Our test system
Our dedicated graphics card test system is packed with some of the fastest complementary components available to put any potential performance bottlenecks squarely on the GPU. Most of the hardware was provided by the manufacturers, but we purchased the cooler and storage ourselves.
- Intel Core i7-8700K processor ($360 on Amazon)
- EVGA CLC 240 closed-loop liquid cooler ($120 on Amazon)
- Asus Maximus X Hero motherboard ($260 on Amazon)
- 64GB HyperX Predator RGB DDR4/2933 ($318 for 32GB on Amazon)
- EVGA 1200W SuperNova P2 power supply ($180 on Amazon)
- Corsair Crystal 570X RGB case, with front and top panels removed and an extra rear fan installed for improved airflow ($160 on Amazon)
- 2x 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs ($78 each on Amazon)
We’re comparing the $310 EVGA GTX 1660 Ti XC Ultra against the $330 Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti, as well as its predecessor, an overclocked EVGA version of the 6GB GTX 1060. Rounding out the Nvidia side, we’re also including the GTX 1070 Founders Edition and the ray tracing-capable $350 GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition.
To see how EVGA’s graphics card stacks up against the Radeon competition, we’re also included performance results from the $260 Sapphire Radeon RX 590 Nitro+ (which launched at $280 in November), the $400 Radeon Vega 56, and the Asus ROG Strix version of the Radeon RX 580. Many Radeon RX 580 models can consistently be found for under $200 on sale these days, even in 8GB variants.
Each game is tested using its in-game benchmark at the highest possible graphics presets, with VSync, frame rate caps, and all GPU vendor-specific technologies—like AMD TressFX, Nvidia GameWorks options, and FreeSync/G-Sync—disabled, and temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) enabled to push these high-end cards to their limits. If anything differs from that, we’ll mention it. We run each benchmark at least three times and list the average result for each test.
We limited our testing to 1080p and 1440p resolutions, as satisfying 4K gaming is mostly out of the reach of this class of card. Because the EVGA GTX 1660 Ti’s gaming performance results largely mirror the Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti’s—it’s a clear Radeon RX 590 killer—we’ll refrain from commentary until the power and thermals section, where differences between the two GTX 1660 Ti models become more clear.
EVGA GTX 1660 Ti XC Ultra gaming benchmarks
Let’s kick things off with Strange Brigade ($50 on Humble), a cooperative third-person shooter where a team of adventurers blast through hordes of mythological enemies. It’s a technological showcase, built around the next-gen Vulkan and DirectX 12 technologies and infused with features like HDR support and the ability to toggle asynchronous compute on and off. It uses Rebellion’s custom Azure engine. We test with async compute off.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider ($60 on Humble) concludes the reboot trilogy, and it’s utterly gorgeous—even the state-of-the-art GeForce RTX 2080 Ti barely manages to average 60 fps with all the bells and whistles turned on at 4K resolution. Square Enix optimized this game for DX12, and recommends DX11 only if you’re using older hardware or Windows 7, so we test with that. Shadow of the Tomb Raider uses an enhanced version of the Foundation engine that also powered Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Far Cry 5
Finally, a DirectX 11 game! Far Cry 5 ($60 on Humble) is powered by Ubisoft’s long-established Dunia engine. It’s just as gorgeous as its predecessors, and even more fun. We’ll likely replace it in our suite with the newer Far Cry: New Dawn soon.
Next page: Gaming benchmarks continue