Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Tremendous Evaluation

Just in time for the Christmas season, we have two new super graphics cards from Nvidia.

For those of you who don't keep an eye out, we now have the GTX 1660 for $ 220, the GTX 1660 Ti for $ 280, the RTX 2060 for $ 350 and the RTX 2060 Super for $ 400 Dollar. In the price range between $ 200 and $ 400, there were already 4 GeForce options, but as of today we have 6. The GTX 1660 Super slots cost $ 230, and next month the 1650 Super will come, not a word yet for pricing.

What's New in the GTX 1660 Super? Not much to be honest, but the original GTX 1660 was pretty good. Let's check it from specification to specification: we get exactly the same GPU as the non-super base model GTX 1660. It has the same 22 SM units / 1408 CUDA cores, with 1530 MHz and the same GPU boost clock clocked from 1785 MHz It carries the same 88 texture units, which leads to the same texel fill rate.

In other words, it's exactly the same 12nm 284mm2 chip that is made up of 6.6 billion transistors. It also has a 6 GB VRAM buffer, but the changes have been made here. Nvidia has updated the 8 Gbit / s GDDR5 memory of the standard GDDR6 memory with 1660 to 14 Gbit / s, which massively increases the memory bandwidth by 75%. This offers the 1660 Super even more memory bandwidth than the Ti model.

This means that the GTX 1660 Super has the same GDDR6 memory that you can find on the RTX 2060, 2060 Super, 2070, 2070 Super, 2080, 2080 Ti and even the Titan RTX.

Increasing the MSRP by just $ 10 compared to the base model appears to be a pretty good deal, as this is only a 4% price increase for a 75% increase in memory bandwidth, which should often result in double-digit performance gains.

Before we turn to the benchmarks, here is a brief summary of the $ 200 to $ 300 price segment this year. Back in February, we got the first GTX 1660 series GPU, the $ 280 Ti model. In our test on the starting day, we came to the conclusion that it was the first GPU version for some time that we felt completely satisfied with. The 1660 Ti offered a GTX 1070-like performance at a slight premium compared to the GTX 1060 6 GB. Without AMD's competition, it was a pretty good result.

A month later we got the standard 1660 and had nothing bad to say, not even a bad thing. The 1660 was an inexpensive offer from Nvidia and completely wiped out the GTX 1060 series along with the RX 580 and 590, although the 1660 Ti really did care about the 590.

That was until later in the year when the Radeon RX 590 fell from around $ 300 to almost $ 200. Suddenly it was a contender again. With price cuts, AMD has managed to stay relevant in the budget and mainstream GPU market with its older RX 500 series GPUs, and has actually managed to become the option under $ 200. And that is still the case today. The $ 200 RX 590 will undoubtedly be a thorn in the side of the $ 230 GTX 1660 Super. To match the value of the RX 590, the new GTX 1660 Super may have to deliver 1660 Ti-like performance.

For testing we used our usual GPU test machine with a Core i9-9900K with 5 GHz and 16 GB DDR4-3400 memory. We have two GTX 1660 Super models on hand, the MSI Gaming X and the Gigabyte Gaming OC, both of which deliver exactly the same performance and normally operate at 1965 MHz. The MSI Gaming X reached a maximum of 63 ° C in our F1 2019 stress test and was very quiet with a fan speed of 1700 rpm. The Gigabyte Gaming OC was mostly 1 degree cooler, although it occasionally reached a maximum of 65 ° C. Fans also spun 100rpm faster, although both cards were very quiet overall when playing. We looked at a total of 17 games, all of which were tested at 1080p and 1440p.

Benchmarks

First we have Shadow of the Tomb Raider and here the new 1660 Super was 4% faster than the base model. We suspect that this is in line with the 4% price increase. Not exactly an exciting result, but it was significantly faster than the RX 590.

When testing with Just Cause 4, we see a dramatic improvement. This time the 1660 Super was 12% faster than the base model, making it only one frame slower than the 1660 Ti. As a result, we look at the GTX 1070-like performance in this title. This is a GPU that cost $ 400 about 3.5 years ago. Not surprising progress, but welcome to 2019.

Resident Evil 2 shows almost no performance increase for the 1660 Super compared to the standard 1660, only an increase of ~ 2% for the average frame rate. It also managed to match the RX 590.

We see a 9% performance improvement for the 1660 Super over the base model, with the average frame rate in Rainbow Six Siege increasing from 118 fps to 129 fps, which means it's only 5% slower than the Ti model.

We see another solid increase in performance, this time testing with Battlefield V. A 13% increase over the base model is the best result we've seen so far. This placed the 1660 Super just ahead of the RX 590.

Far Cry New Dawn saw a slight 3% increase in performance. The frame rate was increased from 87 fps to 90 fps, which means that the 1660 Super was 11% slower than the Ti model.

When testing with The Division 2, the 1660 Super Land is located exactly between the base model 1660 and the Ti version. That means that with an average of 74 fps, the faster memory resulted in a 9% increase in performance.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands is a very memory-sensitive title, as the 1660 Super achieved a performance increase of 13% thanks to the faster memory and was placed within a few frames of the more expensive Ti model.

We see a slight 3% performance improvement at Prey, so not a good result as less than 4% more makes the 1660 Super "worse" than the 1660.

As with Battlefield V, Star Wars Battlefront II sees solid wins for the 1660 Super, here it was 9% faster than the base model. It was still 7% behind the 1660 Ti, but that's a great result for the new $ 230 GPU.

We have seen this in some games and with Project Cars 2 we have another example where the additional memory bandwidth does not lead to an increase in performance, but only to an additional frame for the 1660 Super compared to the non-Super version.

Nvidia claimed up to 20% performance increase and we have our first example here with Monster Hunter World. The 1660 Super was on average good for 67 fps, 20% faster than the standard 1660 and only 7% slower than the 1660 Ti.

For Honor, the 1660 Super offers another significant performance improvement over the base model. This time the frame rate increased by 18%, which means that the Super was only 5% slower than the 1660 Ti.

The Witcher 3 shows our best 1660 Super result so far. This time it was 25% faster than the base model 1660 (we checked it three times). This big leap means that the 1660 Super is much faster than the standard 1660 and RX 590.

Solid performance improvements can also be seen when testing with Sniper Elite 4. The 1660 Super was 14% faster than the base model and only 4% slower than the Ti model, which is another excellent result.

At Kingdom Come Deliverance, the 1660 Super again performs very well and beats the base model by 9%, only 3 fps behind the 1660 Ti.

After completing the gaming benchmarks, we have Middle-Earth Shadow of War and here the 1660 Super was 19% faster than the base model and only 3% slower than the Ti version, so again an excellent result.

power consumption

Here is a brief overview of the total system consumption. As you can see, the 1660 Super consumes slightly more power than even the Ti model. It is clear that a higher clocked GDDR6 memory is performance-hungry, and here we see a 9% increase in total system uptake over the 1660 standard.

Service summary

Granted, the new GeForce GTX 1660 Super looks a lot better in some games than we expected. There were some titles with meaningless wins, but overall the results look very positive.

Let's take a look at the average frame rates of all 17 games tested at 1080p …

Here we see that the new GTX 1660 Super delivered an average of 88 fps across the entire range of games tested. It was 10% faster than the base 1660 and only 6% slower than the 1660 Ti. Given that it only costs 4% more than the 1660 and 22% less than the 1660 Ti, this seems to be a good result .

At times, the 1660 Super could keep up with the GTX 1070, but overall it was a little slower. Still, it's 13% faster than the RX 590, which puts them within striking distance per frame.

It's hard to predict exact prices, but considering that all regular GTX 1660 cards are priced at $ 230 or more, we're assuming the 1660 Super will cost $ 240. At this price, the Super is cheaper than the existing GTX 1660 models and much cheaper than the 1660 Ti.

At the proposed $ 230 MSRP, the GTX 1660 Super would only cost 2% more per frame than the RX 590, and this makes it a better choice given the greatly reduced power consumption. At $ 240, it may still be the right choice for most, but more than that, and you could argue strongly for the RX 590 with $ 200.

Wrap up

When we first saw the specifications for the GTX 1660 Super, we didn't know what to make of it. The 75% increase in memory bandwidth is huge, but if the GPU didn't suffer from a lack of memory initially, it would ultimately be a large number on paper that would not lead to significant gains in the real world.

We saw a bit of it in games like Project Cars 2, Prey and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. But we also saw a lot of growth near 7-13%, so we got an improvement of 10% on average. There were even some titles like The Witcher 3, For Honor and Monster Hunter World that saw increases in the 18-25% range. For just $ 10 more than the base 1660, we see this as a worthwhile update.

As expected, the performance boost isn't universal, but we've seen enough wins for this new GPU to be nicknamed "Super."

Compared to the AMD competition, the GTX 1660 Super is a good deal faster than the Radeon RX 590 and beats it overall by 13%. However, the Radeon's appeal lies in pricing, and that determines which path you should take. If Nvidia offered the 1660 Super for $ 230, we would buy it for over $ 200 RX 590, and that was probably their intention all along.

Purchasing links:
  • GeForce GTX 1660 Super on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 590 at Amazon
  • GeForce GTX 1660 Ti on Amazon
  • GeForce GTX 1660 at Amazon
  • GeForce RTX 2060 Super on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 on Amazon
  • GeForce RTX 2070 Super on Amazon
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600 on Amazon

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