Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Evaluate: Going for 200

The newest member of the Turing GTX family makes its debut in the form of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660. An expected release after the recent launch of the GTX 1660 Ti for $ 280 turned out to be a great buy. Now the Vanille GTX 1660 is set at $ 220, and at least on paper, it seems good value for money.

The standard 1660 is 21% cheaper, but contains only 8% fewer CUDA cores. If you do this alone, expect it to be ~ 5% slower on average as the base and boost watches are very similar. However, there is another important change. While the 1660 Ti has a 192-bit memory bus with 12 Gbit / s GDDR6 memory for a bandwidth of 288 GB / s, the new vanilla model with GDDR5 memory was downgraded.

It still has a 192-bit memory bus, but the slower GDDR5 memory means that the bandwidth has been reduced by 33% to 192 GB / s. That will give some interesting results and we don't expect the GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti to scale equally.

Overall, Nvidia says the GTX 1660 is 30% faster than the GTX 1060 3GB and 15% faster than the GTX 1060 6GB at 1080p, an assertion that we will certainly be testing today.

Nvidia also informed us that the GTX 1660 is 68% faster on average than the GTX 970 and 113% faster than the GTX 960. Potential upgrades for older GPUs are one of the main goals at this price. As long as you have an 8-pin PCIe power connector, you can get started. However, you can also purchase 4-pin Molex adapters.

The MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X is available for testing. This comes in handy since our 1660 Ti results are based on the same MSI Gaming X model and this also applies to the RTX 2060. Contact MSI if you care about these publications. To be honest, without their support, this first day content would not be possible. In this sense, Nvidia was also helpful with these latest versions of Turing GTX and immediately provided the necessary drivers so that we can continue testing.

For this test, we'll look at performance in a dozen game titles. Next week we will publish one of our mega benchmarks with over 30 games.

Before we start, a few brief notes about our test system. We tested with a Core i9-9900K clocked at 5 GHz and 32 GB DDR4-3200 memory. We used Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.2.3 drivers for the Radeon GPUs and Game Ready 419.35 WHQL for the GeForce GPUs. Our focus will be on 1080p performance.


As a kick start for the benchmarks, we have Shadow of the Tomb Raider and here the new GTX 1660 does exceptionally well. It blows the GTX 1060 6 GB out of the water by almost 40% and is only 4% slower than the GTX 1070 and 13% slower than the 1660 Ti.

Not only that, but with an average of 76 fps at 1080p and the highest graphics settings, it offered a super smooth and pleasant gaming experience. We got off to a good start.

The GTX 1660 isn't quite as impressive in Forza Horizon 4, where it matched the RX 590 and was only slightly slower than the GTX 1070. Compared to the GTX 1060 6GB, it was 16% faster, which isn't bad, but isn't great either.

In Just Cause 4, the GTX 1660 achieves an average of 65 fps with 1080p, which is roughly on the level of the Radeon RX 590 and is 18% ahead of the GTX 1060 6GB in this title. It was ~ 11% slower than the 1660 Ti, so overall not a bad result.

When testing with Resident Evil 2, we find another title in which the GTX 1660 is on par with the RX 590, although in this case it is almost 30% faster than the GTX 1060 6 GB, a significant improvement.

With an average of 94 fps at 1080p and maximum play, it's nothing to sneeze at.

Hitman 2 is a CPU limited game with 1080p when the GTX 1660 Ti or better is used. We see that the 1660 is not quite at the limits of the CPU, but still 16% faster than the RX 590 and 29% faster than the GTX 1060 6 GB. Hitman 2 is a bit strange title, but the 1660 still does well here.

The GTX 1660 is fine at Fortnite, not surprising, but it definitely does the job. It was 11% faster than the GTX 1060 6GB, 16% slower than the GTX 1070 and 18% slower than the GTX 1660 Ti. With an average of 113 fps when using the "Epic" quality preset at 1080p, this is not what you considered would slowly designate.

The performance in Metro Exodus is good, here the GTX 1660 was only 8% slower than the Ti model. It was 16% faster than the GTX 1060, which meant the difference between good, consistent performance and significantly lower frame rates.

We have seen it before that Turing loves Rainbow Six Siege or Rainbow Six Siege loves Turing. In any case, it's good news for potential GTX 1660 owners. Here the new budget GPU spat out an incredible 118 fps at 10080 render scaling at an average of 1080p. That's a whopping 36% increase in performance compared to the GTX 1060 6 GB.

When testing with Battlefield V, the 1660 is 16% behind the Ti model and could only keep up with the RX 580. Radeon GPUs do very well in this title. In comparison to the GTX 1060 6 GB, we see a lower performance increase of 12%.

The new GPU is not doing so well in World of Tanks. Here the 1660 has dropped by 17% compared to the 1660 Ti and is therefore essentially at the level of the GTX 1060 6 GB.

Tests with Apex Legends show that the GTX 1660 offers a nice performance increase of 28% compared to the 1060 6 GB with a remarkable 106 fps on average at 1080p. The card was 6% slower than the GTX 1070 and 14% slower than the GTX 1660 Ti, which are relatively narrow margins.

When tested with Far Cry New Dawn, the GTX 1660 again corresponded to the RX 590. With an average of 87 fps, the performance at 1080p was excellent, although admittedly it was only 14% faster than the 1060 6 GB. The older Pascal GPU spat out an average of 76 fps, so the difference was not so noticeable.

Power and overclocking

When it comes to power consumption, we can observe that the new GTX 1660, like its Ti siblings, is extremely economical in fuel consumption. The card brought the total system consumption to the level of the already very efficient GTX 1060 6 GB and delivered more power at the same time. In terms of efficiency, there is no question that the GTX 1660 is excellent.

At the temperatures, the MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X ran cool and quiet. We couldn't hear it above the test system under load and after an hour of the F1 2018 benchmark on a loop, it reached a maximum of only 63 degrees in a 21-degree room. Impressive stuff from this new budget graphics card.

Overclocking the MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X went smoothly. When we started the MSI Afterburner utility we came to +110 for the core and +900 for the GDDR5 memory. This resulted in a typical 2070MHz operating speed, although that's only 5% more than what you get straight away.

By increasing the GDDR5 memory speed by 22%, the frame rate in Apex Legends could be increased by 11%. Not bad considering how small the core overclock was. The GTX 1660 is clearly limited in memory, and getting the most pressure out of the GDDR5 is an easy way to increase frame rates.

Cost per frame and final remarks

Overall, Nvidia's new $ 220 mid-range Turing offering is an all-around excellent option. We can get a better idea of ​​how good the GTX 1660 is in terms of value by looking at the cost per frame graphic below. At $ 2.44 per frame, based on our tests, it is actually 9% cheaper than the GTX 1660 Ti as a whole and has even outperformed the Radeon RX 580.

This is a really inexpensive offer from Nvidia, which completely wipes out the GTX 1060 series together with the Radeon RX 580 and 590, although the GTX 1660 Ti has already taken good care of the never good RX 590.

This leaves AMD's $ 140 RX 570 as a cost per frame champion, but as you can see, the GTX 1660 was 36% faster on average, so it's probably worth a little more for all this extra performance for most numbers.

The GTX 1660 is unbeatable. Energy efficiency is there, and the MSI Gaming X model we used for testing worked like magic and is cool and quiet with adequate overclocking scope.

If you read this, we hope that shortly afterwards enough cards will appear in the shops. So if you're ready to take the plunge, you can do so at the suggested retail prices of $ 220.

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