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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660
The savvy shoppers out there seeking a competitive mainstream GPU may have viewed last month's GTX 1660 Ti as a good reason to wait for whatever comes next. You see, it was no secret that GTX 1660 Ti introduced the full implementation of NVIDIA's latest 12nm Turing die, the TU116, and that typically means that pared-down derivatives are imminent.
Turns out we didn't have to wait long as NVIDIA is today following-up with another mainstream offering dubbed the GTX 1660. Built around the same die as its full-fat sibling, this latest addition to the GeForce product range brings the latest-generation Turing architecture down to the $219 (£200) price point. Let's dive in and see what's what.
GeForce: from GTX to RTX to GTX
|RTX 2080 Ti||GTX 1080 Ti||RTX 2080||GTX 1080||RTX 2070||GTX 1070||RTX 2060||GTX 1660 Ti||GTX 1660||GTX 1060|
|Launch date||Sep 2018||Mar 2017||Sep 2018||May 2016||Oct 2018||May 2016||Jan 2019||Feb 2019||Mar 2019||May 2016|
|Die Size (mm²)||754||471||545||314||445||314||445||284||284||200|
|Base Clock (MHz)||1,350||1,480||1,515||1,607||1,410||1,506||1,365||1,500||1,530||1,506|
|Boost Clock (MHz)||1,545||1,582||1,710||1,733||1,620||1,683||1,680||1,770||1,785||1,708|
|Founders Edition Clock (MHz)||1,635||-||1,800||-||1,710||-||1,680||-||-||1,708|
|Founders Edition GFLOPS||14,231||-||10,598||-||7,880||-||6,221||-||-||3,855|
|L2 cache (KB)||5,632||2,816||4,096||2,048||4,096||2,048||3,072||1,536||1,536||1,536|
|Power Connector||8-pin + 8-pin||8-pin + 6-pin||8-pin + 6-pin||8-pin||8-pin||8-pin||8-pin||8-pin||8-pin||6-pin|
|Founders Edition TDP (watts)||260||-||225||-||185||-||160||-||-||-|
|Founders Edition MSRP||$1,199||$699||$799||$699||$599||$449||$349||-||-||$299|
The in-depth specification table reveals all. Though GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660 have plenty in common, the latter is able to meet the lower price point by artificially disabling two SM units, resulting in a lower shader count (1,408 vs. 1,536) and fewer texture units (88 vs. 96). These small cuts are compensated via a fractionally higher boost clock of 1,785MHz, but what really sets the GPUs apart is the back-end configuration.
Although both GTX 16-series cards carry 48 ROPs and a 192-bit memory bus, NVIDIA has created clear segmentation between the two GPUs by switching from 12Gbps GDDR6 memory on the GTX 1660 Ti to 8Gbps GDDR5 on the new GTX 1660. That performance penalty is what is likely to separate the two cards when it comes to in-game frame rate, but at a cost of £200, GTX 1660 is still expected to offer excellent results at a full-HD resolution, and in some titles smooth gameplay at QHD.
Exactly what a mainstream card should aim to deliver? Perhaps, and the 120W TDP is such that add-in-board partners can create small, quiet and inexpensive cards that require only a single power cable.
NVIDIA's goal, understandably, is to chisel away at the TU116 die to leave a cost effective GPU that slots in below the existing GTX 1660 Ti while outpacing rival solutions such as the Radeon RX 590 and RX 580. Benchmarks from leading review sites suggest that GTX 1660 manages to do exactly that.
Achieving silky gameplay at a full-HD resolution is easy enough, and though the card might be viewed as a sideward step from the last-generation GTX 1060, it serves as a prime destination for gamers still rocking a GTX 960. The performance uplift in Shadow of the Tomb Raider is almost as much as 200 per cent, taking gameplay from unplayable to perfectly smooth.
Gaming at a more demanding 2,560x1,440 resolution is a greater challenge, yet GTX 1660 continues to deliver solid results, and the best available in the £200 arena. Ideal for a small-form-factor build, and if you're willing to forego the bells and whistles of flagship RTX cards, GTX 1660 ticks a lot of the right boxes without breaking the bank.
It is easy to become distracted by premium high-profile cards promising cutting-edge technologies and lofty performance, but let's not forget that the bulk of graphics card sales take place in the mid-range segment where value is key. For these reasons, NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1660 is expected to become a volume seller, and serves as a fine choice at the £200 price point.
A full range of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 graphics cards are available to purchase right here at Scan Computers.