Nvidia has unleashed the GeForce GTX 1660 on an unprepared, and probably underwhelmed public. The halfway house successor sits somewhere between the GeForce GTX 1060 and GeForce RTX 2060 in terms of nomenclature, although its performance is far closer to the former than the latter.
The GeForce GTX 1660 is equipped with a cut-down version of the same TU116 GPU used for the GTX 1660 Ti. While lacking the advanced ray-tracing and DLSS features of the RTX cards, the TU116 GPU still benefits from new Turing improvements such as shader innovations that improve performance and efficiency, as well as Adaptive Shading tech.
Unlike its sibling, the GTX 1660 also uses slower (and cheaper) GDDR5 memory, as well as a reduced core count.
GeForce GTX 1660 Graphics Card Specs
|GeForce GTX 1060 3GB||GeForce GTX 1060 6GB||GeForce GTX 1660||GeForce GTX 1660 Ti|
|Manufacturing Process||16nm||16nm||12nm FFN||12nm FFN|
|Base Clock||1506 MHz||1506 MHz||1530 MHz||1500 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1708 MHz||1708 MHz||1785 MHz||1770 MHz|
|FLOPS||3.9 TFLOPS||4.4 TFLOPS||5 TFLOPS||5.5 TFLOPS|
|Texel Fill-rate||108.4 Gigatexels/s||120.5 Gigatexels/s||157.1 Gigatexels/s||169.9 Gigatexels/s|
|Memory||3GB GDDR5||6GB GDDR5||6GB GDDR5||6GB GDDR6|
|Memory Bandwidth||192 GB/s||192 GB/s||192.1 GB/s||288.1 GB/s|
|Max L1 Cache Size||480 KB||480 KB||1408 KB||1536 KB|
|Die Size||200 mm²||200 mm²||284 mm²||284 mm²|
As you can probably guess from what looking at the specs, the GeForce GTX 1660 is a graphics card targeted squarely at the 1080p market, the single largest sector of PC gamers. It’s a mainstream video card with a fairly mainstream $219 price tag.
It all adds up to a graphics card that's a fair chunk slower than the GTX 1660 Ti, and performs pretty much exactly as you'd expect it to.
GeForce GTX 1660 v GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming FPS Performance @ 1080p
In a nutshell, the GeForce GTX 1660 is indeed faster than a GTX 1060 at 1080p, and significantly so in a few instances. However, for the most part, there's but 5-15% separating their frame rates. If you're still holding onto your GTX 1060, it makes it hard to suggest this could be a worthy upgrade. It isn't, frankly, but it's rapidly going to become the only choice you've at this price point from Nvidia as supplies of the GTX 1060 6GB begin to dry up.
However, despite this disappointing performance jump, Nvidia claims two-thirds of GeForce gamers are using a GeForce GTX 960 or weaker, so it’s understandable that plenty of people may be looking toward the GTX 16 series as an upgrade path. Those with a GTX 1060 will come away from this disappointed, but for that two-third chunk of Nvidia’s market, we’ve got a very capable 1080p video card for $220. Whether that’s enough to sway them over a cheaper Radeon RX 580 is a different matter entirely.
The end result with the GeForce GTX 1660 launch is that this isn't a graphics card to set pulses racing, particularly for those who have a 10-series GPU or a high-end 9-series. For everyone else below this bracket though, the GTX 1660 looks to be a solid if unspectacular upgrade that's going to be as good as it gets at this price, from Nvidia at least, until the next generation rolls around.
So, is anyone planning to pick one of these up, or are you holding off for next-gen? Is this a further justification to wait and see what Navi brings? Let us know what you think below!