GeForce GTX 1660 Ti starts at $280/£220. Gigabyte’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming OC 6G costs an extra $20/£16. For that small premium, you get higher clock rates, a more flexible power ceiling, an extra-large thermal solution that facilitates lower fan speeds and temperatures, a bit of customizable RGB lighting, and plenty of display outputs. On the surface, that seems like a perfectly reasonable list of value-added extras.
Here’s the thing, though: down where GeForce GTX 1660 Ti does battle, the competition is much more intense than what Nvidia’s GeForce RTX cards face.
When the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti first launched, we looked at EVGA’s XC Black Gaming version of the card and observed that it bested the more expensive (and power-hungry) GeForce GTX 1070, along with AMD’s Radeon RX 590. It also served up better value than the remaining GeForce GTX 1060s and higher-end Radeon RX Vega 56. But today’s landscape looks a little different. The 1060s are almost gone, the remaining 1070s make no sense at all, Radeon RX 590s now start in the $210 range ($50 cheaper than before), and Vega 56 boards dip as low as $300.
In that context, asking an extra $20 for a premium GeForce GTX 1660 Ti may be difficult to justify. After all, the Vega 56 is faster, and Radeon RX 590 is quite a bit cheaper. Nvidia recently followed the 1660 Ti up with a vanilla 1660, compounding the Ti’s predicament by starting down at $220 and still serving up playable FHD performance. Or, for $50 more, you can get your hands on a GeForce RTX 2060 with dedicated RT and Tensor cores, plus enough performance in today’s games to make 2560 x 1440 a playable resolution.
In the end, then, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti’s biggest victory happens when you focus most intently on performance per watt and efficiency. The competition from AMD can’t touch it in those disciplines. If you instead turn to absolute performance, the Radeon RX Vega 56 is the faster choice, despite gobbling up more than 200W of power. Or, if you’re on a budget, the Radeon RX 580 sells for less than $200 and fares really well at 1920 x 1080.
Gigabyte’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming OC 6G is built well. Its big heat sink and Windforce 3X thermal solution work in relative slow motion to keep the TU116 processor operating at low temperatures. We prefer its dual-slot form factor to EVGA’s triple-slot design and appreciate the uncorked 200W power limit. With all of that said, we’d love to see its price come down a bit to contend with faster Radeon RX Vega 56 cards selling for the same price.
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Image Credits: Tom's Hardware, Nvidia