Computing

“Which Graphics Card Should You Choose: GTX 1660, GTX 1660 Super, GTX 1660 Ti, or RTX 2060?”

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Nvidia has significantly expanded its midrange graphics card options in 2020, providing gamers on a budget with a wider selection. However, with so many options, it’s become more challenging to pick the right graphics card for your needs.

Availability and Pricing

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All four of the cards we’re comparing are readily available for purchase, and there is an overwhelming number of options to choose from. The RTX 2060 has Nvidia’s Founders Edition as a baseline, starting at $300 for the KO edition. Overclocked cards and those with advanced cooling solutions can cost up to $370.

The GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660 Super don’t have Founders Editions, but they debuted with numerous third-party alternatives. The GTX 1660 Ti ranges between $280 and $320, while the GTX 1660 Super starts at $230 and goes up to around $270 for the most expensive versions. The standard GTX 1660 is the most affordable, starting at $220, but considering its performance compared to the competitively priced Super version, it may not offer the best value.

There is a wide range of Turing cards to choose from, each with different clock speeds, cooling options, and lighting features. While some offer better value than others, the cheapest cards provide the best performance for your investment.

Performance

GTX 1660 Super
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Nvidia has strategically differentiated the performance of its graphics cards, with the RTX 2060, GTX 1660 Ti, and GTX 1660 occupying distinct price and performance brackets. While their specifications give us an idea of their relative power, real-world benchmarks reveal the true differences.

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Based on specifications alone, the RTX 2060 is the most powerful, followed by the GTX 1660 Ti, GTX 1660 Super, and finally the GTX 1660. However, each card has its unique strengths. Though clock speeds are relatively similar across all four cards, the drop in CUDA cores from the RTX 2060 to the GTX 1660 Ti is the primary factor affecting performance. The GTX 1660 also experiences a reduction in CUDA cores and a 33 percent decrease in memory bandwidth due to its use of GDDR5 memory.

These differences translate into gaming performance, although the actual results may vary depending on desired quality settings and resolution. The RTX 2060 consistently outperforms the other Turing cards, delivering performance comparable to a GTX 1070 Ti, and sometimes even higher. The GTX 1660 Ti offers frame rates 15 to 25 percent lower than the RTX 2060 but surpasses important AMD competitors like the RX 590. It even competes with the Vega 56 in certain cases.

The GTX 1660 Super is just a few frames per second behind the GTX 1660 Ti, making it the most competitive option among the 1660 series. Considering its price proximity to the stock GTX 1660, it offers excellent value.

The GTX 1660 demonstrates a significant improvement over the GTX 1060 6GB, providing a 10-20 percent performance boost in most cases. It also challenges or exceeds the RX 590 and RX 580 in various games at both 1080p and 1440p resolutions. However, it falls behind the GTX 1660 Ti by 10 to 25 percent, depending on the game.

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Ray Tracing and DLSS

GTX 1660 vs. GTX 1660 Super vs. GTX 1660 Ti vs. RTX 2060
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While the RTX 2060 supports hardware-accelerated ray tracing, the performance on the other cards, albeit limited, is also possible thanks to a driver update from Nvidia. However, without dedicated RT cores, the performance is not as impressive, even on high-end last-generation cards like the GTX 1080 Ti.

Ray-traced lighting effects are GPU-intensive, making RT cores crucial for optimal performance on RTX cards, especially the higher-end models. If you want to play ray-traced games with comfortable frame rates, the RTX 2060 is the best choice, although it is typically limited to 1080p resolution. The GTX 16-series cards provide a glimpse of ray tracing, but their performance falls short for most ray-traced games.

DLSS support, which requires Tensor cores, is exclusive to RTX graphics cards. As a result, the GTX 1660, GTX 1660 Super, and GTX 1660 Ti cannot utilize DLSS. The RTX 2060 benefits from this feature, potentially enhancing its performance in ray-traced games. However, the limited number of supported games and mixed experiences with DLSS make it less impactful for now.

Making the Right Choice

GTX 1660 vs. GTX 1660 Super vs. GTX 1660 Ti vs. RTX 2060
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If a price range of $300 to $350 is beyond your budget, the GTX 1660 Super offers the best value among the options. The GTX 1660 Ti is only worth considering if you can find it at a similar cost. The performance difference between the two cards is minimal, making the Super variant a smarter purchase with savings of $50 to $100. This almost makes the RX 590 from AMD obsolete, although occasional discounts on the RX 590 can still make it an attractive alternative.

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While the GTX 1660 is a solid choice, it doesn’t rank at the top of our list. For a similar price, AMD offers better performance. However, the GTX 1660 has significantly improved from the previous generation’s GTX 1060 model. The RX 580 and RX 590 are also viable alternatives, often at lower prices, especially when considering AMD’s game bundles. Availability, packaging options, and retailer sales can all impact pricing and influence your decision. If you are seeking affordability and similar speed, the RX 5500 XT is worth considering.

Currently, factory overclocked versions don’t offer a significant advantage over stock items, as both function equally. The price difference between factory overclocked versions and the GTX 1660 Super is too narrow to justify the former.

Overall, the RTX 2060 provides the most impressive performance and has received the most positive reviews. Though it may be out of reach for those on a tight budget, it outperforms the competition and offers excellent value. It’s an investment worth considering, even if it requires some saving up.

Editors’ Recommendations

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