Which graphics should you pick in your next laptop?
In this comparison we’ll take a look at the differences in gaming performance, thermals, battery life and more to help you decide which is worth it.
Let’s take a look at how the laptop GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 2060 differ in terms of specs.
The RTX 2060 has 25% more CUDA cores than the 1660 Ti, however the 1660 Ti is capable of higher base and boost clock speeds.
Both graphics options have 6GB of GDDR6 memory, however the 2060’s is a bit faster.
The power limits of both graphics also differ a bit, the 1660 Ti is available with options from 60 watts up to 80 watts, while the 2060 can be found in 80 and 90 watt configurations.
In my case both graphics are running at the top end of the specified GPU power limit, so my 1660 Ti runs at 80 watts while the 2060 runs at 90 watts, expect different results with different power limits.
This will vary between laptops, so unfortunately these results aren’t globally applicable, but should show us the differences between the best possible 1660 Ti and 2060 laptops.
The reason I’m comparing these two is because the RTX 2060 is the next step up from the GTX 1660 Ti at the moment.
To compare fairly I’ve basically got two of the same laptop so I can do the most possible apples to apples comparison.
Massive thanks to Metabox here in Australia for lending me these units to do this comparison, you can find prices and links in the description.
These are the same Clevo chassis, the only difference is that one has the GTX 1660 Ti while the other one has the RTX 2060.
Both laptops otherwise have the same i7-9750H CPU, same 16gb of memory in dual channel, same battery and cooling solution, making this ideal for a best case GPU comparison as we want to minimize as many other component differences as possible.
Both laptops were tested on the same day under the same conditions with the same Windows updates and Nvidia drivers installed, so let’s get into the results.
Control was tested walking through the start of the game with the high setting preset, which is the highest option available.
In this game the RTX 2060 was scoring almost 22% higher average FPS, while the 1% low result from the 2060 wasn’t far behind the average FPS from the 1660 Ti.
Ghost Recon Breakpoint was tested using the built in benchmark at ultra settings, and this game saw one of the smallest differences between the two graphics out of all games tested with just a 7% higher average frame rate with the 2060, however there was a larger 27% improvement seen to the 1% low performance.
Borderlands 3 was also tested with ultra settings using the game’s built in benchmark tool, this time the 2060 was 13.
5% ahead of the 1660 Ti in terms of average frame rate, with a slightly higher 15% increase to the 1% low performance.
Battlefield 5 was tested with ultra settings in campaign mode.
I’ve also tested it with RTX on, shown by the green bars, and RTX off in purple.
With RTX off the 2060 was 14.
5% ahead of the 1660 Ti in terms of average FPS, but with RTX on the 2060 was almost 50% faster.
This larger difference is due to the RTX hardware the 2060 offers, though at ultra settings the frame rates still weren’t great for a first person shooter.
Apex legends was tested with max settings in the new season 3 map.
The 2060 was reaching average frame rates 14.
5% higher than the 1660 Ti, with a smaller 10% increase to 1% low performance.
Realistically the game was still very playable even maxed out on either though.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark, and with the highest setting preset it tends to be fairly GPU bound, which probably explains why the 2060 was a higher 17.
6% ahead of the 1660 Ti in average FPS.
The Division 2 was also tested with the built in benchmark with ultra settings.
There was no real difference in terms of 1% low in this game, while the 2060 was able to achieve an 11% higher average frame rate over the 1660 Ti.
Fortnite was tested using the replay feature with the exact same replay on each machine using epic settings.
In this test the 2060 was 16% ahead of the 1660 Ti in average FPS, with a smaller 9% improvement to the 1% low.
PUBG was also tested with the same replay on each machine at max settings.
This game saw a much larger 26% higher average frame rate with the 2060, with an even bigger 31% higher 1% low, so it seems that this game really benefits from the 2060.
F1 2019 was tested with the built in benchmark with the highest setting preset, and was on the lower side out of the games tested with just an 8% improvement to average FPS with the 2060, however the improvement to the 1% low was about double this, with the 2060 scoring a 16% lead in that regard.
Metro Exodus was also tested with the built in benchmark at ultra settings, and at higher setting levels it gets quite GPU bound, resulting in the 2060 performing 20% better in terms of average frame rate, with almost a similar boost to the 1% low, which was 19.
4% higher than the 1660 Ti.
CS:GO was tested with the Ulletical FPS benchmark at max settings.
This game tends to be fairly CPU bound, so a change in graphics only usually makes little difference, which was the case here.
The 2060 was only 2.
6% faster in terms of average FPS, putting this game in last place out of all titles tested in terms of differences.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was tested with the built in benchmark at maximum settings.
Like CS:GO just before it, I’ve found this test to be quite CPU heavy, so the change in graphics doesn’t really matter as much compared to most other games tested.
There was just a 5% increase to average frame rate with the 2060 here.
Rainbow Six Siege was also tested with the built in benchmark at ultra settings.
This game was about on average with the other games, scoring 14% higher average FPS with the 2060, with a slightly higher 16% boost to 1% low performance when compared with the 1660 Ti.
Overwatch was tested in the practice range as it allows me to perform the exact same test run, perfect for a comparison like this.
At epic settings the 2060 was 15% ahead of the 1660 Ti in average FPS, and almost 10% ahead in 1% low performance.
The Witcher 3 tends to be more GPU bound in my experience, and was another game that scored above average out of the titles tested with the 2060, getting a 17% higher average frame rate, and a slightly lower 15% increase to the 1% low.
Strange Brigade was tested with the built in benchmark and is our only Vulkan title.
At ultra settings there was an above average 19% higher average frame rate with the RTX 2060, and the 1% low rose by the same amount too.
In terms of overall improvement, over these 17 games the 2060 graphics is performing just 14% better in terms of average FPS.
As you can see, the performance difference varies between games, tests that are more CPU bound like CS:GO and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey saw much lower differences while others like control saw more than a 20% improvement with the 2060.
I’ve also tested some synthetic benchmarks, including 3DMark’s Time Spy, Fire Strike, and Port Royal.
As these are synthetic graphical tests, the differences are larger than most of the games just tested, with the 2060 coming out 20% higher than the 1660 Ti in Fire Strike and Time Spy.
Port Royal uses ray tracing, and as this is expected to perform much better on the 2060 due to its RTX hardware its score was over 150% higher.
As both machines have the same cooling solution and thermal paste we can accurately compare temperature differences.
I left both laptops running the Heaven benchmark at max settings for an hour in a room with an ambient temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, and the 2060 was clearly warmer, so in games the additional performance will come at the cost of additional heat.
This makes sense when we consider that the 2060 is going to draw more power in order to hit higher levels of performance.
My 2060 has a 90 watt TDP while my 1660 Ti has an 80 watt TDP.
While playing the Witcher 3 at ultra settings we can see the 2060 laptop was using 20% more power, which resulted in 17% higher average FPS in this title.
The lower power draw of the 1660 Ti seems to translate into increased battery life too.
As both laptops have removable batteries I actually took out the battery from one of the laptops to test with both machines, so they were both tested with the exact same battery.
The 1660 Ti laptop lasted around 26% longer while playing the Witcher 3, and this was with Nvidia battery boost capping the frame rate to 30 FPS, however with this particular battery both laptops weren’t passing 26 FPS anyway.
Now for the final difference, the price, you can check the links in the description for up to date laptop prices with either graphics card, as prices will change over time.
This will depend on where you live, but in general expect the RTX 2060 to cost more money, as it’s a higher tier graphics option.
Let’s start with US pricing, in this example this same Clevo chassis with 1660 Ti is $1189 USD, while the 2060 model with same specs is $100 more at $1289 USD, so 8.
4% money for an on average 14% higher average frame rate, sounds ok to me.
I’ll use the Lenovo Y540 as another example, the 1660 Ti model starts at $900 USD at the moment, while the 2060 is only an extra $100, or $90 with the current sale, so 10% more money, again sounds pretty fair relative to the performance increase.
If you spec both up higher the difference between the two as a percentage should lower too, for example with the more expensive i7 CPU, 144Hz screen and dual channel memory, the total cost is higher but the difference between the 1660 Ti and 2060 is still $90 USD, meaning the 2060 is just 7.
7% more money now.
Here in Australia if we compare these two machines from Metabox the 1660 Ti model is $1783 AUD while the 2060 model is $1973 AUD, so again around 10% more money for the 2060.
The improvement definitely isn’t that large between the two, granted it does depend on the game, but based on these prices I think it does represent a fair improvement, you’re kind of getting the increase you’re paying for.
This is of course with the highest 1660 Ti and 2060 though, if you get a laptop with a lower powered 80 watt 2060 then the differences will be less.
Unfortunately it’s difficult to know the power limit in most cases as it’s not advertised, they’re all just advertised as being 2060, so you’ll have to check reviews like mine to see what configuration a specific model is sold with.
There’s also the argument of ray tracing.
Although GTX graphics can now run RTX games, the performance is generally nowhere near as good compared to the RTX graphics that speed up these tasks at the hardware level.
With that said though, personally I don’t think the RTX 2060 is that impressive in regards to ray tracing, in many of the games I test turning it on drops the frame rate quite a bit, I’d prefer to just run RTX off with higher settings and get higher FPS, but that’s me.
This may change in the future as more games start to implement ray tracing and it becomes better optimized, but at the moment the selection of games is quite small and the performance on the 2060 isn’t that impressive so I wouldn’t be buying the 2060 purely for ray tracing in mind.
If you are interested in using RTX at a base level though, then the 2060 will give you much better results than the 1660 Ti.
As we’ve seen in general the price increase for the 2060 seems fair over the 1660 Ti, so personally if I was buying today I’d just pay the extra for a similar boost to overall performance, ray tracing aside.
With that said though, I think the 1660 Ti is a great sweet spot for laptop gaming today, so you can’t really go wrong with that either.
Let me know which graphics you’d pick down in the comments for your next laptop, and