Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti looks like it should be a $280 mainstream favorite
Nvidia strips out the ray-tracing cores and some other probably won't-be-missed features for its new $280 GPU.
Lori GruninSenior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
ExpertisePhotography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
today shipped its newest mainstream gaming graphics chip, the GTX 1660 Ti, in keeping with our expectations based on earlier rumors. Though there's no Nvidia reference design card -- those are the "Founders Edition" models -- cards incorporating the chip should start at around $280 (£260 in the UK, which is around AU$475).
The GPU strips out much of what makes the new flagship RTX cards notable -- primarily the cores, which enable games to incorporate real-time ray-tracing. But it's based on the newer Turing architecture compared to the 10-series' Pascal, offering better parallel processing, adaptive shaders, a unified memory architecture and more cache than the GTX 1060 that it ostensibly supersedes.
It also lacks a couple of features from the RTX series: no support for VirtualLink, the standard for single-cable VR, or the SLI bridge for dual-card configurations. Like ray-tracing, those are features you probably won't miss for a little while. No headsets support VirtualLink as yet and the 1660 Ti wouldn't really be a card you'd stick in multi-GPU configurations, anyway.
While there are rumors circulating that it might have some undisclosed AI-accelerating Tensor cores for DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling, which does a better job than before at upsizing small textures in higher-resolution gameplay with a lower performance hit), they're either incorrect or they're there for production reasons but purposefully disabled. This card's meant for fast 1080p gameplay and midrange gaming systems -- budget systems with 450-watt power supplies configured to not-so-cheap levels.
Folks who've had a chance to benchmark a card (such as Anandtech) put it in the performance class of about 30 percent or so better than the GTX 1060. It's equal to roughly a GTX 1070 (it has 2GB less video memory than the 1070's 8GB) and somewhat slower than an AMD RX Vega 56 -- both of which are more expensive.