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    MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X Review: Silent Performance

    Meant to tackle the entry-level segment with more performance, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super replaces the vanilla GTX 1660 in the brand’s GPU family. In this review, we’re going to take a look at MSI’s take on the entry-level card, the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X.

    MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X

    GPU TU116
    Architecture Turing
    Transistor Count 6.6 Billion
    Manufacturing Process TSMC 12nm FFN
    Boost Clock 1830MHz
    CUDA Cores 1536
    Raster Operator Units 48
    Shader Cors 1408
    Memory 6GB GDDR5
    Memory Bus Width 192-bit
    Memory Speed 14Gbps
    TDP 125W
    Power Connectors 1x 8-pin PCIe
    Display Connections 1x HDMI 2.0b, 3x DisplayPort 1.4

     

    Unboxing

    Most GPU vendors usually include the minimum amount of accessories with their cards, and that’s no different with the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X. Included inside the traditional MSI box are the card’s quick start guide, a thank you note from the brand, and a set up comic starring MSI’s Lucky the Dragon.

    Up close with the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X

    While the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X is considered as an entry-level card, its appearance shares the same flamboyant design as its high-end contemporaries. The card is clad in gunmetal gray with bits of carbon fiber-like design in-between the fans to give a sporty yet stealthy look.

    The MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X is decked with what the brand calls a Dynamic Backplate. Instead of just acting as a brace for the whole card to reduce GPU sag, the backplate now acts as a passive cooling mechanism for the card.

    Aside from screws connecting the backplate to the PCB, certain spots are joined via a thermal pad. This means that it draws away heat from the components on the PCB. In addition, slots on the backplate allows hot air to vent out the top further increasing cooling performance.

    Three of heatpipes run through the length of the card to cool down its components. The heatsink is connected to the TU116 chip by a solid nickel-plated copper base plate.

    One of the latest additions in MSI’s TWIN FROZR 7 cooling system are the fans. The TORX 3.0 fans combine two fan designs to improve airflow. Half of the blades come with a Dispersion Fan design to accelerate airflow while the other has a traditional design to provide a steady airflow to the card.

    Like most cards nowadays, the cooling system of the card has a 0dB design. This means that the card’s fans will not spin until the GPU hits the 60°c threshold.

    All this cooling solution that MSI has strapped to the card allows it to reach higher clock speeds compared to a reference speeds of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super. Reference clocks of the GTX 1660 Super reaches a boost clock of 1730MHz while MSI’s card achieves 1850MHz.

    The MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X has a 125W rated TDP. It get its power from a single 8-pin PCIe connection at the side.

    The card comes with the usual choices of display connections. The back is populated by three DisplayPort 1.4 ports and a single HDMI 2.0b port. There’s no exotic USB Type-C connection or the increasingly uncommon DVI port to be found here.

    Of course, the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X comes with RGB lighting as usual with cards if this magnitude. The lighting zones of the card can be found near the fan shrouds and the MSI logo at the side.

    The RGB lighting can be customized via the MSI Dragon Center app. It is part of the brand’s MYSTIC LIGHT ecosystem, which allows lighting synchronization with other components part of the ecosystem.

    System and Benchmarks

    We put the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X through its paces by running a few synthetic benchmarks and games. We’ve also added two new DX12 games in our benchmark suite in order to get more performance metrics for the components we are testing.

    • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
    • RAM: Team Group T-Force Vulcan Z 2x 8GB DDR4-3200
    • Motherboard: ASUS Prime B350-Plus (BIOS 3806)
    • PSU: EVGA 650 GQ Gold 650W
    • OS: Windows 10 Build 1903
    • Driver Version: NVIDIA GeForce Game Ready Driver 441.87 WHQL
    Synthetic Benchmarks

    3DMark Fire Strike

    Designed to showcase the DirectX 11 API, the Futuremark 3DMark Firestrike became a standard in benchmarking as it not only tests the capabilities of the GPU, but also the capabilities of the whole system for a complete stress test.”

    3DMark Time Spy

    With its pure DirectX 12 engine, built from the ground up to support new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal benchmark for testing the DirectX 12 performance of modern graphics cards.

    Gaming Benchmarks

    Metro Last Light

    It is the year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt amidst the poisoned skies above.

    Metro Exodus

    Explore the Russian wilderness in vast, non-linear levels and follow a thrilling story-line inspired by the novels of Dmitry Glukhovsky that spans an entire year through spring, summer and autumn to the depths of nuclear winter.

    Rise of the Tomb Raider

    A follow-up to the reboot of the series, Lara is now searching for a lost treasure that his father was investigating before his passing. Following the same gameplay as Tomb Raider reboot from 2013, the Rise of the Tomb Raider is a worthy title under the Tomb Raider series.

    Shadow of the Tomb Raider

    In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara must master a deadly jungle, overcome terrifying tombs, and persevere through her darkest hour. As she races to save the world from a Mayan apocalypse, Lara will ultimately be forged into the Tomb Raider she is destined to be.

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

    Now an experienced covert operative, Adam Jensen is forced to operate in a world that has grown to despise his kind. Armed with a new arsenal of state-of-the-art weapons and augmentations, he must choose the right approach, along with who to trust, in order to unravel a vast worldwide conspiracy.

    Hitman 2016

    There is a world beyond ours. Beyond nations, justice, ethics. It never sleeps. It exists everywhere. And once you enter…there is no going back. Welcome to the World of Assassination. You are Agent 47, the world’s ultimate assassin.

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

    The last entry in Geralt’s adventure, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt aims to perfect The Witcher formula. A follow-up to The Witcher 2, which was also regarded for its technical marvel, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a perfect candidate for a benchmarking tool as it runs consistently and stresses most cards with its beautiful graphics.”

    The MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X places itself a solid 1080p card. The card averages more than 60fps in our benchmarks even at the highest settings at 1080p. It can also be a contender at 1440p so long as you turn down some of the more demanding settings to get a decent framerate.

    Temperature

    Thanks to the latest iteration of the MSI TWIN FROZR cooling system, the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X stays cool even under heavy load. At just 69°c at the maximum reading, the card is able to cool itself down without too much noise.

    Conclusion

    The MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X is a surprisingly capable card at its price point. Priced at USD 229 or PhP 14,430 in the Philippines, the card can be a powerful companion for both 1080p and 1440p gaming.

    Though the reference clocks for the GTX 1660 Super is already high enough at 1730MHz, MSI is able to eke out more performance while providing lower temperatures thanks to its TWIN FROZR 7 cooling system.

    With great performance out of the box and a cooling system that tempers down the overclocked GPU, we’re confident enough to give the MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super Gaming X our seal of approval. If you’re itching for an upgrade for an older card without breaking the bank, then this card might just be for you.

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