EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC Ultra review: Laser-focused on all-around great performance

The EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC Ultra strips out fancy extras to focus purely on great performance in all functional areas.

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EVGA GTX 1660 Ti XC Ultra power draw, thermals, and noise

We also tested the Sapphire Radeon RX 590+ using 3DMark’s highly respected Fire Strike synthetic benchmark. Fire Strike runs at 1080p, Fire Strike Extreme runs at 1440p, and Fire Strike Ultra runs at 4K resolution. All render the same scene, but with more intense graphical effects as you move up the scale, so that Extreme and Ultra flavors stress GPUs even more. We record the graphics score to eliminate variance from the CPU.

fire strike Brad Chacos/IDG

This is why you can’t test cards based solely on synthetic benchmarks, though they’re wonderful for relative sanity checks and competitive overclocking contests. According to Fire Strike, the GTX 1660 Ti is slower than the Radeon RX 590, and well behind the GTX 1070. That simply isn’t true in actual games. 

power Brad Chacos/IDG

We test power draw by looping the F1 2018 benchmark for about 20 minutes after we’ve benchmarked everything else, and noting the highest reading on our Watts Up Pro meter. The initial part of the race, where all competing cars are onscreen simultaneously, tends to be the most demanding portion. The GTX 1660 Ti is yet another testament to Nvidia’s clear power efficiency domination, drawing far less energy than its Radeon rivals, and roughly the same amount of power as the GTX 1060 while delivering far more performance per watt.

temp gpu Brad Chacos/IDG

We test thermals by leaving HWInfo’s sensor monitoring tool open during the F1 2018 5-lap power draw test, noting the highest maximum temperature at the end.

Here’s the biggest pure performance difference between the two GTX 1660 Ti models we’ve tested, the Asus ROG Strix and EVGA’s XC Ultra. The massive ROG Strix runs ice-cold with very little fan noise, or utterly silently with the card’s Quiet BIOS. But achieving that requires a massive triple-slot, triple-fan cooler and a steeper price premium. The EVGA GTX 1660 Ti XC Ultra still delivers some of the lowest GPU temperatures in this performance class, it runs very quietly itself, and it does so in a more flexible dual-slot cooler design. They’re both winners, albeit in very different ways.

Next page: Should you buy the EVGA GTX 1660 Ti XC Ultra?

At a Glance
  • The EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC Ultra strips out fancy extras to focus purely on great performance in all functional areas. It's an outstanding all-around graphics card for 1080p and 1440p gaming.

    Pros

    • Outstanding 1080p and solid 1440p gaming
    • Cool and quiet custom cooling
    • DVI connection included
    • High out-of-box overclock
    • Easy fit into most gaming PCs

    Cons

    • No fancy extra features
    • No RTX ray tracing capabilities
    • Only 1 DisplayPort and HDMI port
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