Nvidia’s latest budget GPU is billed as a competitor for AMD’s budget king, the RX 580. Built on the same Nvidia Turing architecture that the recent RTX line of cards are built around, the GeForce GTX 1660 more than succeeds as a competitor in this price range. If you want excellent 1080p gaming and strong VR/1440p gaming, then the GTX 1660 may just be the right card for you. But what’s the best GTX 1660?
If you are unfamiliar with GPU specs or how the GTX 1660 performs, feel free to scroll past our GTX 1660 reviews and peruse the buying guide. We’ll fill you in on all you need to know there. If you haven’t skipped ahead, though…let’s get into it!
Note: The GTX 1660’s MSRP starts at $219, and every card in this article is at least $10 higher than this. We did this because this is a best of, and that extra $10 is usually well worth the money!
If you had trouble breaking down all the specs and jargon presented earlier, don’t worry: we’ll help you understand just what we’re talking about in this buying guide section of the article. If you still have any lingering questions after finishing the buying guide, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll help you as quickly as we can.
How does the GTX 1660 perform?
The GTX 1660 is built for superb 1080p gaming in even the most testing scenarios, as well as strong 1440p and VR performance. Compared to modern consoles and their tendency to play at 900p/1080p and 30 FPS, the 1660 can very regularly push a native 1080p or 1440p at 60 FPS, with the added benefit of higher visual settings. This puts it in a league well above that of any console, even something like the PS4 Pro.
For a more detailed breakdown of how the GTX 1660 performs in the most strenuous scenarios, look above to see Digital Foundry’s benchmarks. These are worst-case scenarios, mind, using the highest graphics settings in the most strenuous modern games. With intelligent settings adjustments, 1440p gaming is very possible.
(We’re just going to say it: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has garbage performance optimization.)
How does the GTX 1660 compare to the RX 580 and 590?
Running at stock clocks, the GTX 1660 decimates– we’re looking at a roughly 15% performance increase– the RX 580 and is often available for the same price. While the 1660 doesn’t have that stellar AMD Game Bundle going for it, that game bundle is also going to expire by the end of April 2019, at which point a significant price drop will be needed for the RX 580 to stay competitive.
The RX 590, meanwhile, pretty much performs the same as the GTX 1660… but the 1660 is also much cheaper, with an MSRP of $220 versus the 590’s MSRP of $280 (which pushes the 590 up into the 1660 Ti price range). This price range sees a hard win in Nvidia’s favor, though AMD dominated here for a very long time.
How do length and width matter?
Length and width are the physical measurements of the card you’re getting. Not every GTX 1660 will be the same shape and size– each manufacturer is going to have a different length, width, and cooler design for their card.
Longer length and width will generally mean better cooling and overclocks, but at the expense of taking up more room in your case. (Perhaps to the point of not fitting if you’re placing it into a Micro ATX or Mini ITX tower.) Smaller dimensions mean the card will fit better in more cases, but may not have the cooling capacity to be pushed to higher overclocks.
The most important of the two measurements is length. Width counts the number of PCI slots the card takes up, which shouldn’t ever be a problem for the majority of users. Length will better determine how it actually fits in your chassis, though, and this is where you’ll want to check against your case’s specs to be sure.
What does clock speed change?
Clock speed doesn’t really work as a way to measure speed across different GPU architectures, but as a way to measure speed across the same version of a different GPU… it works mostly as intended.
Most of the cards in this list are shipping with their own factory overclocks– the higher the factory overclock, the higher the out-of-box performance you can expect to receive from this card. If you want to know more about this, then we actually have an article all about overclocking that you can read.
What about ports?
Generally speaking, you’ll see the following three types of ports on a modern Nvidia GPU:
- HDMI – The most common standard for HDTVs and modern monitors.
- DisplayPort – A more monitor-centric standard, especially for 1440p+ and 144 Hz displays.
- USB-C – Used with certain VR headset configurations and compatible displays.
If you somehow don’t have any of these connectors for your display, don’t worry. DVI to HDMI connectors exist for exactly that reason.