Msi Gtx 1660 Super Gaming X Review: Pricey Performer

While its price is high compared khổng lồ the new 5600 XT, this 1660 Super performs well.

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ByJoe Shieldspublished 31 January 20

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MSI’s GTX 1660 Super Gaming X is a capable 1080p & 1440p performer. But the recently released RX 5600 XT is a better option for most people, performing significantly better for just $10 more.


ForAchieves 60fps at 1080p ultra / 1440p medium on most titlesTwin Frozr 7 cooling is quiet and effectiveZero Frozr (fan off) capability at idle / low loads
AgainstExpensive compared to most other GTX 1660 SupersAMD Radeon RX 5600 XT performs better at a similar price

MSI’s GTX 1660 Super Gaming X is a capable 1080p và 1440p performer. But the recently released RX 5600 XT is a better option for most people, performing significantly better for just $10 more.


Pros+ Achieves 60fps at 1080p ultra / 1440p medium on most titles+ Twin Frozr 7 cooling is quiet và effective+ Zero Frozr (fan off) capability at idle / low loads
Cons- Expensive compared to lớn most other GTX 1660 Supers- AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT performs better at a similar price

MSI & other card partners typically have several different SKUs of the same card. These range from reference models with branded stickers to lớn high-end models with improved power nguồn delivery and custom cooling. The premium models typically offer some kind of improvement over the reference spec, be it performance, cooling, acoustics or all of the above. In that light, MSI’s GTX 1660 Super Gaming X card sits at the đứng top of the stack for MSI"s GTX 1660 Super options, but how does it rank among the best graphics cards in its class?


The thẻ comes with a factory overclock, more robust power nguồn delivery, as well as the Twin Frozr 7 thermal design khổng lồ keep things cool. Pricing on this card is $269.99 at Newegg & is close to the high kết thúc of GTX 1660 Supers, which currently start at at $230. But with AMD’s new Radeon RX 5600 XT now delivering 2060-class performance while occupying the $279-plus price band, the $250-$300 market becomes quite a busy, complicated space.As with most mid-range và lower-end cards, Nvidia offered reference specifications but not an actual reference/Founder’s Edition thẻ for the 1660 Super. So it"s up to lớn the board partners to vị as they wish (within reason of course) with clocks speeds, power delivery & cooling solutions. With this Gaming X, power nguồn is delivered via a single 8-pin connector, and is full kích cỡ (it"s 9.7 inches long) but should fit into most builds.



(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

Features



(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

The GTX 1660 Super uses 6GB of GDDR6, as does the 1660 Ti (the 1660 uses GDDR5). The memory uses a 192-bit bus with six 32-bit memory controllers. The 6GB capacity is a sweet spot for 1080p gaming. While 4GB capacity is capable, there are many titles out already (this number grows monthly) that when using 1080p ‘ultra’ settings, eclipses that mark, resulting in negative results as the buffer gets dumped to lớn slower off-card memory. We’ve seen what this can vì to the RX 5500 XT in other đánh giá (even when it is using the faster PCIe 4.0 x16 slot).


The MSI GTX 1660 Super Gaming X we"re looking at here comes with a 1,530 MHz base clock and 1,750 MHz (14 Gbps GDDR6 effective) memory clock. The boost clock is listed as 1,830 MHz, 45 MHz above the reference specification. TDP on the reference thẻ is listed as 126W, so this mã sản phẩm may use a bit more. MSI suggests a 450W or larger power nguồn supply.

The TU116 GPU chip core includes the Turing NVENC encoder, rather than the Volta encoder included in the original GTX 1650 and the TU117 chip. NVENC encoding on the Turing-based cards decreases CPU utilization and improves performance, especially with higher-resolution encoding and decoding.Below is a complete các mục of specifications for the budget range of Nvidia GPUs.


Geforce GTX 1650Geforce GTX 1650 SuperGeForce GTX 1660MSI GTX 1660 Super Gaming X
Architecture (GPU)Turing (TU117)Turing (TU116)Turing (TU116)Turing (TU116)
ALUs / Stream Processors896128014081408
Peak FP32 Compute (Based on Typical Boost)2.9 TFLOPS4.4 TFLOPS5 TFLOPS5 TFLOPS
Tensor CoresN/AN/AN/AN/A
RT CoresN/AN/AN/AN/A
Texture Units56808888
ROPs32324848
Base Clock Rate1485 MHz1530 MHz1530 MHz1530 MHz
Nvidia Boost/AMD trò chơi Rate1665 MHz1725 MHz 1785 MHz1830 MHz
AMD Boost RateN/AN/AN/AN/A
Memory Capacity4GB GDDR54GB GDDR56GB GDDR56GB GDDR5
Memory Bus128-bit128-bit192-bit192-bit
Memory Bandwidth128 GB/s192 GB/s192 GB/s336 GB/s
L2 Cache1MB1.5MB1.5MB1.5MB
TDP75W100W120W120W
Transistor Count4.7 billion6.6 billion6.6 billion6.6 billion
Die Size200 mm²284 mm²284 mm²284 mm²


(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

Design

The MSI GTX 1660 Super Gaming X measures in at 9.7 x 5 x 1.6-inches, which makes this a dual-slot card. Since it is a true two-slot solution, you will be able khổng lồ use the slot below so long as whatever is plugged in there doesn’t protrude above the slot line, as space in between will be tight. The card is by all accounts full-size, running almost the full width of an ATX motherboard with its height just barely sticking up above PCIe expansion slot height. But it"s compact enough that it should fit in most non-SFF systems. As always though, be sure to kiểm tra your chassis specifications before buying.


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(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

The card’s Twin Frozr 7 cooler sports a đen shroud around the two large fans. The plastic cover uses sharp angles, along with a chevron-like pattern between them. Also located on the front are four tastefully implemented RGB LEDs that sit above and below the two fans. In addition, the vị trí cao nhất of the card also uses RGB lighting, which illuminates the MSI Twin Frozr 7 writing along with the gaming dragon. Protecting the back of the card is a simple backplate.

The thẻ has a fair amount of style & RGB glow, but it won’t stick out lượt thích a spotlight. Its black-and-grey design should blend in with most build themes.


(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

The Twin Frozr 7 cooler was able khổng lồ keep this thẻ cooler than EVGA’s solution and its beefier 2+ slot cooler, all while being whisper quiet throughout our testing.

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MSI’s Twin Frozr 7 sports dual 90mm fans to lớn get air across the heatsink. The Torx fan 3.0 uses a dispersion type fan hâm mộ blade that is specially curved, which MSI says accelerates airflow & increases its effectiveness. MSI implements its Zero Frozr technology here, so that the fans remain off on idle và low loads. This allows for complete silence on the desktop or light activity.

The heatsink below the fans is large, with a relatively dense fin array & runs the entire length -- and most of the height -- of the card. It uses a nickel-plated copper base plate to mate lớn the die khổng lồ the heatsink. Just above the base plate are three s-shaped heat pipes, each making two passes through the fin stack. The Memory và VRMs are cooled by a simple đen baseplate.


(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

Taking a closer look at the power nguồn delivery, the Gaming X uses a 4+2 configuration, with four phases for the GPU & two for the memory. The GPU voltage is controlled by an OnSemi NCP81610 controller with a total of eight channels -- no doublers are in use. The MOSFETs are also OnSemi brand NCP302045 DrMOS. Delivering power lớn the capable (but not overbuilt) VRMs is a single 8-pin PCIe connector. Combined with the PCIe slot, a total of 225W of in-spec nguồn will be delivered.


(Image credit: Tom"s Hardware)

Connectivity on this card consists of four total ports: three v1.4a DisplayPorts, which supports lossless DSC & 8k
30 Hz using a single cable or 8k
60 Hz with DSC enabled. In addition to lớn that is a single HDMI (2.0b) port.

How We Tested MSI’s GTX 1660 Super Gaming X

Recently, we’ve updated our GPU thử nghiệm system khổng lồ a new platform và swapped from a six-core i7-8086K to an eight-core vi xử lý core i9-9900K. The CPU sits in an MSI Z390 MEG Ace motherboard, along with 2x16GB Corsair DDR4 3200 MHz CL16 RAM (CMK32GX4M2B3200C16). Keeping the CPU cool is a Corsair H150i Pro RGB AIO along with a 120mm Sharkoon fan hâm mộ for general airflow across the thử nghiệm system. Storing our OS & gaming suite is a single 2TB Kingston KC2000 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 drive.

The motherboard was updated lớn the latest (at this time) BIOS (version 7B12v16) from August 2019. Optimized defaults were used to set up the system. We then enabled the memory’s XMP profile lớn get the memory running at the rated 3200 MHz CL16 specification. No other changes or performance enhancements were enabled. The latest version of Windows 10 (1909) was used and is fully updated as of December 2019.

As time goes on we continue khổng lồ build our database of results back up based on this kiểm tra system. For now, we will include GPUs that are close in performance to the card that is being reviewed. Here we have a Zotac GTX 1660 Amp, EVGA GTX 1660 Super SC Ultra, and the EVGA GTX 1660 Ti XC. Representing AMD, in this case, is an XFX RX 590 Fat Boy, and Gigabyte RX 5500 XT Gaming OC 8G.

Our danh sách of test games is currently Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, Borderlands 3, Gears of War 5, Strange Brigade, Shadow of The Tomb Raider, Far Cry 5, Metro: Exodus, Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, Forza Horizon 4 and Battlefield V. These titles represent a broad spectrum of genres & APIs which gives us a good idea of the relative performance difference between the cards. We’re using driver build 441.20 for the Nvidia cards & Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.1.1 for AMD cards.

We capture our frames per second (fps) and frame time information by running OCAT during our benchmarks. In order to capture clock and tín đồ speed, temperature, and power, GPUz"s logging capabilities are used. Soon we’ll resume using the Powenetics-based system used in previous nhận xét as soon as the equipment is ready.