Which Is Better: GTX 1660 Or RTX 2060?

With up to 60% more performance than the last generation, new Ray-tracing features, and the new Turing architecture GPU gave every gamer access to a whole new world.

However, due to their high price, the RTX 2060 and GTX 1660 may be the best option for those on a tight budget. So, which is better, the RTX 2060 or the GTX 1660?

In terms of gaming performance, productivity, and overall benchmark, the RTX 2060 outperforms the GTX 1660 by 20-30%. It includes more CUDA cores, new RT cores, and new memory architecture. The GDDR6 memory architecture is also much faster than the previous GDDR5 models.

Many new software and hardware features have been added, such as encoding, thermal performance, noise level, and productivity options. We’re comparing them all and recommending the best option for you.

Quick Overview

Before we can begin our RTX vs. GTX comparison, you must first become familiar with the GPUs we have in our hands. The GTX 1660 is a solid entry to the mid-range GTX series, and the RTX 2060 may be many gamers’ gateway to RTX and DLSS.

GTX 1660

evga geforce gtx 1660 xc ultra

This Turing architecture-based GPU with code name TU116 came as a Desktop GPU as the only Turing-based card below the $300 mark.

The card has a TDP of 120 watts and can be powered directly from the power supply unit (PSU) through an 8-pin connector. With a brand-new 12 nm architecture, 1408 CUDA cores, and a 16-lane PCIe Gen 3 interface, it’s also no slouch when gaming at high resolutions.

Also, the GTX 1660 has 6 GB of GDDR5 memory, a 192-bit memory bus, a memory clock speed of 8000 MHz, and a bandwidth of 192.1 GB/s. It even lets you connect with 1 DVI, 1 HDMI, and 1 Display port.

Pros

  • Can play brand new AAA games
  • Perfect choice for mid-budget GPU
  • Doesn’t use too much electricity
  • Stays relatively cool during load
  • Has support for Turing-based NVENC encoder

Cons

  • Somewhat less powerful than most high-end GPUs today
  • Can’t do well in games with resolutions higher than 1080p

RTX 2060

evga geforce rtx 2060 xc ultra

When they first came out, RTX cards had a number of high-end features, but gamers didn’t buy them because they were so expensive. As a result, higher-end RTX cards such as the RTX 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti struggled to meet expected sales.

Then, at the start of 2019, RTX 2060 came out, which made it much cheaper to join the RTX world.

The RTX 2060 is a Turing-based card that came out with an MSRP of around $350. Its code name is TU106. There are 1920 CUDA cores and 37 RT cores on this 12 nm card.

It supports a whole new memory system and comes with 6 GB of GDDR6 memory. GDDR6 memory is a lot faster than GDDR5, which has a maximum clock speed of 14000 MHz and a bandwidth of 336.0 GB/s.

This card supports DX12 ultimate, supports shader model 6.5, OpenGL 4.6, and all other industry standards. It also supports a 16-lane PCIe Gen 3 interface with an 8-pin connector that goes straight to the power supply unit (PSU). For connectivity, the RTX 2060 has 1 DVI port, 1 HDMI port, 2 Display ports, and 1 USB type C port.

Pros

  • Able to support real-time ray-tracing in games
  • Can run modern AAA games with higher FPS and greater visual fidelity
  • Has support for Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS)
  • Provides faster hardware encoding
  • Depending on the game, it can run at higher resolutions like 1440p or 4K

Cons

  • In intensive applications, it uses more power
  • Has a lower cost-to-performance ratio

Comparison Table of GTX 1660 and RTX 2060

Here’s a chart comparing what these two GPUs have to offer.

ParametersGTX 1660RTX 2060
Release year20192019
MSRP$219$349
Max temperature71℃69℃
Max fan noise45.6 dB45.6 dB
Recommended PSU550W600W
Value for money43.6341.22
CUDA Cores19201408
Core clock speed1320 MHz1530 MHz
Boost clock speed1620 MHz1785 MHz
Manufacturing architecture12 nm12 nm
TDP120 watts160 watts
Transistor numbers6600 million10800 million
InterfacePCIe 3.0 x16PCIe 3.0 x16
Power connector1x 8-pin1x 8-pin
Memory typeGDDR5GDDR6
RAM6 GB6 GB
Memory BUS192 Bit192 Bit
Memory bandwidth8000 MHz14000 MHz
Memory clock speed8000 MHz14000 MHz
DirectX Support1212 Ultimate

GTX 1660 vs. RTX 2060: In-Depth Comparison

As both the GTX 1660 and RTX 2060 are Turing-based GPUs and released around the same time, so it’s important to know which card performs well and fits your budget.

The performance difference between these cards is quite noticeable, and the RTX 2060 is the superior card in all benchmark tests. Because of the additional CUDA cores, RT cores, and faster memory, RTX cards provide better performance.

At the same time, the RTX 2060 is significantly more expensive than the GTX 1660, which provides adequate performance in its price range.

You can’t go wrong with any of them, but if you want a more detailed comparison, here you go!

Gaming

Gaming is the most important performance metric for gamers. They want smoother, faster gameplay with high-resolution graphics.

Both of these cards can easily handle all of the new AAA games. However, it is their performance that distinguishes them.

GTX 1660 Gaming Performance

The GTX 1660 performs admirably in new AAA games at 1080p ultra settings, achieving more than 60 FPS in some cases.

However, this card began to show its age when it consistently scored 30 frames per second in more games than expected. Medium to low settings would suffice to boost FPS in these games.

RTX 2060 Gaming Performance

When the same games were played with an RTX 2060, it made all of them run better. This time, the card managed to maintain more than 60 FPS in a much larger number of games, making it an excellent choice for high-end 1080p gaming.

GamesFPS on GTX 1660FPS on RTX 2060
Far Cry 58294
Forza Horizon 498105
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt5673
Watch Dogs: Legion2945
Horizon Zero Dawn4388
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla3755
Metro Exodus3160

Verdict

If you want a faster GPU that can run games at higher fidelity and with more FPS, the RTX 2060 is the way to go.

Benchmark

Benchmark pushes the cards to their limits and shows how they compare in graphics-intensive tasks. 3DMark and Passmark can be used to measure the scores and provide you with a verdict.

GTX 1660 Benchmark Performance

When we tested it with 3DMark and PassMark, the GTX 1660 did better than its predecessor.

RTX 2060 Benchmark Performance

The performance of the RTX 2060 was tested with the same benchmark, and the results were better overall. Most of the time, the RTX 2060 is 20–30% faster than the GTX 1660.

Here are the results for the benchmark:

BenchmarksGTX 1660RTX 2060
3DMark Cloud Gate GPU76970107083
3DMark Fire Strike Graphics1370819338
3DMark Fire Strike Score1257716267
3DMark Ice Storm GPU474441424149
Passmark1162713873

Verdict

Most benchmarks show that the RTX 2060 is 20–30% faster than the GTX 1660. As a result, it is the faster card in general.

Productivity

If you want to focus on work-related tasks like video or 3D rendering, photo processing, machine learning models, or anything else, you can do that with either of these cards.

Because of its hardware, the RTX 2060 will provide slightly better performance, but the GTX 1660 isn’t bad either.

GTX 1660 Productivity Testing

Testing can be done with Blender cycles 2.8, Vray, Redshift, Cinema4D, LuxMark v3.1, and Octane Benchmark 4.00c. The results are listed below.

RTX 2060 Productivity Testing

The RTX 2060 outperforms the GTX 1660 in the same productivity benchmark. Here are the stats.

Productivity BenchmarkGTX 1660RTX 2060
Vray GPU12593
Blender BMW render103 seconds78 seconds
Redshift990762
Cinema 4D R20210 seconds178 seconds
LuxMark v3.1 (Microphone)1057013818
*Lower is better

Verdict

If you want to boost your productivity, the RTX 2060 is the better GPU to go with.

Heat

Many people don’t think about heat as much as they should when it comes to GPU. You need to make sure that your GPU is running at its best in your system, without getting too hot or slowing things down.

GTX 1660 Temperature

With a TDP of 120 watts, the GTX 1660 doesn’t get too hot even when under heavy load. You can use this GPU with a standard case and a good air cooler. Here are some test results.

RTX 2060 Temperature

The RTX 2060, with a TDP of 160 watts, should run slightly hotter than the GTX 1660. But if you have a better thermal system, the temperature difference won’t be as big. Here’s the spec sheet.

 GTX 1660 RTX 2060
Idle GPU Temperature30℃30℃
Load Temperature- Battlefield 567℃69℃
Load Temperature- Furmark71℃69℃

Verdict

Both cards perform equally well in terms of temperature performance.

Power Draw

Power draw is an essential metric for any graphics card. This is because you must ensure that your power supply (PSU) can keep up with the components when they are pushed to their maximum capacity.

GTX 1660 Power Draw

The TDP of the GTX 1660 is 120 watts, which is not a lot for a modern GPU. GTX 1660 needs a 500-watt power supply unit (PSU).

RTX 2060 Power Draw

People often think that high-performance graphics cards have a huge power draw. Some people even ask if they can turn off the graphics card.

While it is true that graphics cards increase power consumption, it is quite manageable with recent models. Thanks to the incredible power efficiency, the RTX 2060’s TDP is 160 watts. It is slightly more than GTX 1660, but it also shows higher power consumption.

Here are the numbers for the GPU’s power usage and voltage:

GTX 1660RTX 2060
Idle GPU Voltage0.656V0.725V
Boost GPU Voltage1.073V1.025V
Idle Power Consumption83W83W
Load Power Consumption- Battlefield 5266W322W
Load Power Consumption- Furmark255W292W

Verdict

In all tests, the GTX 1660 used less power than the RTX 2060. This is because it has fewer power-hungry parts and doesn’t put as much strain on the PSU.

NVIDIA Software

The software experience is also a very important part of giving consumers and gamers the best GPU experience possible. NVIDIA is the most popular GPU maker, and the software that runs on their GPUs is very good.

Here is a comparison chart showing all of the software features of the GTX 1660 and the RTX 2060:

Software SupportGTX 1660RTX 2060
Hardware Accelerated Ray TracingNoYes
NVIDIA® GeForce ExperienceYesYes
NVIDIA® G-SYNCYesYes
NVIDIA® HighlightsYesYes
Game Ready DriversYesYes
DLSS SupportNoYes
HDCP 2.2YesYes
Microsoft® DirectX® 12 Ultimate, Vulkan API, OpenGL 4.6YesYes
VR ReadyYesYes
NVIDIA Encoder (NVENC)TuringTuring

Ports

When it comes to full-fledged gaming performance, the number of ports can be a big deal. Gamers can be in a lot of pain if their motherboard doesn’t have enough ports to connect all of their accessories.

Here is the port list for the GTX 1660 and the RTX 2060:

PortGTX 1660RTX 2060
Power Connector1 × 8-pin connector1 × 8-pin connector
Display Outputs1x DVI
1x HDMI 2.0
1x Display port 1.4
1x DVI
1x HDMI 2.0
1x Display port 1.4
1x USB Type-C/Virtual Link
Connection InterfacePCI-Express 3.0 × 16PCI-Express 3.0 × 16

Noise Level

Noise levels are critical for those seeking a silent system for their home or workplace. Usually, the fans that come with Biffy GPUs that use a lot of power make them quite noisy.

The fans must run at a higher speed, making audible noises. The following are the noise levels measured for the GTX 1660 and RTX 2060.

GTX 1660 Noise Levels

GTX 1660 is a pretty simple card, and it doesn’t need a lot of cooling to run at a good temperature. So there would be less noise overall.

RTX 2060 Noise Levels

Because the RTX 2060 is the more powerful of the two cards, it requires a more powerful cooling system to keep everything under control.

Here are the noise levels measured for the GTX 1660 and the RTX 2060 in all conditions:

NoiseGTX 1660RTX 2060
Fan Noise- Idle30.1 dB41.8 dB
Fan Noise- Load41.2 dB54.9 dB
Fan RPM at 100%27053101

Verdict

Between the two, the GTX 1660 is the one that runs cooler and makes less noise.

Ray Tracing & DLSS

These are two new features that have been added to the new RTX series cards.

Ray-tracing is a new lighting system that can create realistic-looking game scenes. The feature is fairly common in high-end cards and is widely used in the animation industry, rendering farms, and a variety of other applications.

It was previously impossible to implement ray tracing in games without suffering significant performance losses. The RTX series cards solved that problem.

Deep Learning Super Sampling, or DLSS, is another brand-new feature. It can upscale the game from a lower resolution using the RT cores and AI, allowing it to run faster at higher FPS without sacrificing visual clarity.

Ray Tracing and DLSS on the GTX 1660

The GTX 1660 also supports software-based RTX. But it slows things down a lot. So there is no reason to use this feature with this card.

This feature specifically needs the RT cores to work correctly, so it can’t run on GTX 1660.

Ray Tracing and DLSS on the RTX 2060

Tensor and RT cores are already built into the RTX 2060, so it can run ray-traced scenes at high frame rates. DLSS also works great on the RTX 2060.

Price and Availability 

Both GPUs were hard to come by during the GPU crisis last year. However,  If you want to build a new system for 2022, now is the best time to build up your PC.

GTX 1660 Pricing

In 2019, the GTX 1660 came out with an MSRP of $219. Based on the most recent price, it’s selling for about $616, which is 2.8 times the MSRP. The dollar per FPS rating is 43.33 right now, which isn’t that good by market standards.

RTX 2060 Pricing

Customers have become more interested in the RTX 2060 because it performs so well. With the recent price increase, most customers can no longer afford this GPU.

Back in 2019, it came out with an MSRP of $349. RTX 2060 is being sold for about $750 right now, which is 2.2 times the MSRP. It means that GTX 1660 has a lower FPS per dollar ratio, which is 41.22.

Verdict

Depending on the situation, we recommend waiting until the GPU price drops, or purchasing a used one for a lower price. For the latest price update, please check our GPU price comparison table.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can GTX 1660 run ray-traced games?

After a recent update from NVIDIA, ray-traced games can also be played on cards that aren’t RTX, but the FPS and stuttering are very bad. So, the GTX 1660 is enough for gaming on a standard scale.

How fast is RTX 2060 compared to GTX 1660?

RTX 2060 is about 20–30% faster than GTX 1660, depending on the situation. If you prefer more intense gaming, the comparison may yield different results. However, the RTX 2060 is faster overall.

Can RTX cards run all games?

RTX cards can run all modern games at high frames per second and with the best possible graphics. Take a look at the list we provided earlier.

Is installing GeForce Experience required?

Install GeForce experience to get a better experience. It lets you make graphics that look smoother and helps the graphics card work with any PC set-up. Another benefit is that you can change the settings for the graphics using the GUI.

Do GeForce cards support 4K?

Yes, most modern high-end GeForce cards can game at 4k resolution while maintaining good FPS and visual fidelity.

In conclusion

If you’ve made it this far into the article, you already know the answer. So, which is the better option: the GTX 1660 or the RTX 2060?

In terms of gaming, productivity, and benchmark performance, the RTX 2060 is the superior card. It also has more software support, such as DLSS, hardware-based ray-tracing, and so on.

However, price is an important consideration here. The GTX 1660 is slightly less expensive than the RTX 2060 without sacrificing much performance. So that should put an end to the question.

Finally, we’d like to say that if you choose any of these for your gaming rig, you’ll be a winner. Just make sure that your expectations and your budget are perfectly balanced.

Recommended graphics card list:

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Chris Martin is a professional tech writer. He's been covering tech tutorials, hardware reviews, and more as a professional writer for over seven years now and it doesn't look like he'll be stopping anytime soon! In addition to writing about the latest gadgets on the market, he also covers topics such as how to set up your home network or troubleshoot any computer problems you may have.

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