MSI GTX 1660 Ventus XS review | Budget Must? or Budget Bust?March 14, 2019
Last week, NVIDIA launched their GTX 1660Ti line up equipped with their latest Turing architecture that has a relative performance just within the range GTX 1070 and RX Vega 56. Now this week, we are going to see a lower tier graphics card line up: the new GTX 1660 series.
INTRODUCING THE GTX 1660
Both the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and GeForce GTX 1660 are great graphics cards for those who are looking to get the best price to performance ratio in 1080p gaming with the graphical settings cranked up.
The difference between the two cards is that the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti ships with 1536 CUDA Cores and 6GB of GDDR6 memory while on the other hand, the GeForce GTX 1660 ships with 1408 CUDA and 6GB of GDDR5 memory. The GTX 1660 Ti’s memory speed is 12 Gbps data rate while GTX 1660 runs at 8 Gbps.
The base clock speed of the GeForce GTX 1660 is 1530 MHz and boosting at around 1785 MHz and the actual Boost Clock can vary from game-to-game depending on actual system conditions and the custom specifications from different AIB’s.
For more details about the technical aspects of the GTX 1660 series, you can refer to one of our previous articles.
MSI GTX 1660 VENTUS XS
If you have read the previous article about the GTX 1660 Ti, it is good to take note that the GTX 1660 will also have similar features just like the new Nvidia NVENC hardware encoding improvement for OBS, and being able to take advantage of MSI Afterburner’s OC Scanner which will automatically set your GPU overclocks for you without the hassle of trial and error.
In our FurMark GPU stress test, the MSI GTX 1660 Ventus XS shown a boost core clock of roughly 1965Mhz and 4001Mhz memory clock. In around 15 minutes of stress testing, the GPU temperature leveled out to 59°C.
We tested the MSI GTX 1660 Ventus XS in a wide variety of games and compared them to other graphics cards within it’s expected performance level. To be honest we were not sure what to expect given that the most noticeable downgrade from the GTX 1660ti is it’s GDDR5 memory.
Here is the list of hardware we used for this test:
- Processor – AMD Ryzen 7 2700x @ 4.2GHz
- Memory – 2x8GB 3200mhz DDR4 kit
- Motherboard – Asus ROG Crosshair VI X370
- Graphics cards:
- MSI Ventus XS GTX 1660 6GB
- Zotac GTX 1060 6GB AMP! Edition
- PowerColor Red Devil RX 580 8GB
- MSI RX 570 Armor OC 8GB
- Nvidia Driver – 419.35
- AMD Driver – Radeon Adrenalin 19.3.2
The first game we fired up is Monster Hunter: World. Here the GTX 1660 took the lead having a 25% difference against the GTX 1060, but interestingly, the RX 580 was catching up at around 8.7%.
Next is another new game, well not really new, but a remake and modernized to meet today’s graphical standards, Resident Evil 2. Here we see the GTX 1660 just around 6% behind the RX 580. We felt like the RX 580 was more optimized in this game.
Sniper Elite 4 is a relatively fresh title that’s just a couple of months old and here we see the GTX 1660 was neck to neck with the RX 580. Against the GTX 1060 however, the GTX 1660 has a 10% advantage in terms of average frames per second.
Given the recent craze with this game, we decided to include Apex: Legends in this test as it is one of the few games that launched recently and was well received. Here we see that the GTX 1660 around 10% faster than the GTX 1060.
Next up is Battlefield V which a well optimized game for Nvidia graphics cards. Here we see the GTX 1660 performing well in 1080p Ultra scoring at around 14.7% faster than the GTX 1060.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands has been our go to benchmark game since it got launched as it really brings graphics cards to their knees with it’s demanding graphical fidelity. With this game, we see the GTX 1660 taking the lead at around 5% against the GTX 1060. Even though the RX 580 had more vram, it lost to the GTX 1660 by a 10% margin.
Rainbow Six: Siege is also one of our favorites because of it’s fantastic gameplay implementations and here we see that in 1080p Ultra, the GTX 1660 takes the lead against the GTX 1060 by 28%, and with the RX 580 just performing behind the GTX 1660 with a 6% difference.
The Division is not a new game title but it’s still very demanding with it’s graphical requirements. The GTX 1660 was able to maintain above 60fps in 1080p Ultra with just an 8% and 4.9% difference between the GTX 1060 and RX 580 respectively.
Lastly, Strange Brigade is a well optimized DX12 title that runs fairly well on both Nvidia and AMD hardware. As we can see here, the RX 580 is taking the lead by 12% against the GTX 1660.
The performance results of the GTX 1660 was quite a mixed bag as we see it being neck to neck against the AMD RX 580 in some of the games we tested. In terms of generational performance improvements, it definitely had come a long way against it’s predecessor the GTX 1060.
With the local SRP of Php13,900 for the MSI Ventus XS model, we are predicting that the GTX 1660 will ultimately replace the GTX 1060 in the entry/mid-range GPU market, and even take the crown for being the most popular Nvidia GPU for streamers because of it’s built-in NVENC encoder and for aspiring esports athletes for 1080p competitive play.
Performance-wise, we are putting the GTX 1660 in the entry level league and we are definitely recommending it for people who are intending to game on 1080p resolution at high/ultra settings especially if you are upgrading from a much older GPU, let’s say something like GTX 970.
We are actually glad to see new graphics card designs from MSI and in the aesthetics department, we like the simplicity of the Ventus XS even if didn’t have RGB. The GPU cooler was able to maintain excellent temperatures and the boost clock of this card is quite impressive.
MSI has tweaked this card very nicely which boosts almost 30% above the orignal core clock of the GTX 1660 while keeping temperatures reasonable. With that, this card will have our recommendation.