After releasing a series of RTX graphics cards, it seemed like the classic GTX line might have run its course. Next, Nvidia announced the GTX 1660 Ti, a GPU that combines the architectural advancements of the RTX Turing line without the dedicated cores for machine learning and ray tracing; The 16-series moniker indicates a card somewhere between the 10-series GTX cards and the 20-series RTX cards. At £259/$279, the GTX 1660 Ti offers a healthy performance bump over the GTX 1060 that should make it a standout player for 1080p gaming, but the last-gen GTX 1070 already fills a similar niche. This established card is available in larger quantities for a similar price, so which is the better mid-range option: the GTX 1660 Ti or the GTX 1070?
At first glance, the GTX 1660 Ti seems to have the advantage. The new GPU has a higher boost clock, faster GDDR6 memory, increased memory bandwidth, and revised shading models. It’s also more efficient, as many models offer significant power in a compact one- or two-fan design. It also comes with some new Turing features, such as support for variable rate shading, which could improve performance in some games. However, the GTX 1660 Ti also comes with 6GB of memory, compared to the GTX 1070’s 8GB of VRAM, which could make it less future-proof than its last-gen competitor.
The best way to see which card is the best overall is to put them to the test, so that’s what we’re going to do. We’ve tested both GPUs in nine recent and not-so-recent games, so you’ll be able to see precisely which games favor the GTX 1660 Ti and which go the other way in our benchmarks below. We’ll also quickly look at how these cards compare in terms of features and how much you can expect to pay for each one.
Click the links below to go directly to one of these parts, or scroll to see the whole thing.
GTX 1660 Ti vs Vega 56: Features Comparison
Before we get into the results, it’s worth briefly covering the feature difference between the GTX 1660 Ti and the GTX 1070. As we mentioned earlier, the GTX 1660 Ti doesn’t include any RT or Tensor cores, meaning the two main features of the RTX series (real-time ray tracing (RTX) and deep learning super sampling (DLSS)) is nowhere to be found. However, Nvidia’s Turing cards include new features that do not depend on their specialized cores, and these have made the jump to the GTX 1660 Ti.
One of the most interesting is variable rate shading, a new technique that reduces detail in areas of the screen that are of least interest to the player, for example, shadowed areas. This can improve performance in games that support it, with Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus showing around a 15 percent increase in frame rate at its most aggressive settings. Another cool feature is the updated NVENC encoder, which expands the options available for recording or streaming gameplay; It is also more efficient and requires less CPU utilization.
Of course, the features that debuted on the GTX 10 series cards appear on both models in our comparison. That includes support for FreeSync and G-Sync variable refresh rate displays, GeForce Experience software, and options for multi-screen gaming, streaming to Shield set-top boxes or Android smartphones, etc. That means the GTX 1660 Ti has the edge in terms of features, but it’s a much closer race than when comparing the 10-series cards to their newer RTX counterparts.
GTX 1660 Ti vs Vega 56: Gaming Benchmarks
In these results, you’ll see how the GTX 1660 Ti compares to the GTX 1070 at three resolutions and in nine different games. The GTX 1660 Ti is represented by a compact PNY XLR8 card and the GTX 1070 with Nvidia’s Founders Edition. It’s worth noting that the XLR8 comes with a small +45MHz overclock, while the Nvidia card remains at reference specs. Without an Nvidia reference card for the GTX 1660 Ti, this is a reasonable, out-of-the-box comparison of the two cards. We tested using a high-end system, including a Core i7 8700K processor overclocked to 4.7 GHz on all cores to remove CPU power from the equation as much as possible. This is backed by 16GB of 3400MHz dual-channel memory, a Corsair H100i liquid cooler, and solid-state storage for all games tested.
Note that we’ve only included the two cards we’re most interested in here: the GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1070. For more context, check out our full TX 1660 Ti benchmarks page which includes comparisons to the GTX 1060. GTX 1070, RTX 2060, RX 580, RX 590 and Vega 56!
Our new referral system was rolled out early last year, but if you haven’t seen it before, here’s a quick introduction. Simply press play on the YouTube videos below, then add or remove the video cards and resolutions you’re interested in using the controls to the right of the video. You’ll see how the data sources you chose handle our test scene, with real-time frame rates and frame times giving a better idea of the gaming experience than a simple average frame rate. However, you can also scroll down a bit to see a bar chart with averages if you prefer. Mouse over the graph to see more data and click to switch between fps counts and percentages. With that explanation clarified, let’s get started!
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
We start with one of the most recent releases in this reference suite, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The GTX 1660 Ti is the better of the two cards at 1080p, probably thanks to the AMD’s higher CPU overhead, but things reverse as we reach higher resolutions. The two cards are almost identical at 1440p, both averaging 41fps, and the Vega 56 has a significant 17 percent lead at 4K. However, neither provides a brilliant experience with this combination of resolution and preset graphics; We recommend lowering some settings to get a stable 60 fps.
AC Odyssey: Ultra High, TAA
Assassin’s Creed Unity
Assassin’s Creed Unity may be five years old at this point, but its cutscenes and gameplay still represent a tough test for modern GPUs. We’re looking at the first one in this benchmark, taken from an opening sequence of the game. The depth of field effect proves challenging for the AMD card, with frame rates dropping to below 40fps at 1080p in the worst case, but in other segments the card averages over 120fps at 1080p. The GTX 1660 Ti offers a nearly identical average frame rate, but does so consistently throughout.
Assassin’s Creed Unity: Ultra High, FXAA
Battlefield 1 has always run well on AMD hardware, being a DirectX 12 title, so it’s no surprise that Vega 56 blows away the GTX 1660 Ti here. The Vega 56 opens up a nine percent lead at 1080p, growing to 14 percent at 1440p and 19 percent at 4K as CPU utilization becomes less and less important. Regardless, the Nvidia card is still quite playable, with average frame rates just above 60fps at 1080p and 1440p.
Battlefield 1: Ultra, TAA
Crysis 3 is another older title that prefers raw grunt over fancy graphical tricks and optimizations, better showcasing the advantages of the Vega 56. Again, both cards average over 100fps at 1080p and 60fps at 1440p, but the AMD card runs about 10 percent faster at all times. 4K is still too difficult a test for either GPU, with scores around 30fps.
Crysis 3: Very high, SMAA T2X
Very far away 5
The Vega 56 continues its form in Far Cry 5, another modern title running on Ubisoft’s Dunia engine, an offshoot of the CryEngine from the first Far Cry title. The Vega 56’s advantage is substantial here, with a 15 percent advantage at 1080p that also remains relatively constant at other resolutions. There’s a bit more variation in frame time for the AMD card, but the size of its frame rate advantage means this isn’t a concern.
Far Cry 5: Ultra, TAA
Ghost Recon Wildlands
Ghost Recon Wildlands, one of many Tom Clancy titles in video games, is an open-world multiplayer tactical shooter released in 2017. Despite being older than some of the other games on this list, Wildlands actually has the point of Harder built-in reference when it comes to ultra settings are applied. Consequently, hitting 60fps isn’t possible here even at 1080p, as the Vega 56 has a lead of around five percent at 1080p and 1440p, extending to a mighty 17 percent at 4K.
Ghost Recon Wildlands: Ultra, TAA
The Rise of the Tomb Raider
The Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark isn’t really as challenging as the full game, but it’s still a useful metric for judging the relative strengths of different graphics cards. The Vega 56 leads with 11 percent at 1080p, rising to 18 percent at 1440p and 4K. You can see that the GTX 1660 Ti suffers from some drops in frame time throughout the test, particularly at higher resolutions, something the AMD card avoids here.
Rise of the Tomb Raider: Very high, SMAA
The shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider has one of the longest built-in cue points we’ve ever seen, at almost three minutes long, with two medium-length cutscenes to start and then a very long panning shot to conclude. The GTX 1660 Ti gains a little ground here compared to Rise of the Tomb Raider, but the Vega 56 is still the overall winner by a small but significant margin: 8 percent, 10 percent and 17 percent at 1080p, 1440p and 4K. , respectively.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Taller, TAA
The Witcher 3
Our latest title to try is The Witcher 3, a popular role-playing game released in 2015; If you haven’t played it yet, we definitely recommend giving it a try. You’ll surely be well equipped with either card in this comparison, as both GPUs will manage to eclipse 80fps at 1080p and approach 60fps at 1440p. However, 4K gaming will require you to turn down some settings and whatever you do, don’t enable Nvidia Hairworks on any of the cards! The Vega 56’s victory lap puts it with a 17 percent lead in each of the three resolutions tested.
Witcher 3: Ultra, Post-AA, no hairstyles
GTX 1660 Ti vs Vega 56: Price and availability
The GTX 1660 Ti is a new card, while the Vega 56 is a few years old at this point, and that makes availability a bit scarce for the AMD option. However, its longevity means that this card is often discounted and frequently offered at just £250/$280. Meanwhile, GTX 1660 Ti cards are usually available at their RRP of £259/$279 or very close, and the most expensive models cost around £299/$319. Given the results we’ve seen here, the Vega 56 could well be the best option for all-round performance, especially if you’re hoping for a good deal.
With that, we come to the end of our comparison between the GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1070. Be sure to check out our full GTX 1660 Ti review to learn more about how the new Nvidia card stacks up against its rivals. You can also find our always-updated best graphics card recommendations, featuring our GPU picks at a variety of price points.