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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q vs GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (35 gaming tests and gaming videos) – portability or 14% more power?

Many users prefer to use laptops because of their versatility – you can use them at home, at work, you can take your machine with you “for a walk”. Of course, if you are a gamer and you have a powerful laptop we can bet that you’re gaming regularly on it almost every day. Now, here comes the big question – do you need a more powerful full-blown video card that most of the time is fitted in thicker machines that have better cooling and lower noise levels during gameplay?

Or maybe you prefer thinner laptops that still have good gaming capabilities thanks to technologies like NVIDIA’s Max-Q? Unfortunately, in most cases, the notebooks that are bundled with Max-Q video cards have lower performance compared to their siblings with the full-blown GPUs and at the same time, the heat and noise are one level up compared to the normal gaming machines.

That’s why for today’s comparison, we picked the Max-Q version of the NVIDIA RTX 2060 which is good mid-range GPU and the contender is another great mid-ranger – the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. Both of them bring value and performance to the table but there is only one winner.

See all configurations with GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q / GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

Contents

Specs overview

Both video cards are Turing GPUs. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q is based on the TU106 chip that is characterized with 1920 shader units, 48 ROPs, 6GB GDDR6 memory, a 192-bit memory bus, and just 65W TGP. As for the frequencies, well, they are lowered compared to the normal version of RTX 2060. The Max-Q version can offer 975 MHz base clock and 1185 MHz boost clock while the memory frequency is 11000 MHz.

The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (TU116) isn’t that different. Yep, we have a hefty shader reduction here – 1536 units which is exactly 25% less compared to the RTX 2060 Max-Q. As a full-blown GPU, the GTX 1660 Ti surely has something more up in its sleeve. Like much higher frequencies – 1455 MHz for the base clock and the boost is as high as 1590 MHz. The memory is clocked at 12000 MHz. As you can see, the GTX 1660 Ti compensates its shader reduction with greatly increased core and memory frequencies, and don’t forget the fact that this GPU has the same ROP count as its opponent – 48 units. It’s not a surprise that the TGP is higher, the normal version of TU116 has 80W of TGP which a lot more than the modest 65W of the other GPU.

A bit more details – the two video cards have the same amount of video memory – 6GB GDDR6 (6144MB if we have to be more precise), both chips use the 12nm tech, and their DirectX version is 12.1. So, let’s see is if the RTX 2060 Max-Q with its more shader units can cope up with the GTX 1660 Ti that has higher frequencies and a bigger TGP.

This time we have tested 35 games and we have recorded video clips for every test (and video card) so it’s going to be a super comparison.

GPU comparison table

 GeForce RTX 2060 Max-QGeForce GTX 1660 Ti
ArchitectureTuringTuring
GPU chipTU106TU116
Shader units1920 (+25%)1536
ROPs4848
Base Clock (MHz)9751455 (+49%)
Boost clock (MHz)11851590 (+34%)
Memory clock (MHz)1100012000 (+9%)
Memory size (MB)61446144
Memory typeGDDR6GDDR6
Memory bus width (bit)192192
TGP (Total Graphics Power)65W80W (+23%)
DirectX version12.112.1
Technology12nm12nm
RTX capabilitiesYesNo
Release date01.201904.2019
Detailed specsLinkLink

Let’s see some synthetic benchmarks.

Synthetic benchmarks

Nothing mind-blowing in this section. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is 9% faster on average compared to the GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q.

Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Gaming tests and gameplay videos

Yes, the gaming tests are the thing that matters the most. Let’s check the performance of these video cards. Speaking of them, for the comparison, we are using the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 GA502 with AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS, 16GB DDR4 memory, and RTX 2060 Max-Q. The GTX 1660 Ti is fitted into Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-54) with Intel Core i7-8750H and 16GB DDR4 RAM, so the GPUs aren’t bottlenecked  – the CPUs are powerful enough and 16 gigs of RAM is a normal amount of memory for a modern gaming machine. Both laptops are connected to an external monitor during our testing.

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GOFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, MAX (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q261 fps240 fps215 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti345 fps (+32%)313 fps (+30%)277 fps (+29%)




 

DOTA 2Full HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q164 fps145 fps139 fps123 fps (+1%)
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti180 fps (+10%)160 fps (+10%)144 fps (+4%)122 fps




GTA-V-benchmarks

 

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5)Full HD, Normal (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q172 fps126 fps70 fps45 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti173 fps (+1%)134 fps (+6%)73 fps (+4%)46 fps (+2%)




For HonorFull HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Extreme (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q128 fps121 fps93 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti136 fps (+6%)128 fps (+6%)97 fps (+4%)




 

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six SiegeFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q225 fps184 fps174 fps161 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti290 fps (+29%)213 fps (+16%)197 fps (+13%)174 fps (+8%)




rise-of-the-tomb-raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)Full HD, Lowest (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)Full HD, MAX (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q134 fps109 fps61 fps41 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti163 fps (+22%)127 fps (+17%)65 fps (+7%)43 fps (+5%)




Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon WildlandsFull HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Very High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q83 fps75 fps66 fps43 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti93 fps (+12%)85 fps (+13%)74 fps (+12%)48 fps (+12%)




 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)Full HD, Lowest (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Highest (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q106 fps79 fps75 fps48 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti123 fps (+16%)88 fps (+11%)84 fps (+12%)53 fps (+10%)




Doom (2016)Full HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q176 fps155 fps148 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti186 fps (+6%)158 fps (+2%)155 fps (+5%)




Doom EternalFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, U.Nightmare (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q126 fps118 fps109 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti141 fps (+12%)131 fps (+11%)125 fps (+15%)




Red Dead Redemption 2Full HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, MAX (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q86 fps53 fps32 fps14 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti95 fps (+10%)61 fps (+15%)34 fps (+6%)17 fps (+21%)




Metro ExodusFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Extreme (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q106 fps50 fps23 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti115 fps (+8%)52 fps (+4%)24 fps (+4%)




Gears 5Full HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q126 fps88 fps75 fps59 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti137 fps (+9%)101 fps (+15%)81 fps (+8%)65 fps (+10%)




Assassin’s Creed OdysseyFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra High (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q92 fps (+6%)80 fps66 fps43 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti87 fps81 fps (+1%)70 fps (+6%)50 fps (+16%)




HearthstoneFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q228 fps240 fps60 fps (+5%)
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti264 fps (+16%)351 fps (+46%)57 fps




 

MinecraftFull HD, Minimum (Check settings)Full HD, Maximum (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q436 fps65 fps (+35%)
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti703 fps (+61%)48 fps




League Of LegendsFull HD, V.Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, V.High (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q266 fps225 fps209 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti242 fps (+10%)251 fps (+12%)235 fps (+12%)




Rocket LeagueFull HD, H.Performance (Check settings)Full HD, H.Quality (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q360 fps224 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti580 fps (+61%)294 fps (+31%)




OverwatchFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Epic (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q237 fps185 fps124 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti250 fps (+5%)212 fps (+15%)135 fps (+9%)








PUBGFull HD, V.Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q165 fps130 fps121 fps102 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti165 fps135 fps (+4%)132 fps (+9%)109 fps (+7%)




Darksiders GenesisFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Mid (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q138 fps125 fps110 fps98 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti161 fps (+17%)141 fps (+13%)124 fps (+13%)105 fps (+7%)




Halo ReachFull HD, Performance (Check settings)Full HD, Original (Check settings)Full HD, Enhanced (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q202 fps186 fps143 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti242 fps (+20%)192 fps (+3%)165 fps (+15%)




Borderlands 3Full HD, V.Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Badass (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q105 fps84 fps59 fps46 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti113 fps (+8%)92 fps (+10%)63 fps (+7%)49 fps (+7%)




Team Fortress 2Full HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, MAX (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q148 fps133 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti160 fps (+8%)151 fps (+14%)




eFootball PES 2020Full HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q203 fps (+1%)148 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti202 fps165 fps (+11%)




FIFA 20Full HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q186 fps171 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti220 fps (+18%)209 fps (+22%)




The Witcher 3Full HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q163 fps123 fps106 fps71 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti180 fps (+10%)139 fps (+13%)110 fps (+4%)72 fps (+4%)




Need For Speed HeatFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q92 fps (+12%)77 fps (+8%)69 fps (+6%)
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti82 fps71 fps65 fps




Apex LegendsFull HD, Min. (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, MAX (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q193 fps151 fps106 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti219 fps (+13%)166 fps (+10%)116 fps (+9%)




Battlefield VFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q139 fps107 fps98 fps90 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti155 fps (+12%)119 fps (+11%)104 fps (+6%)98 fps (+9%)




Call Of Duty Modern WarfareFull HD, V.Low (Check settings)Full HD, Normal (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q100 fps89 fps68 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti109 fps (+9%)98 fps (+10%)76 fps (+12%)




ARK: Survival EvolvedFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Epic (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q147 fps (+8%)68 fps (+3%)57 fps (+6%)37 fps (+9%)
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti136 fps66 fps54 fps34 fps




Total War Three KingdomsFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, Medium (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q150 fps100 fps65 fps49 fps(+2%)
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti180 fps (+20%)110 fps (+10%)69 fps (+6%)48 fps




 

WarframeFull HD, Low (Check settings)Full HD, High (Check settings)
GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q265 fps(+2%)157 fps
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti260 fps238 fps(+52%)




Performance summary (gaming tests)

Without further ado, we can say that NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is 14% faster on average compared to the GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q. Yes, it’s hard to beat much higher frequencies and bigger TGP with just 25% more shaders.

RTX 2060 Max-Q vs GTX 1660 TiFull HD, LowFull HD, MediumFull HD, HighFull HD, UltraAverage difference %
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti13%21%8%12%14%

Verdict

The mid-range GPUs are always the sweet spot especially if you need reasonably priced gaming notebook. There is no doubt that both video cards in this comparison are good performers. The fps numbers of the RTX 2060 Max-Q aren’t that much lower when compared to the ones of the GTX 1660 Ti. The Max-Q version of TU106 has one important advantage – because of the lower clock and reduced TGP, it can be found inside some really slim notebooks and yes, you can play the newest gaming titles with good visual quality. This means that you can have good portability and decent gaming capabilities at the same time.

However, the full-blown version of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is our clear winner in this article. Higher frequencies, bigger TGP, and equal ROP count to the RTX 2060 are the “receipt” for 14% higher performance. If you don’t care about portability that much, well, you can probably have a faster machine at a bit lower price (in most cases) if you choose the TU116 over the Max-Q variant of TU106. The battery life of these machines is a bit on the low side, especially if you want to play some games away from the charger, but maybe that’s a rare case these days because most gamers play games when the AC adapter is plugged to the wall.

So, what do you need – efficiency and portability or maximum gaming capabilities? The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q can offer the first two extras while the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is a more capable GPU but it’s hard to find it in a compact and light device, which means that the choice is entirely yours.

All laptops equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q

All laptops equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti