This is shaping up to be an interesting month in graphics. AMD is about to launch its Radeon VII to retail, and unofficially, NVIDIA is rumored to have a couple of non-RTX Turing cards up its sleeve—GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and GeForce GTX 1660. While not yet official, the Ti model is already starting to show up at retail sites in Russia.
Unless everything has been a smoke screen up to this point, both cards will feature a Turing GPU inside, but without dedicated RT cores enabled (or perhaps even present) for real-time ray tracing. NVIDIA could go about this by disabling the RT cores, or launching a new Turing GPU altogether. We also suspect that DLSS support will be a no-go as well.
The goal here would be to offer gamers a performance bump over Pascal, without charging a premium for features they may not want or need. Indeed, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang recently admitted that "some customers may have delayed their purchase [of a Turing card] while waiting for lower price points and further demonstrations of RTX technology in actual games."
It was an incredibly candid remark, and right on the money. Combined with the cryptocurrency market bottoming out, NVIDIA ended up selling less GPUs than it anticipated last quarter, which Jensen called a "punch in the gut."
The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and GeForce GTX 1660 could fill the gap until real-time ray tracing and DLSS see more widespread support in games. NVIDIA's hardware partners are apparently ready for the launch—models from both MSI and Palit have popped up at overseas retail sites. These include overclocked models, and specifically MSI's Gaming X and Armor OC variants, which are both listed as having a 1,536MHz base clock.
Previous leaks and rumors point to 1,500MHz being the reference base clock. Here's an expanded look at the leaked specs:
- GeForce GTX 1660 Ti: 1,536 CUDA cores, 96 Texture Units, 1,500MHz base clock, 1,770MHz boost clock, 6GB GDDR6 memory, 192-bit memory bus, 6,000MHz memory clock
- GeForce GTX 1660: 1,280 CUDA cores, 80 Texture Units, 1,530MHz base clock, 1,785MHz boost clock, 6GB GDDR5 memory, 192-bit memory bus, 4,000MHz memory clock
Ultimately we'll have to wait and see what the final specs end up being, and how custom models compare to reference. NVIDIA is expected to announce the new models on February 15.