NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 6 GB GDDR5 Graphics Card Review Ft. MSI Gaming X ($249) and Ventus XS ($219) – The Best Turing Card For Budget Gamers?



MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Gaming X / MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ventus XS

March, 2019
Type Graphics Cards
Price $249 / $219

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 and Turing TU116 GPU

While we have already detailed the Turing GPU architecture, it should be pointed out that the TU116 GPU, while it shares the same DNA as the Turing architecture has some big changes to what've seen on the GeForce RTX 20 series cards.

Based on the 12th Generation Turing GPU architecture, the TU116 GPU found on the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and the GeForce GTX 1660 features the same shader innovations that were introduced on Turing but to balance it out in terms of power, cost and performance, a few adjustments had to be made. This is done through the exclusion of RT cores and Tensor cores on the GeForce GTX cards with Turing architecture. It is pointed out that the Turing architecture on GeForce GTX still delivers improved performance & better efficiency compared to its predecessor while supporting concurrent floating point and integer Ops.

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So let's talk about the balanced architecture design of the Turing TU116 and how it still manages to improve upon its Pascal based predecessors. The first thing to mention is the three big changes in the Turing SM. The revamped structure of the Turing TU116 SM enables processing of FP32 & INT operations concurrently through the use of dedicated cores within the SM. The list of features that Turing TU116 GPU adds over Pascal GP106 include:

  • Concurrent FP and INT operations
  • Variable Rate Shading
  • Unified Cache Architecture
  • GDDR6 Memory Subsystem
  • Dedicated FP16 Cores
  • Turing NVENC Support

The Turing SM can also perform FP16 operations at double the rate of FP32. The Turing TU116 GPU is rated at 11 TOPs (FP+INT), 11 TFLOPs FP16 and an improved bandwidth that is resultant of the higher cache size of 1.5 MB compared to just 480 KB on the Pascal GP106 GPU.

If we look at some modern gaming titles, then we can see that developers are widely mixing floating point operations with integer instructions. For every 100 instructions in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, for example, 62 are floating point and 38 integers, on average. In previous GPUs, the floating point math datapath in the SM would sit idly whenever one of these non-FP-math runs.

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Turing adds a second parallel Integer execution unit never to ever CUDA core that executes these instructions in parallel with floating point math. This would allow the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660 graphics card to deliver a 1.5x performance improvement over the GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB & 3 GB models in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Now coming to the raw specifications of the GeForce GTX 1660 graphics card. The TU116 GPU is fabricated on the TSMC's 12nm FFN (FinFET NVIDIA) process node. It features 3 GPCs, 12 TPCs, and 22 Turing SMs. Each SM contains 64 cores which equal to a total of 1408 CUDA Cores. There's also 88 Texture Units and 48 Raster Operation Units on the card. The base clock is maintained at 1530 MHz while the boost clock is maintained at 1785 MHz. You can tell from the specifications that the GTX 1660 has a slightly cut down TU116 SKU compared to the GTX 1660 Ti.

The card would feature 6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM running along a 192-bit bus interface. The memory system would be clocked at 8.0 Gbps delivering an effective bandwidth of 192 GB/s. The card is rated at 157.1 GigaTexel/s, 5.0 TFLOPs FP32 and 10 TFLOPs FP16 compute power. The card features a single 8 pin connector to boot and has the same TDP of 120W. Display outputs include a single DisplayPort, a single DVI-D, and an HDMI connector.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX/GTX "Turing" Family:

Graphics Card NameNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 D6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPERNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 TiNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
GPU ArchitectureTuring GPU (TU117)Turing GPU (TU117)Turing GPU (TU116)Turing GPU (TU116)Turing GPU (TU116)Turing GPU (TU116)Turing GPU (TU106)Turing GPU (TU106)Turing GPU (TU104)Turing GPU (TU102)
Process12nm FNN12nm FNN12nm FNN12nm FNN12nm FNN12nm FNN12nm FNN12nm FNN12nm FNN12nm FNN
Die Size200mm2200mm2284mm2284mm2284mm2284mm2445mm2445mm2545mm2754mm2
Transistors4.7 Billion4.7 Billion6.6 Billion6.6 Billion6.6 Billion6.6 Billion10.6 Billion10.6 Billion13.6 Billion18.6 Billion
CUDA Cores896 Cores896 Cores1280 Cores1408 Cores1408 Cores1536 Cores1920 Cores2304 Cores2944 Cores4352 Cores
GigaRaysN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A5 Giga Rays/s6 Giga Rays/s8 Giga Rays/s10 Giga Rays/s
Cache1.5 MB L2 Cache1.5 MB L2 Cache1.5 MB L2 Cache1.5 MB L2 Cache1.5 MB L2 Cache1.5 MB L2 Cache4 MB L2 Cache4 MB L2 Cache4 MB L2 Cache6 MB L2 Cache
Base Clock1485 MHz1410 MHz1530 MHz1530 MHz1530 MHz1500 MHz1365 MHz1410 MHz1515 MHz1350 MHz
Boost Clock1665 MHz1590 MHz1725 MHz1785 MHz1785 MHz1770 MHz1680 MHz1620 MHz
1710 MHz OC
1710 MHz
1800 MHz OC
1545 MHz
1635 MHz OC
Compute3.0 TFLOPs3.0 TFLOPs4.4 TFLOPs5.0 TFLOPs5.0 TFLOPs5.5 TFLOPs6.5 TFLOPs7.5 TFLOPs10.1 TFLOPs13.4 TFLOPs
MemoryUp To 4 GB GDDR5Up To 4 GB GDDR6Up To 4 GB GDDR6Up To 6 GB GDDR5Up To 6 GB GDDR6Up To 6 GB GDDR6Up To 6 GB GDDR6Up To 8 GB GDDR6Up To 8 GB GDDR6Up To 11 GB GDDR6
Memory Speed8.00 Gbps12.00 Gbps12.00 Gbps8.00 Gbps14.00 Gbps12.00 Gbps14.00 Gbps14.00 Gbps14.00 Gbps14.00 Gbps
Memory Interface128-bit128-bit128-bit192-bit192-bit192-bit192-bit256-bit256-bit352-bit
Memory Bandwidth128 GB/s192 GB/s192 GB/s192 GB/s336 GB/s288 GB/s336 GB/s448 GB/s448 GB/s616 GB/s
Power ConnectorsN/AN/A6 Pin8 Pin8 Pin8 Pin8 Pin8 Pin8+8 Pin8+8 Pin
TDP75W75W100W120W125W120W160W185W (Founders)
175W (Reference)
225W (Founders)
215W (Reference)
260W (Founders)
250W (Reference)
Starting Price$149 US$149 US$159 US$219 US$229 US$279 US$349 US$499 US$699 US$999 US
Price (Founders Edition)$149 US$149 US$159 US$219 US$229 US$279 US$349 US$599 US$799 US$1,199 US
LaunchApril 2019April 2020November 2019March 2019October 2019February 2019January 2019October 2018September 2018September 2018
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