MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Ventus XS 6 GB Review 26

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Ventus XS 6 GB Review

Architecture & Features »

Introduction


NVIDIA today released the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and with it splits its client-segment discrete graphics lineup into the GeForce GTX series and GeForce RTX series. The RTX 20-series starts at the $350-mark with the RTX 2060, while models below it are relegated to the GTX brand. The best part? Both are based on NVIDIA's latest 12 nm "Turing" architecture. What sets the two apart is right in the name—RTX real-time raytracing technology.

NVIDIA probably figured that getting RTX to work even at 1080p requires a minimum number of RT cores and CUDA core horsepower, which cannot be scaled down beyond a certain point because enabling RTX features already exacts a roughly 30 percent performance tax, and NVIDIA wouldn't want $200–$300 graphics cards being unable to play RTX-enabled games at 1080p with acceptable frame rates. The RTX 2060 appears to be positioned on that limit. In games without raytracing, the RTX 2060 has enough muscle for 1440p, but on games with RTX-enabled, playability swings halfway between 1080p and 1440p.

The easiest way out of this problem for NVIDIA would be to not bother with RTX below the $350-mark and instead focus on making the GPU as cost efficient as possible. With RTX out of the way, NVIDIA could physically remove RT cores that add billions of transistors to the silicon, making the chips smaller. Interestingly, NVIDIA also decided to axe tensor cores, specialized hardware that accelerate deep-learning neural net building and training, shedding even more transistor load. The remaining CUDA cores are very much from the "Turing" architecture and benefit from the increased IPC and higher clock-speed headroom obtained from the switch to 12 nm. The largest such GTX Turing chip is the new "TU116."



The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is the largest implementation of the TU116 and is being offered at US$279, which is about $60 higher than what the GTX 1060 6 GB "Pascal" is being sold at. In that sense, it's not a successor. It's endowed with 1,536 "Turing" CUDA cores, 96 TMUs, 48 ROPs, and a 192-bit wide memory interface, but the memory is 50% faster. NVIDIA is using 12 Gbps GDDR6 memory, which belts out 288 GB/s of bandwidth. The memory amount is still 6 GB.

With this endeavor, NVIDIA is targeting two very distinct classes of PC gamers across its lineup: the GTX "Turing" series products, such as the GTX 1660 Ti, are intended for gamers who play online multiplayer titles such as "Anthem," "Fortnite," or even "Battlefield V" with its eye-candy dialed down in favor of responsiveness and agility, while the RTX 20-series is targeted at people who play AAA games rich in eye-candy, real-time raytracing, and resolutions between 1440p and 4K.

This review covers the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Ventus XS, which is a cost-optimized design by the company. Priced at $279 MRSP, the Ventus XS still manages to include a backplate, fits two large fans on to its PCB, and features a small overclock out of the box.

GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Market Segment Analysis
 PriceShader
Units
ROPsCore
Clock
Boost
Clock
Memory
Clock
GPUTransistorsMemory
RX 570$150 2048321168 MHz1244 MHz1750 MHzEllesmere5700M4 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
RX 580$185 2304321257 MHz1340 MHz2000 MHzEllesmere5700M8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
GTX 1060 3 GB$1851152481506 MHz1708 MHz2002 MHzGP1064400M3 GB, GDDR5, 192-bit
GTX 1060$2001280481506 MHz1708 MHz2002 MHzGP1064400M6 GB, GDDR5, 192-bit
RX 590$2602304321469 MHz1545 MHz2000 MHzPolaris 305700M8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
GTX 1070$3101920641506 MHz1683 MHz2002 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
RX Vega 56$370 3584641156 MHz1471 MHz800 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1660 Ti$280 1536481500 MHz1770 MHz1500 MHzTU1166600M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
MSI GTX 1660 Ti Ventus XS$2801536481500 MHz1830 MHz1500 MHzTU1166600M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
GTX 1070 Ti$4502432641607 MHz1683 MHz2000 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
RTX 2060 FE$3501920481365 MHz1680 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
GTX 1080$5002560641607 MHz1733 MHz1251 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5X, 256-bit
RX Vega 64$400 4096641247 MHz1546 MHz953 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1080 Ti$7003584881481 MHz1582 MHz1376 MHzGP10212000M11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit
RTX 2070$4902304641410 MHz1620 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
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