Over the course of Memorial Day holiday weekend, we noticed an interesting product carrying MSI labeling: fifth product based on the GK104 GPU will go by its original name, the GeForce GTX 660.
There is no doubt that NVIDIA managed to extract the most out of their 28nm chips: with just two chips (GK104 and GK107), the company won the majority of notebook design wins, many of which will be unveiled at the Computex Taipei 2012 trade show.
The higher-end part, the GK104 is already being used for GeForce GTX 670 and GTX 680 as well as dual-GPU options GeForce GTX 690 and the Tesla K10. But, NVIDIA is not yet done with the GK104 chip. According to a leaked image, MSI is one of partners to launch the GeForce GTX 660, which is poised to be the most affordable GK104-based product yet.
While the image of the board is obviously photoshopped (the lower part of the bracket is not present, the heatsink has a six-pin connector slapped on top), we checked with our sources and the product appears to be legit. The highlighted single six-pin connector on the heatsink was positioned there to highlight that the board cannot pull more than 150 Watts, which the author of the leaked image made sure off.
Furthermore, it sees that MSI is keeping the Taiwan-lead AIB (Add-in Board) vendor resistance to NVIDIA, which originally threatened to remove any marketing funds to AIB vendors that put 3DMark 11 on the box (during the GeForce GTX 500 vs. Radeon HD 6000). With Kepler, our sources claim that NVIDIA sales and marketing teams are happy with the performance delta between them and AMD, and no such restriction or threat is voiced out (behind closed doors).