Techgage logo

A SUPER Sweet Spot? NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER Review

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660

Date: November 28, 2019
Author(s): Rob Williams

NVIDIA’s SUPER series of GeForce cards has reached a total of five, thanks to the recent introduction of two GTX variants. We’re taking a look at the 1660 SUPER here, with a focus on 1080p for the bulk of our testing, and up to 4K for high-FPS esports titles. Let’s see how the extra memory bandwidth is put to use!



A Look At GeForce 1660 SUPER & Our Test Suite

When NVIDIA launched its Turing architecture last fall, who could have foreseen how SUPER it’d become? In the summer, we saw the original GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 get replaced with faster SUPER upgrades, while the original RTX 2060 gained a SUPER complement, rather than replacement – one that commands a fifty dollar premium.

Since then, we’ve seen NVIDIA spread the SUPER butter around even more, landing on the 1650, as well as the focus of this article, the 1660. Based on the previous SUPER models, it would’ve been safe to assume that these GTX variants would add some cores to their counts, but in actuality, that only applies to one of them: GTX 1650 SUPER.

The GTX 1660 SUPER is a bit of an oddball, because it doesn’t increase the cores, or even its peak frequencies. What’s upgraded boils down to the memory, seeing a bump from GDDR5 to GDDR6, or in other words, a bandwidth boost from 192 GB/s to 336 GB/s.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER and GTX 1660
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 & GTX 1660 SUPER

Before we dive in further, here’s NVIDIA’s full GeForce lineup, for easier comparisons:

NVIDIA’s GeForce Gaming GPU Lineup
CoresBase MHzPeak FP32MemoryBandwidthTDPSRP
TITAN RTX4608177016.3 TFLOPS24GB 1672 GB/s280W$1,199
RTX 2080 Ti4352135013.4 TFLOPS11GB 1616 GB/s250W$999
RTX 2080S3072165011.1 TFLOPS8GB 1496 GB/s250W$699
RTX 2070S256016059.1 TFLOPS8GB 1448 GB/s215W$499
RTX 2060S217614707.2 TFLOPS8GB 1448 GB/s175W$399
RTX 2060192016806.4 TFLOPS6GB 1336 GB/s160W$349
GTX 1660 Ti153615005.5 TFLOPS6GB 1288 GB/s120W$279
GTX 1660S140815305.0 TFLOPS6GB 1336 GB/s125W$229
GTX 1660140815305.0 TFLOPS6GB 3192 GB/s120W$219
GTX 1650S128015304.4 TFLOPS4GB 1128 GB/s75W$???
GTX 165089614853.0 TFLOPS4GB 1128 GB/s75W$149
Notes1 GDDR6; 2 GDDR5X; 3 GDDR5; 4 HBM2
Architecture: GTX & TITAN = Pascal; RTX = Turing

It’s not too often we see a release like this, where only the memory has been upgraded, but it’s definitely happened before. It does make you wonder exactly how memory-dependent, or rather, memory-starved, games at the intended detail levels and resolutions will be – so this is a fun one to test. To make the move from a regular 1660 to SUPER is $10, or $229 SRP.

As with all of NVIDIA’s GeForce cards, this GTX 1660 SUPER supports the mainstay GeForce features, such as GeForce Experience, ShadowPlay, GameStream, Ansel, FreeStyle, and so on. What the card doesn’t support is the RTX technologies, as its GTX name would imply. That means that accelerated ray tracing is missing, something that’d require a step up to at least the RTX 2060 to rectify.

There’s really not too much else worth mentioning, as this is a pretty standard fare launch. Interestingly, the model we received from NVIDIA is of GIGABYTE’s, a simply named (and stock-clocked) card that is identical to the original 1660 we have, in terms of the PCB, clocks, and cooler solution. So, this really will be a good apples-to-apples test.

A Look At Test Methodology

Techgage Gaming GPU Test PC
ProcessorIntel Core i9-9900KS (4.0GHz Base, 5.0GHz Turbo, 8C/16T)
MotherboardASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING
CPU tested with BIOS 1302 (September 20, 2019)
MemoryG.SKILL TridentZ Royal (F4-3600C16-8GTRG) 8GB x 2
Operates at DDR4-3600 16-16-16 (1.35V)
AMD GraphicsAMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (8GB; Adrenaline 19.11.3)
AMD Radeon RX 5700 (8GB; Adrenaline 19.11.3)
AMD Radeon RX 590 (8GB; Adrenaline 19.11.3)
NVIDIA GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER (8GB; GeForce 441.34)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB; GeForce 441.34)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 1660 Ti (6GB; GeForce 441.34)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 1660 SUPER (6GB; GeForce 441.34)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 1660 (6GB; GeForce 441.34)
StorageGeForce: WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB (SATA 6Gbps)
Radeon: Kingston SSDNow V310 960GB (SATA 6Gbps)
Power SupplyCorsair RM650x (650W)
ChassisNZXT S340 Elite Mid-tower
CoolingCorsair Hydro H100i V2 AIO Liquid Cooler (240mm)
Et ceteraWindows 10 Pro (64-bit; 1909)

All of the GPUs have been tested with current (as of the time the round of testing began) drivers, and with an up-to-date Windows 10 (1909). Our operating system is kept clean and optimized to reduce benchmark interference, ensuring accurate results. V-Sync, G-SYNC, and FreeSync are disabled at the monitor and driver level. Both Intel’s chipset driver and Management Engine (ME) are updated to the latest versions.

Games Tested & Vendor Neutrality

A total of ten games are included in our current test suite. These include Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for some super-high FPS eSports testing, as well as Far Cry 5, F1 2019, Monster Hunter: WorldMetro ExodusShadow of the Tomb Raider, The Division 2, and Total War: Three Kingdoms.

We passed over Battlefield V for this round, since we had stuttery performance on the first GPU we tested (not the 1660 SUPER), so in the interest of time, we just chalked it up as a loss, and moved on. In addition to our game suite, the end of the review is augmented with some synthetic benchmarks.

Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Monster Hunter: World
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
dBpoweramp - Convert FLAC to MP3 dBpoweramp - Convert FLAC to MP3
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
dBpoweramp - Convert FLAC to MP3
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Total War: Three Kingdoms
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Unigine Superposition
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View

Here’s the full list of games tested, and developer allegiances:

Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Tested Settings (1)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Tested Settings (2)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
F1 2019 - Tested Settings (1)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
F1 2019 - Tested Settings (2)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
dBpoweramp - Convert FLAC to MP3 dBpoweramp - Convert FLAC to MP3
Far Cry 5 - Tested Settings (1)
dBpoweramp - Convert FLAC to MP3
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z) Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
Far Cry 5 - Tested Settings (2)
Intel Core i7-6700K (CPU-Z & GPU-Z)
CyberPowerPC AMD VR Gaming PC - Keyboard Switches CyberPowerPC AMD VR Gaming PC - Keyboard Switches
Far Cry 5 - Tested Settings (3)
CyberPowerPC AMD VR Gaming PC - Keyboard Switches
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Monster Hunter: World - Tested Settings (1)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Monster Hunter: World - Tested Settings (2)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Tested Settings (1)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Tested Settings (2)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege - Tested Settings (1)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege - Tested Settings (2)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege - Tested Settings (3)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 - Tested Settings (1)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 - Tested Settings (2)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 - Tested Settings (3)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 - Tested Settings (4)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 - Tested Settings (5)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 - Tested Settings (6)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Total War: Three Kingdoms - Tested Settings (1)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View
Total War: Three Kingdoms - Tested Settings (2)
Sony Ps4 Pro Angled View

Note: You can download all of the tested setting images at once here (ZIP, 7MB).

Because our time has been dominated by all sorts of benchmarking, we’ve skipped percentile tests for this review because they add a lot of extra hands-on time to get right. That said, we have lots of results in general to share, focused around 1080p resolution. We’ve also tossed 1440p and 4K performance for CS: GO and Siege to see how the 1660 SUPER fares in high-FPS esports gaming.

Gaming: F1 2019, Far Cry 5, Metro Exodus


F1 2019

Formula 1 2019
F1 2019 (1080p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)

Right off the bat (ahem, starting grid), we can see that the additional memory bandwidth infused into the GTX 1660 SUPER has helped this game’s performance by 8 FPS on average, with the same 8 FPS gain with the minimums. Things are looking really good for the 1660 SUPER so far, considering it’s not trailing far behind the GTX 1660 Ti, with its higher core count.

Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 (1080p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)

Things are going smoothly for the 1660 SUPER so far, representing a similar gain in performance in Far Cry 5 as we saw with F1 2019. The performance delta between the SUPER and Ti cards are ridiculously tight here, to the point where you may as well call them the same.

Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus
Metro Exodus (1080p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)

The Metro series has long been known for punishing hardware, and with our chosen Ultra detail levels, there’s not much room for the 1660 SUPER to strut its stuff, with both it and the non-SUPER 1660 hovering around the 40 FPS mark. Even the minimums are harsh (we may drop the detail level tested to High in the future).

Gaming: Monster Hunter World, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, The Division 2

Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter World (1080p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)

We’ve returned to normalcy, which in this case is the 1660 SUPER pulling a fair bit ahead of the non-SUPER, about 10 FPS. While only ahead by 5 FPS, this is one of the higher peak deltas we’ve seen from that card so far, but given the $50 price difference between the two cards, one of them is looking really SUPER at the moment.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (1080p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)

The 1660 SUPER continues to leap a good distance ahead of the original 1660, and in this case completely matches the performance of the Ti. It’s an odd result, and one that stuck after retesting both cards right after one another. We wouldn’t be surprised if a retest on another day would give us better scaling.

The Division 2

Tom Clancy's The Division 2
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 (1080p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)

There’s some nice scaling going on between the three 1660s here, but the 1660 SUPER is the definite best bang-for-the-buck of the group. The Radeon RX 590 deserves a shout-out, as well, since it keeps up to the bottom 1660, but costs a bit less, found right now for around $190~200.

Gaming: Total War: Three Kingdoms, CS: GO, Rainbow Six: Siege

Total War: Three Kingdoms

Total War Three Kingdoms
Total War Three Kingdoms (1080p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)

We’ve come to an interesting result: one where the Ti and SUPER 1660s perform the exact same. We retested both, and came up with the same results. So… you can’t buy a SUPER and expect it to benefit you in this game too much, despite it being fairly graphically intensive.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

CSGO Steam
Counter-Strike Global Offensive (1080p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)
Counter-Strike Global Offensive (1440p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)
Counter-Strike Global Offensive (2160p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)

At 1080p, our CPU (9900KS) becomes a bottleneck really quickly, despite its 5GHz speed. AMD manages to eke a few extra frames over NVIDIA, while the SUPER steps over the Ti. We then see the same thing happen at 1440p, and surprisingly, even 4K. It’s beginning to look like this extra memory bandwidth will act as a bit a boon to esports gamers, but before we jump to conclusions, here’s another take:

Rainbow Six: Siege

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (1080p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (1440p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (2160p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)

With CS: GO, the 1660 SUPER placed ahead of the technically quicker 1660 Ti, offering clear proof that the faster memory is being put to good use. In Siege, the SUPER doesn’t fare quite as well, but still does manage to surpass the Ti at 1080p. At the other resolutions, the SUPER still places a comfortable distance ahead of the original 1660.

Synthetic: 3DMark, VRMark & Superposition

UL 3DMark

UL 3DMark Fire Strike (1080p) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)
UL 3DMark Fire Strike (4K) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)
UL 3DMark Time Spy Extreme (4K) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)

3DMark sure does have some interesting impressions sometimes. Despite the fact that the RX 590 sat at the bottom of twenty-one out of twenty-three charts, it somehow managed to place higher than that in both of the Fire Strike tests. Things shake up in the DirectX 12 test, reflecting expected scaling, at least up to the 2060 SUPER, since our real-world testing dictates that the 5700 XT leads most often.

UL VRMark

Futuremark VRMark Cyan Room
UL VRMark Cyan Room - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)
UL VRMark Blue Room - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)

In VRMark, the 1660 SUPER doesn’t manage to overtake the Ti, but it sure does come close. More importantly, it keeps ahead of the 1660, especially with the Cyan test. Unfortunately, the target frame rate for the Blue test is 110 (it’s 90 for Cyan), so all of these GPUs are still off the mark.

Unigine Superposition

Unigine Superposition
Unigine Superposition (1080p Extreme) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)
Unigine Superposition (4K Optimized) - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)

Superposition helps us wrap up our results, giving us similar scaling as seen throughout the testing. The 1660 SUPER overall places close to the Ti, and seems to justify its $10 premium over the GTX 1660 quite well.

Power, Temperatures & Final Thoughts

To gauge power draw and heat, we keep the PC sitting on a desk, next to the monitor, with the door of the chassis on. A Kill-a-Watt is used to monitor power draw direct from the tower, so the results below reflect overall system power, not wattage for the GPU, specifically. The room temperature is kept as close to 23°C as possible for this testing.

For gathering temperature data, we use GPU-Z’s logging feature, as well as a 10x loop of 3DMark’s Time Spy Extreme test to push the GPU hard. We stay away from “power virus” applications that won’t generate a realistic stress. For power monitoring, a separate boot is used to establish an idle and a rough max load, based on watching the Kill-a-Watt through a Far Cry 5 timedemo run.

Power Consumption - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)
Temperatures - (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER)

Compared to the original GTX 1660, the 1660 SUPER draws a lot more power at full load – about 40W. At the same time, it matches itself with the Ti’s power consumption, though that card will come out the victor most often. As for temperatures, the 1660 SUPER ran 5°C warmer at both idle and load, versus the original 1660 (with identical PCB/cooler).

Final Thoughts

The GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER is an interesting card, but also a slightly confusing one, since it doesn’t tack on more cores – just more memory bandwidth. As we saw throughout all of our testing, the 1660 SUPER consistently kept ahead of the original GTX 1660, sometimes to a great margin, of around 10~14%. That’s gained at the expense of a price tag that’s about 5% higher.

Currently, at Amazon, the original GTX 1660 can be had for as low as $200, whereas the GTX 1660 SUPER seems to currently bottom out at the current SRP of $229. The least-expensive GTX 1660 Ti we found is priced at $260, so as it stands right now, there is a ~$30 separation on either side of the 1660 SUPER.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER and GTX 1660 (Back)

Against the original 1660, the SUPER variant seems to us to be a no-brainer upgrade. The memory sees a massive boost to its bandwidth, and in every single case we’ve seen, it delivers a boost beyond its 5% price premium. The smallest gain we saw was with Metro Exodus, but that’s still 10%, and could have been more impressive if we were not using Ultra detail settings.

In many cases, the SUPER proved to be about 13~14% faster on average. Of course, as the power and temperature tests above highlight, the faster card also sips power quicker, and runs a bit hotter (not that it matters much in this case, since it’s still well within safe limits.)

At this point, it’d be hard to recommend the 1660 Ti, as its performance gain isn’t as impressive with its price premium as the 1660 SUPER’s gain is with its own. The card still definitely has some merit, but if you are to go that route over the 1660 SUPER, you may want to ask yourself if an extra splurging is in order, to opt for the faster and RTX-enabled 2060 instead.

Copyright © 2005-2019 Techgage Networks Inc. - All Rights Reserved.