up... I see the Q-Code go to b6 and then I ...By Apex2Apex, in "Maximus VI Series Motherboards"Company Of Heroes STEAM Giveaway
Hi! Since i really like this forum and its awesome community a lot...By EnthusiastBuild, in "PC Gaming"
- Winter Wonderland 2013
- Could not connect to Twitter
Article TagsAMD asus cheap games Competition Crosshair V Formula-Z DirectCU II eSports event Extreme Overclocking Gallery gaming GeForce GPU Tweak graphics card guide HD 7970 Intel LN2 Maximus V Extreme Maximus V Formula Maximus V GENE Maximus VI Extreme Modding motherboard NVIDIA Overclocked overclocking overview PC PC gaming PC Mod PC modding PC Mods Pictures PR Rampage IV Extreme review rog Super Alloy Power TOP unboxing video watercooling World Record YouTube