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Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660

What is the Gigabyte GTX 1660?

The Gigabyte GTX 1660 is Nvidia’s new mid-range graphics card. While top-tier GPUs are now hurtling past the £1000 price point, the GTX 1660 offers an impressive Full HD performance for just £199.

Like its slightly more powerful sibling the GTX 1660 Ti, the GTX 1660 uses Nvidia’s new TU116 architecture instead of the older Pascal design used for the GTX 1050 and GTX 1060 cards. Nvidia has developed this architecture to achieve a calculated balance between performance, power and cost. Chuck in the exciting Turing shader innovations, which intelligently optimises the GPU’s efficiency, and you’ve got a excellent graphics performance for a very good price.

The GTX 1660 has a very relatable issue though – the more powerful 1660 Ti is hogging the spotlight. With just a £70-odd price difference separating the two, the GTX 1660 is under a lot of pressure to deliver a comparable performance in order to be deemed a worthwhile alternative.

Related: Best Graphics Cards 2019

Gigabyte GTX 1660 – Specs and technology

The following table displays all the specs for the GTX 1660 and how it compares to Nvidia’s GTX 1050 Ti, GTX 1060 6GB, GTX 1660 Ti, GTX 1070 and RTX 2060 graphics cards. I chose these cards because they’re the most comparable Nvidia GPUs in terms of both price and specifications. 

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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Updated: Still a great choice for £140

What is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti?

The Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti is the card that perhaps best represents the progress that Nvidia has made with its Pascal architecture this year. A supremely efficient yet Full HD-capable card for under £150 represents incredible value and will slot nicely into pretty much any system that needs an affordable gaming performance boost.

While it might not have the outright power of the more exciting GTX cards released in 2016, its bang-for-buck ratio is undeniable.

Updated: Since our original review, Nvidia has launched the GTX 1660 Ti. While it’s approximately £100 more expensive, the price jump is justified with the graphics card being optimised for modern gaming as well as battle royale titles such as Fortnite and Apex Legends. If you’ve got the extra money, Trusted Reviews recommends going for the GTX 1660 Ti, but the GTX 1050 Ti remains a fine choice at its current price of around £140.

Related: Best graphics card deals

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PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

What is the PNY GTX 1660 Ti?

The PNY GTX 1660 Ti is a new a mid-range graphics card capable of running all the latest video games in Full HD at a budget price. With no Founders Edition models being released for the GTX 1660 Ti, I’ve got my hands on a third-party version by PNY instead.

Despite having GTX affixed to its name, the 1660 Ti doesn’t use the Pascal architecture found in Nvidia’s 10-Series cards such as the GTX 1060 or GTX 1070. Instead, the GTX 1660 Ti uses Nvidia’s new Turing architecture known as “TU116”.

Despite its tiny size, the GTX 1660 Ti gives one hell of a powerhouse performance

There’s no fancy features here like what you’d find with RTX graphics cards such as ray tracing and DLSS. Instead, the GTX 1660 Ti focuses entirely on performance, with Nvidia attempting to find the perfect balance between performance, power and cost. Nvidia hasn’t just crammed the card with more powerful components though. There are some fancy tricks at work behind the scenes here, with new Turing shader innovations contributing towards a more efficient performance.

Nvidia claims this new-found efficiency results in such a performance boost that the GTX 1660 Ti boasts speeds 1.5 times faster than the GTX 1060 6GB. If true, GTX 1660 Ti may well be the best graphics card option for budget buyers with a Full HD setup.

Related: Best Graphics Cards 2019

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Asus ROG Strix RTX 2070 Review

What is the Asus ROG Strix RTX 2070?

The ROG Strix RTX 2070 graphics card is an Asus alternative to the Founders Edition supplied by Nvidia. While Asus’s GPU and design tweaks will slightly affect performance, the card still shares the same architecture as Nvidia’s original.

Sandwiched between the recently released RTX 2060 and the ultra-powerful RTX 2080 Ti, the RTX 2070 is one of two mid-range options in the Turing family. This creates a bit of an issue. It’s no longer the cheapest RTX card available, nor does it offer the smoothest frame rates.

The triple-fan design ensures top-notch airflow for the ROG Strix RTX 2070

So what’s the ROG Strix RTX 2070 good for? Well it’s one of the best-value graphics cards for Quad HD I’ve seen yet, offering a smooth 60fps performance for some of the most intensive titles. It also offers the very best features of the RTX lineup, including real-time ray tracing and DLSS – both of which have been earmarked as revolutionary rendering techniques.

So if you’ve got a Quad HD setup and fancy being among the first to witness the future of video game visuals, but can’t quite stretch their budget to an RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti card, this Asus option may just offer the best balance between performance and price.

Related: Best Graphics Card

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Nvidia RTX 2060 review: The cheapest Turing card is an affordable wonder

What is the Nvidia RTX 2060?

The Nvidia RTX 2060 is the latest graphics card using Nvidia’s spiffy new Turing architecture. It sits below the more expensive RTX 2070, RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti in Nvidia’s current lineup.

With pricing starting at £329 for the Founders Edition model, it’s still well in mid-range GPU territory and over £100 more expensive than its predecessor, the GTX 1060, when it launched.

This has led many – including some in Trusted towers – to question why the new card costs so much. More so when you consider that only a couple of games take advantage of Turing’s unique ray tracing and DLSS technologies, which do cool things like letting the cards render more realistic lighting effects.

Thankfully, the Nvidia RTX 2060 manages to silence these naysayers by easily matching the performance of equivalently priced cards, such as the now defunct GTX 1070. This, plus the future-proofing that Turing offers, makes the RTX 2060 a solid choice for 1080p gamers who can’t afford, or don’t need, the top specs offered by Nvidia’s more expensive 20-series cards.

Related: Best graphics card

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Nvidia GTX 1060

What is the Nvidia GTX 1060?

The Nvidia GTX 1060 offers the best value performance for HD gaming. Unlike the Nvidia GTX 1050, you won’t need to compromise the graphics settings to get a silky smooth performance in Full HD for some of the most demanding games available. In fact, this card is so beefy that it can even muster a resolution of 1440p at around 60fps with the likes of GTA V.

This is the graphics card that PC builders on a budget have been waiting for. Unlike Nvidia’s more expensive GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 cards, however, the GTX 1060 faces competition from AMD in the form of the Radeon RX 480.

With competition comes aggression, and the GTX 1060 is far closer to the RX 480 in terms of price than most were imagining. It’s more expensive and more powerful – but is it worth it? As it turns out, if you have the extra cash then, yes, it is.

Related: Best graphics card deals

Update: Since my original review of the GTX 1060, Nvidia quietly launched a 3GB, slightly less powerful version of the card. The 3GB GTX 1060 still uses the same GP106 GPU as the most expensive version but with slightly slower clock speeds and fewer CUDA cores. I have started to test two models that are physically identical (but with the different number of CUDA cores and memory) and so far the results are largely as expected.

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Nvidia GTX 1050

What is the Nvidia GTX 1050?

Looking to build a gaming rig for as little cash as possible? The Nvidia GTX 1050 is the cheapest Pascal-generation graphics card available, and is capable of playing some of the most popular eSports games around in Full HD. Such games include the likes of Overwatch, CounterStrike: Global Offensive and Fortnite.

But this card isn’t just for eSports: like the competing AMD Radeon RX 460, this GPU is capable of playing the latest games at Full HD if you’re willing to dial back your settings just a little. It can even run the likes of Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Civilization VI after a bit of tweaking.

Thanks to Overclockers UK for supplying this review unit

First and foremost, though, this is a GPU that’s best suited to ultra-budget PCs, or as an upgrade to a much older GPU that doesn’t have an external power connector. Thanks to its low power consumption, you’ll also find the Nvidia GTX 1050 in fantastic all-round laptops such as the Dell XPS 15 and bargain gaming laptops like the Dell G3 15.The model on review here is EVGA’s interpretation, which retails for around £110. This is pretty much the going rate for the GTX 1050 and is fairly representative of the 1050 market as a whole. While this review will make comparisons with its closest competitor, the RX 460, the two sit in slightly different categories.

Related: Best graphics cards

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Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming

What is the Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming?

The X470-F Gaming is the cheaper of the two Asus products in this latest motherboard roundup, but it will set you back £185 – and that means it’s still one of the pricier options here.

Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming – Design and features

The ROG Strix board has all of the key features you’d need of a powerful gaming rig. Its top two PCI-E x16 slots are steel-supported, and can handle two Nvidia cards and three AMD cards – a complement that matches pricier boards, with almost nothing handling 4-way multi-GPU these days.

The memory slots can accept the same 64GB of DDR4 memory as rivals (you get two M.2 slots), with one protected by an extension on the southbridge heatsink. However, bear in mind that only one of those connectors actually supports the faster NVMe interface; the second relies on slower SATA connectivity.

The ASRock X470 Taichi, which costs £210, is a rare board to offer support for quad graphics, but it can’t run DDR4 memory at quite the same speed as the Asus board. It tops out at 3,466MHz, while the Asus board serves up 3,600MHz DDR4.

Related: Best motherboards

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Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi)

What is the Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi)?

When you buy an Asus ROG product, you’re expecting a device that’s packed with gaming features – and the Crosshair VII Hero doesn’t disappoint.

It’s loaded with enthusiast-level gear, and has the connectivity to support powerful rigs. With a price of £260, though, it will have to work hard to tempt you into opening your wallet – and to go one better than the Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi, which is £20 cheaper.

Related: Best motherboard

Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi) – Design and features

The Crosshair VII Hero certainly looks the part. The left-hand side of the board is dominated by metallic heatsinks, and more metal is used to cover the rear I/O and to protect the audio circuits. There’s a chunky metal heatsink on the right, and the board itself is a black slab of PCB that’s decorated with smart patterns.

There are the usual RGB LEDs in the two main heatsinks, but this board is a lot more sedate than the Gigabyte offering. That board features orange accents all across its heatsinks, and more lighting too.

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MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon

What is the MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon?

The £170 price for the MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon puts it right in the middle of the market for gaming motherboards, and it also makes it £17 more expensive than its nearest rival, the ASRock Fatal1ty X470.

That slightly higher price gets you one of the best-looking mid-range gaming motherboards around, but what about the rest of the specification?

Related: Best motherboards

MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon – Design and features

The MSI’s rear I/O cover and southbridge heatsink are coated with an eye-catching carbon-fibre pattern, and the rest of the heatsinks are finished in matte metal. The heatsinks are a little chunkier than those on the competing ASRock and a little better-looking too.

MSI’s board goes one further when it comes to RGB LEDs too. You’ll find lighting features in its major heatsinks, just like the ASRock, and there’s also a row of lights on the rear of the board’s top-right edge, which add a glow to the rest of the system.

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Gigabyte AB350-Gaming

What is the Gigabyte AB350-Gaming?

The Gigabyte AB350-Gaming is the second-cheapest board in our recent AMD AM4 motherboard test group, and its £83 price means it’s only £8 pricier than the MSI B350 PC Mate.

That puts these two budget boards on a collision course. The Gigabyte product takes aim at gaming, while its rival MSI is an all-rounder – but can either succeed on such a tiny budget?

Related: Best motherboard 2018

Gigabyte AB350-Gaming – Design and features

The Gigabyte’s specification is understandably cut back, but the hardware on offer here is still good enough to build a powerful mainstream rig for work or play.

Alongside the Ryzen 2-ready AM4 socket, you get four memory slots that can handle 64GB of DDR4 clocked to 3200MHz. That memory speed is slower than every other mainstream board – they tend to run at 3466MHz or 3600MHz on the AMD side of the fence – but it’s still entirely adequate for mainstream machines where RAM never tends to go above that pace.

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Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi

What is the Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi?

The Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi gaming motherboard is one of the most expensive new AMD-based models out there. At £240 it’s only £20 cheaper than the table-topping Asus Crosshair VII Hero.

It’s a lot to spend on a motherboard, though, so can it justify the price and keep up with its more expensive competition?

Related: Best motherboard 2018

Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi – Design and features

The Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi is one of the brightest and most eye-catching boards on the market. The rear I/O, CPU surround and bottom chipset are covered by large heatsinks, finished in multiple tones and with orange highlights.

Note too, that this board is covered with RGB LEDs. They can be found in the main heatsinks, and in the plastic that’s used to shield the audio circuitry. The top two PCI-E x16 slots are surrounded with lights, and bars of RGB LEDs are sandwiched between the four memory slots. There’s even a band of patterned plastic featuring even more lighting on the right-hand side of the board.

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MSI B350 PC Mate

What is the MSI B350 PC Mate?

The MSI B350 PC Mate costs just £75. That bargain price makes it the most affordable board in this whole AMD M4 group test – several times cheaper than pricier models, and £8 less than its closet rival Gigabyte AB350-Gaming.

For that money, however, you’re getting a necessarily cut-back specification, and average design too.

Related: Best motherboards 2018

The MSI B350 PC Mate is one of the slowest motherboards in our AMD M4 motherboard group test

MSI B350 PC Mate – Design and features

The B350 PC Mate has four memory slots that support 64GB of DDR4, but the memory speed tops out at 3200MHz. That’s a lower figure than more expensive boards, but it’s the same as the Gigabyte AB350-Gaming – and it’s entirely adequate for more affordable PC builds.

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Nvidia RTX 2080

What is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080?

The Nvidia RTX 2080 is the middle child in Nvidia’s new 20-Series (otherwise known as Turing) graphics card family. It sits between the beastly RTX 2080 Ti and the more affordable RTX 2070.

It’s also the successor to the GTX 1080, seeing specced-up internals and a boost in performance compared to its Pascal-generation counterpart, which allows for noticeably more stable frame rates when running games in Ultra HD. However, improved frame rates aren’t the only incentive for an upgrade this time round.

Like all the graphics cards in the Turing lineup, the Nvidia RTX 2080 boasts support for fancy-pants features that look to revolutionise video game visuals. These include real-time ray tracing and Deep Learning Super-Sampling (DLSS).

The light-up lettering helps to make the RTX 2080 one of the classiest graphics cards around

Real-time ray tracing will enable video game developers to simulate lighting effects that are more realistic in terms of both appearance and behaviour. This will help to make in-game environments look more convincing than ever before.

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ASRock X470 Taichi

What is the ASRock X470 Taichi?

The ASRock X470 Taichi is an unusual, eye-catching motherboard. It’s unusual because it costs £210 – so it’s a little more expensive than its main competition, but it isn’t pricey enough to really hit the high-end area of the market.

It’s eye-catching because of its physical design. The board itself is covered with a large, light design, and the bottom heatsink is built using a stunning arrangement based on cogs.

Related: Best motherboards

A top-down view of the ASRock X470 Taichi motherboard, showing off the cog-shaped heatsink.

ASRock X470 Taichi – Design and features

Get beyond the smart heatsink and the ASRock has a reasonable core specification. This is one of the only boards in the entire group to still support running four graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia. Get beyond the two steel-surrounded PCI-e x16 slots and you’ll find the usual load-out of a slower PCI-e x16 slot and two PCI-e x1 sockets for smaller expansion cards.

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ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4

What is the ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4?

The ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4 is named after a former pro gamer from the golden age of Quake III Arena. Get beyond the slightly anachronistic branding choice, though, and there’s plenty to like about this mid-priced black-and-red motherboard.

Related: Best motherboards

ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4 – Design and features

It’s a good-looking board, especially for the price. You still get a pre-mounted rear I/O shield and protection across the audio circuits, plus metallic heatsinks cover the components at the top of the board and the south bridge at the bottom. All three heatsinks have RGB LEDs.

This board doesn’t have the eye-catching, cog-based southbridge heatsink of the pricier ASRock X470 Taichi, and the heatsinks at the top of the board aren’t particularly big. This isn’t necessarily a negative, though – mainstream rigs don’t tend to push components to the point where they’ll require vast heatsinks. In addition, smaller heatsinks make it easier to fit in other components and cooling hardware.

This is a cheaper board, but the specification is only cut back in a couple of areas. The four memory slots accept only DDR4 at a speed of 3466MHz, which is a little lower than rivals. Nevertheless, it’s a reduction that most people won’t notice.

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Intel Core i9-9900K

What is the Intel Core i9-9900K?

The Intel Core i9-9900K is the new flagship CPU in the 9th Generation Intel Core range, with Intel calling it ‘the world’s best gaming desktop processor’.

A bold claim, sure – but with a boost clock speed of 5GHz and the capability to overclock, it’s hard to argue the contrary. Plus, there are a whopping eight cores and 16 threads, giving the i9 a sizeable performance boost compared with last year’s offerings.

While it’s clear there’s been an improvement in performance, the architecture sadly hasn’t been afforded the same fortune – Intel’s still stuck at a 14-nanometre design. It’s been four years since the last change in size for Intel Core processors.

But on the bright side, that means you get backwards compatibility with the old Z370 chipsets. Although to get the most out of the i9-9900K, you’ll really want to invest in a new, fully compatible Z390 motherboard instead.

Also launching as part of the 9th Generation of Intel Core processors are the i7-9700K and i5-9600K CPUs. Predictably, there’s not much difference between the three processors other than shifts in performance power. We haven’t got our hands on the 9th Gen i5 or i7 just yet, but will be sure to call them in for a review to find out the extent they differ from the i9 in performance.

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Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti

What is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti?

New generations of graphics cards usually just offer improved clock speeds, allowing gamers to crank up the resolution and see a smoother performance with higher frame rates. The Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti and the rest of the new Turing range, however, have greater ambitions. They feature all-new technology that could revolutionise video game visuals.

Ray tracing and Deep Learning Super-Sampling take the headlines here, with the former offering more realistic lighting effects and the latter using artificial intelligence to render high-quality images. If Nvidia’s tech demos are anything to go by, these new features combined allow for some seriously impressive results.

While all three of Nvidia’s new graphics cards are capable of running such tech, the RTX 2080 Ti boasts the best specs of them all. If you want the best possible performance for ray tracing and DLSS, the RTX 2080 Ti is the card to buy.

Unsurprisingly, the RTX 2080 Ti is also the best consumer graphics cards for all-round performance. While the Pascal cards – the previous Nvidia generation – were capable of running games at 4K, the new Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti is capable of playing some of the most notoriously demanding games at 60fps in Ultra HD. This will mean that not only will you be able to play the likes of Shadow of the Tomb Raider with jaw-dropping detail, but it will also ensure it runs smoothly with next to no judder or stuttering.

There’s no question that the RTX 2080 Ti is the most powerful consumer graphics card that you can buy right now. If you’re on old rig, looking to make the jump to 4K and above AAA gaming the RTX 2080 Ti is the best option available. But, until more games that take advantage of its next generation features start hitting the market, it’s a bit of a tougher sell for people already on Nvidia’s 10-series cards.

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Samsung 970 Pro 512GB

What is the Samsung 970 Pro 512GB?

The Samsung 970 Pro is the Korean firm’s latest attempt to maintain its position at the top of the SSD market – and, on paper at least, this drive is a barnstormer.

Samsung’s next SSD success may sound like a foregone conclusion after the last few years of dominance, but reality isn’t that rosy. More drives than ever are delivering super speeds for lower prices – which means Samsung may struggle to convince people to pay for this premium flagship.

Related: Best Graphics Cards 2018

Samsung 970 Pro 512GB – Design and Features

The new drive is designed for high-end users who want an SSD that combines lightning speed with impressive endurance – so those folks who are building workstations, creative systems or other machines with demanding productivity applications.

The new drive is available in 512GB and 1TB configurations, with prices of £219 and £399 respectively. That’s a lot to ask for an SSD these days – the 970 Evo costs £180 and £330 for equivalent sizes, while the highly-regarded WD Black costs £155 for a 500GB drive and £360 for a 1TB model.

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Samsung 970 Evo 500GB

What is the Samsung 970 Evo 500GB?

The Samsung 970 Evo is the more intriguing SSD of the firm’s two latest releases. While the flagship 970 Pro tends to grab the headlines, Samsung’s Evo drives are the more affordable products, and the models that most folk tend to buy.

However, the market is packed with fast SSDs now, and they’re cheaper than ever. So does the 970 Evo still warrant a place in your PC?

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Samsung 970 Evo 500GB – Design and features

The 970 Evo is the more mainstream SSD from Samsung’s two recent launches, so it’s manufactured in a larger range of capacities.

The most affordable 970 Evo drive is the 250GB version, costing £110. I’ve reviewed the 500GB model, which will set you back £180; the 1TB version arrives at £330. Samsung also produces a huge 2TB variant, which costs a whopping £650.

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Latest Article Comments

tynmanz Monthly Studio Report: May 2017
11 June 2017
I don't think they should continue to put features into it. They can add them later.

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