NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Review: Smooth 1080P Gaming For Less

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GeForce GTX 1660 - Setup, VR Mark, And Unigine Superposition

How We Configured Our Test Systems: We tested the graphics cards represented in this article on a Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 7 Pro motherboard powered by an Intel Core i9-9980XE 16-core processor and 32GB of G.SKILL DDR4 RAM clocked at 2,666MHz. The first thing we did when configuring the test system was enter the UEFI and set all values to their "high performance" default settings and disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The memory's clock was manually dialed in to ensure optimal memory performance at the processor's maximum supported speed of 2,666MHz (without overclocking), and the solid state drive was then formatted and Windows 10 Professional x64 was installed and fully updated. When the Windows installation was complete, we installed all of the drivers, games, and benchmark tools necessary to complete our tests.

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We should note that the AMD Radeon RX Vega card was tested in its default "Balanced" power mode throughout. Power Saver (slower) and Turbo (faster) power modes are also available with Vega, which would affect performance, noise output, and peak power consumption.

HotHardware's Test System
Intel Core i9 Powered
Hardware Used:
Intel Core i9-9980XE
(3 - 4.4GHz, 18-Core)

Gigabyte X299 Gaming Pro 7
(Intel X299 Chipset)

Radeon RX Vega 64
GeForce GTX 1060
GeForce GTX 1070
GeForce GTX 1080
GeForce RTX 2060
EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC
EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 XC
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G

32GB G.SKILL DDR4-2666
Samsung SSD 860 Pro
Integrated Audio & Network
Relevant Software: 
Windows 10 Pro x64

NVIDIA Drivers: v417.35 / v418.15
AMD Drivers: Crimson v18.12.3

Benchmarks Used:
Unigine Superposition
VRMark
3DMark "Fire Strike"
3DMark "Time Spy"
3DMark "Port Royal"
Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
F1 2018
Strange Brigade
Final Fantasy XV
FarCry 5

Unigine Superposition
Pseudo-DirectX / OpenGL Gaming
Superposition is a relatively new benchmark from Unigine, powered by the UNIGINE 2 Engine. It offers an array of benchmark modes, targeting gaming workloads as well as VR, with both DirectX and OpenGL code paths. There is an extreme hardware stability test built-in as well. Unigine Superposition uses the developer’s unique SSRTGI (Screen-Space Ray-Traced Global Illumination) dynamic lighting technology, along with high quality textures and models, to produce some stunning visuals. We ran Superposition in two modes using the DirectX code path – 1080p Extreme and VR Future -- to compare the performance of all of the graphics cards featured here.

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Unigine Superposition

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There is very little separating the EVGA and Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 cards we tested here, though technically speaking the Gigabyte card's slightly higher boost clocks gives it a tiny edge. Versus the competition, the EVGA and Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 cards pulled ahead of the Radeon RX 590 and GTX 1060, but finished about 11% behind the GeForce GTX 1070 here.

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The VR Future benchmark shows the same performance trend -- the EVGA and Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 cards finish in the same positions ahead of the RX 590 and GTX 1060, but the GTX 1070 moves up the stack...

Futuremark VRMark
Testing Rift And Vive Readiness
Futuremark’s VRMark is designed to test a PC’s readiness for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets. The benchmark does not, however, require that one of the headsets is attached to the PC to run and it uses an in-house graphics engine and content to ensure comparable results between different platforms. We ran the "Blue Room" VRMark test at defaults settings here, which is currently the most taxing test offered by the tool.

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Futuremark VRMark

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To this point, the story has been the same in every test. The EVGA and Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 cards once again finish ahead of the RX 590 and GTX 1060, but can't quite catch the GTX 1070.

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