Overall and Final Verdict
So, of course, the Vega 64’s, Titans, and RTX 2080 Ti’s are exciting and I love seeing them come in. But the real workhorses so to speak are cards like the GTX 1660 Ti and now the GTX 1660. Steam hardware survey still has 1080p being run by 62% of the PCs tested with the next highest use being 1366 x 768 which is on 13% of setups. So while you might think that everyone is running 4k or 1440p that isn’t really the reality, those are only a portion of the market. Gamers looking to increase performance at 1080p is where it is at and the GTX 1660 is doing that with flying colors, even at the extremely high settings that I do most of my testing at. Nvidia has taken the TU116 GPU used in the GTX 1660 Ti and pulled two SMs to tune things down slightly but it still handles 1080p perfectly and has some room at 1440p as well. I was especially impressed with its performance in Blender, those of you looking to burn the candle at both ends with gaming and 3D work will be happy.
The Zotac card, well I was really digging the small design. Especially the all blacked out design including the black PCB. I didn’t catch that one of the fans was smaller than the other until I was doing measurements while writing, but that weird combination of fan sizes allowed them to keep a stock height card. My only disappointment was that it didn’t end up fitting in the true ITX form factor for cards which is 170mm. It was extremely close, but Zotac seems to play fast and loose with that ITX size sometimes. It should still fit in a lot of those SFF cases that only support ITX sized cards, especially with the standard height which no one seems to do anymore. I would have been happier if the card still had a DVI port, remember all of those gamers who aren’t running new monitors some of those will need that port. I was also a little sad to see the backplate go.
Cooling performance was good but the small Zotac card did drop off when compared to cards like the EVGA Ultra which had a huge heatsink. Noise testing was in the mid-range as well. So Zotac ended up not being spectacularly bad or good in those areas, which is all you really need.
Really with all of that in mind, it all comes down to the pricing and Nvidia did drop the GTX 1660 down into a price range that I really like. The MSRP is $219 and given that this Zotac card has that same price I am hoping we see lots of cards available at that price. Assuming no funny business with inventory $219 is a great price for anyone building a mid range PC. You can build a 6 core Ryzen system with 16 gigs of memory, a 500+ GB NVMe SSD, and even a modular power supply from a brand you know for less than $650 with this video card. Last year that same setup would have been twice as much and with a much slower video card. Not only are prices finally coming back to normal, but Nvidia has a new GPU to go with them. Budget is back! At $219 the GTX 1660 has the RX590 which was slower selling for $239.99 (checking this last minute there is now one for $219.99). AMD does have a good game bundle helping with that, but I would still go with the GTX 1660 right now. The RX 580 is a much better deal with them running in the $170-180 range but again the performance was night and day. Then you have the GTX 1060 which was looking especially dated in our testing, most of the 6GB models are selling at or above the GTX 1660’s price as well. Baring any significant price changes the GTX 1660 is looking like a great option right now.
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