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My new GTX 1660 Super graphics card along why I bought it

09.10.2020 | Computing/Hardware

I have finally decided to upgrade to a new graphics card. My old one, a Radeon HD7850, was kind of faulty, I think. I run triple boot: Linux, Windows 10 and Windows 7. If I went from Linux into Windows 10, the monitor would just turn off at some point. The same for a switch between Windows 7 and 10. Besides that I have purchased Farcry 3 a year or two ago, and my old graphic card ran this game < 20fps. The game is quite old, and the requirements of FarCry3 seems lower than my previous system. Which is kind of a head scratcher. I do some video editing. And my computer just can't cope very well with previewing layers of videos running at the same time. For example in my video for my track Secret Agent. I sometimes do some NLP-tasks in Linux. I'm not quite sure that I got the drivers installed correctly, but any speedup here is appreciated. It takes about 10 hours to create a model. And then I from time to time do some parallel programming. And I would like to work with Cuda for this.

My old Asus HD7850 CU card. CU might equal overclocking. I do not know.

Anyway. I decided on a Geforce GTX Super card. This seems fast enough. It has 1408 cuda cores, 1530-1785Mhx and 6gb of GDDR6 (which should be quite snappy kind of RAM). Not to mention nvidias

The unboxing (or whatever it is called)

Before updating the GC I had doubled my amount of RAM (RAM is quite cheap at the moment). I kind of hoped that this would make the computer be more capable of doing video rendering. But of course it did not. I'm not that sure that Windows can utilizes 32 Gb of ram, or if the OS just chooses to swap at some threshold of 4 gigabytes or something.

The Asus Geforce GTX 1660 Super card itself

My system is a Ryzen 5 2600. On an Asus X370-series motherboard.

The card installed into my ryzen 5 system. Note the 32 gigabyte memory.


Hardware wise the card only has HDMI connectors along a DVI-D. For some reason my old card only had those small HDMI-connectors. But luckily I could just turn the cable since my monitor can use these small ones as input. I have a DVI to VGA connector. I use VGA for my secondary monitor. But this converter is for DVI-I. So this I can't use anymore. Hence I needed to order a converter. It seems that VGA is analog and DVI-D is digital only. So the converter I have found might have an DA-converter build in. I occurred to me that old digital monitors (like TFT and what not) might have a build in DA-converter if they accept VGA input.

So as anticipated the setup went almost smoothly with Linux. I have installed the proprietary drivers. For this I had to close down X System. Besides that Linux isn't the OS to complain about hardware.

So on to Windows 10. I started by installing the new nvidia drivers before removing the old ones. This I should not have done. For what ever reason my mouse disappeared. And the system ran extremely slow. It took hours to remove all graphics drivers. After which I could not install the new nvidia drivers anymore. And still: no mouse. I have tried to update Windows 10 to whatever new version just has come out. But this I could not. I blamed my unstable graphics cards or the fact that I have just doubled my amount of RAM. After messing around with safe-boot of Windows and the normal one without a mouse, I decided that a new install was needed. Windows 10 seem unable to handle hardware changes. Every time I do minor changes, the whole operating system starts misbehaving. Windows 7, as you can read below, did manage my hardware upgrade. Linux did too, though I here hardly would expect any problems. I downloaded Windows 10 2004 version which could not install at all. Some watchdog error occurred. Luckily I have a 1603 something ISO lying around. With this I succeeded getting Windows installed. So this I will hold on to! Anyway the newest Nvidia drivers can't be installed with the 1603 version of Windows. So update, update. Until of course at some point my internet died. Here my level of annoyance kind of peeked.

Annoying watchdog driver pnp error with Windows 10 2004

Finally after around 4-5 hours I managed to install Windows 10 and get it updated to the 1903 version. Finally the Nvidia drivers installed, so did Steam. And we sail on.

I did Windows 7 between fixing Windows 10. I removed the drivers for the old card. Installed new drivers, with no audio or physx, and that was pretty much it. For some reason my USB-drivers had to be reinstalled. But that wasn't much of a hurdle.

To be fair to Windows 10. I think I have two hard drives with minor defects. I can't copy onto any of my drives besides the system one in Linux. And I have an exclamation sign besides two of my drives in HWInfo in Windows. However the fact that Windows 10 1903 can handle this problem along Windows 7 is not a very good sign.


OK. So I have both some Linux tasks I want to do and some Windows ones.

Building language models with PyTorch

As mentioned I have done these kinds of things before. Some of the larger models took around 10 hours. And I'm more and more sure that none of these has been build with any kind of GPU acceleration. I don't have any reference yet. But we can just try to build a PyTorch model with 4 epochs on some wiki dataset.

Resource monitor when building language model

So the GPU peaked with a temperature of 86C. The building part took ~10 minutes. Python is eating 3.8 gigabytes of GPU memory. That actually should leave some headroom though Linux's GUI was lacking a lot during building the model. CPU is fully utilized. And 5 gigabytes of system memory seems to be used.


Originally I wanted to play FarCry 3. But I kind of went with the hype and tried Doom Eternal.

The game just sits at 60 fps. This is on Ultra Nightmare settings except for that first parameter that is set to Ultra. Otherwise too much GPU memory is required. I really like the game. And it plays quite smooth with this graphics card. I think I'll write something about Doom since I kind of like the game.


I'm quite satisfied besides the Windows struggles. I can play quite a variety of games. I can do cuda-coding. And the card is reasonably priced, I think.

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