Our test system
Our dedicated graphics card test system is packed with some of the fastest complementary components available to put any potential performance bottlenecks squarely on the GPU. Most of the hardware was provided by the manufacturers, but we purchased the cooler and storage ourselves.
- Intel Core i7-8700K processor ($360 on Amazon)
- EVGA CLC 240 closed-loop liquid cooler ($120 on Amazon)
- Asus Maximus X Hero motherboard ($260 on Amazon)
- 64GB HyperX Predator RGB DDR4/2933 ($318 for 32GB on Amazon)
- EVGA 1200W SuperNova P2 power supply ($180 on Amazon)
- Corsair Crystal 570X RGB case, with front and top panels removed and an extra rear fan installed for improved airflow ($160 on Amazon)
- 2x 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs ($78 ea. on Amazon)
We’re comparing the Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti against its predecessor, an overclocked EVGA version of the 6GB GTX 1060, as well as the GTX 1070 Founders Edition and the ray tracing-capable $350 GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition. To see how it stacks up against the Radeon competition, we’re also included performance results from the $260 Sapphire Radeon RX 590 Nitro+ (which launched at $280 in November), the $400 Radeon Vega 56, and the Asus ROG Strix version of the Radeon RX 580. Many Radeon RX 580 models can consistently be found for under $200 on sale these days, even in 8GB variants.
Each game is tested using its in-game benchmark at the highest possible graphics presets, with VSync, frame rate caps, and all GPU vendor-specific technologies—like AMD TressFX, Nvidia GameWorks options, and FreeSync/G-Sync—disabled, and temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) enabled to push these high-end cards to their limits. If anything differs from that, we’ll mention it. We run each benchmark at least three times and list the average result for each test.
We limited our testing to 1080p and 1440p resolutions, as satisfying 4K gaming is mostly out of the reach of this class of card. We benchmarked the Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti using its default Performance BIOS.
Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti gaming benchmarks
Let’s kick things off with Strange Brigade ($50 on Humble), a cooperative third-person shooter where a team of adventurers blasts through hordes of mythological enemies. It’s a technological showcase, built around the next-gen Vulkan and DirectX 12 technologies and infused with features like HDR support and the ability to toggle asynchronous compute on and off. It uses Rebellion’s custom Azure engine. We test with async compute off.
The Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti’s performance rivals the GTX 1070’s and surpasses the GTX 1060's by about 30 percent, hovering around the 100-fps mark at 1080p resolution. It also manages to eke out a win over the similarly priced Radeon RX 590 despite Strange Brigade’s preference for AMD cards, which you can see in clear effect by comparing the results of the GTX 1070 and Vega 56.
The pricier, RTX-enabled GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition is noticeably faster than the GTX 1660 Ti, which makes sense because the graphics card packs in more CUDA cores and other tech. It’ll maintain its lead over the ROG Strix in every benchmark.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider ($60 on Humble) concludes the reboot trilogy, and it’s utterly gorgeous—even the state-of-the-art GeForce RTX 2080 Ti barely manages to average 60 fps with all the bells and whistles turned on at 4K resolution. Square Enix optimized this game for DX12, and recommends DX11 only if you’re using older hardware or Windows 7, so we test with that. Shadow of the Tomb Raider uses an enhanced version of the Foundation engine that also powered Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Remember how Nvidia said tweaking shading performance to run integer and floating point operations concurrently gives the GTX 1660 Ti a huge boost in Shadow of the Tomb Raider? It wasn’t lying. It blows by the GTX 1060 to the tune of 50 percent-plus, smashes the Radeon RX 590, and even the GTX 1070 can’t keep pace.
Far Cry 5
Finally, a DirectX 11 game! Far Cry 5 ($60 on Humble) is powered by Ubisoft’s long-established Dunia engine. It’s just as gorgeous as its predecessors, and even more fun. We’ll likely replace it in our suite with the newer Far Cry: New Dawn soon.
It’s another massacre. The GTX 1660 Ti beats the Radeon RX 590 by over 20 percent, and the GTX 1060 by over 30 percent.
Next page: Gaming benchmarks continue