Nvidia's latest attempt to delight gamers comes in the form of a new mid-range GPU without RTX functions. The new GeForce GTX 1660 Ti comes as no surprise as it has been in widespread use for some time and the recent leaks have been so detailed that they practically confirmed their existence down to the exact specs and prices.
And while Nvidia called the more expensive RTX series a holy grail for gamers, the reality was much less wonderful. On the other hand, this is comparable to what we and many others asked for: a reduced Turing GPU that cuts off the fat. After all, RT cores and tensor cores on a middle section are worthless.
We doubt that many of you will miss the option to activate ray tracing or DLSS anyway. By deleting these architectural features, Nvidia can offer a Turing GPU under $ 300. However, we continue to receive the new SM units with dedicated cores for simultaneous processing of FP32 and integer operations as well as FP16 processing at twice the rate of FP32, including the latest advances in programmable shading. The new SM units also have expanded caches for more capacity and bandwidth.
Compared to the RTX 2060, the GTX 1660 Ti contains 25% fewer CUDA cores. However, since the RT and tensor cores also fall, the chip is 36% smaller. Compared to the Pascal-based GTX 1060 6 GB, the 1660 Ti chip is 42% larger, but only contains 20% more CUDA cores. But as we just mentioned, these cores have been updated and are now much wider.
The new GTX 1660 Ti also has 6 GB of GDDR6 memory with 1500 MHz for a DDR clock of 6 GHz and a data rate of 12 Gbit / s. Using a 192-bit memory bus results in a peak throughput of 288.1 GB / s, which corresponds to a bandwidth reduction of 14% compared to the RTX 2060, but 13% higher than the GTX 1070 and 50% higher than the 1060.
With these specs, we expect the 1660 Ti to offer GTX 1070-like performance at a set price of $ 280, which would be good news for gamers.
For testing, we look at the performance in a dozen titles. If we have more time to do more testing, we'll run our full suite of over 30 game benchmarks. The focus of this review is on 1080p and 1440p performance using our Core i9-9900K test system, which is clocked at 5 GHz and 32 GB DDR4-3200 memory. We used Game Ready 418.91 WHQL drivers for the GeForce GPUs tested and Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.2.2 for the Radeon GPUs.
First we have Shadow of the Tomb Raider and here the GTX 1660 Ti looks impressive and fits the GTX 1070 Ti with an average of 87 fps at 1080p. This allowed it to match Vega 56, destroying the RX 590 by almost 40%. It remained deadly at 1440p, matched the GTX 1070 Ti again, and beat the RX 590 by an impressive 41%.
Forza Horizon 4 was actually one of the first games we compared, and we were shocked to find the GTX 1660 Ti so close to the RTX 2060. We have already seen that Turing GPUs are not much faster than their Pascal counterparts in this title. and in the case of the RTX 2070, it's actually a little slower than the 1080.
The GTX 1660 Ti had no problems keeping up with the GTX 1070 and was therefore only 5% slower than the 2060.
We see the same trends at 1440p. Here the 1660 Ti was only one frame slower than the 2060. However, we don't expect to see much more results like this.
It is certainly not easy to keep the frame rate above 60 fps in Just Cause 4, but the GTX 1660 Ti is by far the best GPU under $ 300 in this title with an average of 73 fps at 1080p and thus 14% faster than the RX 590.
Similar edges can be seen at 1440p. The 1660 Ti corresponds to the GTX 1070 and was only a few frames slower than the Vega 56.
The GTX 1660 Ti killed Resident Evil 2 with an impressive 108 fps on average. It was between 1070 and 1070 Ti, which is a solid result there. It maintained that position at 1440p and was still 11% faster than the Radeon RX 590 in a strong title for AMD, which is another very solid result for Nvidia's new $ 300 GPU.
Hitman 2 is a bit strange at 1080p because we have a CPU bottleneck at this resolution. When we switch to 1440p, we get a better idea of how these GPUs are compared. Here we see that the 1660 Ti roughly corresponds to the GTX 1070 and is therefore only 12% slower than the RTX 2060.
The GTX 1660 Ti will undoubtedly be a popular choice among Fortnite gamers. It's by far the cheapest way to go well over 100 fps with high quality settings. It also proves to be very powerful at 1440p and transmits well over 70 fps during our test run. Once again, you see the GTX 1070-like performance.
Metro Exodus is an exciting new game that we've covered in depth, but it's obviously the first time we've tested it on the GTX 1660 Ti. The performance at 1080p is respectable, as is playing at 1440p. In the latter case, the 1660 Ti corresponds to the 1070 and is therefore 30% faster than the 6 GB GTX 1060.
Rainbow Six Siege always gives us interesting results, and today's report is no exception. The GTX 1660 Ti largely reflected the performance of the GTX 1070, but here it breaks and manages to balance the GTX 1080.
The same applies to 1440p, where the 1660 Ti matches the GTX 1080 and is 16% faster than the 1070 and 58% faster than the 1060 6 GB, while it was only 2% slower than the Vega 56.
In our updated Battlefield V tests, the GTX 1660 Ti came right behind the GTX 1070 at 1080p, but at 90 fps on average it was a good move over the GTX 1060. At 1440p, we see a lot of the same. There, the 1660 Ti was a bit slower than the GTX 1070, although you can say at just 2 fps that they offer the same experience. In addition, the 1660 Ti at over 60 fps, which was rendered during our test, delivered highly playable performance in Battlefield V at 1440p.
Interestingly, the GTX 1660 Ti couldn't keep up with the GTX 1070 in World of Tanks at 1080p, where it was 7% slower. A rare result of the new Turing GPU behind the 1070. However, it beat the Vega 56 and was almost 40% faster than the RX 590.
At 1440p we see very similar results. Vega 56 sneaks ahead in terms of the average frame rate, but declines with the 1% low result. The 1660 Ti is still 35% faster than the Radeon RX 590 and does the job more than.
As a new, extremely popular Battle Royale title in the city, we tested Apex Legends with the new GTX 1660 Ti. The card spit out 123 fps at 1080p, making it faster than Vega 56 and slower than GTX 1070 Ti. It was also 16% slower than the RTX 2060.
At 1440p, the 1660 Ti is between the 1070 Ti and the Vega 56 and is 9% faster than the Vanilla 1070 and 55% faster than the 6 GB GTX 1060.
At the end of the game benchmarks we have the new Far Cry title: New Dawn. The results are similar to Far Cry 5, which is to be expected since it is the same world and game engine. Here the 1660 Ti fits the GTX 1070 and is therefore somewhat slower than the Vega 56.
Then the edges remain the same at 1440p, as we have seen several times.
Performance & temperatures
When it comes to power consumption, the GTX 1660 Ti has increased the total consumption to just 271 watts, which makes it very efficient. Basically, you get a GTX 1070-like performance for 8% energy savings for the overall system.
We won't bother comparing this result to Vega 56. You can see the difference for yourself. In addition, Vega 56 needs to be changed before it can be inserted into a performance chart like this, such as undercut until it runs on lemon juice. Seriously, that's what you can expect from Vega 56 and 64, that goes for Radeon VII too.
At operating temperatures, the MSI GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X we used was whisper-quiet even after an hour of heavy load. The fans only turned up to about 1500 rpm and this allowed a GPU peak temperature of 66 degrees in a room with 21 ° C. Very impressive stuff from this relatively small graphics card.
Even when overclocking, the 1660 Ti maintained essentially the same operating temperature and fan speed and was only one degree warmer. The operating frequency was only increased by 4% on average, but we were able to massively overclock the storage speed and increase the data rate from 12 Gbit / s to 15 Gbit / s, the maximum speed that MSI AfterBurner would allow us to do.
This boost combination enabled an 8% increase in performance when tested with Far Cry New Dawn. It's not exactly stunning, but that's a fairly typical overclocking for a modern Nvidia graphics card.
We have a pretty good idea of how the new GeForce GTX 1660 Ti works right away, how hot the MSI Gaming X runs, how well it overclocked, and how efficient it is. But how about if we now take a closer look at how the GPU beats the GTX 1060, 1070, RTX 2060, Radeon RX 590 and Vega 56? Let's do that…
GTX 1660 Ti against GTX 1060
The GTX 1660 Ti is actually a decent upgrade compared to the GTX 1060 6GB, at least it can be depending on the title. On average, it's 38% faster at 1080p and 40% faster at 1440p, and that's a huge performance boost, and we think it will certainly justify $ 280. Especially if you want to deal with 1440p games.
Other than upgrades, you wouldn't even consider buying a 6 GB GTX 1060. We think you shouldn't have it as the RX 580 offers much better value for money. Everything north of $ 200 and we would not look at it again.
GTX 1660 Ti against GTX 1070
We mentioned this in the entire test and in the benchmark results, so you know that the GTX 1660 Ti is a kind of new GTX 1070. Performance varies slightly for some titles, but for the most part it's a single digit performance difference. We see the same performance difference of 2% at 1440p.
The 1660 Ti did well in Rainbow Six Siege, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Apex Legends, but as I said, the overall performance was similar.
GTX 1660 Ti against RTX 2060
It is interesting to note that the GTX 1660 Ti is 20% cheaper than the RTX 2060, but only 12% slower at 1080p. You could of course argue that the 2060 has better value due to the RT and tensor cores that enable ray tracing and DLSS, but we would make fun of such a claim. The 1660 Ti was also only 12% slower at 1440p.
GTX 1660 Ti against Radeon RX 590
Compared to the similarly expensive RX 590, the GTX 1660 Ti is 24% faster.
Since we tested the RX 590, we said the prices for this GPU were incorrect and not a good value, but now AMD will be forced to make adjustments. With the new 1660 Ti you get 24% more performance with a price increase of 8%. In addition, in the worst game scenario, the 1660 Ti was still 7% faster than the RX 590, at best up to 46% faster. So it is clearly the better purchase.
Expect further price reductions for RX 590 once the 1660 Ti is on the market. The margins just described were kept at 1440p with the 1660 Ti averaging ~ 25% faster.
GTX 1660 Ti against Vega 56
Finally, we have Vega 56, which is normally sold for $ 400, with the crazy sale falling closer to $ 300 here and there. The GTX 1660 Ti was 7% slower on average, and even if Vega 56 were to be sold for $ 330 (the last deal we saw recently), the 1660 Ti would still be 15% cheaper, which makes it better overall Price makes. Not to mention much more efficient.
Cost per frame and conclusion
With everything we've just seen, expect the GTX 1660 Ti to do well in the values department. Basically, you see a similar price-performance ratio as the Radeon RX 580, which is incredibly good news for gamers.
The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is a whole tier above the RX 580, so it's just awesome when this GPU delivers similar costs per frame.
With a performance similar to that of the Vega 56, the GTX 1660 Ti achieves a saving of 25% per frame. It's also 19% cheaper than the GTX 1060 6GB. The least impressive comparison can be made with the RTX 2060. Here it was only 9% cheaper, which is still an impressive margin, and I'll talk more about that in a moment.
The first Turing GPUs were released last September. In our opinion, it was only when Nvidia released the RTX 2060 that we got a round model that is worth buying. To be fair, the RTX 2080 Ti is an incredible beast and we love to play at 4K, but it's also stupidly overpriced at $ 1300. It's not that good for the vast majority of players.
The RTX 2080 was a snooze festival at the start, especially because it sold well above the MSRP. It's definitely better today. The RTX 2070 is now much worse off, as it was effectively eliminated only three months after its release by 2060. Then AMD intervened with their Radeon VII in an elite ASMR for those who had not yet dozed off …
The GTX 1660 Ti may be the first version of the GPU for some time that we feel completely satisfied with. We're getting a GTX 1070-like performance at a slight price premium over the GTX 1060 6GB, and although many would have preferred a price tag of $ 250, we don't currently think it is good competition from AMD. We think this is a pretty good result.
Speaking of AMD: The 1660 Ti puts you in a difficult situation. The RX 580 used to be the obvious option under $ 300, but now the choice is more difficult and frankly, we would choose the 1660 Ti. It's $ 80 more, but offers higher performance. In today's games, the RX 580 is more of a 1080p solution, while the 1660 Ti can be used for 1080p or 1440p games with a high refresh rate. It is also much more efficient and we expect all cards to run cool and quiet. Fingers crossed AMD can pull a rabbit out of the hat with Navi later in the year, that would surely benefit all of us.
In the meantime, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is the new king under $ 300, and we're not at all concerned about the lack of RT and tensor cores. Honestly, we'd rather have a GTX 2080 Ti with some additional CUDA cores … we would certainly be forced to spend $ 1,300 on it.
The only question is, how much do you have to pay to get a new GTX 1660 Ti? As is so often the case, pricing will likely be everywhere for the first few weeks, but since the RTX 2060, 2070 and 2080 will all be sold at a MSRP, we expect this to apply to the GTX 1660 Ti shortly.