Nvidia shook up the enthusiast GPU market last month by launching its most affordable Kepler offering yet. At $299, the GK104-based GeForce GTX 660 Ti was $100 cheaper than the GTX 670, while being just 13% slower. Likewise, the GTX 660 Ti was 11% faster and more power efficient than the competing Radeon HD 7870 when testing at 1920x1200 on most games, despite matching it on price.
Predictably, AMD neutralized that threat by slashing prices. This balanced things out, with products from both major GPU makers finding their rightful place in the market. As is often the case, Nvidia dominated the premium segment, while AMD had stronger footing in the mainstream.
Ever eager to keep AMD on its toes, Nvidia continues its push into the mid-range market with a Kepler-based card that is expected to retail for about $230 -- right in-between AMD's Radeon HD 7850 and 7870. The GTX 660 is based on the new 28nm GK106 architecture and although this part differs from the GK104 in Nvidia's Ti card, the GK106 still has all the key innovations introduced by the GTX 680.