Video cards GeForce GTX 1660 Super have successfully occupied their niche in the market. Earlier we reviewed a model of this series from the ASUS TUF line. Now it’s time for a member of the ASUS ROG Strix family. These video cards represent the top segment within the company’s lineup. Let’s see what the Strix GeForce GTX 1660 Super is capable of at nominal and overclocked and how it differs from the TUF Gaming X3 GeForce GTX 1660 Super.
The video card comes in a small box. Complete with Velcro straps for fixing cables, brief instructions and a CD with software.
After the older ASUS video cards, we are already accustomed to large models with a three-fan cooling system. But we have a budget version with two fans. Visually, the graphics card strongly resembles the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1650.
The length of the video card is 24 cm. Cooling occupies two expansion slots. The body is made of plastic. On the side there is a Strix inscription and a small illuminated ROG logo.
This logo is the only illuminated element. But this is a full-fledged RGB illumination with different glow modes and settings through a software application, like the older representatives of the ROG family.
The reverse side is protected by a metal plate. In the corner of the video card there is an additional power connector for eight pins.
Strix always have extra features, and this video card is no exception. There is a button for hardware turning off the backlight and a BIOS switch. ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1660S-O6G-GAMING has two firmware with different fan settings. In Performance mode they run at higher speeds for better cooling, while in Quiet mode they run at lower speeds to ensure minimal noise.
There are two HDMI and two DisplayPort ports on the back panel.
If you look under the casing, we will see a familiar heatsink, which is almost no different from the cooler in ASUS TUF 3-GTX1660S-O6G-GAMING. Two thick heatpipes run through the center of the heatsink making direct contact with the surface of the graphics chip. Unlike TUF, the tubes are oriented a little differently, due to which they pierce the radiator plates not at two points, but at three.
It’s a decent heatsink for budget graphics cards, but you’d expect something a little bigger with the GeForce GTX 1660 Super. The heatsink does not cover the memory chips, only two chips come into contact with the tubes in their fold zone through a special thermal pad. Also, there is no heatsink for VRM elements. Although ASUS TUF 3-GTX1660S-O6G-GAMING had all this.
A casing with a pair of large fans is put on the radiator.
The back plate cools the textolite in the area under the memory chips.
Large 100 mm fans (95 mm impeller) are used. ASUS TUF 3 has three simple 80mm fans. Strix fans have a special blade design with an outer solid ring around the edges. This shape helps to increase the airflow and improve the blowing efficiency.
The printed circuit board is already familiar to us from ASUS TUF 3, but there are more elements in the memory binding and more power phases.
The GPU power system has six phases.
The video card is based on the TU116-300-A1 processor combined with 6 GB of fast GDDR6 memory. Micron microcircuits with marking 9RA77 D9WCW are used.
With the default base core clock of 1530 MHz, the official Boost Clock has been raised to 1845 MHz (default 1785 MHz). The memory characteristics correspond to the standard specifications — the effective data exchange frequency corresponds to the value of 14000 MHz.
The video card was tested on an open stand at an indoor temperature of 21 °C. With a «quiet» BIOS, the fans completely stopped in idle time, and under load they spin up to 1400-1500 rpm. The core was heated to a modest 62–63°C. This is illustrated below in the screenshots of monitoring parameters during the Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition and The Division 2 tests.
The GPU worked in the range of 1935-1950 MHz with peak values up to 1980 MHz. In Performance mode, the frequencies are the same, although Final Fantasy XV has less dropouts up to 1935 MHz. Heating is reduced by 3–4 °C, but the peak fan speed approaches 1800–1900 rpm.
With ASUS TUF 3-GTX1660S-O6G-GAMING, we observed temperatures up to 63°C with fan speeds up to 1800 rpm and lower core frequencies. That is, ASUS ROG Strix is a little faster, and in terms of temperature and noise characteristics, it is approximately at the same level or slightly better.
In terms of overclocking, the video card did not show anything super-outstanding. The base frequency was raised by 130 MHz, the memory took the bar at 15672 MHz.
In games, the GPU showed frequencies of 2055-2070 MHz with peak values up to 2100 MHz. This is slightly below the TUF overclocking, but the difference is negligible.
To maintain operating temperatures at the initial level, we fixed the fan speed at 1800 rpm. At a constant speed value, a certain rumble is already manifested, but without serious acoustic discomfort.
In more severe operating conditions, the video card may be slightly hotter and noisier. But given the good cooling potential, this shouldn’t lead to an unpleasant hum. It can be assumed that ASUS ROG Strix will go beyond the comfortable acoustic framework in conditions of intense summer heat, but then the second “quiet” BIOS will save.