Should you buy the EVGA GTX 1660 Ti XC Ultra?
If you’re looking for a great graphics card that will let you game at high frame rates and no visual compromises at 1080p resolution, the $310 EVGA GTX 1660 Ti XC Ultra should be on your short list. It’s powerful enough for 1440p gaming, too, and would make a sublime pairing with a G-Sync or FreeSync variable refresh rate monitor. EVGA’s built a very compelling graphics card built around a very compelling GPU—one that utterly dismantles rival AMD Radeon RX 590 options, and one that renders the GTX 1070 obsolete unless you find one on a massive sale.
The XC Ultra justifies its $30 premium over baseline GTX 1660 Ti models thanks to its hefty overclock and potent custom cooling system. GPU clock speeds hover around 2GHz in most gaming scenarios, and EVGA’s cooling solution runs chilly and quiet while maintaining a reasonable dual-slot design that should have no trouble fitting in most gaming PCs. The need for only a single 8-pin power connection adds to its versatility.
It’s lacking in luxurious extras, however. The XC Ultra doesn’t include RGB LEDs or a backplate, let alone performance-altering features like the dual-BIOS switch, adaptive fan headers, and discrete LED button found on the Asus ROG Strix GTX 1660 Ti. The Strix’s monstrous triple-slot, triple-fan cooler won’t fit in all cases, however, and it costs $330—$20 more than the XC Ultra, and a full $50 more than the GTX 1660 Ti’s baseline MSRP.
You can’t go wrong with either of these cards. The Asus ROG Strix is a big, badass, and borderline overkill graphics card built for the proverbial 1 percent who want all the bells and whistles and don’t mind paying extra for them.
EVGA’s card is probably better for most people. It delivers a high level of performance similar to the Strix, with a great cooling solution, but avoids extravagant extras to keep the price from getting too high. Plus, it offers an all-too-rare DVI connection.
The EVGA GTX 1660 Ti XC Ultra is fast, cool, quiet, energy-efficient, and broadly compatible—a killer combination. And the company’s superb Precision X1 overclocking software serves as a delicious cherry on top. It’s a great graphics card.