• GPU: Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti
  • Memory: 6GB GDDR6
  • Clockspeed: 1,500 MHz (Memory), 1,770/1,875/1,895 MHz (Base/Boost/OC)
  • Ports: 1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 2x DisplayPort
  • Slot Size: 2-slot
  • Other: 192-bit interface, 1536 CUDA cores
  • Dimensions: 247 x 127 x 46 mm
  • Pros:
  • Quiet
  • Low temperatures
  • Cons:
  • No VR support

Dubious Middle Ground

Once you go forward, you never go back – or at least that’s the case for most things. But Nvidia decided that there was a need for a GeForce GTX 1600 series (of all numbers), even after the RTX 2000 series was launched. And so we got one of the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPUs: The MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X.

The reference design only required a 6-pin PCIE connector, but an 8-pin is used here for higher boost clocks

The reference design only required a 6-pin PCIE connector, but an 8-pin is used here for higher boost clocks

As you may have predicted, the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X is a GPU cloaked in a black plastic shroud that has an ‘edgy’ look that modern gamers prefer. It’s a standard dual-slot card with a solid backplate, which we happen to find unnecessary since it’s not an overly large or heavy graphics card at all. And of course, it has some RGB lights when it’s enabled and running.

There’s a total of four video output ports here, with only one for HDMI and three DisplayPorts that support version 1.4a so it’s future-proof for 8K. It lacks legacy support for DVI but that’s not too big of a deal. However, do note that the lack of a USB Type-C port means no VR support here.

To power this card, all you need is a single 8-pin PCIe connector. Measured TDP, according to MSI, is 130W so we recommend that you have at least a 450W PSU to install this, more if you plan to have better energy efficiency – about 500W will do. In case you’re wondering, this card doesn’t support SLI.

The 1660 Ti model is clearly an intermediary between the GTX 1000 and RTX 2000 series, but it’s closer to the latter as it also uses GDDR6 technology and is a Turing 116 GPU. While it has fewer shader units (1536 vs 1920), it has a good boost clockspeed (1,770 MHz) which MSI has managed to push to 1,850 MHz.

MSI's TORX 7 fans are used for this GPU

MSI’s TORX 7 fans are used for this GPU

In terms of performance, you’re looking at roughly the same performance of a GeForce GTX 1070. Once the card is overclocked, we managed to squeeze out another 10% improvement from the base clocks. For example, our FireStrike Ultra score went from 3,143 to 3,451. Thermal performance is decent, with non-overclock temps running around 33 to 63° Celsius. The maximum increases to about 66° Celsius once you overclock, which is still quite good. As for acoustics, you’ll barely hear the card when it is installed inside a case, even when it’s running on full load.

CHIP CONCLUDE: A fantastic upgrade for those still using an older GPU, but it may not be the best deal if you already have a GTX 1060 Ti or 1070.

(to be published in issue March 2019)