Polaris has fallen in line Vega / Video Cards



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As it became known in AMD's Computex performance in May and then in the E3 game showcase, in July the company will release Navi video cards which, while not claiming absolute speed leadership between discreet accelerators, must compete with powerful offerings. The "green" class GeForce RTX 2070. In turn, NVIDIA, as rumors say, will make a major upgrade to the GeForce RTX family, and we can confirm or deny these assumptions soon enough. Either way, the market for high-performance graphics cards is ready to recover.

But as the boiling point approaches inexorably, the most interesting thing still happens in the area of ​​more affordable devices, priced at $ 200 to $ 300. Due to the new family of GeForce GTX 16 video cards, NVIDIA intends to press AMD out of the niche chosen by leading Radeon RX 500 series models. The latter turned out to be so popular that the older Polaris chip won the third update last year. Under the Radeon RX 590 brand. However, Polaris clearly outperformed its better times because even the GeForce GTX 1660 outperforms the Radeon RX 590 in game benchmarks, and the difference in energy efficiency between red and green chips today seems insurmountable. The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, in turn, has become a serious threat to the Radeon RX Vega 56. And let's not forget that the GTX 1660 and the GTX 1660 Ti are capable of performing ray tracing software in real time and little games demanding 1080p resolution. not bad

In this situation, AMD has no choice but to lower prices for video cards with Polaris and Vega chips, and even NVIDIA partners are forced to sell the GeForce GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti at a substantial discount – at least was what happened in the Russian retail. As a result, a huge variety of offers for every taste and wallet has been revealed to the buyer of a cheap video card, but it is not so easy to make a decision because there are no obvious leaders in terms of performance per ruble in that price category: all the NVIDIA and AMD devices are incorporated into a price and features ladder. In addition, if we take into account not only the most affordable options in a particular GPU, but also accelerators with better cooling systems and serious factory overclocking, the price ranges of competing devices and even neighboring models of the same company overlap .

We began to familiarize ourselves with GeForce GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti with the simplest modifications, in which the advantage of the new NVIDIA chips is combined with an affordable price. Maybe this is the best choice, or is it worth starting to explore more sophisticated options? Let's try to understand this problem in the example of GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC.

(I.e.Specifications, scope of delivery, prices

GIGABYTE traditionally leaves the best accelerator samples on a particular GPU for its premium AORUS series, while offers with intermediate features are concentrated under the GAMING brand. The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti was produced in exactly the same way – the AORUS GeForce GTX 1660 Ti version has unsurpassed clock speeds, but the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC is not far behind the leader. Compared with the reference specifications, the manufacturer increased the Boost Clock indicator – the average clock frequency under the game load – by 90 MHz (from 1770 to 1860), but in reality we will certainly see the result in the 1900-2000 MHz range The AORUS modification can offer only an additional 30 MHz beyond the parameters of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC.

At the same time, the video card works within the larger power reserve structure of the 120 to 140 W standard. This is no less important for successful overclocking – both factory and user forces – than a predetermined frequency voltage. But the memory bandwidth, as usual, was left in accordance with the reference parameters – 12 Gbit / s per bus contact.

Manufacturer Nvidia Gigabyte
Model GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC
Graphics Processor
Name Tu116 Tu116
Microarchitecture Turing Turing
Process technology, nm 12 nm FFN 12 nm FFN
The number of transistors, millions 6,600 6,600
Clock Frequency, MHz: Clock base / Boost Clock 1500/1770 1500/1860
The number of ALU shader 1536 1536
The number of block superposition textures 96 96
ROP Number 48 48
The number of tensor cores Not Not
The number of RT nuclei Not Not
RAM
Bus width, bit 192 192
Type of chip GDDR6 SDRAM GDDR6 SDRAM
Frequency of clock, MHz (bandwidth per contact, Mbps) 1,500 (12,000) 1,500 (12,000)
Volume, MB 6,144 6,144
I / O bus PCI Express 3.0 x16 PCI Express 3.0 x16
Performance
Peak performance FP32, GFLOPS (based on maximum frequency specified) 5437 5714
Performance FP64 / FP32 1/32 1/32
Performance FP16 / FP32 2/1 2/1
RAM bandwidth, GB / s 288 288
Image output
Display Interfaces DL DVI-D, DisplayPort 1.4a, HDMI 2.0b DL DVI-D, DisplayPort 1.4a, HDMI 2.0b
TBP / TDP, W 120 ND
Retail price (US, excluding taxes), $ 279 (recommended) From 300
Retail price (Russia), rub. 22.990 (recommended) Of 21 368

Interestingly, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC is the only modification of the device in the GAMING family that GIGABYTE introduced to the market. Each NVIDIA partner overclocking model, as a rule, is accompanied by an easier accelerator with the same design, but with reduced clock frequencies, and it always happens that only the overclocked version can be found in the market. But this time we have no reason to complain, because the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING without the letters OC simply does not exist in the title.

As the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC is the second in its GIGABYTE catalog equivalents, it comes as no surprise that the video card costs much more than the more economical devices with GeForce GTX 1660 Ti specifications – in Russian stores, with assurance. For example, prices for the GTX 1660 Ti start at $ 280, or 17,293 rubles, while the GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti requires at least $ 300, or 21,368 rubles for the GAMABING OC. But because the mid-market graphics accelerator market suddenly became so close, the GIGABYTE card was very close to the obviously more powerful offers from AMD and NVIDIA. The simplest options for the Radeon RX Vega 56 have dropped in price to $ 300 and 20,990 rubles while the GeForce RTX 2060 in dollar prices is still at a respectable distance ($ 350 and above), but in Russia it is already available to an amount of 21,094 rubles.

On the other hand, low-cost graphics cards in which competition has become more intense, the GeForce GTX 1660 without the Ti and Radeon RX 590 indexes cost much less than the GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC. The NVIDIA model can now be snatched up for $ 220, or 15,090 rubles, and its analog speed on the older Polaris chip – for $ 210, or 15,113 rubles.

It turns out that at the same time, the hero of this review is very expensive compared to its closest neighbors down and reaches the price of the neighbors from above. In such circumstances, it is necessary to study meticulously GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC, which we do immediately. But first, a stand-by note on the delivery kit: in addition to the video card itself, the box contained only a brief installation guide and a software CD, which, of course, is no longer readable on most computers modern. It is also important to note that the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC is accompanied by a manufacturer's warranty of three years and when registered on the GIGABYTE website within one month after purchase, the service is extended for another year.

(I.e.Construction

The "nameless" version of GIGABYTE's GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, for example as we know the new NVIDIA model in February, illustrates today's low-cost video graphics practices. The TU116 graphics processor, with all its speed, turned out to be a rather cold chip, with few requests to the power supply system. NVIDIA partners interpreted this as a sign of marginal economy in the device tapes. In particular, there were many video cards with a simplified cooling system where, instead of a modern modular design radiator, a GPU with a milled aluminum bar with a solitary heat pipe is installed on the GPU. These coolers do well with the task of removing heat from the chip with a power consumption of 120 W – but only for the price of not the best acoustic characteristics.

A quick look at the GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC is enough to see that the model differs from the simpler modifications of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, whether the products of GIGABYTE itself or its competitors, is a complete cooling system with three fans and various heat pipes. . The GPU radiator here is blown by three impellers with a diameter of 75 mm, and the design is designed so that the middle fan rotates in the opposite direction in relation to both ends. Many manufacturers have now come to this decision, and not without reason – the orientation of the fans in the form of interlocking gears helps to reduce the turbulence of the airflow and therefore increases the blowing speed. Up to a temperature of 60 ° C, the cooler operates in a completely passive mode.

The manufacturer estimates the GAMING series high enough to provide these devices with LED lighting. The corporate logo on the hull can be placed at your disposal and synchronized with other GIGABYTE components. In the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti model, under the AORUS brand, there are also LEDs on the back surface of the PCB covered with a metal shield. In the protection panel GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC is made of plastic and without lighting.

The video card cover covers the cooler from all sides, unless it comes to the mounting strip with video outputs and conceals the design features of the eyes. However, inside, under the fan assembly, we are happy to discover a full modern type radiator. The main role in removing heat from the GPU crystal is played by the lateral sections of the ribs, lashed in three heat pipes with a diameter of 5 mm. In the central part, where the tubes are pressed into an aluminum block with its own rib segment, they are flattened and cover most of the surface of the graphics chip. Additional protrusions are also provided on the radiator for cooling other hot components of the printed circuit board – GDDR6 memory chips, as well as drivers, switches and voltage regulator coils.

(I.e.Circuit board

Judging from the empty blocks for two GDDR6 chips and two additional voltage regulator phases, the GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC is based on another universal PCB, which can accept not only the TU116, but also a more powerful TU106 graphics processor. Unlike the simplified variation of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti manufactured by GIGABYTE, which we studied previously, the GAMING brand PCB accelerator is more spacious, but the complete configuration of the VRM also includes 6 phases of GPU power supply and two phases for RAM chips. The two phases serving the graphics processor are missing due to the reduced power consumption of the TU116 (the board is designed for 140 W power consumption in normal mode).

But the most interesting is not that. The power supply system specifications of the TU106 chip and other senior representatives of the Turing architecture always include MOSFETs with an integrated driver (the so-called power cascades), because of which it is possible to significantly reduce thermal energy losses. In turn, TU116-based video cards that borrowed GeForce RTX PCBs also took advantage of that. But in the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC we find the standard voltage regulator circuit from discrete components: one driver and two switches in each phase. However, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is not such a voracious device, so we have defined this as a complaint to the manufacturer. The voltage of the GPU is controlled by the uPI Semiconductor uP9512R PWM controller, which we have already seen in newer models in the GeForce RTX series, but in this case it is impossible to attest to the fact that the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING OC maintains another distinctive feature of the updated design of the NVIDIA VRM accelerators – the ability to disable part of the phases with a low GPU load, – because there are few of them already.

The motherboard is soldered with six GDDR6 RAM type microcircuits manufactured by Micron with the 8ZA77 D9WCR mark. The capacity of 12 Gbit / s per contact, which they provide in this device, is a regular indicator for them.

The video card has two DisplayPort connectors and a pair of HDMI to connect monitors and TVs. From the formally outdated DVI manufacturer interface refused – for it, even there is no wiring in the PCB.

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