Although I’m sort of going in a reverse order, since one came before the other, as a follow up of my review of recently GTX 1650 Super series, feel free to check it out in the right top corner of this video, today I will be taking a closer look it’s next Super brother – the MSI GTX 1660 Super Gaming X.
So, what’s actually different from the GTX 1660 Super in comparison to its non-Super brother. Well… You’ll be a bit disappointed, as many of us probably were when the first information and initial reviews about it came out, as only one thing was actually changed, and that is that it received faster GDDR6 video memory instead of the GDDR5, which almost doubled the video memory performance, giving it 14 Gbps memory data rate over a 192-bit memory bus, which makes the memory bandwidth capable of doing 336 GB/s, instead of the 192 GB/s on GTX 1660. Although it just a single upgrade in question, It’s not all bad news as you’ll see later on, on the contrary, it will make a decent performance margin difference because it’s a pretty substantial hardware upgrade.
Besides the video memory change, that’s basically it, everything else is the same, we have 1408 CUDA core, 88 texture units and 48 ROP’s, and the same GPU core and boost clock speeds, but these are not set in stone since they vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, their factory overclock and cooling capabilities. If you need a reference point and performance comparison with the GTX 1660 Series, feel free to check out my review of MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, I’ll put a link to it in the right top corner of this video.
Be sure to subscribe to my channel, because I’m also going to do a comparison of this card, or series to be more precise, with the GTX 1650 Super, I think it will be interesting to see how these two stacks up and is the GTX 1660 Super worth that extra money considering the performance gain you get over it weaker brother.
MSI GTX 1660 Super Gaming – familiar looks
As for this particular model, I think you all pretty much saw how this current Nvidia based generation of MSI’s Gaming series looks, I’ve placed a couple of those in my portoflio of graphics card reviews over last few months, and what’s different about this years design is that they moved away from the black and red color scheme, and went for the dark gray and black color scheme, which is more neutral and goes along with basically anything. Other than that, as I said, if you had a chance to check any of the current-gen models from their Gaming sub-brand, it’s basically the same as any other, the only thing that changes fro series to series is their length, cooler construction behind that top shroud and video output layout, although that is lately pretty, as is with this model, where we have three DisplayPort and one HDMI connections.
Another good thing in comparison with the GTX 1650 Super Gaming X model, is that this one does get all the bells and whistles, in particular, that being the RGB LED lighting of MSI’s logo on the side of the card, instead of just being white, as well as few RGB LED lines around the two 85 mm Torx 3.0 fans, all of that can be controlled over MSI’s Dragon Center software utility, and a nice clean looking metal back-plate with brushed aluminum finish look, completing the whole well build look and being the cherry on the top so to speak.
Having a bit more power-hungry and faster components, the official TDP number for the GTX 1660 Super Gaming X is 5W higher compared to the GTX 1660, so just a minor adjustment, which translates into around 10W higher power consumption. With all set and done, I was seeing around 145-150 W of total power consumption just for the GPU, looking at the difference between the idle and load state using the Furmark GPU stress test, which is why this card comes with one extra 8-pin PCI-express power connector, as the PCI express slot can’t provide enough power for it, nor could one extra 6-pin PCI-express besides it. Incorporating some overclocking into it will probably draw an additional 5-10W, but the extra performance gain will make it worth your while.
GTX 1660 Super Gaming X overcloking and tempre
Speaking of the overclocking, I’ve managed to bump the core clock speed up to 2020-2040 MHz of the MSI GTX 1660 Super model, while the stock GPU clock speed was mostly doing a bit above 1900 MHz, which is very similar to the other Turing cards which I’ve tried so far. The GDDR6 video memory again turned out to be a great overclocker, I’ve managed to bump it to just above 18 Gbps of effective memory data rate. Someone asked me about automatic overclock in my last video, but I tend to avoid completely because you can always get far better results by doing a manual overclock as I did it here.
You can use my MSI Afterburner settings which shown here for overclocking of your card, and if you can’t get it stable, lower down GPU or memory speed step by step, while also test it out until you get stable cards behavior and results.
With doing so the GPU temperatures pretty much stayed the same, between 64-65°C with just a slight change in fan speed, but nothing too alarming. The stock load temperature was mostly hanging around the 62-64°C mark on an open testbed, mostly on the upper side of those two numbers, while the idle temperatures were sitting at a bit higher 49°C, which is again a pretty common sight considering that the fans don’t run due to MSI’s Zero Frozr technology which turns them off if the GPU temperatures is below 60°C, and vice versa. All of this is achieved thanks to their long-running Twin Frozr cooler design, which is now in its seventh generation and which in this instance uses three heat pipes which goi through the very dense aluminum heatsink and the nickel-plated cooper GPU base plate, while it also has a black base-plate which cover a big surface portion around the GPU, and is used for cooling of the video memory and components of the 4+2 phase power design.
Before I get to the benchmarking results, if you have any question or other concerns about this card, feel free to leave your comment down below, and down there, in the description box to be precise, you can also find my setup which I used for testing this GPU out, but the core components are usual – Intel’s six-core Core i5 – 8600K CPU overclocked to 5,1 GHz and paired with 2 x 8GB of 3000 MHz DDR4 RAM.
Should you pay a bit more for MSI GTX 1660 Super Gaming X?
Jumping over to the performance figures, looking at the results and knowing what I saw when I did my GTX 1660 review a few months back, we got roughly on average a 10% FPS increase in comparison to its non-super brother. That’s pretty awesome since the price difference is half of that percentage, so it defiantly makes more sense than it value-wise. Although this performance increase won’t allow you to play the latest titles at 4K without any major graphics settings compromises, it will bring in overall higher FPS numbers, especially in those better-optimized titles, which can be greatly appreciated by users who have high-refresh-rate monitors.
As for the performance of the card while using those overclocking settings, here you can also see additional performance gain of around 10%, so that’s another 10% on top of the 10% gain which was achieved by just swapping the video memory from GDDR5 to GDDR6, and all of that will, in the end, give you a pretty nice kick in frame-rate output capabilities of this series.
The noise that the fans make when the card is under load is next to silent as they spin between 1100 and 1200 RPM during gaming. With the card being overclocked that’s just a bit above 1200 RPM, but still far from being unbearable, let alone when you would put in a chassis, and that’s coming from me, and I’m what you would call a noise freak. Here’s a short sound clip of the card under stock and OC load, while also showing the sound meter for measurement comparison.
When you draw the line, in comparison to the regular GTX 1660 series, it’s definitely more than reasonable to go on and stretch your budget for that additional 10-20$ in order to get a pretty substantial performance gain with choosing a GTX 1660 Super for that minor price difference instead of it. That said, the existence of its non-Super brother is put in question, and I feel like Nvidia is going end up with a lot of it on stock, or maybe this is just a tacit they’re using, a bit so to speak, to make us spend more, while in the background they’re producing more GTX 1660 Super and far less GTX 1660 series cards.
That’s it for this time, I hope this MSI GTX 1660 Super Gaming X review helps you reconsider the GTX 1660 series, if you have any question feel free to hit me in the comments section of my YouTube video listed above, you can contact me via my social media channels!