1660 vs 1070

16-Series Throws Down With 10-Series... Which is best for your next gaming build?

WePC 1660 VS GTX 1070
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It was thought that when Nvidia unleashed their 16-Series  it’d saved the GTX name from complete extinction. With the RTX line waiting just around the corner, it did seem GTX’s end may have been nigh, but in many ways, the 16-series only provided more market competition for the original GTX GPUs.

By comparing their specs, build, and performance, we’ll find out if the 1660 is an investment worth making, or whether the 1070 needed saving in the first place.


These PCI-e 3 GPUs may share the GTX name, but architecturally speaking, they’re leagues apart. The GeForce 1070 is built using the GP104-200-A1 variant of Nvidia’s 2016 Pascal microarchitecture, whereas the newer 16-Series card has the TU116-300-A1 variant of Turing microarchitecture.

Turing architecture is much more advanced than Pascal, but the main reasons people are making such a fuss over it are the specialized RT and Tensor cores, which the 1660 doesn’t have. Those kinds of abilities have been reserved for Nvidia’s RTX line of GPUs, but they’re not the only bonus the Turing systems have. Turing cores are said to feature a 50% boost in performance per CUDA core. So, let’s talk about those next.

The 1070’s Pascal bones contain 1920 CUDA cores; not bad, especially considering the 1660 brings only 1408 to the table, but then there’s the boost to consider. If iNvidia is to be believed, you’re looking at a core count more along the lines of 2816.

The rest of the architecture spec follows a similar pattern. The 1070 is packing more physical components. The transistor count comes to 7.2 billion, beating the 1660’s 6.6 billion, it has 512 more shader units than the 1660 card, 32 more texture units, and 16 more render units. When it comes to clock speeds, though, with a base of 1530MHz and boost of 1758MHz, the 1660 is back on top.


The 1070 is a blower unit, draws 150 watts, and can run pretty hot. If you’re pushing it with unlocked frame rates, it’s not uncommon for it to peak over 80°C and stabilize somewhere in the 70s, but with a 94°C capacity, you should be alright. If you are a bit of a GPU pusher, you could experiment with an open case, but if it’s a quiet GPU you’re seeking, going liquid should keep temps in the 50°C zone and hush the fans, even under a 100% load.

The 1660 is more energy-efficient, pulling only 120 watts, with a thermal capacity of 95°C. It’s also an open-air design. They tend to run cooler but heat your case up, so you may need to work on your case flow in preparation for this GPU. With stock fans, you can expect a pretty similar thermal performance to the 1070. You’ll hit beyond 80°C on a 100% load and a stable 70-odd°C for most gaming applications.


With a 314mm2 die size, Nvidia’s 1070 graphics card technically has the largest chip because Turing tech enables greater chip density than its Pascal predecessor, but how do these GPUs scale altogether?

Measuring 4.37” (H) x 5.7” (L) x 2-slot (W), the 1660 is pretty much half the size of the GTX 1070, making it much more suitable for smaller or busy cases. The 1070 measures in at 4.376” (H) x 10.5” (L) x 2-slot (W), so it’s got quite a hefty footprint.

Resolution and Frames Per Second

If we’re looking at sheer numbers alone, it seems like the GTX 1070 has a significant edge over the 16-Series card, but you can’t ignore that advanced Turing tech.


In the 1080p arena, the GTX 1070 obliterates the newer 16-Series card, securing a huge 38% FPS increase in PUBG with a 109fps average over the 1660’s average of 79fps. It showed no fear in the face of titles known to hound GPUs such as Overwatch, maintaining an over 100fps average, while the 1660 mustered an average of 83fps. Overall, for 1080p gaming, you can expect a 9% better performance from the 1070 than the 1660.


Moving on to the second most popular gaming resolution, over the course of a number of popular titles, the GTX 1660 manages to narrow the gap to 8%. It’s not a storming comeback, but we’re seeing those Turing cores starting to pick up the pace a little.


Kicking things up a notch in 4K, the 1660 narrows the gap again, bringing the difference between these two GPUs to 7%. It’s fairly negligible, but a good effort nonetheless.

Ray Tracing

We mentioned in the architecture segment that even though the 1660 has those shiny new Turing CUDA cores, it doesn’t have the ones that really separate the RTX GPUs from the pack. We’re talking of course about Tensor and RT cores, the latter of which enables ray tracing in games that support it.

You can get a taste of ray tracing by using a certain Nvidia driver developed in 2019 that allows you to switch ray tracing on for any GTX card, but it’s a hell of a workload for those Pascal cores. The 1660 may fare quite well, but both GPUs will see a significant drop in frames per second.


Nvidia didn’t treat the GTX 1660 to a GDDR5X memory, so despite its 2019 release it actually shares the same GDDR5 memory configuration as the 2016 GTX 1070.

The GTX 1070, in fact, boasts slightly more impressive specs with a 256-bit bus interface and 256.3GBps bandwidth. The 1660 features a 193-bit bus interface and 192.1GBps bandwidth, but thanks to that impressive Turing architecture, it matches the 1070’s overall memory clock speed of 8GBps.


If you’re considering these cards to replace something older in your current setup, it makes sense to jump straight to the 1070, especially as there’s as little as $20 between them in some instances.

There are always those who won’t feel comfortable paying more for an older card, but the 1070 is objectively the faster GPU of the two, and being that the 16-Series doesn’t have any of those juicy RT or Tensor cores, it’s hard to see someone picking it over the 1070.

If you’re already rocking the GTX 1660 and you’re thinking of the 1070 as a possible upgrade, you’re probably better off making something of a bigger jump. When you replace your GPU, you really want to notice the difference from game to game, but all things considered, the 1070 only offers you 7% increased performance.