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NVIDIA continues to expand its family of graphics cards based on the new Turing architecture. The older segment is already filled with new solutions, where the GeForce RTX 2060 is the junior model with support for all new technologies. In the budget segment, as expected, solutions without hardware-accelerated ray tracing are presented. This line of video cards is opened by the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, which we will get acquainted with in this review.

GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

Marking GeForce GTX 1660 Ti differs from the usual numbering, which can introduce a little confusion. At the same time, the index of the new video card clearly hints that this is a replacement for the GeForce GTX 1060 from the previous Pascal generation. And for the new video card, an increase of up to 50% relative to the GeForce GTX 1060 is promised, which is a very serious acceleration against the background of the similarity of some technical characteristics.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Gaming X 6G

The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is based on the TU116 GPU, which is very similar in structure to the TU106, but with some simplifications. The GPU has three GPC clusters, each with four TPC modules of 2 SMs or 8 SMs per cluster. TU116 has more SMs per cluster. And if TU116 has only 36 SMs, then there are 24 of them in the new chip.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Gaming X 6G

TU116

The structure of the SM itself remained unchanged, but the RT blocks and tensor cores disappeared. Therefore, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (and all other models of the new series) do not support hardware-accelerated ray tracing, DLSS anti-aliasing, and possible future technologies based on deep learning. But tracing in this case is not fundamental at all, since the technology is resource-intensive, and only top-end graphics accelerators allow you to play normally with such effects. Otherwise, everything is standard for Turing — 64 CUDA stream processors and 4 texture units. In total, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti has 1536 stream processors, while the GeForce RTX 2060 on the TU106 has 1920 stream processors.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Gaming X 6G

Compared to the previous generation, the GeForce GTX 1060 had a GPU with 1280 stream processors, and the GeForce GTX 1070 video adapter already operated 1920 processors. We also have 96 texture units versus 80 for the GeForce GTX 1060. At the same time, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti retains a 192-bit bus and 6 GB of video memory. The amount of L2 cache in the TU116 reaches 1536 KB against 480 KB in the GP106. That is, by all indications, there should be a noticeable acceleration relative to the GeForce GTX 1060. If we compare the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and the GeForce RTX 2060, then the older comrade has more functional units, plus a 3072 KB L2 cache even with a truncated TU106 core.

The updated cache structure with unified access to L1 and texture cache allows the TPC pipeline to work more efficiently.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Gaming X 6G

The new GPU is adapted to current computing loads. Modern games often combine floating point (FP) and integer (INT) calculations. For example, in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, out of 100 executable instructions, approximately 38 are integer operations. Pascal required sequential processing of instructions by CUDA computing cores. Each FP compute unit now has an associated INT compute unit, allowing the SM to simultaneously execute 64 instructions of each type. And if calculations of lesser accuracy FP16 are required, then SM will use all the computing power, executing 128 instructions simultaneously.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Gaming X 6G

As a result, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti has a number of basic advantages over the GeForce GTX 1060, which relate not only to increasing the number of computing units, but also to optimizing calculations and improving the cache structure.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Gaming X 6G

Variable Rate Shading (VRS) technology is also supported, which regulates the quality of filling different fragments of the scene. In particular, we are talking about Motion Adaptive Shading and Content Adaptive Shading. The use of Motion Adaptive Shading adjusts the speed of shading depending on the movement of objects, for example, you can simplify the rendering of blurry parts of the screen in racing games at high speeds. Content Adaptive Shading changes the shading speed for fragments that slightly change color and position between frames. Adaptive Shading already has an implementation in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, where it can slightly increase overall performance.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Gaming X 6G

It is logical that the greatest advantage of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti over older graphics cards will be in new games. Therefore, the declared +50% is quite likely, but not everywhere. And if you rely on NVIDIA data, then such a significant gap can be observed in Wolfenstein II, in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Black Ops 4 there will be about 40%, and in most games the difference is 20-30%.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Gaming X 6G

The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti has a base core clock of 1500 MHz with an average Boost Clock of 1770 MHz, and this is not much different from the frequency formula of the GeForce GTX 1060. The memory is equipped with GDDR6 chips with an effective frequency of 12 GHz, which provides a significant increase in memory bandwidth relative to the GeForce GTX 1060 with 8 GHz memory.

The transition to the 12nm process technology has reduced the power consumption of the GPU. For the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, a TDP of 120 W is declared, which is at the level of the Pascal predecessor. The rejection of special RT blocks and tensor cores seriously saves the transistor budget, so the new GPU is noticeably more economical than the older Turing chips. And the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti could be the most energy efficient solution in the new graphics card family.

Video adapter GeForce RTX 2060 GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GeForce GTX 1070 Ti GeForce GTX 1070 GeForce GTX 1060
Core TU106 TU116 GP104 GP104 GP106
Number of transistors, million pieces 10800 6600 7200 7200 4400
Process technology, nm 12 12 16 16 16
Core area, sq. mm 445 284 314 314 200
Number of CUDA Stream Processors 1920 1536 2432 1920 1280
Number of texture blocks 120 96 152 120 80
Number of render units 48 48 64 64 48
Core frequency Base, MHz 1365 1500 1607 1506 1506
Boost core frequency, MHz 1680 1770 1683 1683 1709
Memory bus, bit 192 192 256 256 192
Memory type GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR5 GDDR5 GDDR5
Memory frequency, MHz 14000 12000 8000 8000 8000
Memory size, GB 6 6 8 8 6
Supported version of DirectX 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1) 12 (12_1)
Interface PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0
Power, W 160 120 180 150 120

Among the advantages of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is an updated NVENC video encoding unit. Turing has improved the quality of HEVC and H.264 video encoding, with new modes including support for HDR 10/12 bit VP9 and the ability to encode H.265 (HEVC) 8K at 30fps. NVIDIA is working with OBS developers to ensure that their graphics cards work effectively in the streaming software. With the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, you can stream video using your graphics card.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Gaming X 6G

NVIDIA did not provide a reference reference version, so a lot of GeForce GTX 1660 Ti of different designs and with different types of cooling are available from the start. Many of the new products resemble representatives of the GeForce GTX 1060 series, which is quite natural, because they have the same cooling requirements.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Gaming X 6G

One of the top modifications of the new video card by MSI came to our review. This will allow you to evaluate the potential of older versions of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti.

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