The right graphics card is critical when building or upgrading a gaming PC. GTX 1660 is a popular mid-range graphics card with some pretty good features. Despite being popular, this graphics card isn’t without fault. GTX 1660 Ti offers decent performance for its price, but it falls short in several areas compared to its competitors.
If you’re in the market for a new graphics card, you should perhaps overlook GTX 1660. Other graphics cards in its price range, such as the GTX 1060, AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, and RTX 2060, are good alternatives. From its lack of ray tracing support to its inferior VRAM and thermal performance, we’ll investigate the six best reasons to avoid a GTX 1660.
Quick Facts: GTX 1660
|Release Date||March 2019|
|Base Clock Speed||1530 MHz|
|Boost Clock Speed||1785 MHz|
|Memory||6 GB GDDR5|
|Memory Speed||8 Gbps|
|Memory Interface Width||192-bit|
|Memory Bandwidth||192 GB/s|
|Recommended Power Supply||450 W|
|Display Connectors||DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, DVI-D|
|Max Resolution||7680 x 4320|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||9.01 x 4.47 x 1.5 inches|
|Recommended Gaming Resolutions||1080p and 1440p|
|Price||Starting at $229 MSRP|
|Release Models||GTX 1660, GTX 1660 Super, GTX 1660 Ti, GTX 1660 Ti Super|
Reason 1: Price to Performance
Price to performance is a crucial factor when buying a graphics card. Consequently, the GTX 1660 falls short compared to other GPUs of its caliber, like the RX 580, RX 590, and other RX GPUs. While the GTX 1660 offers good performance, it costs more than other AMD competitors.
For example, the RX 580 performs similarly to the GTX 1660 but at a significantly lower price point. Moreover, AMD GPUs generally have better driver support and offer more features like Radeon Image Sharpening and AMD FidelityFX that enhance image quality.
Additionally, the RX 580 and RX 590 offer superior performance in computing tasks like video rendering, thanks to AMD’s superior computing technology. 1660 may excel in certain games, but overall, the RX 580, RX 590, and other RX GPUs provide better price-to-performance value.
Reason 2: Frame Rates
GTX 1660’s frame rates aren’t the best and might be a reason to avoid it altogether. True, GTX 1660 is a mid-range GPU with an impressive performance in most games. However, it can’t hold a candle to the like of AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT or the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060. The GTX 1660 struggles to keep up in terms of frame rates. 1660 can deliver around 60-70 fps on average in most modern games, while the RX 5600 XT and the RTX 2060 can deliver over 100 fps on average.
The difference in frame rates is because GTX 1660 has fewer CUDA cores and lower memory bandwidth than the RX 5600 XT and the RTX 2060. While 1660 is still a good GPU for gaming, it may struggle to maintain high frame rates in more demanding games or at higher resolutions.
However, frame rates aren’t the only thing to consider when choosing a GPU. Other factors, such as price, power consumption, and cooling performance, matter too. If high frame rates are a priority for you, we recommend alternatives like the RX 5600 XT or the RTX 2060 over the GTX 1660.
Reason 3: It’s Power Hungry
Another reason to avoid the GTX 1660? It consumes more power than other GPUs in its class. GTX 1660 consumes around 120 watts. Comparatively, other GPUs in the same category, such as the RX 580 and GTX 1060, consume the same power.
A GPU’s power consumption is an essential buying factor for many. Consequently, it affects the overall system power consumption, heat generation, and noise levels. The GTX 1660 may be a good choice for power-efficiency enthusiasts. However, it may not be the best option for those who want a high-performance GPU for demanding gaming or 3D modeling tasks.
Reason 4: Memory
If memory is an issue for you then you’d want to avoid the GTX 1660. GTX 1660’s GDDR5 memory is inferior to the newer GDDR6 technology found in most of the current mid-range and high-end GPUs.
GDDR6 memory offers higher bandwidth and faster speeds than GDDR5. This translates to improved performance and a better overall gaming experience. GPUs with GDDR6 memory, such as the RTX 3060 or RX 6700 XT, deliver noticeably better gaming performance than the 1660.
The GTX 1660 came out in 2019 with 6GB GDDR5 memory and a base clock speed of 1530 MHz. While it performs reasonably well for 1080p gaming, it struggles to keep up with demanding games and resolutions. Comparing 1660 with other GPUs of its caliber, we found that the RX 5600 XT and RTX 2060, both with GDDR6 memory, offer better performance and are more future-proof.
The latest games are increasingly demanding, and GDDR5 memory won’t suffice. Many newer games, including Cyberpunk 2077 and Red Dead Redemption 2, recommend at least GDDR6 memory for optimal performance.
Comparatively, the GDDR5 memory on 1660 is a significant drawback for gamers looking for a mid-range GPU with excellent performance and future-proofing. Newer GPUs with GDDR6 memory, such as the RTX 3060 or RX 6700 XT, are good alternatives as they deliver a better gaming experience.
Reason 5: GTX 1660 has Limited VRAM
With just 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM, GTX 1660 offers smaller VRAM than other GPUs of its caliber. So, it may struggle to handle modern games and applications requiring higher VRAM capacity and titles with high-resolution textures, complex scenes, and advanced graphical features. The result? Lower frame rates, stuttering, and lag.
Unlike the GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 2060, the GTX 1660’s limited VRAM capacity is a significant disadvantage. The 1660 Ti comes with 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM. However, the RTX 2060 has 6GB of GDDR6 and supports ray tracing and DLSS, which are advanced graphical features unavailable on the GTX 1660.
As newer games come out, the GPU’s VRAM requirements will only increase, and the GTX 1660’s limited VRAM capacity may become even more of a bottleneck. So, you can rely on this GPU for games that require higher frame rates and graphical fidelity.
Reason6: Limited Future-Proofing
GTX 1660 wasn’t designed with future games in mind. Released in 2019, this GPU is over five years old and lacks the latest technology to keep up with the rapidly evolving gaming industry.
Compared to other GPUs of its caliber, the GTX 1660 falls behind in performance and features. Newer GPUs feature ray tracing and DLSS, which enhance the gaming experience and improve the card’s overall performance.
GTX 1660 will struggle to keep up with modern games, especially those requiring more powerful hardware. Well, it can still handle some current games at a lower setting. However, it will fall short of demanding games in the future.
As the gaming world advances, the GTX 1660 will eventually become obsolete, limiting its usefulness and potential resale value. So, you might have to consider other GPUs that provide better long-term value.
Reason 7: GTX 1660 has No RayOurng
Another significant drawback of the GTX 1660 is it lacks ray tracing. GPUs with better ray-tracing performance typically produce more realistic lighting effects in games that support the technology.
Games will look less realistic without ray tracing, and the lighting effects will appear flat and outdated. Playing games not supporting ray-tracing on the GTX 1660 will result in less immersive gameplay and a less enjoyable experience overall.
Ray tracing has become a standard feature in modern AAA games. Because GTX 1660 doesn’t support this technology, it may limit the games you can play in the future. As game developers incorporate corporate ray-tracing into their games, you have to upgrade to play the latest titles.
What are the Best Alternatives to GTX 1660?
While GTX 1660 is still a popular choice for gamers worldwide, it doesn’t just cut it with the latest games. You may have to consider some newer and more powerful alternatives. Three of the best alternatives to 1660 are:
- Asus dual Nvidia RTX 3050,
- MSI Gaming AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT, and the
- MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these options and see what they have to offer.
Best Overall: Asus Dual Nvidia RTX 3050
The Asus Dual Nvidia RTX 3050 is a superior alternative to the GTX 1660 in terms of features, pricing, performance, and value for money. The RTX 3050 comes with 8 GB of GDDR6 RAM, a faster GPU clock speed of 1.85 GHz, and a PCI Express 4.0 video output interface. Comparatively, the GTX 1660 has 6 GB of GDDR5 RAM, a slower GPU clock speed of 1785 MHz, and a DisplayPort video output interface.
Additionally, the RTX 3050 also features the latest Nvidia Ampere Streaming Multiprocessors, 2nd Generation RT Cores, and 3rd Generation Tensor Cores, providing better ray-tracing performance and AI capabilities. The RTX 3050’s axial-tech fan design and 2-slot design provide superior cooling efficiency and compatibility. Although the RTX 3050 is pricey, it offers better performance, making it an excellent value for money.
- 2X the FP32 throughput and improved power efficiency
- 2nd Generation RT Cores: 2X the throughput of 1st gen RT Cores
- A whole new level of ray-tracing performance
- Axial-tech fan design, 2-slot design for cooling efficiency
- PCIe 4.0, 8GB GDDR6 Memory
- HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a, 2-Slot
Best for Performance: MSI Gaming AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
The MSI Gaming AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT offers better performance compared to the GTX 1660. The RX 6600 XT has a higher GPU clock speed of 1845 MHz and features 8GB GDDR6 memory with a memory speed of 16 Gbps. In addition, it has a maximum display resolution of 7680 x 4320, making it suitable for demanding gaming and graphic-intensive applications.
The GTX 1660, on the other hand, has a lower clock speed of 1785 MHz and 6GB GDDR5 memory, which can limit its performance in high-end games and applications. Therefore, if you are looking for a graphics card that can deliver better performance, the MSI Gaming AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT is a great alternative to the GTX 1660.
- DirectX ray tracing enhances gaming realism
- High performance with low-noise
- Strong backplate with cooling features
- Solid build quality TORX FAN 4.0 cooling system
- Tailored PCB Design enhances reliability
Best for a Better Memory Interface: MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060
The MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 2060 is a superior alternative to the GTX 1660 in terms of memory interface. The RTX 2060 has a wider memory interface of 192-bit, which is 50% more than the GTX 1660’s 128-bit interface.
A wider memory interface facilitates faster data transfer rates and higher bandwidth, which enhances overall system performance, especially in demanding tasks such as gaming and video editing. Additionally, the RTX 2060 comes with newer architecture and more advanced features like Ray Tracing, Tensor Cores, and DLSS, making it a more future-proof option for those looking to invest in a high-end graphics card.
GTX 1660 may be a decent graphics card, but it’s not simply food bought for modern games. Its limited future-proofing capabilities and price-to-performance ratio make it less attractive than newer cards in the market. Additionally, the lack of ray-tracing technology and limited VRAM capacity can significantly impact your gaming experience. Not to mention its power consumption is quite high. If you are looking for a graphics card with better performance, future-proofing, and newer features like ray tracing, consider the above three alternatives.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Bk87/Shutterstock.com.