Nvidia recently launched its GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. Based on a modified Turing 12nm architecture, the company got a lot of heat for the naming scheme of this card. Yet, looking beyond the model name, this card undoubtedly holds up strongly against the competition.
In this article we’ll look at Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti vs GTX 1070, and also compare the GTX 1660 Ti with AMD’s Radeon RX 590.
|Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti||Nvidia GTX 1070||AMD Radeon RX 590|
|CUDA Cores / Stream Processors||1536||1920||2304|
|Peak FP32 Compute||5.4 TFLOPS||6.5 TFLOPS||6.2 TFLOPS|
|Transistor Count||6.6 billion||7.2 billion||5.7 billion|
|Base Clock Frequency||1500MHz||1506MHz||1469MHz|
|Boost Clock Frequency||1770MHz||1706MHz||1545MHz|
|Memory Capacity||6GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5|
On paper, it appears the new Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti wouldn’t be able to stand up to the older but still relevant GTX 1070. The latter has more CUDA cores, more memory, a superior memory interface, and more transistors running at comparable clock speeds to the GTX 1660 Ti.
The AMD Radeon RX 590 is a new and improved version of the popular RX 580. While it offers more stream processors than Nvidia offers CUDA cores, the comparison isn’t even as Nvidia’s CUDA cores are more streamlined. The RX 590 does appear to have superiority in memory capacity and interface, though like the GTX 1070 it lags behind in the memory bandwidth to the GTX 1660 Ti.
Perhaps the most egregious aspect of the Radeon RX 590 though is the TDP. Despite having the same manufacturing process of 12nm as the 1660 Ti, it’s still a power-hungry graphics card with a TDP of 210 watts, even surpassing the much older 14nm GTX 1070 in power consumption.
On paper, the hierarchy seems pretty clear: the Nvidia GTX 1070 should come out on top, with the Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti a close second, and the AMD Radeon RX 590 lagging behind both. The reality, however, is quite different.
GTX 1660 Ti vs GTX 1070 vs RX 590: Performance Comparison
We review the benchmark performances of the three cards in 5 videogames: Anthem, Battlefield V, Far Cry 5, Metro Exodus, and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG). The benchmarks results are courtesy of PCGamer. The benchmarks were used on a system running with a Core i5 8700K clocked at 5.0GHz. The GTX 1660 Ti model used here is from EVGA. Average FPS is given for 1080p and 1440p resolutions with the highest settings in all the videogames. All GPUs have been tested with the latest available drivers.
Based on the Steam Hardware Survey, 60% of all gamers still play on 1080p resolution. The Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti with an MSRP of $279 is specifically designed for that audience. However, as shown by the benchmark results, it is more than capable of running many titles at 1440p comfortably, with the exception of the newly released Metro Exodus where it struggles (but so do the other competing cards).
The most surprising take from these benchmarks is how closely it performs to the GTX 1070. Despite the considerable difference in VRAM between the GTX 1660 Ti and the old cards, the GTX 1660 Ti still manages to compete effectively at 1440p resolution. Much of this is due to the GTX 1660 Ti’s higher boost clock speeds, which it can sustain more consistently compared to the GTX 1070 due to its Turing architecture to compensate for fewer transistors, texture units, and cores.
The similarly priced AMD Radeon RX 590, however, is simply no match for either cards and given the similar pricing to GTX 1660 Ti, there is little reason to prefer the RX 590 over Nvidia’s latest GPU.
Furthermore, the power draw of the GTX 1660 Ti is more efficient than the similarly performing GTX 1070. The RX 590 once again lags behind in this category, consuming up to 55 watts more than the GTX 1660 Ti and 25 watts more than the much older 14nm GTX 1070.
With sufficient overclocking (provided you have the right cooling), it seems that it’s highly possible to push the GTX 1660 Ti to encroach the RTX 2060 territory. The memory clock speed is what’s holding the 1660 Ti a bit behind, but thanks to its low TDP and newer architecture, pushing the clock speeds shouldn’t be a problem to comfortably beat the performance of a base clock 1070 GTX. The RX 590 once again won’t find itself anywhere near either card in overclocking headroom or performance.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Nvidia’s objective with the release of the GTX 1660 Ti is quite clear. It’s a true successor to the popular GTX 1060 and thoroughly beats in every sense. Furthermore, Nvidia sought to kill competition in the midrange pricing with the GTX 1660 Ti, and they’ve succeeded – the 1600 Ti beats the AMD Radeon RX 590 comprehensively in all benchmarks and overall performance while costing the same.
If you’re looking to build a mid-range gaming PC right now and aren’t mesmerized by the yet to be fulfilled promises of RTX, the 1660 Ti should be at the top of your list.
If you already own a GTX 1070, there’s no reason for you to upgrade to the 1660 Ti. The performance is exactly the same with minimal difference in frame-rates in most games on both 1080p and 1440op.
Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti may have a questionable naming scheme, but it’s undeniable that when you look past that aspect, the card performs extremely well for its price point. Nvidia has practically killed AMD’s small grasp on the midrange market with this graphics card, and it’s hard to recommend the RX 590 over this Turing GPU for any reason.