If you're eyeing one of the top cheap gaming laptops under $1,000, you're probably going to find yourself at a crossroads between two GPUs: the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and the GTX 1650. But which GPU is the right one for you? To make it easier on you, the GTX 1660 Ti is stronger, but more expensive, while the GTX 1650 is less powerful, but cheaper.
To test the GPUs, we used two HP Pavilion Gaming 15s sporting an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, with one using a GTX 1660 Ti (6GB of VRAM) and the other a GTX 1650 (4GB of VRAM). We tested synthetic graphics benchmarks as well as gaming benchmarks. As far as the battery life is concerned, both systems lasted 5 hours and 26 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery test, so that shouldn't make a difference.
Here's how these two GPUs stack up.
On the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark, the GTX 1660 Ti scored 170,781, which is only slightly ahead of the GTX 1650, which reached 167,059 (2.2% increase in performance).
The GTX 1660 Ti made more headway on the 3DMark Fire Strike test, hitting 11,584 over the GTX 1650's 8,397 (38% increase in performance).
Finally, on the 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra test, the GTX 1650 nailed 2,828, sliding past the GTX 1650's 1,935 (46.2% increase in performance).
On the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark (Highest, 1080p), the GTX 1660 Ti hit 46 frames per second, while the GTX 1650 was just playable, at 31 fps (48.4% increase in performance).
The GTX 1660 Ti averaged 43 fps on the Rise of the Tomb Raider test (Very High, 1080p), leaving the GTX 1650 below our 30 fps playability threshold at 29 fps (48.3% increase in performance).
Meanwhile, the difference between the GPUs remained consistent on the Hitman benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), as the GTX 1660 Ti nailed 73 fps over the GTX 1650's 57 fps (28.1% increase in performance).
The GTX 1660 Ti and the GTX 1650 were still a distance away on the Grand Theft Auto V test (Very High, 1080p), averaging 56 fps and 39 fps, respectively (43.59% increase in performance).
On the Metro: Last Light benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), the GTX 1660 Ti scored 52 fps, sliding past the GTX 1650, which landed at 37 fps (40.5% increase in performance).
In the sequel, the GTX 1660 Ti managed 36 fps on the Metro: Exodus test (Ultra, 1080p), whereas the GTX 1650 was unplayable at 25 fps (44% increase in performance).
On the Far Cry New Dawn benchmark (Ultra, 1080p), the GTX 1660 Ti and the GTX 1650 ran a tight race, at 62 fps and 54 fps, respectively (14.8% increase in performance).
When it comes to VR, the GTX 1660 Ti hit a 9.2 out of 11 on the SteamVR Performance Test, while the GTX 1650 lagged behind at 5.9 (55.9% increase in performance).
When configuring the Pavilion 15, it costs an extra $270 to go from a GTX 1650 to a GTX 1660 Ti. The current base price for the Pavilion is $749, so that would jump to $1,019, which is a 36.1% increase in price.
Averaging the performance increase of our benchmarks, you'd get a 37.3% increase in performance for a 36.1% increase in price, making the upgrade worth the price. If you want a GTX 1660 Ti over the GTX 1650, you'll get exactly what you paid for regarding price for performance.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||GTX 1660 Ti||GTX 1650|
|Synthetic performance||✓||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|Gaming performance||✓||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|Overall||✓||Row 4 - Cell 2|
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card kills it on all graphics performance tests and is well worth the upgrade in terms of value.
However, the GTX 1650 still has its place, as the performance you get is still worth the price if you're looking to pay under $1,000.
But overall, if you're wondering which GPU is better, the GTX 1660 Ti wins in basically every way. It's well worth the bump that you get in performance.
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Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.