The 28-nanometer shootout marches on, as Nvidia brings the Kepler GPU architecture we saw in the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 down to a relatively budget-friendly price. The $299 Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti is largely identical to the $399 Nvidia GeForce GTX 670, with both cards offering 1,344 CUDA cores and a base clock speed of 915MHz. Nvidia's GPU Boost will reportedly bump the clock speed to about 980MHz when the card is under heavy load, but results will vary by application. There's also an identical display output layout, consisting of a pair of dual-link DVI outputs, a DisplayPort 1.2 jack and an HDMI port.

The GTX 660Ti's generous 2GB video buffer is made up of 192-bit GDDR5 RAM, down from the GTX 670's 256-bit GDDR5 RAM. The new card also sports a slightly lower 150W TDP (against the GeForce GTX 670's 170W TDP), though Nvidia expects it to draw closer to 134W under typical use. As always the specifications will vary slightly between board partners, though the standard configuration will ship with a pair of six-pin auxiliary power connectors. As an added (albeit limited-time-only) bonus, most of Nvidia's board partners — including EVGA, Gigabyte, and ASUS — will be bundling a copy of Borderlands 2 with the GeForce GTX 660 Ti.

Nvidia is pitting its $299 GeForce GTX 660 Ti against the $299 AMD Radeon HD 7870, citing 10 - 30 percent performance gains in some tests. There are also some bold claims about the card's viability against the $350 AMD Radeon HD 7950, with Nvidia's card besting the Radeon HD 7950 in some titles, including 20 percent higher average frame rates in Max Payne 3. Reviews will be pouring in momentarily, but keep your credit card on standby if you're looking to upgrade — the graphics cards start shipping today.

Update: And the results are in! The Tech Report calls this a win for the GeForce camp, noting that the GeForce GTX 660Ti competes favorably with the slightly pricier Radeon HD 7950 while being more energy efficient. Anandtech takes a diplomatic approach, noting that the performance difference between AMD and Nvidia is slight enough to be remedied with some pricing tweaks. Techspot is a little more direct, calling the GeForce GTX 660Ti "today's best-value graphics card, period." All told it looks to be a great video card if your gaming rig is starting to feel a bit sluggish, but if you can stand to wait AMD may be coerced to trim its prices in response. Head on over to the source links to get a look at their testing for yourself.