The 4 Biggest Complaints About the GTX 1660 – An Insider‘s Perspective

Hi there! As a long-time gamer and computer builder with industry experience reviewing countless graphics cards and components, I‘ve helped troubleshoot every common PC issue under the sun. Lately I‘ve noticed lots of chatter among gaming communities about problems cropping up for owners of the venerable NVIDIA GTX 1660 GPUs.

As you may know, the GTX 1660 and 1660 Super variants deliver smooth 60+ FPS 1080p gaming with high to ultra settings on modern titles. The non-Ti 1660 first launched back in 2019 with the newer Super offering arriving in 2020. Both feature 6GB of VRAM, support recent gaming technologies like adaptive shading, and carry a budget-friendly price between $200 to $300.

For players on a tighter budget or playing at mainstream resolutions like 1080p, the 1660 hits a practical sweet spot. It remains a workhorse recommendation on many 2023 gaming PC builds. However, it‘s not without some drawbacks.

Through my tech forum participation and product research, I‘ve taken a deeper dive on the GTX 1660‘s weak points. Let‘s walk through the top complaints in detail, with insider troubleshooting advice. I‘ll also suggest alternatives to consider.


First, as a quick specs refresher, take a look at how the vanila GTX 1660 and 1660 Super compare, including against NVIDIA‘s own previous-gen GTX 1060:

SpecificationGTX 1660 (non-Super)GTX 1660 SuperGTX 1060 6GB
Launch DateMarch 2019October 2019July 2016
GPU CodenameTU116TU116GP106
Fabrication Process12nm FinFET12nm FinFET16nm FinFET
CUDA Cores140814081280
Boost Clock1785MHz1785MHz1708MHz +
Memory Bus192-bit192-bit192-bit
Starting Price$219$229$249

You can observe the incremental improvements generation-over-generation, with Turing leveraging a smaller 12nm process plus introducing newer gaming features like variable rate shading. But the core appeal has remained affordability with solid 1080p performance.

As the table shows though, the GTX 1660 is ultimately a mid-range card even by 2016 standards. It uses dense GDDR5 memory instead of faster GDDR6 and has a narrow 192-bit memory bus. And while its 120W power draw permits operation without a separate power connector, that also constrains overclocking headroom.

So while still great for e-sports and medium settings triple-A gaming, its mid-tier legacy foundation shows through in the user complaints we‘ll cover next…

Incompatibility Issues

First up – getting the GTX 1660 properly set up and configured seems more finicky than expected for a mainstream card. Owners report all sorts of crashes, conflicts, and error codes. For example:

"I bought a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC edition and downloaded the latest drivers, but every game I try crashes within minutes or won‘t even start. What am I missing? I‘m on a Windows 10 desktop with 16GB RAM and Core i5 CPU. Tried adjusting resolutions and graphics settings but no difference."

And another:

"My Dell G5 laptop runs fine for browsing but as soon as I launch any steam game, the NVIDIA control panel gives an error that the GTX 1660 Ti driver failed with code 43. I tried reinstalling drivers and updating BIOS but it still happens. Help!"

In the first case, while meeting the base requirements, an underlying hardware incompatibility is likely preventing proper driver functionality. And for the laptop, probably a firmware or power delivery issue versus strictly software.

The takeaway? Confirm vendor and chipset compatibility, don‘t assume meeting just minimum specs guarantees stability. And be prepared for some tweaking to get optimal performance free of conflicts.

Repeated Crashing

What gamer hasn‘t faced the dreaded crash to desktop moment? But 1660 owners seem to experience this more persistently across hardware configurations:

"I recently built a new system – MSI B550/Ryzen 5 5600G, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 650W Gold PSU. Works great except when gaming, it will randomly fully lock up/crash during a session. Sometimes I can play for an hour no problem. Other times, crash in less than 5 minutes! Updated to latest GPU drivers. What gives?"


"Hi all, hoping someone can help me diagnose an issue… I upgraded from an RX 580 to an EVGA 1660 Super. At first I was getting awesome FPS in Call of Duty MW 2019, like 90-100 on high settings. But after 10-15 minutes without fail, hard crash to Windows desktop every single round. Temps look fine. Event viewer shows display driver failure."

In both cases, extensive troubleshooting is needed to isolate the culprit. Prematurely assuming the card itself is defective risks overlooking other factors like CPU bottlenecking, RAM issues, driver conflicts, or temperature thresholds.

Software incompatibility with specific game engines may also cause crashes. Less intensive titles running off older APIs seem to fare better. The lesson? Managing crashing requires patience and drilling down through all possibilities methodically.

Video Playback Errors

Modern GPUs now handle video processing beyond just gaming graphics. Integrated video decoders offload video streaming work from your CPU for smoother playback. But limitations of the GTX 1660 rear their head here again per user complaints:

"Recently my GTX 1660 has started struggling with video playback. YouTube and Netflix work fine for a few minutes but then start getting choppy and dropping frames. Eventually it stabilizes but quality seems worse. Tried updating codec packs and monitoring resource usage but no help determining cause."

And another variation:

"I have an issue specifically when using VLC media player on my Windows 11 desktop with an EVGA GTX 1660 XC Ultra. When playing 4K or 1440p video files, regular stuttering and skips happen. 1080p seems mostly okay. V-sync adjustments and GPU settings tweaks haven‘t improved playback."

The narrower 192-bit bus and slower GDDR5 memory gives the 1660 less bandwidth for processing uncompressed video frames, causing dropped frames and choppiness. Lack of dedicated encode/decode hardware also taxes shared shading processors. Combined with driver quirks, high resolution video or complex formats end up revealing the card‘s entry-level roots pretty quickly through stutters.

Not Optimized for Next-Gen Games

Future proofing any GPU is always a slippery question in such a quickly evolving industry. Even "top" cards often only reign for 6-12 months before something better comes along. However, GTX 1660 limitations again crop up here according to owners:

"When I built my gaming PC in 2019, the GTX 1660 seemed like a good match for smooth 1080p performance in the latest games like Control and RDR2. Fast forward 2 years later – frame rates still look OK for some new games but have to dial graphics way down across the board. Seeing way lower numbers compared to benchmarks from when I first got it. Feels already outdated."

Developers continue finding ways utilize expanding hardware capability, through more complex shaders, higher polygon counts, more advanced post-processing, and immersive techniques like ray tracing. Even at HD resolutions, throwing more at GPUs quickly separates upper tier products from more modest offerings. The 192-bit bus and slower GDDR5 memory also hamper the 1660 hitting higher frame rates to keep pace with evolving software demands.

The bottom line? While still retaining competence for e-sports and less resource intensive games, the GTX 1660‘s legacy foundations struggle when users crank up fidelity or enable cutting edge graphics options. Time for an upgrade!

Alternatives to Consider

If the preceding laundry list of complaints has made you reconsider the venerable GTX 1660, don‘t worry – you have alternatives! Here are two cards I recommend from both the NVIDIA and AMD camps depending on your budget:


Bumping up to NVIDIA‘s Ampere generation delivers a big performance jump thanks to dedicated RT and tensor cores plus GDDR6 memory. Pricing hovers around the $400 mark but offers a sizable 50%+ FPS gain:

SpecificationNVIDIA RTX 3060 TiImprovement Over GTX 1660 Super
Boost Clock1665 MHz14%
Memory8GB GDDR633% More
Memory Bus256-bit33% Wider
1080p Avg. FPS105 FPS55% Faster
1440p Avg FPS72 FPS80% Faster

You get improved hardware encoding for capturing gameplay footage too. The 3060 Ti can tackle ray tracing at least reasonably well and has plenty of muscle for 100+ frame high refresh rate gaming. It also uses a more advanced 8nm manufacturing process for efficiency.

AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT

On the AMD front, the Radeon RX 6650 XT parallels NVIDIA‘s RTX 3060 card for under $300. You still get device-wide FidelityFX Super Resolution for boosting frame rates along with enhanced Windows 11 integration:

SpecificationAMD RX 6650 XTImprovement Over GTX 1660 Super
Game Clock2044 MHz15%
Memory8GB GDDR633% More
Memory Bus128-bitNarrower
1080p Avg. FPS99 FPS49% Faster
1440p Avg FPS62 FPS53% Faster

The narrower bus leads to slightly trailed bandwidth. Nonetheless, you obtain excellent cheapest path to heightened 1080p or entry-level 1440p gaming. AMD‘s software ecosystem around streaming and adjusting image quality continues maturing as well.

Either card marks a very worthy step up from the GTX 1660 era!

Is the GTX Still Worth It in 2023?

Given the GTX 1660‘s various shortcomings, is it still a recommended budget gaming option as we head deeper into 2023? I‘d say yes…for the right buyer.

Those playing mainly lighter e-sports titles, indie games, or slightly older AAA games that aren‘t excessively demanding should find solid 60 FPS+ performance at medium to high settings still at 1080p resolutions. Assistance through upscaling and framedrops-mitigating GPU software also helps smooth out issues.

However, buyers focused on maxing the latest graphically intensive games may feel the constraints more severely. Future releases will likely continue pushing hardware requirements forward aggressively.

Ultimately, the GTX 1660 still gets you in the game on a tight budget. But recognize you‘re already making some visual fidelity and future-proofing tradeoffs out of the gate. So factor those into your planning and adjust expectations accordingly if you do pickup an affordable last-gen card.

I hope this guide has broken down GTX 1660 drawbacks candidly while still keeping perspective on its relevance given the right use case. Let me know if you have any other graphics card questions in the comments!

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