NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER 6 GB GDDR6 Graphics Card Review – Mainstream Turing Gets Supercharged!
MSI GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER Gaming XOctober, 2019
NVIDIA introduced their Turing GPU architecture last year, making a complete departure from traditional GPU designs and creating a hybrid architecture that would include a range of new technologies to power the next-generation immersive gaming experiences.
While initially announced with Quadro lineup under the new Quadro RTX brand, we all knew that the Turing architecture was coming to the GeForce lineup. It arrived in the GeForce lineup a few months later under the new GeForce RTX branding. NVIDIA's first big naming departure for two decades of GeForce GTX.
The GeForce RTX 20 series was the enablement of real-time raytracing which is the holy grail of graphics and something NVIDIA spent 10 years to perfect. In addition to raytracing, NVIDIA also aims to place bets on AI which will play a key role in powering features such as DLSS or Deep Learning Super Sampling, a unique way of offering the same quality as the more taxing MSAA AA techniques at twice the performance.
NVIDIA has announced for cards under the GeForce RTX 20 series family, the flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, the Enthusiast GeForce RTX 2080, the high-performance GeForce RTX 2070 and the main-stream GeForce RTX 2060. Now, NVIDIA is looking to offer Turing for more reasonable prices, so is also going back to the good old GeForce GTX branding and for good reasons. While GeForce RTX and GeForce GTX will exist alongside each other in this generation, the GeForce GTX lineup as the name suggests would be aiming for raw performance over the graphics intensive RTX features which only the RTX cards support.
A few months back, I got to take a look at the new GeForce 16 series cards based on the Turing GPU architecture, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and the GeForce GTX 1660. Today NVIDIA has finally unveiled that they aren't just supercharging the GeForce RTX lineup but also the GeForce GTX line up. So as a start, NVIDIA is hard launching the GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER followed by the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER which lands next month.
When it comes to pricing, the GeForce RTX 20 series are some of the most costly cards NVIDIA has offered to consumers. The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and GeForce GTX 1660, on the other hand, tried to keep budget and more mainstream audiences in mind by offering a price closer to the GeForce GTX 1060 which became a popular gaming card on Steam due to its $249 price point. The GeForce GTX 16 SUPER series would continue the trend of introducing a higher performance at the same price tag. Following is the current per segment price structure of the entire NVIDIA Turing lineup compared to its predecessors.
NVIDIA GeForce GPU Segment/Tier Prices
|Titan Tier||Titan X (Maxwell)||Titan X (Pascal)||Titan Xp (Pascal)||Titan V (Volta)||Titan RTX (Turing)||GeForce RTX 3090|
|Price||$999 US||$1199 US||$1199 US||$2999 US||$2499 US||$1499 US|
|Ultra Enthusiast Tier||GeForce GTX 980 Ti||GeForce GTX 980 Ti||GeForce GTX 1080 Ti||GeForce RTX 2080 Ti||GeForce RTX 2080 Ti||GeForce RTX 3080 Ti?|
|Price||$649 US||$649 US||$699 US||$999 US||$999 US||$999 US?|
|Enthusiast Tier||GeForce GTX 980||GeForce GTX 1080||GeForce GTX 1080||GeForce RTX 2080||GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER||GeForce RTX 3080|
|Price||$549 US||$549 US||$549 US||$699 US||$699 US||$699 US|
|High-End Tier||GeForce GTX 970||GeForce GTX 1070||GeForce GTX 1070||GeForce RTX 2070||GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER||GeForce RTX 3070|
|Price||$329 US||$379 US||$379 US||$499 US||$499 US||$499|
|Mainstream Tier||GeForce GTX 960||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER|
GeForce RTX 2060
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER
GeForce GTX 1660
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB
|Price||$199 US||$249 US||$249 US||$249 US||$399 US|
|Entry Tier||GTX 750 Ti|
|GTX 950||GTX 1050 Ti|
|GTX 1050 Ti|
|GTX 1650 SUPER|
|$149 US||$139 US|
For this review, I will be taking a look at MSI's GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER Gaming X, a custom graphics card that will retail at $259 US. The reference card will be priced at $229 US so we are looking at a $30 premium price tag but with a much better dual-fan cooler, a custom PCB and a factory overclock out of the box.
With just a few bucks of asking price over the reference models, the custom variants offer a range of features such as dual-fan coolers, better heatsinks, and custom PCBs allowing for better heat dissipation, higher airflow and more overclocking performance and clock stability at their respective boost clocks which will be higher compared to the reference variants. The main barrier with overclocking on Turing GPUs is by far the power limit and those that offer the highest power limits out of the box are generally the ones with the best overclocking potential and performance output.
In case you want to read our full NVIDIA Turing GPU architecture and RTX/DLSS features deep dive, head over to this link.