Nvidia really wants you to buy a graphics card. The company has introduced two new entry-level models aimed at getting gamers on board the 28-nanometer Kepler train — the palatably-priced $109 GeForce GTX 650 and the $229 GeForce GTX 660. The new cards fill out Nvidia's mainstream desktop graphics range, falling alongside the existing $300 and up models introduced over the last few months.
The GeForce GTX 650 offers 1GB of video RAM and a 1GHz base clock frequency, while the GeForce GTX 660 serves up 2GB of video RAM and a base clock frequency of 980MHz. The GTX 660's frequency can also be bumped as far as 1GHz with Nvidia's automatic overclocking technology, GPU Boost. The stock designs for both cards offer a pair of dual-link DVI connectors; the GTX 660 offers a full-sized HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 sockets, while the GTX 650 only offers a Mini-HDMI port. That said, you can expect individual vendors to vary the display output offerings a bit.
Interest piqued? Both cards are available today, and we'll be circling back with the final word from reviews as soon as they're available. Stay tuned!
Update: And the results are in. Anandtech cautions us to pay attention to benchmark results on individual games, as the GeForce GTX 660's performance against the similarly priced AMD Radeon HD 7870 tended to vary by title. That said, many vendors chose to release overclocked cards at the same $229 price point, eclipsing AMD's offerings. HardOCP reviewed an overclocked model from ASUS and came to a similar conclusion, citing recent price drops from AMD as sufficient reason to be wary while you shop. TechReport's assessment follows suit, noting the excellent performance from the GTX 660, but giving a nod to AMD's pricing strategy, which brings the HD 7870 into a competitive range. Be sure to check out their testing and do some price comparisons before you buy — the general consensus may favor the GeForce GTX 660, but AMD's well equipped offerings can be snapped up at competitive prices.