With the recent release of the newest PC video cards the GTX 660 and the GTX 650, joining the GTX 670, GTX 680, and GTX 690, Nvidia has finally revealed the budget cards for the PC builders. The 660 and the 650, which are priced at $229 and $109 respectively, are made for the consumer who needs a card for everyday use but isn’t that focused on gaming.
The GTX 660 with a standard 2 GB VRAM is by Nvidia’s account has a 60% improvement over last generation’s GTX 560, is four times more powerful than the ancient 9800 GT, and is almost in line with the GTX 580. All of that means whoever buys this card will get pretty damn good frame rates for most new games and may even be able to pull off Battlefield 3 on ultra settings. The GTX 660 has a relatively good price to performance ratio and is a shoe in for someone who has a little bit of a looser budget when building a PC.
The GTX 650 is the card for the person on a shoe string budget who would still like to do a bit of gaming on the side. With 1 GB of VRAM and at just a smidgen over $100, this tiny little thing, measuring just over 4 inches in length, should be able to pull off 35-40 FPS at 1920×1080 on medium settings on most newer games. If I were to build a very budget oriented gaming computer this definitely would be my choice.
I have included some Benchmarking for these two cards at the bottom of the page, all credit goes to Tomshardware.com for completing these benchmarks, their full benchmarking process can be found here. For those who don’t know these benchmarks graph the frames per second (FPS) on various popular games, and the higher the FPS the better with 30 FPS mark usually being around the barely playable point. All bench marks are done on the highest setting possible.