MSI GTX 1660Ti Gaming X Review

GTX 1660Ti Introduction and Technical Specifications

MSI GTX 1660Ti Gaming X Review

GTX 1660Ti Introduction

With the recent launch of the Turing GPUs Nvidia took the usual improvements in performance that one expects to find on the next generation of technology, and apply all that power towards higher framerates. So far, so typical. However, the RTX range also gained two really useful bits of unique hardware. Those were the RT Cores which were dedicated ray tracing cores that handled light and wowed us with jaw-dropping visuals in everything that took advantage of them, and Tensor Cores which utilised a form of AI to enhance the supersampling and improve antialiasing performance without actually costing you those vital frames per second. In fact, the Tensor Cores - named after the mathematical tensor geometric objects which map vectors to scalars - have so much latent calculative capability that offloading your supersampling to them via Nvidia's own DLSS improves performance when compared to having no supersampling at all. A massively impressive feat. 

All this hardware does come at a price though. The current base model RTX 2060 is very affordable starting at around £330 for the most stripped down version, moving up to £430 for the various partner vendors all-singing and dancing models. Still, at this end of the market when budgets are tight, twenty or thirty quid here and there can make all the difference. Enter the GTX 1660Ti. A card which is intended by Nvidia to replace the GTX 1060 by utilising the latest Turing GPU, but without the assistance of either Tensor Cores and RT Cores.

The key features of the Turing GPU on the GTX 1660Ti are greatly increased Floating Point Operations Per Second (FLOPS, measured in TeraFLOPS), an equally large buff to the regular Integer Operations Per Second (TOPS, Tera again), and perhaps most importantly the ability to handle TOPS and TFLOPS at the same time. Previously on the Pascal architecture, the GPU could perform one of these tasks at once. For example, something that had 38 Integer calculations and 62 Floating Point calculations per 100 instructions would require a full 100 instructions worth of time to execute. Now, with the concurrent capabilities of the Turing GPU, it can handle Floating Point and Integer calculations at the same time, thus taking only 62 instructions worth of time to calculate them all. Still with us? The long and short of that is that it's much quicker than it's Pascal predecessor. Faster calculations equal higher frame rates. 1.5x quicker to be exact than the GTX 1060 to be exact.

It isn't just complicated architecture improvements that the TU116 GPU scores over the GP106. Boost clocks are improved, Memory bandwidth has stepped up from 192 GB/s to 288 GB/s, and a whole host of extra CUDA Cores are available, now 1536 up from the 1280 offered on the GTX 1060. To fit all that onto a PCB the manufacturing process has reduced from 16nm on the Pascal to 12nm on the Turing, while the transistor count has blossomed from 4.4 billion to 6.6 billion.

We have three different models in for review at launch, the two premium models from MSI and ASUS, the Gaming X and Strix, which are very much at the high end of the GTX 1660Ti cost, and a baseline model that shows how affordable the GTX 1660Ti can be if you don't want any bells and whistles.

Let's look at the MSI GTX 1660Ti Gaming X.

Technical Specifications

The MSI GTX 1660Ti Gaming X comes with their Twin Frozr 7 cooler, RGB lighting options and all the accoutrements you would hope to find on a premium version of the GTX 1660Ti. Pictures always speak louder than words, and we know that there is a lot to catch up on when it's a launch day, so let's see how the Gaming X looks in the flesh.

Graphics Processing Clusters3
Texture Processing Clusters12
Streaming Multiprocessors24
CUDA Cores1536
Texture Units96
ROP Units48
Base/Boost Clock1500MHz / 1770MHz
Memory Clock6000 MHz
L2 Cache1536 K
Total Memory6144MB GDDR6
Memory Interface192 Bit
Texture Rate169.9 GT/s
Fabrication Process12nm FFN
Display Outputs3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI
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Most Recent Comments

22-02-2019, 09:53:54

I'd rather get a 2060 and at least get something exclusive.

Which is why I think these cards are all pointless. As much as I find early RTX a little boring I'd rather have it than not, especially now that NVIDIA took a crap on the GTX brand when it launched and told all GTX owners we basically smelled like poo because we didn't have RTX.Quote

22-02-2019, 10:29:56

Dark NighT
I don't get the point of these, Nvidia should have just lowered the pricing on the 2060 to make them sit just below the 300 dollar mark they would sell like hot cakes, instead we get these cards.

If these were sub 200 dollar then yes i could see a point in having them, but they are not so nvidia completely missed the mark on this.Quote

22-02-2019, 10:44:06

RTX2060's were already just lower binned RTX2070's made as cheap as they could be to be fair, asking to push a 445mm^2 die (Not far off 1080Ti die size) to 300USD was probably too much.Quote

22-02-2019, 11:27:25

Originally Posted by tgrech View Post
RTX2060's were already just lower binned RTX2070's made as cheap as they could be to be fair, asking to push a 445mm^2 die (Not far off 1080Ti die size) to 300USD was probably too much.
Without me checking as I am on my phone how big is Vega 56? Because AMD must be making something with a RRP of £270.

And surely the costs of HBM2 are far greater than those of GDDR6.

Or, is it simply that NVIDIA are so used to bending their customers over that they can't bear to make slightly less on each 2060 sold and would thus rather sell them leftover slop?

I think you'll find it's the latter. They need a reality slap like Intel got when Ryzen came along.Quote

22-02-2019, 11:40:18

Obviously different companies have different operating costs and need different margins to break even, we all know NVidia spends orders of magnitudes more on R&D, staff, marketing & upkeep than AMD, while AMD are known to sell their older products without profit margins to maintain marketshare. Also of course older inventory no longer being produced and soon set to be replaced at least in announcements in the coming months quickly becomes a liability if not sold at any price soon(Excess 1060 inventory ofc messed up NVidia's whole launch lineup).Quote

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