Asus Dual GeForce GTX 1660 Super EVO OC review: Faster memory, much bigger punch

Say hello to the new no-compromises 1080p gaming champion, wearing a crown adorned with GDDR6.

Credit: Brad Chacos/IDG

Nvidia revealed the GeForce GTX 1650 Super and GTX 1660 Super on Tuesday, Super-fying its GTX GPUs. And unlike AMD, which tipped its Radeon RX 5500 series hand long before the cards will actually launch in late November, Nvidia’s striking fast. The GTX 1660 Super’s hitting store shelves today in the form of custom models by Nvidia’s board partners.

The GPU at the heart of the $229 GTX 1660 Super remains unchanged. The only major difference comes in the form of amped-up 14Gbps GDDR6 memory, which replaces the last-gen (and far slower) GDDR5 memory found in the original GTX 1660.

The vanilla GTX 1660 is our favorite graphics card for 1080p gaming. Is the big boost in memory speed alone enough to catapult the new GeForce GTX 1660 Super beyond its namesake and justify the card’s $10 price premium?

Oh my, yes. This is one Super upgrade indeed. The Asus Dual GeForce GTX 1660 Super EVO OC we’re reviewing today sticks to the new GPU’s $229 suggested pricing but pushes closer to the performance of the $280 GTX 1660 Ti than the original $220 GTX 1660. Let’s dig in.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super: Price, specs, and features

Again, the core GPU at the heart of the GeForce GTX 1660 Super remains identical to that of the vanilla GTX 1660. It features the same number of CUDA cores, clocked at the same speed, using Nvidia’s same 12nm Turing GPU architecture optimized for modern game instructions, and so on. The GTX 16-series GPUs don’t have dedicated real-time ray tracing hardware, however. You’ll need to move up to the pricier GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards for those capabilities.

Here’s how the GeForce GTX 1660 Super compares to its two GTX 1660 siblings, as well as the prior-gen GTX 1060 at the hardware level:

geforce gtx 1660 super comparison Nvidia

As you can see, the GeForce GTX 1660 Super’s 14Gbps GDDR6 memory is even faster than the 12Gbps GDDR6 in the more expensive GTX 1660 Ti, giving it a sizeable advantage in overall memory bandwidth. Meanwhile, the new Super leaves the original GTX 1660 eating dust, delivering an absolutely ludicrous 75 percent more memory bandwidth. Holy moly. The supercharged memory winds up making a big difference in gaming performance, as you’ll see later, though it also bumps the power requirements up by (a measly) five watts.

The original GTX 1660 will still be sticking around at a lower price. Nvidia declined to provide an official price change announcement, but if you peek around online retailers, you’ll find loads of original GTX 1660 cards selling for around $200 to $210 after rebate. Expect the new price to hover around there unless AMD’s nebulous Radeon RX 5500 series winds up forcing further discounts.

Nvidia isn’t offering Founders Edition versions of the GTX 1660 Super, leaving it up to board partners to supply the market. We’re testing the Asus Dual GeForce GTX 1660 Super EVO OC, which manages to squeeze in some welcome extra features despite sticking to the GTX 1660’s suggested $229 starting price.

Here’s a high-level look at its specs:

asus dual geforce gtx 1660 super evo specs Asus

Asus gives the Dual a factory overclock, bumping the boost clock used during gaming from the GTX 1660 Super’s 1,785MHz stock speed up to 1,830MHz out of the box, or 1,860MHz if you install the company’s GPU Tweak II software and activate OC Mode.

The Dual GeForce GTX 1660 Super EVO OC also sports some physical niceties you don’t often see in baseline-priced graphics cards, including a metal backplate and “0dB” fans that don’t spin up until the GPU hits temperatures higher than 55 degrees Celsius, giving you a silent desktop experience. You’ll need to engage the lower-speed Quiet BIOS mode using the card’s physical switch to enable 0dB, though. All-but-obligatory RGB LEDs are present in a understated slanted strip between the GeForce and Asus logos on the edge of the shroud.

asus dual gtx 1660 super evo oc backplate Asus

Backplates are rare in baseline-priced graphics cards, but the Asus Dual EVO OC sports one.

Under the hood, the Dual GTX 1660 Super EVO uses Asus’s DirectCU II technology, a fancy branding term for a pair of copper heat pipes that directly contact the GPU itself for better thermal transfer.

Speaking of thermal transfer, this is a fat, wide card—2.7 slots thick—to squeeze in a bigger heatsink under the dual axial fans, which sport a design cribbed from the company’s enthusiast-class ROG graphics cards. The bigger the heatsink, the lower the temperatures, and the longer you’ll be able to seize advantage of the 0dB Quiet mode. The card’s short, though, at just 9.5 inches long. Asus says it qualifies the Dual GTX 1660 Super EVO using a 144-hour validation program that stress-tests the card in 3DMark and several popular e-sports games.

One mild disappointment: Asus only outfitted the Dual with one HDMI connection and one DisplayPort, as well as a legacy DVI port. While people with ancient or ultra-budget displays will no doubt appreciate DVI’s inclusion, ditching it for another HDMI or DisplayPort would’ve been more welcoming for modern setups. If you want to pair a dual-display setup with a virtual reality headset, for example—something that this GPU could certainly handle—you’re out of luck. I usually count DVI as a positive, but only if a graphics card already offers several modern display outputs.

The Dual Super EVO isn’t the only GTX 1660 Super that Asus is announcing today. The chart below shows the company’s entire GTX 1660 Super family, from the entry-level Phoenix all the way up to the flagship ROG Strix.

asus gtx 1660 super lineup Asus

Now to see how this puppy handles!

Next page: Our test system, benchmarking begins

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Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
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