Real-time ray tracing and DLSS is part of the features being offered on the NVIDIA GeForce RTX cards. While it’s fun to have these features, it doesn’t comes affordable to most of the mainstream users. NVIDIA then released the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, a much more affordable option for users who doesn’t really need the RTX features.

For this review, we’ll be looking at the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G, which is the ‘best’ MSI can offer for its GTX 1660 Ti lineup. We’ll keep the intro short for now, so let’s move on with the review and see what kind of performance can we expect from the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G.


Specifications

Graphics Processing Clusters 3
Texture Processing Clusters 12
CUDA Cores (single precision) 1536
Tensor Cores N/A
RT Cores N/A
Texture Units 96
ROP Units 48
Base Clock 1500MHz
Boost Clock 1875MHz
Memory Clock 6000MHz
Memory Data Rate 12Gbps
L2 Cache Size 1536 K
Total Video Memory 6144 GDDR6
Memory Interface 192-bit
Total Memory Bandwidth 288.1 GB/s
Texture Rate (Bilinear) 169.9 GigaTexels/second
Fabrication Process 12nm FFN
Transistor Count 6.6 Billion
Connectors
  • 3x DisplayPort
  • 1x HDMI
Form Factor Dual Slot (247 x 127 x 46 mm)
Power Connectors One 8-pin
Recommended Power Supply 450 Watts
Thermal Design Power (TDP) 130W
Thermal Threshold 95°C

Unboxing

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G (1)

From the package design, we can see that MSI is trying to emphasize the RGB lighting and the Twin Frozr 7 cooling design in a really obvious way. As it’s using the TU116-400 GPU, you’ll see the ‘Turing Shaders’ as one of the highlighted features at the front of the box instead of ‘Ray Tracing’ due to the absent of the RT and Tensor cores.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G (2)

At the back of the box, you’ll find more details on the highlighted features. For its thermal design, you have the 3rd generation Torx fans 3.0, optimized heatsink for better cooling performance. As for the RGB lighting, you’ll have quite a number of sections of it – MSI logo on the side of the shroud, lining on both sides of the cooling fans.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G (6)

Accessories wise? There’s nothing much you can find, really. What you’ll find in the accessories box is drivers & utility CD, quick user’s guide, a coaster sheet(?) and that’s pretty much it.

The MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G (26)

At first glance, you can immediately tell that the design is almost the exact copy of the one on the MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z. It features the same Torx Fan 3.0, which is the latest design of the MSI iconic Torx fan that is made up of two different fan blade design to improve focused airflow and static pressure for an even better cooling performance.

The 3 concentrated heatpipes can be seen from the side of the card, which is in direct contact with the copper baseplate of the entire heatsink. You’ll also notice that the metal backplate is actually a full coverage design that hides the PCB and heatsink entirely from the view, which is a much better design as compared to the MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G (13)

To power up this card, you will need a minimum of 400W power supply that comes with at least a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. While NVIDIA stated that a minimum 400W power supply is required for the GTX 1660 Ti, MSI recommends a power supply with a minimum of 450W for its GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X.

Review: MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G 1

As mentioned earlier, the metal backplate on this card features a full coverage design that hides the heatsink and PCB entirely from the view. Also, the brushed metal texture on the metal backplate gives it a premium appearance in overall, which is an extra bonus point on the aesthetics.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G (23)

Unlike the RTX 20 series cards, there will be no USB Type-C and DVI-D output for the GTX 1660 Ti, but you’ll still be getting the standard 3 x DisplayPort and 1 x HDMI port.

Test System Setup

For our games benchmark test, we’ve selected a number of AAA titles to run at its highest possible settings using the following setup under ambient temperature of 31°C:

CPU Intel Core i7 8700K @5GHz
Motherboard ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex
Memory G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB @3200MHz
Graphics Card MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G
Power Supply Enermax MaxTytan 1250W
Primary Storage ADATA SU800 256GB
Secondary Storage WD Black 6TB
CPU Cooler Raijintek Orcus 240
Chassis Cooler Master Test Bench V1
Operating System Windows 10 64bit

The test is done separately for games that support both DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 at the resolution of 1920×1080, 2560×1440 and 3840×2160. Due to the lack of RT and Tensor cores, you won’t be getting any DLSS and real-time Ray Tracing features in game with the GTX 1660 Ti.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G Benchmark 1080p

Looking at the benchmark numbers on 1080p, we can see that MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G takes the lead in almost every selected titles. Watch DOgs 2 is pretty much the only exception here, which the GTX 1070 Founders Edition still performs better than the GTX 1660 Ti.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G Benchmark 1440p

As we scale up to 1440p, the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G swipes it clean with higher average FPS on all of the selected titles. From the result, you can pretty much see that this is definitely the limit for the GTX 1660 Ti to run these AAA titles at its highest possible settings.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G Benchmark 4K

4K resolution and highest graphics settings is definitely too much for the GTX 1660 Ti handle, but here’s the numbers we’ve collected just for your reference. Although the GTX 1660 Ti still takes the lead in most of the benchmark, these games are barely playable at such FPS over a long period of time – definitely not recommended to do so.

Temperature

Since the cooler is designed to respond after the temperature of the GPU hits 60°C, you’ll find yourself with a rather uncomfortable idle temperature around 50~56°C. Though from our observation, that fan will actually start spinning as soon as the GPU temperature hits around 58°C. As we ramp up the GPU load to 100% with Unigine Heaven benchmark, 66°C is the highest temperature we’ve recorded for the GPU temperature.

MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G (30)

Final Thoughts

With an effective boost clock at almost 1900MHz on load, the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G is likely to be one of the fastest GTX 1660 Ti you can get in the market. Throughout our performance test, we can see that it’s actually uses less power and run faster than a GTX 1070 Founders Edition on most occasion. The only thing that is lacking here is probably the 6GB memory, which is the only thing that the GTX 1070 has that is better than the GTX 1660 Ti.

Apart of having higher boost clock than some of its competitors, the build quality of the card itself is something that is worth to be highlighted. The metal backplate for one, offers extra reinforcement to the PCB as well as bonus point to the aesthetics which isn’t that common among the GTX 1660 Ti you’ll find in the market. As for the cooler, the cooling performance is great but the idle temperature of 56°C is just something that we wouldn’t want to see on our graphics card when it’s not doing anything.

At the price of RM 1,490, the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G is definitely not the most affordable GTX 1660 Ti available in the market. Just so you know, the RM 1,599 is cheapest price for a RTX 2060 you can find in Malaysia. With that being said, the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X 6G is more of a premium product that we wouldn’t really recommend unless you have some extra budget to spend on a GTX 1660 Ti for the higher boost clock, build quality and aesthetics.

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • Good cooling performance
  • Factory overclocked
  • Very silent operation
  • Use less power but runs faster than a GTX 1070

Cons

  • Pretty costly for a GTX 1660 Ti

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