For our real-world tests, we have three games that feature built-in benchmarking software. These are Aliens vs Predator, Crysis Warhead, and Far Cry 2. For the other three tests we did a series of timed runs captured with FRAPS and once we had a set of scores that were consistent, we recorded them.
As you can already see, the 660 is considerably faster than its predecessor, which is really no surprise. What is interesting is that you can see it not only outpacing the 7850, but it also inches past the more expensive 7870. We’ll see if that’s a trend that will continue in our other tests.
BattleField 3 is one of the more graphically-demanding FPS games on the market, but as you can see, the 660 can still play it decently on Ultra settings with 4x MSAA, 16x AF and HBAO enabled. It only runs a hair behind the Ti version in 1080p. The game starts to change when you get up to the higher resolutions, with it falling behind the 7870, and nearly on par with the 7850 on our triple-monitor tests.
During the later parts of this game, when you have a lot of units on the map, it can be very demanding on your GPU. This makes for a great benchmarking test. You can see that the 660 does very well at 1080p, but again loses ground when you hit 1440p. You’ll notice the missing scores for all of our Nvidia cards for the triple monitor test. This is because we were unable to get Civilization V to play at 5760×1080 on these cards.
Crysis Warhead is another FPS that demands a lot of resources, and as you can see here, the 660 still does a great job of keeping up with the more expensive cards, being edged out by the 7870 by a single frame in the 1080p test. Once again, the limitations of having less stream processors starts to really show through at the higher resolutions. It is interesting to see all four current-generation cards performing so closely on the triple monitor test.
With this older DX10 title, all of the cards we tested are able to play the game without dropping below 60 frames per second on the smaller screen. It’s interesting to see the 660 beating out all but the Ti, regardless of resolution.
Skyrim is a difficult game to benchmark, simply because of how different the game plays out. Our particular testing section is in the heat of battle with two dragons, for maximum stress on the cards. As you can see, this is the one test where the 7870 has an advantage over the 660 in both resolutions. You’ll note that we didn’t do a triple screen test, as this isn’t natively supported by the game.