The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti from Nvidia is the best 1080p GPU available, and Asus’s ROG Strix design makes it even better.
Table of Contents
A Quick Look
- Excellent Gaming at 1080p and 1440p
- Impressive and effective Custom cooler
- Dual-BIOS profiles optimised for thermals and noise
- Excellent features and build quality
- No RTX ray-tracing features
- In the price-sensitive segment, there is a $50 premium.
- Large Graphics Card
The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti from Nvidia is the best 1080p GPU on the market, and Asus’s flexible and powerful ROG Strix design makes it even more special, although at a hefty price premium.
Today’s Best Prices
GTX is back. Nvidia’s tried-and-true staple returns with the release of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, after being tossed to the curb in favour of a new “RTX” name that signals the presence of dedicated RT and tensor cores that enable real-time ray tracing and AI-enhanced gameplay. Yes, this $280-plus GPU lacks the cutting-edge features of its bigger siblings, such as the GeForce RTX 2060. Nvidia was able to focus the GTX 1660 Ti’s efforts on simply kicking ass in games by removing all of the other components.
And, friends, it succeeds.
The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti provides exceptional 1080p and decent 1440p gaming performance on pace with last generation’s $380 GTX 1070, but without the enormous price hike seen in its RTX-laden relatives it’s $20 more than the GTX 1060 when it released. Despite having a $10 cheaper starting price, this card outperforms AMD’s Radeon RX 590. It’s a definite winner. Let’s look at the $330 Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti, which is a custom-cooled, significantly overclocked version of the GPU.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti: Specs and features
Despite costing only $20 more than the GTX 1060 with 6GB of RAM, the new GTX 1660 Ti has significantly so much hardware under the hood—more CUDA cores, more L1 cache, more texture units, speedier GPU and memory clock speeds, more transistors installed using the more advanced 12nm FFN manufacturing process, you name it. The GTX 1660 Ti retains two important features: a 120-watt TDP and 6GB of onboard memory capacity, while the GTX 1660 Ti receives a substantial bandwidth boost by switching from GDDR5 to GDDR6.
The RAM isn’t the only thing that’s been increased. The CUDA cores inside the Turing GPU in the GTX 1660 Ti (and its RTX siblings) have been overhauled, allowing Nvidia’s latest graphics cards to outperform their “Pascal” GPU-based predecessors. Nvidia implemented a new integer pipeline (INT32) alongside the usual floating point pipeline (FP32) for shading processes. This allows the GPU to handle both floating point and non-floating point instructions at the same time, rather than halting the shading process while it handles integer operations, as was previously the case.
According to Nvidia, the enhanced capabilities let Shadow of the Tomb Raider operate almost 50% quicker on the GTX 1660 Ti than it did on the 6GB GTX 1060, a claim that we tested.
Variable rate shading, a method that lets various sections of an image to be rendered at different fidelity levels for improved efficiency, is also supported by Turing GPUs. Turing also has a unified cache design that delivers almost three times more L1 memory than Pascal GPUs in the GTX 10-series, as well as twice the bandwidth and lower latency. According to Nvidia, these features improve performance by 50% in Wolfenstein II and 50% in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 compared to the GTX 1060.
Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti: Specs and features
While the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti are on sale, with multiple versions starting at $280 from all the usual suspects, the graphics card we tested is the $330 Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660, a luxurious model with a heavy overclock, a ferocious custom cooler, and a slew of extra features. In other words, everything you’d expect from a ROG Strix card! Here’s what it says on the spec sheet:
The ROG Strix has a boost frequency of 1,860MHz out of the box, which is 90MHz faster than the GTX 1660 Ti’s standard rates. Activating the one-button OC mode in Asus’s GPU Tweak II overclocking software raises it to 1,890MHz. However, you are not required to do so: Because Nvidia’s GPU Boost algorithm automatically pushes clock rates further as thermal headroom allows, the ROG Strix can constantly hover between 1,935MHz and 1,950MHz in our games testing thanks to its huge, effective cooler. Tweakers can fine-tune things even further with manual overclocking capabilities in GPU Tweak II.
The triple-slot Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti has three RGB-illuminated axial fans, a massive heatsink, a metal-braced construction, and a stylish full-length backplate that matches the Strix look.
The Auto-Extreme automated production process is something that Asus is particularly proud of. According to Asus’s reviewers guide, “traditionally, soldering of through-hole and surface-mounted components must be conducted in different phases.” “Auto-Extreme Technology allows all soldering to be done in a single pass, minimising heat stress on components and eliminating the need for harsh cleaning chemicals.” The final result is a product that has a smaller environmental effect, uses less manufacturing power, and is more dependable.”
Aside from the hefty heatsink and fan trio, the ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti comes with a slew of other features aimed at improving thermal performance. Strix GPUs use “MaxContact Technology,” which means the heat spreader that contacts the GPU is precision-machined to be 10X flatter than previous designs, allowing for better heat dissipation. A pair of Asus FanConnect II fan headers are also included with the card. Any PWM case fans attached to the headers will automatically react to the GPU’s temperature, increasing speed as temperatures increase and decreasing speed as temperatures fall. It’s most effective, in our experience, when you utilise FanConnect with a front case fan aimed towards the Strix.
When you add it all up, the custom cooling system on the ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti is almost frighteningly effective, as you’ll discover later. The graphics card’s efficacy affords it some unique adaptability, which we first saw in the Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080: You may choose between Performance and Quiet modes with this dual-BIOS switch.
That’s not unusual in higher-end graphics cards, but the Strix’s powerful cooler allows both configurations to give similar gaming performance, which is unusual. Instead, the Performance BIOS turns up the fans to maintain temperatures below 60 degrees Celsius on a continuous basis. The specialised Quiet mode optimises for acoustics and runs practically softly, while the Performance mode is surprisingly quiet. Quiet has a considerably gentler fan curve, with the fans turning off when the GPU core temperature falls below 55 degrees Celsius.
The Performance BIOS is 16 % cooler than the Quiet BIOS, according to Asus, while the Quiet BIOS is 13 times quieter. In reality, both are quite effective at their respective purposes. For picky players, this is a fantastic feature.
A dedicated hardware button for deactivating the ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti’s RGB lights is located next to the dual-BIOS switch, which is a nice addition. The Aura Sync software from Asus can regulate the lights. The port configuration of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti varies depending on the model, however the ROG Strix has two DisplayPorts and two HDMI 2.0b ports.
The LED activation button (left) and dual-BIOS switch (right).
Asus introduced numerous SKUs across its ROG Strix, Asus Dual, and Asus Phoenix brands with varied speeds and feature sets, while we’re examining the company’s most costly and glamorous GTX 1660 Ti offering today:
- $329.99 ROG-STRIX-GTX1660TI-O6G-GAMING
- $324.99 ROG-STRIX-GTX1660TI-A6G-GAMING
- $319.99 ROG-STRIX-GTX1660TI-6G-GAMING
- $309.99 DUAL-GTX1660TI-O6G
- $304.99 DUAL-GTX1660TI-6G
- $284.99 PH-GTX1660TI-O6G
- $279.99 PH-GTX1660TI-6G
Good. Let’s start working on the test bench.
Our Testing Rig
Our specialised graphics card testing rig includes some of the fastest complimentary components on the market, putting any possible performance bottlenecks firmly on the GPU.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-8700K ($360 on Amazon)
- Cooler: EVGA Closed-loop liquid cooler ($120 on Amazon)
- Motherboard: Asus Maximus X Hero ($260 on Amazon)
- RAM: HyperX Predator RGB DDR4/2933 64GB ($318 on Amazon for 32GB)
- Power supply: EVGA 1200W SuperNova P2 ($180 on Amazon)
- Corsair Crystal 570X RGB case with front and top panels removed and an additional rear fan fitted for better ventilation. (Amazon: $160)
- Storage: 2 Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSDs ($78 each on Amazon)
We’re pitting the Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti against its predecessor, an overclocked EVGA GTX 1060 with 6GB of VRAM, as well as the GTX 1070 Founders Edition and the $350 GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition with ray tracing support.
We’ve included performance statistics from the $260 Sapphire Radeon RX 590 Nitro+ (which released for $280 in November), the $400 Radeon Vega 56, and the Asus ROG Strix version of the Radeon RX 580 to see how it compares to the competition. Even in 8GB configurations, many Radeon RX 580 cards can be bought for around $200 on sale these days.