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Hey, Don‘t Buy a GTX 1660 Yet – Here‘s What You Need to Know First

So you‘re thinking about picking up a GTX 1660 graphics card? Smart move looking for solid 1080p gaming performance on a budget!

But before you pull the trigger on that purchase, let‘s take a deeper dive into everything you need to consider about the GTX 1660 in 2023. I wouldn‘t want you to regret your decision or miss out on a better option down the line!

The GTX 1660 – Still a Contender in 2023?

The GTX 1660 first launched way back in 2019. And it was an instant hit for budget-conscious gamers who wanted smooth 60fps+ gameplay in the latest titles at Full HD resolutions.

Even though it‘s a few generations old now, does this classic Turing-powered GPU still have what it takes to deliver a great 1080p gaming experience as we head deeper into 2023? Let‘s find out.

Quick Spec Recap

  • 1408 CUDA cores
  • 6GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 192-bit memory interface
  • 120W power draw
  • Turing architecture

On paper, those modest specs don‘t jump off the page. But you can‘t always judge a GPU‘s gaming chops from bullet points alone. The real test comes down to benchmarks.

1080p Gaming Benchmarks

Thanks to optimizations in Nvidia‘s Turing design, the GTX 1660 can utilize its resources efficiently. This becomes clear when you look at average framerates in today‘s most demanding games at 1920 x 1080:

Game 1080p Settings Avg FPS
Apex Legends High 143
Fortnite Epic 162
PUBG Ultra 98
COD Modern Warfare High 122
Red Dead Redemption 2 Medium 71
Cyberpunk 2077 High 58

As you can see, the GTX 1660 still handles esports titles like a champ. Even on more demanding games, 60fps is very achievable if you lower some settings.

Not too shabby for a GPU rapidly approaching its 4th birthday!

And when overclocked, you can eke out even more frames from this card to stay north of 60fps in virtually any title at 1080p.

1080p Still Going Strong

Full HD resolution remains the most popular gaming resolution on Steam, with 63% of users still gaming at 1920 x 1080.

And with the GTX 1660‘s clear competence for high framerates in today‘s games, it makes the card a smart choice if you want to max out that 144Hz 1080p monitor.

However, things get a bit murkier at higher resolutions…

Pushing to 1440p – The Limits of the GTX 1660

As more gamers make the jump to higher resolution 2560 x 1440 displays, the cracks begin to show in the GTX 1660‘s 1080p-focused armor.

Let‘s see how it fares at 1440p:

Game 1440p Settings Avg FPS
Apex Legends High 95
Fortnite Epic 122
PUBG Ultra 65
COD Modern Warfare Medium 78
Red Dead Redemption 2 Low 44
Cyberpunk 2077 Medium 38

You can see that reaching 60fps at 1440p requires some compromises to graphics settings in demanding titles. Esports games fare better, but the GTX 1660 is showing its limits.

When to Avoid 1440p

I‘d hesitate recommending the GTX 1660 if you plan to game extensively at 1440p. You‘ll miss out on taking full advantage of a high refresh rate 2560 x 1440 monitor without lowering settings substantially.

If you‘re willing to sacrifice eye candy for smoother gameplay, the 1660 can still work. But for a better 1440p experience, a more capable GPU is advised.

Making the 1080p to 1440p Jump

If you‘re considering upgrading monitors soon, I‘d suggest looking for at least an RTX 2060 or RX 5700 XT to pair with a 2560 x 1440 display.

Or if you want to enable ray tracing and DLSS in supported games, an RTX 3060 Ti is an excellent match for high refresh rate 1440p gaming. That would make for a perfect combination.

DLSS can also help boost framerates at higher resolutions, especially in newer titles. Which leads me to my next point…

Lacking Longevity Features Like DLSS

The GTX 1660‘s age is really starting to show with its lack of support for cutting-edge gaming features like ray tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS).

These technologies are being adopted in more and more new releases. And they can greatly improve visuals and framerates when enabled.

Unfortunately, the 1660‘s Turing architecture pre-dates ray tracing cores and tensor cores needed to power DLSS. So you miss out on these longevity boosting features.

Let‘s quickly recap what these technologies enable:

Ray Tracing

Ray tracing simulates real-time light physics for ultra-realistic lighting, shadows, and reflections in supported games. This massively improves visual immersion, but also tanks performance without the right hardware.

(Examples – Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare)

DLSS

Deep Learning Super Sampling uses advanced AI rendering techniques to boost frame rates with minimal loss in image quality. It‘s essentially specialized anti-aliasing powered by machine learning and tensor cores.

(Examples – Death Stranding, No Man‘s Sky)

Not having access to either limits the GTX 1660‘s viability for keeping up with cutting-edge games rolling out over the next few years.

If you want more future-proofing, look for a card like the RTX 3060 that enables DLSS and ray tracing.

GTX 1660 Still Shines Brightly for 1080p

If you set reasonable expectations and mainly stick to 1920 x 1080 gaming, the GTX 1660 holds up remarkably well in 2022 for a GPU nearing its 4th birthday.

It continues delivering smooth 60+ fps performance in most modern titles at Full HD with some settings tweaked, which is all that many gamers need.

However, for future proofing and stepping up to higher resolutions, purchasing one now does carry some compromises versus newer generation GPUs.

Let‘s quickly recap the key pros and cons:

Pros

  • Proven 1080p gaming workhorse
  • Affordable price point
  • Cool and quiet thermals
  • Overclocking headroom

Cons

  • Showing age at 1440p
  • Lacks ray tracing and DLSS
  • Only 6GB VRAM
  • Availability can be spotty

So in summary:

The Verdict: Still Worth Buying in 2023?

If you‘re gaming primarily at 1920 x 1080 and want to maximize high framerates affordably, the GTX 1660 remains a viable GPU that can tackle modern games with some settings concessions.

However, its age is starting to show at higher resolutions, and lack of ray tracing/DLSS support limits future proofing.

A newer budget card like the RTX 3050 or AMD RX 6600 offer better longevity if you can spend a little more. Used prices also remain inflated.

But if found at a good price point, don‘t sleep on the GTX 1660 yet – it still brings plenty to the table for smooth 1080p gaming in 2022 and 2023!

Hope this deeper dive helps you decide if the 1660 is still worth buying. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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