Do you find the price tags of Nvidia’s new Turing-based RTX graphics cards so high, they induce a mild bout of vertigo? Even Nvidia itself has admitted that poor sales of RTX GPUs have been down to the fact that some folks are waiting for prices to drop with the higher-end models.
However, if it’s affordability you want, then another more tempting Turing option could be in the works with the rumored GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. This purported graphics card may drop the ray tracing technology – hence the GTX branding, rather than RTX – in order to become a more wallet-friendly Turing GPU option.
The GTX 1660 Ti name might sound rather improbable – and seemingly plucked out of nowhere – but evidence surrounding the existence of this graphics card has been mounting as of late.
Nvidia has been long rumored to introduce some kind of non-ray tracing alternative to its more expensive RTX models, and it seems increasingly likely that this will be the GTX 1660 Ti – possibly alongside a vanilla GTX 1660 and GTX 1650. Whatever the case, we’ve rounded up all the latest chatter from the Internet grapevine regarding this GPU (and its potential siblings) in one easy to digest article. Because, you know, we’re good like that.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Nvidia’s affordable Turing GPU without ray tracing tech
- When is it out? Allegedly on February 15, 2019
- What will it cost? Rumored pricing sits at $279 (about £210, AU$390)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti release date
The GTX 1660 Ti is expected to be unleashed on February 15, according to industry sources who spoke to HardOCP. Naturally, that’s a rumored date, though, it’s more specific than speculation surrounding launches can sometimes be. The rumored launch window is also imminent, so we’ll discover the truth behind it soon enough (doubtless, Nvidia won’t be able to resist a pre-launch teaser).
The alleged GTX 1660 is rumored to be scheduled for a March debut – not far behind – with the GTX 1650 supposedly following in late March to round off the range.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti price
According to the same sources who divulged the launch time frame, the GTX 1660 Ti is expected to retail at $279 (around £210, AU$390). That would be much more affordable than the GeForce RTX 2060, the cheapest ray tracing-capable card which weighs in at $349 (£329, AU$599).
Let’s cut quickly to the caveats here, namely that this is merely a speculated price tag, and even the rumor peddlers themselves warned that this could change before launch.
Looking at the bigger picture, the GTX 1660 Ti needs to be priced fairly below the RTX 2060 – otherwise you’d just buy the latter. That said, at $279 (around £210, AU$390), it would actually come in costing less than the outgoing GTX 1060 which retails at $299 (£249, AU$499). Mind you, with all this talk of high RTX price tags, maybe Nvidia figures it needs to court some goodwill on the pricing front.
The supposed GTX 1660 is expected to carry an asking price of $229 (around £175, AU$320), with the GTX 1650 dipping to a rumored $179 (around £135, AU$250).
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti specs
The GTX 1660 Ti is rumored to be built around a TU116 (Turing) GPU with 1,536 CUDA cores and 6GB of GDDR6 video memory. As already mentioned, the GPU won’t have any ray tracing capabilities, so this will be one of the main differences between this and the RTX 2060 – that and having fewer CUDA cores (1,536 versus the 1,920 cores on the 2060).
These specs were detailed in the initial leak of the 1660 Ti, and the presence of 6GB of video RAM is backed up by leaked model listings of Gigabyte and MSI graphics cards publicized the EEC (Eurasian Economic Commission).
Incidentally, that leak from the EEC is some of the most concrete evidence that proves the 1660 Ti is indeed in the pipeline. If those Gigabyte and MSI model names are indeed real, it confirms the card will be called the 1660 Ti, even if that still seems like an odd choice (the more logical progression would be the 1160 Ti).
We’ve also seen some slightly shakier rumors, like a photo showing the GPU being revealed as a cheeky “one more thing” item at the end of an Nvidia pre-briefing event for third-party manufacturers, which could conceivably have been faked.
As to the raw power of the GTX 1660 Ti, we’ve had a glimpse of that thanks to a leaked Ashes of the Singularity benchmark, which indicates that the GPU will be almost 20% faster than the GTX 1060. Bear in mind, though, that pre-launch benchmarks can be off the mark due to early sample hardware – or indeed made-up entirely. Even the benchmark score proves to be legitimate, this is only one game, so it hardly gives us a full picture.
Still, it’s a promising result, which actually puts the 1660 Ti in the same ballpark as the Nvidia GTX 1070 when it comes to pixel-pushing power. And considering the rumored $279 (around £210, AU$390) price tag of the Turing newcomer, you get some idea of the tasty price/performance ratio we might just be looking at. Fingers crossed, then, that all this pans out.
There are scarce details on the specs of the GTX 1660 or 1650 as yet, assuming they exist, of course. What little we have seen suggests the GPUs will be architecturally similar to the 1660 Ti, but will use slower GDDR5 memory. The GTX 1660 may run with 1,280 CUDA cores (256 fewer than the 1660 Ti) according to reports.
If these affordable Turing cards break onto the scene as predicted, you can expect stock of the last-gen Pascal GPUs to dry up pretty quickly – although some speculation (again from those HardOCP sources) indicates that Nvidia intends to keep on producing the GTX 1050 Ti, maintaining it as a bottom-end option below the GTX 1650.