ASUS Phoenix GeForce GTX 1660 review: Turing for the masses
Test setup & gaming performance
The detailed specifications of our new graphics card testbed system is as follows:-
- Intel Core i7-8086K (4.0GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
- ASUS ROG Strix Maximus X Hero (Intel Z370)
- 4 x 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3000 (Auto timings: CAS 15-15-15-35)
- Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD
- Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
- Acer Predator X27, 4K monitor
The full line-up of graphics cards and their driver versions are listed below:
- ASUS Phoenix GeForce GTX 1660 (ForceWare 419.35)
- ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming OC (ForceWare 418.91)
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition (ForceWare 417.54)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition (ForceWare 417.35)
- PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 590 (Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 18.12.3)
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition|
|GPU Transistor Count||
|Stream Processor Clock||
|Texture Mapping Units (TMUs)||
|Raster Operator units (ROP)||
|Memory Clock (DDR)||
|Memory Bus width||
|PCI Express Interface||
|HDCP Output Support||
Next up, here's a list of all the benchmarks used:
- Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Far Cry 5
- Middle-earth: Shadow of War
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Tom Clancy's The Division
We used the Fire Strike Extreme benchmark and stress test in 3DMark for our temperature and power consumption tests respectively.
The synthetic 3DMark benchmark tests graphics and computational performance at different resolutions, starting at 1080p and going all the way up to 4K. A series of two graphics test, one physics test, and then a combined test stress your hardware in turn to assess its performance.
There is roughly an 18 per cent gap between the GeForce GTX 1660 and 1660 Ti in 3DMark Fire Strike, so the former performs closer to the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB than it does with its Turing counterpart. Compared to the Pascal card, the GeForce GTX 1660 is roughly 8 per cent quicker.
Futuremark’s VRMark benchmark is designed to assess a PC’s ability to handle high-performance headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. If a PC passes the Orange Room test, it is ready for the latter two systems. The second graph also shows how the cards fared against the benchmark's target of an average FPS of 109.
Strangely enough, the GeForce GTX 1660 did worse than the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB here, falling behind by around 11 per cent. Still, it passed the Orange Room test quite handily.
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
Ashes of the Singularity has long been the poster child for the performance benefits a low-level API like DirectX 12 can bring. It is based on the Nitrous engine and can be extremely punishing thanks to the huge number of onscreen units and the sheer level of detail accorded to each unit. However, the CPU does become the limiting factor at lower resolutions and settings.
Escalation is quite punishing at Crazy settings, so you'll probably want to stick to High settings. In DirectX 11 mode, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti was around 11 per cent faster than the GeForce GTX 1660. However, the latter also managed to beat both the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and Radeon RX 590.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Mankind Divided features just about every trick to make your game look pretty, including things like volumetric and dynamic lighting, screenspace reflections, and cloth physics. Even though it was released in 2016, the game is capable of bringing even the most powerful systems to their knees.
The GeForce GTX 1660 was quite capable of handling the game at High settings, and it even managed to churn out playable frame rates with the settings cranked up to Ultra. At High settings, it was faster than the GeForce GTX 1060 by 20 per cent. The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti still held on to a sizeable lead though, racing ahead to an 18 per cent advantage.
Far Cry 5
Far Cry 5 is actually an AMD launch title, so it'll be interesting to see how the green camp fares here.
The GeForce GTX 1660 came ahead of both the GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 590, but the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti was still a good 16 per cent faster at 1080p and High settings. Compared to the Pascal card, the GeForce GTX 1660 was roughly 13 per cent quicker.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War
Once again, the GeForce GTX 1660 came in snugly between the GeForce GTX 1060 and 1660 Ti. It also edged ahead of the Radeon RX 590, despite being cheaper.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Even with all the settings turned up, the GeForce GTX 1660 turned out a fairly decent result, even though the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti was still 12 per cent faster. The improvement over the GeForce GTX 1060 is modest, coming in at around 20 per cent.
Tom Clancy's The Division
The GeForce GTX 1660 handled itself quite well at Ultra settings, squeezing out a roughly 17 per cent lead over the GeForce GTX 1060.