Nvidia GTX ray tracing revisited: How a lot quicker are the GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti?

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Last month, I put Nvidia’s GTX ray tracing driver to the take a look at, seeing what sort of speeds have been potential on the GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 in Metro Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The outcomes, it’s honest to say, have been fairly combined. Metro was utterly unplayable on each playing cards, however Tomb Raider did, actually, present promising indicators of life so long as you stored its ray tracing setting on Medium – which ended being such a minuscule type of impact that it was barely price bothering with.

Now, I’ve received the GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti again in to see what they’re able to as properly. Can our new best graphics card champs’ new Turing GPUs make a greater go of ray tracing than the GTX 10-series’ previous Pascal structure? Let’s discover out.

Before we try this, although, it’s price re-iterating what every game is definitely doing after we discuss ray tracing, as there are many totally different ray tracing methods that each one fall below the identical banner.

As you possibly can see from the picture under, Shadow of the Tomb Raider solely makes use of ray tracing to render its titular shadows, whereas Metro Exodus applies it to its whole world illumination system in addition to its ambient occlusion tech (the stuff wot makes in-game mild look so pretty and practical).

As you’ve in all probability guessed, simply making use of ray tracing to a game’s shadows goes to be lots much less taxing in your previous graphics card than utilizing it for your complete lighting system. That’s why Metro Exodus proved to be such a problem for the GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 once I examined them final month – and why it continues to be such a mare even for the GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti.

Metro Exodus: GTX ray tracing efficiency

In their defence, the GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti did nearly handle a playable body price in Metro Exodus with ray tracing turned on, however you’ll must make do with absolutely the naked minimal graphics settings with a view to do it.

Just like earlier than, I examined every card by jogging up and down the facet of the prepare within the game’s first open world space often called the Volga with the decision set to 1920×1080. Ray tracing received’t activate when the graphics high quality is ready to Low, so I stored it on Medium with all the remainder of Metro’s different fancy graphics results switched off with a view to maximise my probabilities of a secure body price.

And for essentially the most half, it was really fairly do-able. Both the GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti settled across the 30-43fps zone more often than not once I set Metro’s ray tracing setting to High (the bottom potential choice), and every card solely noticed a few sub-30 dips all the way down to 27fps once I turned the digicam a bit too rapidly or occurred to be a very advanced little bit of horizon.

This is what Metro Exodus seems to be like on regular Medium high quality graphics…

…and that is Medium high quality with High ray tracing enabled.

Admittedly, that’s fairly a drop in efficiency from their common, non-ray traced speeds, which ranged from 63-109fps on the GTX 1660 and an excellent nippier 74-135fps on the 1660 Ti. However, as a sneaky peeky means of seeing whether or not ray tracing is definitely price all of the hype and hullabaloo, at the very least it’s vaguely playable. I imply, certain, it’s by no means nice when the body price lurches under 30fps at the very best of instances. But I’d argue the odd wobble to 27fps is certainly lots higher than the GTX 1070‘s quite extra frequent lows of 25-43fps on the identical settings, and infinitely preferable to the GTX 1060‘s much more common potholes all the way down to 20-33fps.

Of course, with out these devoted RT (or ray tracing) Cores you’ll discover on one of many Nvidia RTX playing cards, you’re not going to have the ability to handle something extra than Medium with the GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti at 1080p, and even Medium at 2560×1440 is out of the query right here. At this decision, neither card managed a lot larger than 26fps as I stuttered my means up the prepare tracks, so 1080p ray tracing may be very a lot the higher restrict of what’s potential on these explicit playing cards.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: GTX ray tracing efficiency

As for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, ray tracing was as soon as once more very a lot inside attain with these two playing cards. The GTX 1660 provided a lift of roughly 10fps over the GTX 1060’s ray tracing efficiency once I ran it via the game’s inner benchmark at 1920×1080 throughout quite a lot of totally different high quality settings, whereas the GTX 1660 Ti produced just about similar outcomes to the GTX 1070.

As you possibly can see from the GTX 1660 graph above and the GTX 1660 Ti graph under, each playing cards are completely able to dealing with the game’s Medium Ray Traced Shadow Quality with out subject. The GTX 1660 nonetheless dipped to 35fps each on occasion, with the GTX 1660 Ti’s lowest velocity being 37fps, however it’s removed from game-breaking. In truth, I’d even go so far as saying you may use this setting for a correct playthrough of Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

However, as I said in my earlier testing evaluation, Medium ray tracing doesn’t actually look that totally different to having no ray tracing enabled in any respect. If you want reminding, go and have a look at the screenshots in that GTX ray tracing article to see what I imply. Instead, I’d argue the one solution to actually get an thought of what ray tracing is definitely doing in Shadow of the Tomb Raider is to stay it on High or Ultra – and that’s the place we begin operating into hassle.

For whereas the GTX 1660 Ti’s averages of round 40fps don’t look that unhealthy on paper, what these common body price graphs don’t inform you is that some scenes dipped as little as 20fps within the game’s benchmark – notably the dense jungle scene – placing proper again into the identical type of unplayable territory as Metro Exodus, even on the game’s Medium high quality setting. Again, it’s in all probability nearly manageable if all you wish to do is mess around with the settings a bit to get a tough visible sense of what ray tracing really seems to be like on this game, however it’s not a really sensible velocity to do a correct playthrough with. Instead, you’re in all probability higher off sticking with Medium ray tracing, similar to the GTX 1060 and GTX 1070.

This is a disgrace, as I hoped the GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti’s new Turing GPUs may need given these playing cards a bit extra of a leg-up on this respect. But alas, it’s clear you continue to want the correct RT Cores discovered on Nvidia’s RTX playing cards, such because the RTX 2060, to get the job performed correctly.

As a consequence, we’re not actually in a significantly better place than the place we have been earlier than with these playing cards. Sure, the GTX 1660 provides considerably higher speeds than the GTX 1060, however with the GTX 1070 just about matching the GTX 1660 Ti body for body in a number of instances, anyone seeking to get a correct ray tracing expertise on a GTX graphics card must look considerably larger up the meals chain to the GTX 1070 Ti and past if they need some extra playable body charges.