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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super Review

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super Review

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super 02The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super is the more expensive of Nvidia’s two new mid-range graphics cards. Don’t assume that this is an expensive GPU, though: its US and UK prices start at just $230 and £200. In this review, we’ve used a Zotac-made card, and this GPU is designed for 1080p and 1440p gaming alongside esports. Read our Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super review to find out how this GPU stacks up against strong competition from AMD.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super Review – The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super Core

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super hasn’t been upgraded with a new core, like Nvidia’s cheaper GTX 1650 Super.

Instead, this card retains the TU116 core from the original GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti, which means this revised GPU still has 1,408 stream processors.

Nvidia makes improvements elsewhere. The base and boost clocks of 1,530MHz and 1,785MHz are great, with that latter figure improved on anything that the previous generation of 16-series GPUs could offer. The TDP of 125W is reasonable, and only 5W more than the preceding GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti.

There’s a reasonable 6GB of memory that runs at 14Gbps. That memory speed is the best of any Nvidia 16-series GPU. It also matches its key rival for speed – the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super 04The Nvidia card occupies a strange but impressive spot in the market. Its base prices of $230 and £200 massively undercut the RX 5600 XT, which starts at $280 and £270. And, if that wasn’t good enough, those prices are barely different from the 8GB variant of the cheaper AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT.

So, while this card is technically the beefier model of the two new Nvidia GPUs, and while it technically lines up against the RX 5600 XT, it’s significantly less expensive.

The GTX 1660 Super looks good when compared to other GPUs. The GTX 1660 Ti is still on sale, but it costs $230 and £250. The RTX 2060 is still around, too, but it’s more expensive – it starts at $280 and £270.

This may be an Nvidia GPU, but its GTX branding ensures that it doesn’t have dedicated Ray-Tracing cores. Nvidia’s drivers allow these cards to run a basic version of Ray-Tracing, but don’t get too excited – neither the GTX 1650 Super or the GTX 1660 Super are powerful enough for this either.

Elsewhere, the Turing GPU inside the GTX 1660 Super adheres to the rest of Nvidia’s standards. It supports DirectX 12, Vulkan, OpenGL 4.6 and HDCP 2.2, and it supports Nvidia’s Turing NVENC encoding improvements. However, it doesn’t support USB Type-C and VirtualLink.

Here’s our in-depth guide to AMD X570 motherboards!

The Zotac Card and Pricing

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super 01The Zotac card reviewed here costs $250 and £200. For American buyers, that makes this card a little higher than entry-level GTX 1660 Super cards, despite this model running at reference speeds.

Importantly, the GTX 1660 Super has a 125W TDP, which undercuts the 130W Radeon RX 5500 XT and 160W Radeon RX 5600 XT.

The lower power requirements mean that Zotac has produced another tiny GPU. Its version of the GTX 1660 Super is only 180mm long, with a smart, understated chassis that easily fits into a dual-slot configuration. There are no RGB LEDs here, but its size makes it significantly smaller than either the Radeon RX 5500 XT or the RX 5600 XT. If you’re building a SFF PC, that’s important.

The GTX 1660 Super being available in smaller designs is not confined to Zotac. The board partner market for this card is divided neatly between GPUs that use smaller designs and others that are larger.

Happily, you’re always going to be able to find a GTX 1660 Super that’s physically smaller than the RX 5500 XT and the RX 5600 XT.

The GTX 1660 Super starts at $230 and £200, and its prices rise to $270 and £260. At the top end of the market you’ll get snazzier designs and cores overclocked to around 1,860MHz. Impressively, those prices are either level or just under what you’ll have to pay for an entry-level RX 5600 XT.

Head here for the latest information on the status of ray-tracing on the entire Nvidia range of GPUs!

Performance

Because this card and its rivals are more affordable graphics options, we’ve run our gaming tests using High settings, not Very High or Ultra – so we can record playable framerates from the majority of our titles. We’ve also included the GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 2060 scores where relevant. The larger graphics in this review show 1080p and 1440p average framerates. The thumbnail images show minimum framerates at those resolutions.

Unsurprisingly, this more expensive Nvidia card is an excellent performer at 1080p. At this resolution, the GTX 1660 Super’s minimums ranged between 29fps and 74fps. Its averages ran between 51fps and 102fps.

That minimum benchmark is better than most other cards in this part of the market. It’s not really a cause for concern unless you want to run the very toughest games at Ultra quality levels. Even then, this card will manage it in all but the trickiest titles.

Happily, these results mean that you’re going to get butter-smooth gameplay in triple-A titles at 1080p. You’ll often get games to run well at a consistent 60fps or beyond. If you’re an esports gamer, you’ll easily get titles running at 144fps or even 240fps in some games. That bodes well for high-refresh rate screens.

The GTX 1660 Super is impressive at 1440p, too. At this tougher resolution it did register a 23fps minimum in Metro: Exodus, but in other games its minimums ranged between 46fps and 52fps – easily playable. At 1440p its averages ran between 39fps and 75fps. That means top games will run smoothly here without too many graphical compromises. You’re only going to hit occasional problems if you want to run the toughest games at Ultra quality.

The GTX 1660 Super easily beats the pricier 8GB version of the RX 5500 XT. It’s consistently faster than AMD’s card at 1080p and 1440p, and the gulf between the two is demonstrated in theoretical tests: the GTX 1660 Super scored 14,447 in 3D Mark Fire Strike, while the RX 5500 XT 8GB only managed 12,425.

The GTX 1660 Super is either level with or faster than the outgoing GTX 1660 Ti, too, and is faster in both 3D Mark Fire Strike and Time Spy – despite being cheaper.

However, the GTX 1660 Super can’t compete with the more expensive RX 5600 XT. That AMD card consistently had a sizeable lead over the Nvidia GPU in gaming tests, and it was almost 1,000 points faster in 3D Mark Fire Strike.

The GTX 1660 Super is also slower than the RTX 2060, but that’s no surprise considering the price difference. The RTX 2060 also has dedicated Ray-Tracing cores, although it’s an entry-level option when it comes to that technology.

Need more news on the latest kit? Click here to check out the latest headlines.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super Review – Conclusion

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super 03Despite that, though, our Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super review demonstrates that this is a very good card.

It’s capable of smooth gaming at both 1080p and 1440p, and it comes in a good range of board partner options. It easily outpaces the RX 5500 XT, which is no surprise – but, unsurprisingly, this more affordable Nvidia card can’t compete with the RX 5600 XT.

There’s no denying that the GTX 1660 Super is a solid option, but any buying decision comes down to the Nvidia card’s range of prices.

If you’re eyeing up one of the entry-level GTX 1660 Super cards then it’s great: fast, capable and barely any more expensive than the significantly slower RX 5500 XT.

However, if you’re looking at the top-end versions of this Nvidia GPU then the RX 5600 XT and RTX 2060 are both only a little more expensive and far faster. Given the AMD card’s performance gains and the RTX 2060’s better speeds and Ray-Tracing, we’d opt for one of those two instead.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super costs $230 in the US and £200 in the UKDiscuss our Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super review on our Facebook and Twitter pages. And, if you need some more inspiration after reading our Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super review, check out our guide to our favourite laptops or go deep with our ultimate guide to 4K monitors – covering the technology, the terms and our top recommendations!

The GoodRecommended Award

  • A great 1080p gaming card
  • Capable of some 1440p gaming
  • Available in smaller designs

The Bad

  • Pricier cards are poor value
  • RX 5600 XT is far quicker

The Specs

Stream processors: 1,408
Base clock: 1,530MHz
Boost clock: 1,785MHz
Memory: 6GB, 192-bit 14Gbps GDDR6
Connectivity: PCI Express 3.0
Display Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b
Max Resolution: 7,680 x 4,320
TDP: 125W
Power connections: 1 x 8-pin
Supported APIs: DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.6, OpenCL 2.2, Vulkan 1.1, CUDA 7.5

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super

About Author

Mike Jennings

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