The GTX 1660 is what you might call “old but gold.” In other words, it’s a GPU that lived up to expectations when it was released and continues to deliver enough performance to justify the price.
Nvidia is a leading company that outsmarted many by releasing GPUs at both ends of the spectrum, from affordable to top-rated and expensive.
The GTX 1660 must have crossed your feed if you are an average gamer. Critics rate it as one of the best affordable GPUs on the market. It has been heavily tested, and it has proved itself time and time again. So, is it a safe choice, or should you choose another option? Read on to find out!
GTX 1660: Best Deal Today
GTX 1660 is still available on the market, even four years after its launch. While a lot of its competitors have entered and left the market, this GPU still continues to dominate the game. Its longevity is due to its low cost and high performance, the most sought-after combination in the gaming world.
You’re in luck, as we have found the best deals for you today. You can get this GPU for under $300 from most online retailers.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660: Overview
The GTX 1660 is an affordable version of its elder brother, the 1660 Ti. Although it lacks some of the advanced features of the higher-end model, it still provides impressive performance for its price point.
The GTX 1660 has fewer CUDA cores and texture units compared to the Ti version. However, it still packs a punch with 1,408 active CUDA cores and 88 usable texture units.
This card aims to provide a smooth FHD gaming experience, and it can handle most games easily. It has 8Gb/s GDDR5 memory–a downgrade from the GDDR6 memory that we see on the 1660 Ti. But don’t take the GDDR5 memory lightly: It is still perfect for 1080p gaming.
The graphics processor in question does not have Nvidia’s latest technology for rendering realistic lighting and AI acceleration. But it still has impressive numbers. It measures 284 square millimeters and comprises 6.6 billion transistors. These transistors were manufactured using Nvidia’s TSMC’s 12nm FinFET manufacturing process.
How do all these stats add up in real life? Let’s find out!
Release date and price
Nvidia unveiled the GTX 1660 on March 2019. With an affordable price point of under $300, this impressive GPU sits perfectly between budget-friendly options and high-end graphics cards. Its exceptional performance makes it a standout choice for those who demand top-tier graphics without spending much of those greenbacks.
The GTX 1660 lineup consists of various models that lie within an affordable price range. This lays out various options for someone who wants to experiment with the latest tech but has a limited budget. Currently, the lineup consists of the following options:
- GeForce GTX 1660
- GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
- GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER
- GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER
- GeForce GTX 1650
- GeForce GTX 1630
The GTX 1660 uses the same TU116 GPU as its elder brother, the 1660 Ti, but with two disabled SMs, or “streaming multiprocessors.” This results in 128 fewer CUDA cores and eight fewer texture units, making it slightly less powerful.
The TU116 architecture offers 128 dedicated FP16 cores per SM instead of the Tensor cores usually installed in other Turing-based GPUs. This allows the GeForce GTX 1660 to process half-precision operations at twice the rate of FP32.
However, the Turing architecture adds some strength to the GPU and helps the GTX 1660 perform better than its predecessor, the GTX 1060. Reviewers have got better results in several benchmarks, particularly color compression. Moreover, we also see faster FP16 support, better variable-rate shading, and concurrent FP and INT pipelines.
The GTX 1660 has 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM and a boost clock of 1785MHz. However, in practice, it can run at higher speeds in games, reaching 1845-1905MHz with temperatures of up to 67C.
It’s also a good candidate for overclocking, which will further improve your gaming performance.
Overclocking the GDDR5 memory from 8GT/s to 9.4GT/s and adding 125MHz to the GPU clock can result in a 10% performance improvement in games. Let’s look at the specs in more detail to see what you’re getting.
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660|
|Base Clock Rate||1530 MHz|
|GPU Boost Rate||1785 MHz|
|Memory Capacity||6GB GDDR5|
|Transistor Count||6.6 billion|
|Die Size (mm^2)||284|
GTX 1660: Review
When it comes to graphics cards, the GTX 1660 is a great option for those on a budget looking to upgrade their gaming experience. With impressive performance results in Full HD and Quad HD, this card can handle most modern games. However, most GPU-demanding titles like Ghost Recon Wildlands give this GPU a tough time.
In-game benchmark tests showcase the card’s abilities with smooth frame rates and no noticeable drops in performance. Even in Quad HD, the GTX 1660 still performs amazingly for some games, although 4K performance is understandably limited.
A top-notch tech setup can be an amazing experience, whether a 4K monitor or a powerful CPU. But if you’re going for a GTX 1660 with such a setup, then you will not get the best value for your money.
The GTX 1660 is more a mid-range graphics card. It performs exceptionally well in 1080p gaming. If you have a higher resolution monitor or a more powerful CPU, then buying a GTX 1660 will just limit the potential of your setup. This effect is known as a “bottleneck.”
Let’s see the results of some gaming benchmarks so you can see what we mean.
|Title||Average Frames Per Second|
|Assassin’s Creed Odyssey||48.8 FPS at 1080p|
35 FPS at 1440p
18.9 FPS at 2160p
|Battlefield V||85.8 FPS at 1080p|
63.8 FPS at 1440p
37.1 FPS at 2160p
|Civilization VI||85 FPS at 1080p|
70 FPS at 1440p
48.6 FPS at 2160p
|Dark Siders 3||80.5 FPS at 1080p|
49.8 FPS at 1440p
17.3 FPS at 2160p
|F1 2018||93 FPS at 1080p|
70.5 FPS at 1440p
41.1 FPS at 2160p
|GTA V||113.6 FPS at 1080p|
83.6 FPS at 1440p
41 FPS at 2160p
|Far Cry 5||83.7 FPS at 1080p|
59.8 FPS at 1440p
31.6 FPS at 2160p
|Shadow of the tomb raider||82 FPS at 1080p|
53.2 FPS at 1440p
26.4 FPS at 2160p
|The Witcher 3||71 FPS at 1080p|
52.7 FPS at 1440p
30.3 FPS at 2160p
|Monster hunter World||59.3 FPS at 1080p|
36.1 FPS at 1440p
16.8 FPS at 2160p
3DMark’s Fire Strike Ultra benchmark may show lower figures than expected. However, this is likely due to the card’s focus on efficiency rather than raw power. These simulated tests do not take Nvidia’s smart shading techniques into account. This may explain the disparity between the results.
60FPS is an ideal spot that provides extra smooth graphics and transitions. And, this GPU consistently hits the 60FPS and higher in real-life testing. GTA V recorded the highest FPS, getting 113 at 1080p. Assassins’ creed Odyssey had the lowest, 48 at 1080p. Honestly speaking, the difference between frame rates starts becoming subtle at higher FPS. So, if you just want a good time playing games, then this GPU is a great choice.
The bottom line is GTX 1660 is an excellent choice for gamers on a budget who want to experience modern games in Full HD and Quad HD. However, it may not handle the most demanding titles at higher resolutions, but it still offers solid performance. It is a worthy investment for those looking to upgrade their gaming setup, especially if you have something much older or more entry-level.
Power Usage and Noise
Regarding high-performing graphics cards, power consumption, and noise levels are often overlooked. But they are crucial factors to consider. Fortunately, this GPU manages to keep power consumption and noise levels in check.
At stock, the voltages are similar to those of the GTX 1660 Ti and vanilla, with 1.05v being a universal limit for NVIDIA Turing GPUs. Additionally, the card’s idle voltage of 0.618v is lower than what we’ve seen on other TU116 cards. IG helps to keep power consumption and noise levels at bay.
The GTX 1660 Gaming X is not only energy efficient but also runs cool and quiet. During testing, it did not produce any noticeable sound, even when put through its paces with some games. After running the F1 2018 benchmark for an hour at a room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius, it peaked at just 63 degrees, which is an impressive feat for a budget graphics card.
Thus, if you are looking for a high-performing card that doesn’t compromise on power consumption and noise levels, then you must get your hands on a GTX 1660.
GTX 1660: Pros and Cons
- Excellent gaming performance
- Good value for money
- Low power consumption
- Compact size for easy installation
- Limited ray tracing performance
- Mediocre 1440p performance
- No VirtualLink USB-C port
- Limited VR performance
GTX 1660: Is It a Buy?
Buy it if…
If you’re on a budget.
GTX 1660 is an excellent choice for budget-conscious gamers looking for an affordable yet powerful graphics card. It has impressive performance for its price. You can’t expect RTX levels of performance at this price range, and that’s fine!
When you’re playing games like World of Warcraft, Old School Runescape, and Minecraft, this card will keep you going.
It might not have the latest graphics architecture. So, don’t expect groundbreaking performance. Instead, the card is based on NVIDIA’s Turing architecture, which is a nice performance boost over the previous generation of GPUs. If you’re upgrading from something much older, this will be a decent upgrade.
If you want a solid 1080p gaming experience, get the GTX 1660.
It can handle most games at high settings with ease and delivers excellent performance for its price. With 6GB of GDDR5 memory and a boost clock speed of up to 1785MHz, the GTX 1660 can easily handle modern games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and PUBG.
If you value power efficiency, this card is a winner.
The GTX 1660 is one of the most efficient in its class, as it has a power draw of just 120 watts. Its energy efficiency translates to lower electricity bills and a smaller carbon footprint.
Furthermore, its low power consumption means it produces less heat. Thus, it reduces the need for additional cooling and results in a quieter system.
Don’t buy it if…
If you want to play games at higher resolutions or with demanding graphics settings.
The GTX 1660 is a great card for 1080p gaming. But it may need help to keep up with the demands of more graphically intensive games at higher resolutions. If you’re looking for a card that can handle 1440p or 4K gaming, or if you like to crank up the settings to the max, there might be better choices than the GTX 1660.
You might want to look instead at options like a GTX 1080 Ti. This card is even older, but it offers better performance for a low price tag. If you don’t mind spending a few dollars more, you can look into newer cards like the RTX 2060 or even RTX 3060 Ti.
If you need to future-proof your system.
With the next generation of games on the horizon, it’s important to consider whether the GTX 1660 will be able to keep up with the demands of future titles. While it’s a solid card for the present, it may not be able to deliver the performance you need in the long term.
If you want something to keep up with the latest games going into the future, you should consider options from the Nvidia 2000-series or 3000-series at least.
You require ray tracing or DLSS support.
The GTX 1660 lacks the dedicated hardware for ray tracing and DLSS, two features that can greatly enhance the visual quality of games that support them. If these features are important to you, then you’ll want to consider a card with the necessary hardware, such as the RTX series.