Well, that didn’t take lengthy, did it? Just three weeks in the past, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti got here crashing into our best graphics card listing as our new champion for flawless 1080p gaming, and right this moment sees the discharge of its non-Ti sibling, the common GTX 1660. Priced at an much more palatable £200 / $220, Nvidia say this graphics card is primed and able to exchange their 3GB GTX 1060. Thankfully, my outcomes are extra optimistic than that, as I’d say that is the cardboard you can purchase as an alternative of the 6GB GTX 1060. Is this the brand new finest funds graphics card we’ve been ready for? Let’s discover out.
Now, in case you’re wanting on the GTX 1660’s title and considering, ‘Hold on a sec, what the heck is that all about?’, right here’s a quick reminder about what Nvidia’s new GTX 16-series truly is and the way it differs to their RTX 20-series. As I defined in my GTX 1660 Ti evaluate, the GTX 16-series use the identical Turing-based GPU structure as their extra upmarket RTX cousins, however they don’t have any of the RTX stuff that makes them RTX playing cards – so no ray tracing and no performance-boosting DLSS magic. Hence why they’re GTX playing cards somewhat than RTX playing cards.
As for why Nvidia have gone with the quantity 16 as an alternative of simply, say, calling them GTX 20 playing cards… effectively, the much less mentioned about 16 being nearer to 20 than 10, the higher, actually, as a result of yep, that basically is Nvidia’s logic for selecting that specific quantity.
The one massive Turing characteristic the GTX 16-series does have is its swish shader tech, which allows different performance-boosting methods resembling content material adaptive shading, variable charge shading and movement adaptive shading, and you may learn extra on what these all do in my Nvidia RTX information. The unhealthy information is that, very similar to ray tracing and DLSS, all of them have to be supported by the builders themselves earlier than you begin seeing any advantages – and proper now, the one game that really helps any of them is Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.
That’s not an ideal promoting level, all informed, however as I mentioned with the GTX 1660 Ti, I actually don’t assume it issues that a lot right here, because the GTX 1660’s uncooked efficiency continues to be higher than what you’d get by spending the identical amount of cash, if no more in some circumstances, on a 6GB GTX 1060.
In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, for instance, the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 mannequin I used to be despatched for evaluate was able to hitting a mean of 52fps once I was moseying round its busy day of the lifeless pageant in Cozumel’s city sq. on Ultra settings at 1920×1080 with its demanding SMAA x4 anti-aliasing switched on, which is a large enchancment on my Asus GeForce GTX 1060 OC’s common of simply 38fps underneath the identical circumstances.
Tough-as-old-dino-boots Monster Hunter: World noticed an identical soar in efficiency as effectively once I caught it on Highest at 1080p, with the GTX 1660’s common of 51fps manner out in entrance of the GTX 1060’s 40fps. That’s fairly spectacular for a £200 card, particularly when the £60 / $60 costlier GTX 1660 Ti will solely push it as much as 58fps.
The similar goes for Forza Horizon 4, the place the GTX 1660 raced forward with a mean of 86fps on Ultra at 1080p in comparison with the GTX 1060’s 72fps common. Of course, it will solely be of use to you if you happen to even have a excessive refresh charge monitor able to displaying all these additional frames, however if you happen to do personal such a monitor and are into your fast-paced aggressive games that may usually do effectively above 60fps, then you definitely’ll positively be significantly better served by the GTX 1660. Case in level: whereas the GTX 1060 tended to max out round 125fps in Doom on Ultra at 1080p, the GTX 1660 noticed highs of 150fps.
This type of efficiency soar received’t be the case in each game going, nonetheless, as the opposite half of my testing suite put each playing cards on just about equal footing. The GTX 1660 nonetheless got here out because the quicker card each time, however the enhancements supplied have been arguably so small that you just in all probability wouldn’t discover them with out the help of a body charge counter.
In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, for instance, there was a mean of simply 4 frames separating the GTX 1660 and GTX 1060 on Ultra High on 1080p, with the previous managing 48fps in its inside benchmark over the latter’s common of 44fps. The similar hole emerged in Final Fantasy XV, too. The GTX 1660 averaged 56fps when Noctis and his boy band lads have been working up and down the luxurious hillsides of Duscae with all of Nvidia’s fancy results turned off, which to my eyes is just about the identical because the GTX 1060’s common of 52fps.
Getting up shut and private with the tip of a Lizardman’s spear in Total War: Warhammer II was virtually equally fluid as effectively, with the GTX 1660’s common of 52fps simply edging out the GTX 1060’s 48fps. In truth, the one place the place this sort of teensy step up in efficiency made any type of palpable distinction was in Metro Exodus, the place its common of 39fps on Ultra settings at 1080p (see my Metro Exodus graphics performance information for more information on what that really means) seemed noticeably smoother within the game’s benchmark device than the GTX 1060’s common of 34fps.
Still, no matter how small the efficiency enhance truly is in observe, the actual fact stays that, at 1080p, the GTX 1660 continues to be the quicker card general. I’d be tempted to err on the aspect of the GTX 1060 if the GTX 1660 was costlier, however when each playing cards price the identical amount of cash, it simply doesn’t make any sense to go for the 6GB GTX 1060 any extra.
When I bumped the decision as much as 2560×1440, nonetheless, one thing fairly unusual occurred. Like the GTX 1060 earlier than it, that is finally a card that’s most snug round Medium to High high quality settings with regards to hitting 60fps at this decision, so that you’re nonetheless going to wish to spend a bit extra on one thing just like the GTX 1660 Ti and even RTX 2060 if you happen to’re in search of that type of pace additional up the standard scale.
However, whereas the GTX 1660 nonetheless got here out on high of the GTX 1060 in 99.9% of circumstances at 1440p, there have been nonetheless a few situations the place it truly fell behind its older rival – and that was mainly in these games the place it had already been fairly shut earlier than again at 1080p.
On max high quality at 1440p, for instance, it was enterprise as traditional. I’ll be going into extra element concerning the GTX 1660’s 1440p efficiency in a separate comparability article (as I think about most individuals right here could be trying to purchase it as a 1080p card), however in some locations, resembling Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the GTX 1660 was miles forward on Ultra High, going from an barely playable common of 27fps on the GTX 1060 to a really agreeable 37fps on the GTX 1660. I noticed an identical 10fps enhance in Shadow of the Tomb Raider as effectively, with the GTX 1660 managing a mean of 51fps on Highest with its much less demanding SMAA anti-aliasing enabled over the GTX 1060’s 40fps.
The GTX 1660 even maintained its lead in Final Fantasy XV and Total War: Warhammer II right here, too, even when it was solely by a few frames in every game. When I dropped the standard all the way down to High, although, it was the GTX 1060 that claimed the higher hand in these games. In FFXV, the GTX 1060 managed a mean of 45fps versus the GTX 1660’s 42fps, and in Total War, the GTX 1060 charged ahead with a mean of 53fps over the GTX 1660’s 49fps.
I have to admit I used to be fairly stunned that the GTX 1060 nonetheless had some battle left in it, however very similar to earlier than, you’re actually solely speaking a handful of frames distinction right here, and positively not sufficient to inform them aside by eye. At the tip of the day, the remainder of my check outcomes on High got here out very a lot in favour of the GTX 1660, with Monster Hunter: World, Forza Horizon four and even Metro Exodus displaying related 5-10fps jumps in pace as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
The solely actual query remaining is whether or not the GTX 1660 is healthier worth than AMD’s present mid-range providing, as its value of £200 / $220 sits roughly slap bang in the midst of AMD’s £185 / $190 8GB Radeon RX 580 and £230 / $240 8GB Radeon RX 590. From a pure efficiency perspective, the GTX 1660 is the superior card on this respect, providing just about similar if not barely quicker speeds at 1080p and 1440p to the RX 590.
The RX 590, nonetheless, does include three free games as a part of AMD’s ongoing free games bundle (Devil May Cry 5, Resident Evil 2 and The Division 2), which arguably makes it higher worth general. At time of writing, Nvidia have but to substantiate whether or not the GTX 1660 is getting any type of bundle deal, however given there’s at the moment no bundle deal hooked up to the GTX 1660 Ti, I feel it’s unlikely the GTX 1660 will get something both. The RX 580, in the meantime, helps you to select from two of these games, which along with its barely lower cost could also be sufficient to offset its nearer to GTX 1060-levels of efficiency.
It’s a difficult scenario. In phrases of uncooked pace, the GTX 1660 is a very powerful act to beat at this value, and positively the cardboard you can purchase as an alternative of the 6GB GTX 1060 if you happen to’re after 60fps on High-Ultra settings at 1080p and Medium-High at 1440p. However, if you would like any of the games in AMD’s present bundle, then you might as effectively go for the equally nippy RX 590, because the amount of cash you’d usually spend on simply a kind of games will robotically wipe out the additional price of the cardboard.
I ought to be aware that AMD’s free games bundle solely lasts till April sixth 2019, although, so relying on what they observe it up with (if something in any respect), then the GTX 1660 could effectively regain its crown as the last word graphics card for £200 / $220. Until then, nonetheless, the worth proposition supplied by the RX 590 is sort of too good to cross up.