What are the differences between the Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti and the GTX 1060 from the previous generation in laptops? I’ll compare games, video exporting, 3D rendering, temperatures, power draw and more to see if the 1060 is still worth considering in 2020.
Starting with the specs, we can see that the newer 1660 Ti has 20% more CUDA cores, and although both have 6GB of memory here, the 1660 Ti uses faster GDDR6. The laptops I’m testing with are my Lenovo Y530 with GTX 1060, and Lenovo Y7000 with GTX 1660 Ti. The chassis of both are basically the same, so thermals should be comparable.
The 1660 Ti machine is paired with the newer 9th gen i5 processor, however the difference here is extremely minor, just 100MHz best case, however as the 16 series graphics came out after 9th gen launched I doubt there are any 8th gen laptops with the 1660 Ti anyway, so this probably as apples to apples as we can get.
We’ll start with the games, then other applications like rendering, video editing, thermals, power draw and clock speeds afterwards. Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested with the game’s built in benchmark tool. I’ve got the older 1060 shown by the purple bars, and newer 1660 Ti shown by the red bars. In this game at max settings the 1660 Ti was 46% faster in terms of average FPS. Battlefield V was tested in campaign mode running through the same section of the game on both machines. In this test the 1% low difference wasn’t that big, meanwhile in terms of average frame rate the 1660 Ti was 34% faster at ultra settings. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested using the built-in benchmark. The 1660 Ti was again ahead in all tests, with a decent 44% lead in average FPS with the highest setting preset in use. Apex Legends was tested by running through the same section of the map on both laptops. Unfortunately I tested with the default frame cap enabled, so both were about the same at minimum settings, however maxed out even the 1% low from the 1660 Ti is ahead of the average from the 1060. Call of Duty Modern Warfare was also tested with maximum or minimum settings, this time the 1% low from the 1660 Ti wasn’t quite beating the average from the 1060 at max settings, but it was close. When comparing the average frame rate, the 1660 Ti was 36% faster. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was tested using the games benchmark, and saw one of the smallest differences out of all 15 games tested. At the highest setting level the 1660 Ti was 27% faster in average FPS, with not much difference at lower settings. Control was tested running through the same area of the game on both machines, and there were huge gains with the 1660 Ti here. Regardless of settings used, the 1% low performance from the 1660 Ti laptop was ahead of the averages from the 1060. At high settings, the 1660 Ti was 55% faster than the 1060 in average frame rate. Borderlands 3 was tested with the built-in benchmark, and there was much more of a difference at the lower setting levels compared to high and above. At very low settings the 1660 Ti was 43% faster in average FPS, then maxed out this lowers to a 37% lead. Fortnite was tested using the replay feature, different replay files but running through the same part of the game on both laptops. At epic settings there was a 32% higher average frame rate with the 1660 Ti, granted the game was playing well even at max settings on either machine. The Witcher 3 had similar 1% low performance regardless of graphics in use, however there was a much larger difference to the average FPS comparatively, where the 1660 Ti was 38% faster than the 1060 at ultra settings. Ghost Recon Breakpoint was tested using the games benchmark tool, there was a large difference to 1% low at the lower setting levels, but maxed out there was no difference there. In average FPS the 1660 Ti was just 27% faster than the 1060, don’t get me wrong, that’s decent, but compared to the other games tested it’s on the lower side. Rainbow Six Siege was also tested using the games benchmark tool with the latest Vulkan option. There was a large difference with the 1660 Ti in this test, the 1% low was ahead of even the averages the 1060 could produce at all settings, then at ultra the 1660 Ti was 54% faster in average FPS. CS:GO was tested with the Ulletical FPS benchmark, and saw the largest differences out of all 15 games tested, with a huge 77% boost to average frame rate with all settings maxed out on the 1660 Ti. Dota 2 also saw a pretty large difference, the 1660 Ti was almost 50% faster at ultra settings, though the difference wasn’t quite as big at the lower setting levels. Overwatch was tested playing in the practice range, and while this performs better than actual gameplay it allows me to more accurately perform the exact same test run, perfect for a comparison like this. There was minimal difference to 1% lows at ultra and epic settings, otherwise a similar difference to averages with the 1660 Ti 24% ahead at epic.
These are the differences in performance when looking at all 15 games tested at the highest setting preset, as this is usually where the GPU is utilized more. On average in these games, the 1660 Ti was 42% faster when compared to the 1060. A tiny sliver of that may be due to the difference in processor, but it’d be very minor, regardless the 1660 Ti is offering significantly better performance in games. The 1060 is still capable of offering a good experience in many titles with fair settings in 2020, the 1660 Ti is just much better.
Here’s what we’re looking at in terms of total system power draw from the wall. The 1660 Ti laptop was using about 7% more power, which isn’t bad at all when you consider it was 38% faster in this game in terms of frame rate.
Interestingly despite using more power, the 1660 Ti was running a little cooler too. Both laptops have very similar cooling solutions, so these results should be somewhat comparable, the 1660 Ti is definitely more efficient.
Clock speeds were also just a little faster with the 1660 Ti when running this particular game. I’ve also got some 3DMark TimeSpy and FireStrike results. The 1660 Ti was ahead in all cases, with a 30% higher Firestrike graphics score, and a 54% higher timespy graphics score.
I’ve also run SPECviewperf 13 which is a benchmark for measuring graphics performance based on professional applications. The 1660 Ti was ahead in all instances, though the scores could vary a fair bit depending on the specific test.
I’ve used Adobe Premiere to export video with quicksync, and the 1660 Ti laptop was just 6% faster in this test, so not that big of a gain compared to the games.
For the final difference, the price. Price is hard to compare as there aren’t all that many 1060 laptops available to buy owing to it being last gen. In many cases, due to it being harder to come by it actually ends up being similar if not more expensive than many 1660 Ti alternatives, so unless you’re getting a good deal, paying a bit more for on average 42% more performance in games seems well worth it with the 1660 Ti.
If you have a 1060 laptop at the moment, well I wouldn’t say you need to upgrade, it can still handle games well, but the 1660 Ti does offer a nice boost. Let me know which of these two GPUs you’d pick for your laptop and why down in the comments.