The GTX 1660 Ti appears to be what many in the gaming community have been asking for: an affordable Nvidia graphics card that skips real-time ray tracing and DLSS but still offers the increased performance of the Turing architecture. In essence, the new GPU should offer performance between the GTX 1070 and RTX 2060, at a price lower than both: £259 in the UK and $279 in the US. In this article, we’ll show you exactly which type. of frame rates should expect in a selection of recent titles.
Before we get into the results, let’s briefly cover what you get with the GTX 1660 Ti over the GTX 1060 beyond an increase in raw performance. While the lack of RT and Tensor cores means RTX and DLSS are off the table, other Turing features that don’t rely on this dedicated hardware have arrived. Specifically, the new shader models should enable higher performance in games that support them. , like Variable Rate Shading in Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. This means the card will be a little more future-proof than its Pascal predecessors, even if full RTX cards are likely to remain relevant for longer.
The GTX 1660 Ti is also an efficient card, with a modest 120W TDP that compares favorably to the 150W GTX 1070 and 175W RX 590. This also allows for very compact card designs, such as the PNY XLR8 card. which we use for testing. This is a single-fan design that requires only an eight-pin PCI power input, but still includes a modest 45MHz overclock over the reference spec, which should add about one percent to our frame rates.
We’ll be testing the card against the previous-gen GTX 1060 and GTX 1070, plus the new RTX 2060. We’ll also include competition from AMD, in the form of the RX 580, RX 590, and Vega 56. While our GTX 1660 Ti review focuses on 1080p and 1440p, the resolutions this card is best at, we also include 4K results here for completeness. Don’t expect brilliant results at this resolution, but if you’re willing to lower enough settings you should be able to at least achieve a console-quality 30fps experience, if that’s your preference.
The GTX 1660 Ti appears to offer impressive performance for its price, even on the compact PNY XLR8 card we’re testing which comes with a weak 45MHz factory overclock.
|GPU cores||VRAM||memory bus||Broadband||impulse clock||TDP|
|GTX 1060||1280||6GB GDDR5||192 bits||192GB/s||1708MHz||120W|
|GTX 1070||1920||8GB GDDR6||256 bit||256GB/s||1683MHz||150W|
|GTX 1660Ti||1536||6GB GDDR6||192 bits||288GB/s||1770MHz||120W|
|RTX 2060||1920||6GB GDDR6||192 bits||336GB/s||1680MHz||160W|
|RX580||2304||8GB GDDR5||256 bit||256GB/s||1340MHz||185W|
|RX590||2304||8GB GDDR5||256 bit||256GB/s||1545MHz||175W|
|RXVega 56||3584||8GB HBM2||2048 bits||410GB/s||1474MHz||210W|
If you’re new to Digital Foundry, you may not have seen our unique system for displaying benchmark results. The idea is that instead of using static graphics or recorded video data, we combine the two into a dynamic system. Press play on the embedded YouTube video for each game we tested and you’ll see live telemetry for frame times and frame rates that give you a better idea of performance than a simple average. You can choose which cards and resolutions you want to view with the controls to the right of the video, with up to four data sources displayed at once.
If you’re in a hurry, you can also find average frame rate figures in a bar graph below. Here, you can also mouse over the graph to see how each card fared in the benchmark’s best or worst moments, which can tell different stories than averages alone. Click the resolution tabs on the right to see 1080p, 1440p, and 4K results. You can also click on the graph to switch between frame rate values and percentages, which can make it easier to compare two results without requiring mental gymnastics. Now, let’s get into the results!
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
The latest release of Assassin’s Creed offers a substantial challenge for modern GPUs, thanks to its detailed texture work and open world. The landmark is a good representation, despite the guards’ disturbing screams as the camera passes by them in the opening seconds. The GTX 1660 Ti sits between the GTX 1070 and RTX 2060 here, although it’s a little closer to the former than the latter. The 54fps average at 1080p is just a few settings away from a solid 60fps, and remember, we’re using the challenging Ultra High preset here. 1440p is also quite playable, averaging 41fps. On the AMD side, there’s a significant gap between the RX 590’s 30fps average at 1440p and the Vega 56’s 57fps average.
AC Odyssey: Ultra High, TAA
Assassin’s Creed Unity
Assassin’s Creed Unity, the 2014 version, uses a depth of field effect that remains a challenge to this day, especially on AMD hardware. The GTX 1660 Ti falls behind the GTX 1070 in this older title, although the difference of one or two fps probably won’t be noticeable. The game can be played at ultra-high speed with FXAA on the GTX 1660 Ti, averaging 82fps at 1080p and averaging 52fps at 1440p. The GTX 1660 Ti manages to outperform even the Vega 56 here, although as we mentioned above it’s not really a fair fight, or more representative defeat, for the Red Team.
Assassin’s Creed Unity: Ultra High, FXAA
EA’s modern Frostbite engine delivers excellent performance on new hardware, and that trend continues with the GTX 1660 Ti. The card manages an easy 11 percent jump over the GTX 1070 at 1080p, although this drops to five percent at 1440p. While AMD cards also handle Frostbite games well, the GTX 1660 Ti hands down the RX 590 with a 15 percent lead at 1440p.
Battlefield 1: Ultra, TAA
Released in 2013, Crysis 3 is the oldest game in our tests, but for anyone familiar with the series it’s no surprise that it’s still one of the most challenging, especially for newer GPUs that can’t use new tricks to boost their performance. Our explosive train ride takes the GTX 1660 Ti to around 104fps at 1080p, which is seven fps behind the GTX 1070. The GTX 1070 is further ahead at 1440p, although the new Nvidia card still manages to beat the 60 fps threshold.
Crysis 3: Very high, SMAA T2X
Very far away 5
The relaxing atmosphere of the Far Cry 5 benchmark belies a fairly difficult rendering challenge, with a large open-world environment and some grueling scenes. The GTX 1660 Ti comes close to the GTX 1070 here in terms of average frame rate, but drops off in the more challenging sections of the benchmark. Still, even the drops don’t take us below 60 fps at 1080p, making it a very playable experience. That’s not strictly true at 1440p, where we see drops to around 58fps, but even then it’s a pretty solid result for a card at this price.
Far Cry 5: Ultra, TAA
Ghost Recon Wildlands
TCGRW is the most challenging game in our current suite, despite having been released almost two years ago; The ultra preset included in this game is only that exhausting. The GTX 1660 Ti shows better performance here, beating the GTX 1070 by a hair at 1080p and 1440p. However, the new card falls slightly behind the GTX 1070 in 4K, with a result of less than 30 fps.
Ghost Recon Wildlands: Ultra, TAA
The Rise of the Tomb Raider
Next comes Rise of the Tomb Raider. Here, the GTX 1070 leads the 1660 Ti by two percent at 1080p and five percent at 1440p. Again, we see the balance of power shifting, as older games like this offer fewer shortcuts that newer cards can take advantage of to improve their performance. Still, the difference between the two cards is slight, within the range of minor configuration adjustments or overclocking, so it doesn’t have much of an impact.
Rise of the Tomb Raider: Very high, SMAA
The shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the 2018 release and the end of the remake trilogy, is our next test. The GTX 1660 Ti performs better here, outperforming the GTX 1070 by about five percent at each of the resolutions we tested. Compared to the GTX 1060, the new card has an even bigger lead: 47 percent at 1080p and 30 percent at 1440p. This is a compelling generational improvement.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Taller, TAA
The Witcher 3
We conclude with another legacy title, The Witcher 3. The GTX 1060 was beaten here by the RX 580 and RX 590, but the GTX 1660 Ti is much more competitive. We’re looking at a 35 percent increase for the new GPU over its predecessor at 1080p, which ends up being faster than the RX 580 and RX 590, but slower than the Vega 56.
Witcher 3: Ultra, Post-AA, no hairstyles
So that’s the kind of performance you can expect from the GTX 1660 Ti: around 10 percent faster than the GTX 1070 in modern games, but a bit slower in some legacy titles. To learn more about what makes this new mainstream GPU tick, read the full Digital Foundry GTX 1660 Ti review.
Now that you’ve seen a card’s benchmarks, why not check out what PC hardware we recommend to our friends and family? Here are DF’s picks for the best overall graphics cards and best gaming monitors on the market.