Graphics Cards

GTX 1660 Ti vs. RTX 2060: Is ray tracing worth the price?

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In January 2019, Nvidia launched a middle tier high-end GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card that was able to deliver ray tracing graphics features for a MSRP of $349. Only one month later, Nvidia launched another mid-tier graphics card called GTX 1660 Ti, which with time proved to be a true successor to GTX 1060. Both GeForce RTX 2060 and GTX 1660 Ti are based on Turing architecture, however, the former features ray-tracing capabilities, while the latter one doesn’t. In terms of performance, the RTX 2060 was primarily designed to be a 1440p graphics card, while the GTX 1660 Ti was supposed to offer an ultimate 1080p gaming experience by delivering more than 144 FPS in eSports titles in Full HD resolution. The RTX 2060’s main competitors are Radeon RX 5600 XT and Vega 64, as well as older GeForce cards such as GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 Ti. The GTX 1660 Ti, on the other hand, offers similar performance to GTX 1070, and has no serious contenders from AMD’s Radeon portfolio.

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According to Nvidia, the RTX 2060 is able to deliver incredible performance and power of real-time ray tracing and AI to the latest games, while the GTX 1660 Ti should offer breakthrough graphics performance in 1080p gaming. Overall, both cards should easily deliver more than 80 to 100 FPS on average in AAA titles at 1080P resolution, and up to 60 FPS at 1440P resolution. The RTX 2060’s major advantage over GTX 1660 Ti are its ray tracing capabilities, while GTX 1660 Ti’s most appealing feature is its price.

Graphics Card NameNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
MicroarchitectureTuring (TU106)Turing (TU116)
Fab Process12 nm12 nm
Transistor count (million)108006600
Cores/TMUs/ROPs1920/120/481536/96/48
Memory Size & Type6GB GDDR66GB GDDR6
Base/Boost Clock (MHz)1365/16801500/1770
Memory Bus/Interface192 bits/PCIe 3.0 x16192 bits/PCIe 3.0 x16
Memory Bandwidth336 GB/s288 GB/s
Compute6.45 TFLOPs5.43 TFLOPs
TDP160 W120 W
Launch PeriodQ1 2019Q1 2019
Availability Check priceCheck price

Both GeForce RTX 2060 and GTX 1660 Ti are strong 1440P gaming contenders, so in this article we’ll examine their performance, and demonstrate which card has better capabilities overall. As you can see from our specs sheet above, both cards are built upon 12 nm manufacturing process, and feature an equal amount of GDDR6 memory. However, the RTX 2060’s memory modules run 250 MHz faster than the GTX 1660 Ti’s, and as such have 48 GB/s more memory bandwidth. Also, the RTX 2060 has 4.200 million more transistors than the GTX 1660 Ti, which results in an increased compute power of 6.45 teraflops. The GTX 1660 Ti’s die size is also 37% smaller than the RTX 2060’s, due to the fact that RTX 2060 comes with 240 Tensor cores which are used for ray tracing capabilities.

Since RTX 2060 is more powerful card than the GTX 1660 Ti, its overall power consumption is also higher. The RTX 2060 has a TDP of 160 W, while the GTX 1660 Ti has the TDP of 120 W. Both cards are extremely energy efficient, given the fact that AMD’s Radeon RX 5500 XT consumes 130 W of power, yet is only able to deliver the same performance as of GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER, which is greatly weaker than GTX 1660 Ti. One disappointing feature of both the RTX 2060 and GTX 1660 Ti is the fact that they are only produced in 6GB VRAM variants. The 8GB variants would be much more future-proof, however, due to the fact that both cards utilize super fast GDDR6 memory, this problem is somewhat mitigated, since both cards have high memory bandwidth, and thus can process large amounts of data in a split of a second.

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Compared to both the GeForce GTX 1080, and GTX 1660 Ti, the RTX 2060 has significantly lower base and boost clocks. This, however, doesn’t pose as any disadvantage at all, since lower clocks mean less power consumption, as well as overheating. The GTX 1660 Ti, on the other hand, has lower amount of shading units compared to GTX 1070, however, due to the improved architecture, this amount of compute units can clearly deliver almost the same performance as its predecessor. Proving that “less is more”, both RTX 2060 and GTX 1660 Ti demonstrate technological advancements of Nvidia’s Turing graphics micro-architecture. Besides the fact that they are both fantastic graphics cards, there are also various custom models of these cards available on the market, so there are plenty of variants to choose from, each with their own special features.

With all things said, now is the time to inspect the performance of RTX 2060 vs. its younger cousin GTX 1660 Ti. Based upon 8 different sources and more than 280 data entries, we have conducted a meta-analysis of various RTX 2060 and GTX 1660 Ti benchmarks available online, and calculated total averages in order to compare performance of these two graphics cards. All benchmark data was based on PC systems with Intel Core i7-8700K or i9-9900K processors, which featured at least 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a Windows 10 operating system running on an SSD drive. Results are shown below.

Performance at Full HD (1920×1080) Resolution

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From the above chart we can see that RTX 2060 performs significantly better vs. the GTX 1660 Ti in nearly all video game titles. The only exceptions are Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, DOOM Eternal and Metro Exodus. Slightly lower performance in latter two titles is probably caused by an inefficient driver optimization which should be addressed in near future. Otherwise, the RTX 2060 on average renders about 15 FPS more than the GTX 1660 Ti, and in some occasions even 30 FPS (like in Rainbow Six Siege).

Taking into consideration its performance, the RTX 2060 is obviously an overkill for 1080p gaming, as the card is able to produce more than 100 FPS in most AAA titles at Full HD resolution. Even in the most demanding titles, such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, or Control, the RTX 2060 easily produces 60 frames per second with all graphical settings set to maximum. Only exception seems to be Red Dead Redemption 2, however, lowering down some unimportant settings will pushe frame rates above 60 FPS mark even in this game.

Although RTX 2060 proves to be significantly faster card than the GTX 1660 Ti, the latter is also an amazing performer in 1080p resolution. The GTX 1660 Ti seems to be offering an ultimate 1080p experience, since for the MSRP of $279 it is able to deliver more than 60 FPS on average in most AAA titles. In most first-person shooter games, the GTX 1660 Ti renders more than 90 FPS on average, and even in some graphically difficult titles, like Metro Exodus or Control, it is able to offer similar performance to that of RTX 2060. In most games the GTX 1660 Ti easily surpasses 60 FPS mark with ultra settings, which unarguably shows that this is a very capable card which will stay relevant for quite some time.

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Since both RTX 2060 and GTX 1660 Ti are very capable cards in 1080p, they both seem very suitable for 144 Hz gaming. If you plan to game at 144 Hz with all settings set to ultra, then RTX 2060 seems to be a much better choice, as the card is able to reach such high frame rates in titles such as Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege and PUBG. Even though the card is very powerful, you will still have to lower some settings down in order to maintain stable 144 FPS. The GTX 1660 Ti is also a solid contender for 144 Hz gaming, however, the card will provide an enjoyable experience only if you decrease overall image quality to medium, or low, in order to achieve such high frame rates. Nonetheless, pairing both cards with a G-Sync monitor seems like a good investment, as it will keep you happy for years to come.

Performance at Quad HD (2560×1440) Resolution

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The RTX 2060 and GTX 1660 Ti might seem like an overkill for 1080p gaming, however, at 1440p, things start to become much more different. However, even at this resolution, the RTX 2060 proves to be an amazing graphics card. Although it isn’t able to reach 144 FPS heights, the RTX 2060 in most eSports titles delivers more than 80 frames per second in 1440p resolution. Even so, in most games the average frame rates won’t fall below 60 FPS mark with all settings set to ultra. Newer titles like Control, Borderlands 3 and Metro Exodus prove to be too demanding titles even for this card, however, given the fact that RTX 2060 is able to render more than 70 FPS on average in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, shows just how powerful this card is. Even Assassin’s Creed Odyssey runs pretty great on this card and in 1440p resolution.

The GTX 1660 Ti is, obviously, weaker vs. the RTX 2060, especially in 1440p. This, however, doesn’t undermine the card’s overall value. In fact, the GTX 1660 Ti proves to be even more affordable than RTX 2060, except it does not offer ray tracing features. The GTX 1660 Ti is able to deliver more than 60 FPS on average in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with all settings set to ultra, and in 1440p resolution. Even in games like Battlefield V, or Far Cry 5, this card pushes frames past 60 FPS mark. In titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Control, its overall performance is underwhelming, however, that is reasonable as these are very demanding titles.

Overall, both RTX 2060 and GTX 1660 Ti are good cards for 1440p gaming, with RTX 2060 having the upper hand in terms of raw power. Playing eSports titles with both of these card on 1440p resolution will be an enjoyable experience, however, playing newer and more demanding titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 doesn’t seem very feasible. The RTX 2060 might also be good for 4K gaming, but only if you find 30 FPS gaming satisfying. If that is not the case, then you should look for something more powerful.

Conclusion

The Turing-based RTX 2060 and GTX 1660 Ti are both amazing graphics card. In 1080p they will offer very high frame rates, and even at 1440p, they will easily push above 60 FPS mark.

gtx 1650 super vs gtx 1060
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As you can see from the chart above, the GTX 1660 Ti offers more than enough power for ultra-high 1080p gaming. The 30 games average for this card was 86 FPS, and for RTX 2060 was 100 FPS. The RTX 2060 is a much better choice for 144 Hz gaming, especially if you like to see all graphics settings set to maximum. The GTX 1660 Ti is also very well equipped for 144 Hz, however, you will need to tune down some setting in order to achieve such high frame rates.

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At 1440p resolution, the RTX 2060 is a clear winner vs. GTX 1660 Ti. This, however, doesn’t mean that GTX 1660 Ti is a bad card. The GTX 1660 Ti will offer enjoyable frame rates even at 1440p resolution, but RTX 2060 will leave no space for doubts. If you play eSports titles, both cards will be feasible for 1440p gaming, especially if paired with a good G-Sync capable monitor.

In this article we haven’t tested one very specific thing that differentiates RTX 2060 vs. GTX 1660 Ti a lot. That is ray tracing. Since many games still don’t properly support ray tracing features, or have no support for it at all, it is hard to make objective conclusions based on few benchmarks and performance test. There is no doubt that ray tracing technology delivers amazing lightning effects to the mainstream PC gaming, however, its benefits are still hard to evaluate. Performance impact of ray tracing on FPS varies a lot, and is somewhere in between 30 and 50 percent. Since only few games have full ray tracing support, and most of them have only partial, we haven’t included benchmarks tests related to ray tracing technology. When we gather more data, we will publish them.

Nonetheless, it is worth to say that both GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 2060 are great graphics cards. Both of them support latest computer graphics technologies such as DirectX 12 and Vulkan APIs, OpenGL 4.6, OpenCL 1.2, Nvidia GeForce Experience, Nvidia Ansel and Nvidia G-Sync. However, the RTX 2060 also supports ray tracing technology, as well as DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling), which enables it to produce images that look like they are rendered in higher resolution instead of originally lower.

Both card are very energy efficient, so if you already own a 500 W power supply, you shouldn’t worry about upgrading it. When speaking about price and availability, the new GTX 1660 Ti cards are now retailing for around $300, while the RTX 2060 cards can be found for $330. Since price difference between two is quite small, we recommend you getting the RTX 2060, not just because it’s more powerful, but also because it comes with full ray tracing support. If, however, you are on a tight budget, and just want to play games on 1080p resolution, then you should better consider purchasing AMD’s RX 5500 XT or Nvidia’s GTX 1650 Super graphics cards.


GTX 1660 Ti

  • Super smooth performance in 1080p
  • Lot of overclocking potential
  • Very energy efficient
  • Only 6GB of VRAM
  • On par with GTX 1070
  • No ray tracing support
  • Not much cheaper than RTX 2060

RTX 2060

  • Super smooth performance in 1080p
  • Very good performance in 1440p
  • Runs very cool
  • Ray tracing and DLSS support
  • Only 6GB of VRAM
  • A bit overpriced
  • Not impressive performance with enabled ray tracing

If you are planning to build a completely new PC, then both GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 2060 are great cards to choose from. If you just plan to stick to 1080p gaming, then GTX 1660 Ti will be more than enough. If, however, you want to game in 1440p, and experience ray tracing features, then RTX 2060 is a way to go.

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In case you already own GeForce GTX 1070 or Radeon Vega 56 graphics card, then upgrading to GTX 1660 Ti won’t make much of a difference, as the card will offer the same performance. Upgrading to RTX 2060 also won’t be very impressive, so you should aim for higher performance cards such as the RTX 2070 Super or Radeon RX 5700 XT. In case you own last-generation mid-range graphics cards such as GeForce GTX 1060 or Radeon RX 580, then upgrading to either GTX 1660 Ti or RTX 2060 will provide considerable performance boosts, with latter being greater than the former.

Nevertheless, both GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 2060 are great graphics card, and choosing one of them entirely depends on your gaming preferences and your budget. If you pair them with G-Sync capable monitor you can expect great gaming sessions for years to come. The release of next-generation consoles will most certainly undermine their capabilities as there will be new technological advancements, however, both cards will keep you satisfied for a while.

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