Nvidia's Cheapest Graphics Card Gets Nearly Two Times Faster for Better Gaming on a Budget

Expect these cheaper chips to be found in more affordable laptops.
Expect these cheaper chips to be found in more affordable laptops.
Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

It might feel like Nvidia has been focused on it’s priciest graphics cards over the last few months, with announcement after announcement related to its ray tracing whizzbang 20-series GPUs, but today the company acknowledges that not all people looking for a gaming device want the best of the best. Sometimes good enough is more than enough.


To that end, Nvidia announced that the GTX 1660 Ti is coming to laptops. Nvidia only recently announced the availability of the desktop version of the 1660 Ti, which uses the same Turing microarchitecture as the 20-series, but without the ray tracing (and the high price it demands).

Nvidia claims this new laptop GPU will handle Fortnite, PUGB, and Apex Legends at 100 frames per second at 1080p resolution. More broadly, the company claims the new card will be approximately 1.5 times faster than a GTX 1060 and four times faster than the 1060's predecessor, the GTX 960M. It should be a little slower than the RTX 2060, but it has one thing the 2060 does not: Max Q specifications, so laptop makers can make super thin devices with the 1660 inside. If you want a 2060, which is only really worth it for its ray tracing capabilities that almost no games support, you’ll also have to suffer with a thicker laptop.

The mobile version of the GTX 1660 will be available in laptops from all major laptop makers starting today, and the cheapest laptops are expected to retail at just under $1,000.

If that’s too pricey, Nvidia announced a second also announced the GTX 1650 today. Available as either a laptop GPU or a $150 desktop GPU, this graphics card will provide reasonable performance for those seeking to pinch as many pennies as possible.

It should handle games like Fortnite, PUBG, and Apex Legends at 60 frames per second at 1080p resolution. Nvidia claims it is 1.7 times faster than the 1050 and 2.5 times faster than the 950M. The mobile version of the GTX 1650 will be found in laptops from all major laptop makers, and they should start at just under $800. If you’d prefer the desktop version, it will retail for $150.

The big question is how will the 1650 compare to AMD’s GPUs in a similar price range. AMD has done an excellent job all but dominating the budget end of the desktop GPU spectrum with its Radeon 560 and 570. Typically, the 1650 would be competing with the 560, but the Radeon 570, with 8GB of DDR5 RAM will sell for as low as $150. The 1650, by comparison, should have just 4GB of RAM.


We’ll know more about what these cards are capable of after testing them, but for now, if you’re a budget PC gamer, things are looking a lot speedier than they did this time last year.

Senior Consumer Tech Editor. Trained her dog to do fist bumps. Once wrote for Lifetime. Tips encouraged via Secure Drop, Proton Mail, or DM for Signal.


Tebow Kneeled First

I’m always suspicious about how well these thin gaming laptops handle heat. It's not much fun if you start getting throttled 40 minutes into use (or push it past that and then the thing overheats and shuts off). I had an old Asus with a 1050 ti in it and I could fry an egg on the chasis when it got going. Part of that was the i7, but the gpu definitely helped roast the thing. So, HOPEFULLY, this card is better but that's really up to the design of the machine.