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The Zotac Gaming GTX 1660 Twin Fan does well as an inexpensive Full HD graphics card in the test. There are few surprises in this price and performance range: Neither temperature nor volume are particularly noticeable. But the card is so short that it can also be used in tiny PCs. The biggest problem with the stripped-down GTX 1660 Ti is that it fills a fairly small niche and there are many good and cheap alternatives.

 

Advantages: Sufficient full HD performance, Extremely short & Energy efficient
Disadvantage: Only GDDR5 instead of GDDR6 and No ray tracing or AI units


Like the Geforce GTX 1660 Ti, which is a few weeks older, the GTX 1660 completely dispenses with the ray tracing and DLSS flagships of the RTX 20 series. This means that in games like Metro: Exodus or Battlefield 5 you have to do without spectacular ray tracing light effects, particularly realistic reflections and AI-controlled anti-aliasing (more on this in the test of the RTX 2080 Ti ). Nvidia says: "We concentrate solely on the render performance". In the end, however - especially in this price range - that hardly makes a difference, as there are currently only a few games that support these effects and ray tracing demands a lot of performance.

Nvidia does not use any of the partially defective RTX GPUs for the GTX 1660 and simply switches off the RT and tensor cores, but has developed a completely new GPU. In the case of the 1660, it is a TU116 in partial expansion with 1,408 shaders - 128 less than the larger sister model. Another downgrade is the memory: Instead of the 6 GB GDDR6 memory of the 1660 Ti, the smaller 1660 only gets slower GDDR5 memory. The size is still 6 GB. We show you all the data of the GPU in the following table.

GTX 1660 TI (GPU: TU116): ALL DATA AT A GLANCE

GPU Geforce GTX 1660 Ti (reference) Geforce GTX 1660 (reference)

Streaming Multiprocessors (SM)

24

22nd

CUDA cores (shaders)

1,536

1,408

Base clock frequency

1,500 MHz

1,530 MHz

Boost clock frequency

1,770 MHz

1,785 MHz

Operations per second

11 TOPS (5.5 TFLOPS FP32, 5.5 TOPS INT32)

10 TOPS (5 TFLOPS FP32, 5 TOPS INT32)

FP16 operations per second

11 TFLOPS

10 TFLOPS

Texture Units (TMU)

96

88

Texel fill rate

169.9 gigatexels / s

157.1 gigatexels / s

Storage bandwidth

288.1 GB / s

192.1 GB / s

Max L1 cache size

1,536 Kbytes

1,408 Kbytes

TDP

120 watts

120 watts

Transistors

6.6 billion

6.6 billion

The size

284 mm²

284 mm²

Manufacturing process

12 nm FFN

12 nm FFN

Due to the lack of super features, the GPU may seem a bit boring at first, but the innovations are hidden in the details. So the TU116 inherits the INT units of the RTX Turing chips. Nvidia claims that in addition to floating point operations, games now also use significantly more integer commands that can be better parallelized with a separate unit and processed faster.

In addition, the GPU should render efficiently especially with complex images. For this purpose, game manufacturers can use the technologies content adaptive shading (content-based, adaptive shading) and motion adaptive shading (movement-based, adaptive shading). With the former, surfaces that look the same are recognized and rendered faster. With the latter, fast movements are sent to the screen in a lower quality, because the human eye cannot perceive any details on the track anyway when the racing car is chasing 200 things across the track.

And finally, the Turing architecture offers the option of transferring the system load to the graphics card during streaming upload. Nvidia worked here with the manufacturer of the streaming software OBS. This is to relieve the CPU of this task and can take care of the video game.


Zotac Gaming GTX 1660 Twin Fan: The card can do that
Zotac didn't put a finger on the clock speeds for this model. The Twin Fan pumps images onto the monitor at the usual 1,530 to 1,785 MHz. On the other hand, the board requires an in-house creation due to the lack of a reference design from Nvidia: Zotac has given the card a very short board that, at 17.6 centimeters, even fits in tiny PCs and in fact, at the time of the test, it is the fifth-shortest card in our list of the best.

A small aluminum heat sink and two axial fans of different sizes sit on the board. The cooling performance is fully average here - neither loudness nor temperature are noticeable. In contrast, the consumption is low: Our system only draws around 190 watts under full load - that is in the range of the weaker GTX 1060 with 3 GB of memory.

 

Benchmarks in comparison - The Zotac Gaming Geforce GTX 1660 Twin Fan 6GB GDDR5
In terms of graphics performance, everything is in line with the expectations of a throttled TU116 GPU: The card feels particularly comfortable when playing games in Full HD resolution and even manages Metro: Exodus ("Ultra" detail mode) with a tolerable 39.4 frames per Second (fps) and Far Cry 5 (highest detail mode) with 35 fps.

The three-year-old Rise of the Tomb Raider, on the other hand, can even be played with a smooth 87 fps in maximum details. Gaming in 1440p resolution is possible overall, but only with restrictions. So if you want to fire up a higher resolution monitor appropriately, you should buy at least one quality level higher.

Since the price range below 300 euros is hotly contested and retailers always undercut each other by a few euros, we took a closer look at the direct competition of the GTX 1660.

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