February 22, 2019 | 14:00
UK price (as reviewed): £259.99 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): MSRP $279 (exc. tax)
The GTX 1660 Ti we’ve been outfitted with first is the Palit StormX unit, which is evidently deigned for mini-ITX systems and is consequently dinky to the extreme. It fits a proper dual-slot form factor and is no longer than the width of a mini-ITX motherboard, so even the most cramped small form factor cases should fit it. The only thing you’ll have to watch out for is the slight additional height.
This is not a pre-overclocked card, and given this plus the basic cooler and relative lack of features we were unsurprised to hear that Palit is targetting the MSRP of £259 here in the UK for launch pricing.
Build quality is acceptable, but it’s nothing special. The all-black shroud is hewn from pretty average strength plastic, and there is no metal backplate to cover the PCB or boost the aesthetics, so you’re left with a bland aesthetic overall. There’s no lighting at all, but the neutral colour scheme means it still won’t clash with systems that have a colour scheme implemented via other hardware or RGB lighting.
The single eight-pin PCIe power connector is in line with reference guidelines from Nvidia. Technically a six-pin one should be fine for a 120W card, but there’s no real downside these days to it being eight-pin thanks to near-universal support in all but the shoddiest PSUs. Pleasingly, the connector is indented relative to the bulky shroud, so if the card’s extra height is a problem for you case at least the eight-pin PCIe connector won’t add much to that.
Palit has enabled one apiece of HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.4a, and DVI. Only DisplayPort can be used for any variable refresh rate monitors (G-Sync or FreeSync). There is no USB Type-C VirtualLink connector, but we’re not expecting many if any GTX 1660 Tis to bother having this.
Mini-ITX cards often risk being loud thanks to fan size limits, but Palit uses the extra height of this design to fit a fan that measures almost 100mm across and thus should be able to shift more air at lower noise levels than if it had used a smaller one. The heatsink fins are horizontally arranged so that at least some hot air will be directed out of the rear I/O panel, but the open shroud means some will still be recycled within your chassis. Unfortunately the fan isn’t semi-passive, but we can overlook this given the size.
The cooler comes off nice and easily by removing six screws. The copper is exposed rather than nickel-plated, and the fins could fill the volume more than they do. Three heat pipes should be sufficient, and the memory modules and some of VRM circuitry are also covered by thermal pads, so overall it seems like a good enough solution for an ITX, stock-clocked GTX 1660 Ti.
The PCB is of course very compact, and it overdelivers on the VRM front relative to the power of the GPU. With this and the eight-pin PCIe, hopefully overclocking headroom will be decent in spite of the size, and it'll be interesting to see if the same applies to the Micron GDDR6 modules.
Overall it’s a basic delivery mechanism for GTX 1660 Ti with a nod towards those who like their hardware small. Hopefully it doesn’t compromise too much on noise or thermals to be this small, but we’ll save that discussion for after the results.
July 1 2020 | 17:34