Raise a toast to the new no-holds-barred 1080p gaming champion, wearing a GDDR6-encrusted crown.
Table of Contents
- Outstanding 1080p gaming performance
- It runs calm and quiet.
- Features backplate, RGB, and idle fan stop
- There is no price premium.
- There is only one HDMI and one DisplayPort.
- Several features
- The physical design is broad and thick.
CONCLUSIONFor 1080p gaming, this graphics card is excellent. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super gains a significant performance boost by swapping out the GTX 1660’s GDDR5 memory with considerably faster GDDR6, while the Asus Dual EVO OC’s design runs calm and quiet with some pleasant bonuses. There is also no price premium.
Today’s Best Prices
In 2019, Nvidia unveiled the GeForce GTX 1650 Super and GTX 1660 Super, which Super-fy its GTX GPUs. And, unlike AMD, which revealed the Radeon RX 5500 series well before the cards’ official release in late November, Nvidia is moving fast. The GTX 1660 Super is available in custom models from Nvidia’s board partners.
The GPU that powers the $229 GTX 1660 Super hasn’t changed. The sole major difference is the new 14Gbps GDDR6 memory, which replaces the previous-generation (and far slower) GDDR5 memory present in the original GTX 1660.
For 1080p gaming, the vanilla GTX 1660 is our favorite graphics card. Is the new GeForce GTX 1660 Super’s significant jump in-memory speed enough to elevate it beyond its namesake and justify the card’s $10 premium?
This is unquestionably a Super improvement. Although it performs more like the $280 GTX 1660 Ti than the original $220 GTX 1660, AsusDual GeForce GTX 1660 Super EVO OC we’re looking at today keeps the new GPU’s suggested price of $229. Let’s get started.
Price, specs, and features of Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super
The core GPU of the GeForce GTX 1660 Super is similar to the vanilla GTX 1660. It has the same amount of CUDA cores, runs at the same speed, and is built on Nvidia’s 12nm Turing GPU architecture, which is optimised for modern gaming instructions.
However, the GTX 16-series GPUs lack specialised real-time ray tracing functionality. For such features, you’ll need to upgrade to the more expensive GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards.
On the hardware level, the GeForce GTX 1660 Super compares to its two GTX 1660 siblings, as well as the previous-gen GTX 1060. As you can see, the 14Gbps GDDR6 memory on the GeForce GTX 1660 Super is faster than the 12Gbps GDDR6 on the GTX 1660 Ti, providing it with a significant edge in overall memory bandwidth.
Meanwhile, the new Super renders the original GTX 1660 obsolete, with a mind-boggling 75% increase in memory bandwidth. Oh, my goodness. As you’ll see later, the supercharged RAM improves gaming performance significantly, but it also increases power consumption by (a meagre) five watts.
The original GTX 1660 will continue to be available at a lower price. Nvidia has failed to make an official price change announcement. However, original GTX 1660 cards sell for approximately $200 to $210 after rebate if you look around online stores. Unless AMD’s nebulous Radeon RX 5500 series forces more cuts, expect the current pricing to stay around there.
Nvidia isn’t making Founders Edition versions of the GTX 1660 Super, so board partners will have to fill the gap. We’re looking at the Asus Dual GeForce GTX 1660 Super EVO OC, which manages to cram in some valuable extras despite keeping to the GTX 1660s recommended starting price of $229.
Here’s a quick rundown of its features:
Asus overclocks the Dual right out of the box, going from the GTX 1660 Super’s regular speed of 1,785MHz to 1,830MHz out of the box, and 1,860MHz when you install the company’s GPU Tweak II application and enable OC Mode.
GTX 1660 Super EVO OC also has several physical features in budget graphics cards that you don’t frequently see. Like a metal backplate and “0dB” fans that don’t spin up until the GPU reaches temperatures of 55 degrees Celsius or above, ensuring a quiet desktop experience.
The Asus Dual EVO OC has a backplate, uncommon in low-cost graphics cards.
The Asus DirectCU II technology on the Dual GTX 1660 Super EVO is a fancy marketing term for a set of copper heat pipes that come into direct contact with the GPU for enhanced thermal transfer.
Wide card—2.7 slots thick—to fit a more oversized heatsink beneath the two axial fans, based on the company’s enthusiast-class ROG graphics cards. The larger the heatsink, the lower the temperatures, and the longer you can use the 0dB Quiet mode.
The card, however, is just 9.5 inches long. According to Asus, the Dual GTX 1660 Super EVO is qualified via a 144-hour validation method that puts the card through its paces in 3DMark and many popular e-sports games.
The Dual only has one HDMI, one DisplayPort port, and a traditional DVI port, a letdown. While DVI is undoubtedly beneficial for folks with old or low-cost displays, replacing it with another HDMI or DisplayPort for modern setups would have been preferable.
If you want to use a dual-display set up with a virtual reality headset, for example—something that this GPU could easily handle—you’re out of luck. DVI is typically a plus, but only if a graphics card already has many contemporary display outputs.
Asus released the Dual Super EVO as the only GTX 1660 Super. The graph below depicts the full GTX 1660 Superfamily from the entry-level Phoenix to the top-of-the-line ROG Strix.
Now we’ll see how this card works!
Our Testing Rig
Our special graphics card testing rig includes some of the fastest complimentary components on the market, firmly putting any possible performance bottlenecks on the GPU.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-8700K ($350 on Amazon)
- Cooler: Closed-loop liquid cooler from EVGA ($120 on Amazon)
- Motherboard: Asus Maximus X ($395 on Amazon)
- RAM: 64GB HyperX Predator RGB DDR4/2933 ($420 on Amazon).
- Power supply: EVGA 1200W SuperNova P2 ($230 on Amazon)
- Corsair Crystal 570X RGB case with the front and top panels removed and a new rear fan installed for enhanced airflow. (Amazon price: $130)
- Storage: 2 – 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs (Amazon price: $78 per)
GTX 1660 Super EVO OC is priced at $229, and its GDDR6 memory is compared to the EVGA GTX 1660 XC Ultra, which has the same core GPU architecture but slower GDDR5 VRAM.
We’re also pitting it against the Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti, which has a more powerful GPU, slower-clocked GDDR6, and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition, which is the company’s entry-level ray tracing card.
Each game is put to the test using its in-game benchmark at the highest graphical settings possible:
- Frame rate caps,
- All GPU-specific technology, such as AMD TressFX and Nvidia GameWorks.
We disabled FreeSync/G-Sync and enabled temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) to push these high-end GPUs to their maximum.
If anything changes, we’ll make a note of it. Each benchmark is done at least three times, with the average result shown for each test.
We put the Asus Dual GeForce GTX 1660 Super EVO OC through its paces in its default performance BIOS setting, rather than the quieter Quiet mode.
Benchmarks for gaming performance
Let’s start with the most popular titles. One of the best looter-shooters ever made is The Division 2. Ubisoft’s Snowdrop technology creates gorgeous graphics that make it even easier to get lost in post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C.
The built-in benchmark tests a variety of conditions by cycling through four “zones.” We do our tests with the DirectX 12 renderer turned on. It has more excellent overall performance than the DX11 renderer, but it requires Windows 10.
Far Cry: New Dawn
Far Cry: New Dawn, another Ubisoft title, takes Far Cry 5’s excellent gameplay into its own post-apocalyptic future, albeit its vision is far more bombastic—and pink—than The Division 2’s grim backdrop.
The game uses the most recent version of the long-running Dunia engine, and it’s somewhat more complicated than Far Cry 5’s default benchmark.
Strange Brigade is a cooperative third-person shooter in which a group of adventurers must blast their way through swarms of mythological foes. It’s a technological showpiece, with features like HDR support and the option to toggle asynchronous computing on and off.
It’s based using the next-gen Vulkan and DirectX 12 technologies. It’s powered by Rebellion’s own Azure engine. With async computation disabled, we put the DX12 renderer to the test.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The reboot trilogy’s last chapter, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, is absolutely stunning. Square Enix designed this game for DX12 and only recommended DX11 if you’re using Windows 7 or earlier hardware. Thus we tested with DX12. The Foundation engine, which also powered Rise of the Tomb Raider, is used in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Ghost Recon Wildlands
Crysis, step aside. Although the successor to Ghost Recon Wildlands, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, is currently released, the original still melts GPUs. If you set all of the graphical options to 11 (like we did for these testing),
F1 2018 is the latest in a long line of great games, and it’s a joy to play, with a broad range of graphics and benchmarking choices that make it a far more dependable (and enjoyable) alternative than the Forza series.
It’s based on Codemasters’ buttery-smooth Ego game engine, now in its fourth edition. With bright skies, we try two circuits on the Australia course.
We’ll close things off with a game that isn’t exactly a visual beauty but consistently ranks at the top of the Steam rankings. We put Grand Theft Auto V through its paces with all parameters set to Very High, all Advanced Graphics options turned on except extended shadows, and FXAA enabled. GTA V is built on the RAGE engine, which has undergone several changes since its first release.
Noise, thermals, and power draw
After we’ve benchmarked everything else, we run the F1 2018 benchmark for roughly 20 minutes and note the highest reading on our Watts Up Pro meter. The first stage of the race, when all competing vehicles are onscreen simultaneously, is usually the most difficult.
Dual GTX 1660 Super EVO OC consumes significantly more power than its GTX 1660 family brothers because of its quicker 14Gbps GDDR6 memory. It’s still a lot more power-efficient than AMD’s Radeon pair, based on more than 3.5 years old GPUs.
We left AMD’s Wattman (for Radeon GPUs) or EVGA’s Precision X1 (for GeForce GPUs) open for the F1 2018 five-lap power draw test, reporting the highest maximum temperature at the end.
The Asus Dual is significantly quicker than AMD’s Radeon duo. Still, its lower power demand allows it to maintain stable temperatures even without a high-end cooler, as shown on every other custom graphics card in our comparison.
Dual GTX 1660 Super EVO OC’s maximum temperature under load is 65 degrees, and it operates quietly. These are excellent results for a graphics card that costs Nvidia’s suggested retail price rather than a premium, while the Dual’s thick, broad design “earns” them.
Is the GeForce GTX 1660 Super a good buy?
Definitely, though AMD’s vaguely mentioned Radeon RX 5500 series is arriving later this quarter, this is the latest mainstream graphics card to beat for no-compromises 1080p gaming.
Simply replacing the GDDR5 memory with 14Gbps GDDR6 memory boosts the $229 GTX 1660 Super’s performance by over 10% or more, depending on the game, putting it close to the more powerful $280 GTX 1660 Ti. Not bad for just $10 more than the vanilla GTX 1660’s initial MSRP, albeit that, too, will be available for a (yet-to-be-determined) lower price—probably around $200.
The GTX 1660 Super now has a speed boost, making it the likely price-to-performance victor in Nvidia’s crowded GTX 1660 family, while the others have their place as well.
We should wait and see where the original GTX 1660’s price falls. However, as the cheapest lineup member, it still delivers a solid 1080p/60Hz gaming experience. At the same time, if you’re running a high-refresh 100Hz-plus display or want to dabble in 1440p gaming on occasion, the GTX 1660 Ti’s additional punch is worth considering.
Nvidia’s TU116 graphics processor, based on the Turing GPU architecture, powers the GTX 1660 line.
Thanks to a combination of dramatic price drops and game bundles, AMD’s older Radeon RX 580 and 590 are only hanging on because of their fantastic value offer. Although the sub-$200 price tag with Borderlands 3 or Ghost Recon Breakpoint, as well as three free months of Microsoft’s amazing Xbox Game Pass for PC, offers a lot of value, AMD’s alternatives use a lot more power. They need more visual compromises than Nvidia’s GTX 1660 series.
The Radeons are still good 1080p gaming alternatives, especially if you don’t mind switching from Ultra to High graphics, but they’re based on 3.5-year-old GPUs, and it’s showing. The two are so similar in terms of performance that the RX 580 is arguably the superior choice if you’re looking for Radeon’s value.
If the slightly bulky card can fit in your system, we strongly recommend the Asus Dual GeForce GTX 1660 Super EVO OC. In powerful high-end GPUs, big, fat graphics cards are the current trend, but they’re still not the standard in the mainstream price range. Fortunately, it should be possible to fit it into most mid- and full-tower cases.
The Dual GTX 1660 Super is a high-performance graphics card with low temps and silent operation. A metal backplate, an RGB LED strip, a mild overclock, and the ability to turn off the fans until your GPU reaches game-level temps add to the strong core performance. It’s everything you’d want in a low-cost mainstream graphics card.
Even better, the cost is reasonable. At $229, the GTX 1660 Super is an excellent deal, but when custom card prices rise, Nvidia’s new GPU becomes uncomfortably close to the GTX 1660 Ti’s pricing.
While the Asus Dual EVO OC isn’t packed with extra features, it’s difficult to imagine more expensive choices giving significantly better performance, especially with recent Nvidia software capable of one-click automated overclocking.
Bottom line: While the GeForce RTX 2060 and 2070 Super GPUs redefined the segment, upgrading to ultra-fast GDDR6 memory provides the GTX 1660 Super with a significant and measurable performance boost. Asus Dual GTX 1660 EVO OC builds on that good foundation to make a great GPU even better. Raise a toast to the new 1080p gaming champion with no compromises.