We continue to explore the capabilities of NVIDIA video cards from the Super line. These are updated versions of previously released models that have received better specifications to more confidently compete with the latest AMD Radeon products. Some of the Super graphics cards have migrated to other GPUs with more compute units, such as the GeForce GTX 1650 Super. In the case of the GeForce GTX 1660 Super, the key improvement was the transition to fast GDDR6 memory while maintaining TU116 and core frequency response. How successful was this upgrade? Let’s talk about this using the example of ASUS TUF Gaming X3 GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC Edition.
Consider an ASUS TUF Gaming video card with a slight factory acceleration. Let’s evaluate the cooling potential and overclocking capabilities, compare with the younger models, the original version of the GeForce GTX 1660 and the more expensive model from the opposite camp – the Radeon RX 5600 XT.
First, let’s briefly recall the technical features of the video card. For the GeForce GTX 1660 Super, the GPU operating frequencies are declared at the level of the old version of the GeForce GTX 1660 – a base value of 1530 MHz with an average Boost Clock of 1785 MHz. Six gigabytes of memory runs on a 192-bit bus. The transition from GDDR5 to GDDR6 allowed us to raise the value of data exchange from 8 to 14 GHz. As a result, we get a memory bandwidth higher than that of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. TDP has officially gone up from 120W to 125W.
|Video adapter||GeForce GTX 1660 Ti||GeForce GTX 1660 Super||GeForce GTX 1660|
|Number of transistors, million pieces||6600||6600||6600|
|Process technology, nm||12||12||12|
|Core area, sq. mm||284||284||284|
|Number of stream processors||1536||1408||1408|
|Number of texture blocks||96||88||88|
|Number of render units||48||48||48|
|Core frequency (Base-Boost), MHz||1500–1770||1530–1785||1530–1785|
|Memory bus, bit||192||192||192|
|Memory frequency, MHz||12000||14000||8000|
|Memory size, GB||6||6||6|
|Supported version of DirectX||12 (12_1)||12 (12_1)||12 (12_1)|
|Interface||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0|
ASUS TUF 3-GTX1660S-O6G-GAMING
The video card comes in a large box, inside which it is fixed in a cardboard frame and covered with a film. A feature of the ASUS TUF series is the emphasis on the quality of end products, which is ensured by a high level of production and lengthy testing before going on sale.
Before us is a large device with cooling, which takes up less than three slots. In combination with three fans, it looks very solid, although this video adapter is smaller in size than ASUS solutions in the older segment.
The length of the video card is 26 centimeters. Two thick heat pipes are visible on the side. In the corner is an eight-pin power connector. A small LED strip on the right side of the case, along the wings logo, is the only illuminated element.
The back side is covered with a plastic plate. This is a decorative element to enhance the status and protection from external influences, but its expediency is questionable.
On the rear panel there are three interface connectors for image output – DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI.
The radiator under the casing is not as impressive in size as it seems from the outside. Two fans would be enough here, with three side ones partially hanging over the void. On the other hand, in any case, this improves the airflow of the entire structure and the board.
The fan diameter is 80 mm (actual impeller size is smaller). They use durable bearings with a long service life.
The radiator looks like a standard ASUS cooler for budget-class video cards.
Correctly implemented direct contact heat pipes DirectCU II. The tubes stretch along the GPU, completely covering the chip and providing good heat dissipation. On the base there are gaskets for memory chips.
A separate radiator is provided for the power elements of the supply circuit.
The cooling design seems simple but thoughtful. The manufacturer has provided cooling for all elements, and not all ASUS GeForce GTX 1660 Super have a VRM radiator. A large number of fans will provide excellent airflow and low temperature conditions. It should be noted that the cooling of the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 is much easier.
The length of the printed circuit board is 24 cm. It is made using Auto-Extreme technology with fully automatic soldering in one pass. If we talk about quality control, the manufacturer talks about an additional 144-hour continuous testing of ASUS TUF models in gaming applications and benchmarks.
The GPU power system uses four phases.
Graphic chip marking TU116-300-A1. Micron 9KA77 D9WCW memory chips soldered.
ASUS TUF has a slightly increased Boost frequency to 1830 MHz. Memory frequencies remained standard.
In the gaming load, the Boost frequencies were kept in the range of 1845-1900 MHz with peak values up to 1980 MHz. During testing on an open bench, the core temperature did not exceed 64 ° C at a fan speed of about 1800 rpm. The noise level is moderate, in harsh operating conditions inside a cramped enclosure, the noise will be more serious.
We are also interested in the performance of the simplest GeForce GTX 1660 Super models. By lowering the core frequency, we reached the average Boost frequencies of 1830-1860 MHz, which, according to other reviews, corresponds to the frequencies of the cheaper versions of the GeForce GTX 1660 Super. And our GeForce GTX 1660 video card worked at approximately the same frequencies, which will allow us to compare the old and updated versions head-to-head.
Now we are talking about overclocking. In our instance, the core frequency was increased by 170 MHz, the memory took the mark of 15800 MHz. Power limit increased to maximum (+20% to the initial level).
With these settings, the real core frequencies in games were 2070-2100 MHz. The fan speed was fixed at 45%, which helped keep operating temperatures almost unchanged. This is reflected in the screenshots of monitoring the parameters of MSI Afterburner during testing of The Division 2 and Gears 5 (maximum quality in Full HD).
The result is a good acceleration in frequencies without a serious increase in noise. But with weak airflow inside a cheap case, you will have to resort to higher fan settings to maintain an acceptable temperature regime.