First of all, we want to remind you that eight out of the nine graphics cards in this review are factory-overclocked. The first diagram compares the EVGA GeForce GTX 660 FTW Signature 2 (the fastest of the three GeForce GTX 660s) with the ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP:
Depending on the graphics quality mode, the EVGA is 0 to 20% slower than the ASUS. The average difference across all the tests is 13% and 7% with antialiasing turned off and on, respectively. Predictable enough.
As we’ve seen throughout our tests, the original pre-overclocked cards from EVGA, Gigabyte and MSI are but slightly faster than the reference card from Nvidia, yet we still want to show you the difference between the fastest of them, EVGA GeForce GTX 660 FTW Signature 2, and the reference GTX 660:
So, the factory overclocking translates into a 3 to 4% increase in speed. It is a shame that the manufacturers do not overclock the graphics memory which, according to our tests, has rather high potential. It would ensure more speed at high graphics quality settings with enabled antialiasing.
Next, let’s check out the benefits of using two GeForce GTX 660s in SLI mode:
Excepting F1 2012, the multi-GPU technology works well, ensuring a performance boost of 83 to 91% compared to the single card. On the other hand, we have to admit there are bottom speed problems in certain games.
Now the last diagram compares the two GeForce GTX 660s with a single GeForce GTX 680:
Purchasing two GeForce GTX 660s instead of one expensive GeForce GTX 680 is justifiable as the SLI tandem is an average 26 to 28% faster across all the games. The bottom speed problems must be taken into account, though.
The GeForce GTX 660s from EVGA, Gigabyte and MSI have turned out to be very much alike to each other. We can’t name a clear winner or loser among them. Being pre-overclocked, they all deliver similar performance, beating the reference GeForce GTX 660 by 4 to 5%. The MSI GeForce GTX 660 Twin Frozr III is close to the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Ultra Durable in terms of GPU temperature while the original cooler of the hotter EVGA GeForce GTX 660 FTW Signature 2 copes well, too, especially as the EVGA has the highest GPU clock rate. When their fans are regulated automatically, they produce about the same amount of noise, even subjectively. Added to this are reference PCBs with some exclusive features, the same amount and clock rate of onboard graphics memory, identical overclocking potential, and scanty accessories (especially those of the Gigabyte). Moreover, they all cost the same amount of money, so we can’t really choose the best card of the three - EVGA GeForce GTX 660 FTW Signature 2, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Ultra Durable and MSI GeForce GTX 660 Twin Frozr III. The choice is yours!