If you’re looking for a new mainstream graphics card today, there’s a fair chance you missed the Pascal generation altogether. Three or four years have passed since your last upgrade, and that GeForce GTX 960 or Radeon R9 380 is starting to feel a little slow. There are still a few GeForce GTX 10-series cards floating around. But as Nvidia fills its portfolio with Turing-based boards, previous-gen products like the GeForce GTX 1070 will disappear altogether, joining the now-unavailable 1080 and 1080 Ti. Today, GeForce GTX 1060 gets added to the endangered species list as GeForce GTX 1660 Ti replaces it.
The 1060 had a good run. It launched at $250 and served up excellent frame rates at 1920 x 1080, gingerly stepping on Radeon RX 480’s toes in the process. However, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti blows right past it in the benchmarks. Our results show the 1660 Ti averaging about 100 FPS across our suite, beating Radeon RX 590, roughly tying the old GeForce GTX 1070, and losing slightly to Radeon RX Vega 56. And that’s at a price point just $30 higher than the 1060 6GB in 2016.
Step up to 2560 x 1440 and the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti continues delivering playable performance with an average of more than 60 FPS between 12 different games. That’s 19% faster than Radeon RX 590 and darn near even with GeForce GTX 1070. Radeon RX Vega 56’s lead grows to 10%, likely due to a massive memory bandwidth advantage that staves off bottlenecks at higher resolutions. But the cheapest model in stock on Newegg at the time of writing was $400. A 43% price premium on a card rated for 75%-higher power consumption just doesn’t make sense for 10%-higher frame rates.
AMD does appear to be chipping away at Radeon RX 590’s price. Entry-level models still cost $260, though. They need to be lower to justify 85% of GeForce GTX 1660 Ti’s performance at 188% of its power consumption.
Previous-gen GeForce cards get their fair share of shade, too. Remaining GeForce GTX 1060s fail to shine with GeForce GTX 1660 Ti beating them by 30%+, despite the fact you can find a 6GB model in the $260 range. And obviously you’re going to want to avoid the few GeForce GTX 1070s left on shelves priced at $310 and up.
Taking a step back, then, it looks like GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is the card to beat for fast-paced gaming at 1920 x 1080 and solid performance at 2560 x 1440. Our only hesitation in recommending it comes from GeForce RTX 2060, which doesn’t look as good in our performance per dollar charts but does include Nvidia’s Tensor/RT cores. Do you make every dollar count by buying the GPU focused on accelerating today’s games or spend a little more in the hopes that ray tracing/DLSS gains momentum in the months to come? Let us know on the forums!
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