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03 NV GTX 1060

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition Graphic Card Review

Disclosure: This graphic card is sourced from Nvidia

Introduction

This is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060. As its model number suggests, this card is usually placed within the lower-mid price segment. If you recall the GTX 950 and GTX 960, the emphasis was on the Counter Strike Global Offensive and MOBA titles such as DOTA2 and LOL. In a way, it disappointed me as it didn’t seem to have aimed towards gamers that play newer games.  A large number of players regularly play such games that cannot be ignored. But that does not necessarily mean they do not play newer PC games.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 950/960 faced a competition(ish) called Intel with its on-chip graphics solution on Skylake. Though it didn’t provide the same level of performance you would see from a discrete card, it was adequate for such games in 1080p 60 FPS. In reality, such games don’t really need graphic rendering power. RTS/MOBA tend to be more CPU intensive and modern CPUs are more than enough to keep up. I never really understood the existence of GTX 950 and GTX 960. It came at the time where most were still sticking with Windows 7 while many of such gamers are happy with GeForce 600 series and 700 series. DX12 was brand new, so new that only one title had its BETA version. The only one thing GTX 960 was good at was to provide reasons to pick a GTX 970 instead.

But hey! We all live to learn!

Specification Comparison

[restabs alignment=”osc-tabs-center” responsive=”false”] [restab title=”GTX 1060″ active=”active”]
GPU Engine Specs: GTX 1060
NVIDIA CUDA Cores 1280
Base Clock (MHz) 1506
Boost Clock (MHz) 1708
Memory Spec:
Memory Speed 8 Gbps
Standard Memory Config 6 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface Width 192-Bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 192
Technology Support:
Multi-Projection Yes
VR Ready Yes
NVIDIA Ansel Yes
NVIDIA SLI Ready No
NVIDIA G-Sync-Ready Yes
NVIDIA GameStream-Ready Yes
NVIDIA GPU Boost 3.0
Microsoft DirectX 12 API with feature level 12_1
Vulkan API Yes
OpenGL 4.5
Bus Support PCIe 3.0
OS Certificates Windows 7-10, Linux, FreeBSDx86
Display Support:
Maximum Digital Resolution 7680×4320@60Hz
Standard Display Connectors DP 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, DL-DVI
Multi Monitor Yes, Link-DVI
HDCP 2.2
Graphics Card Dimensions:
Height 4.376″
Length 9.832″
Width 2 Slot
Thermal and Power Specs:
Maximum GPU Temperature (in C) 94
Graphics Card Power (W) 120 W
Recommended System Power(W) 400 w
Supplementary Power Connectors 6-Pin
[/restab] [restab title=”GTX 960″]
GPU Engine Specs: GTX 960
NVIDIA CUDA Cores 1024
Base Clock (MHz) 1127
Boost Clock (MHz) 1178
Memory Spec:
Memory Speed 7 Gbps
Standard Memory Config 2 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface Width 128-Bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 112
Technology Support:
Multi-Projection NA
VR Ready NA
NVIDIA Ansel NA
NVIDIA SLI Ready NA
NVIDIA G-Sync-Ready Yes
NVIDIA GameStream-Ready Yes
NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0
Microsoft DirectX 12 API with feature level 12_1
Vulkan API Yes
OpenGL 4.4
Bus Support PCIe 3.0
OS Certificates Windows 7-10, Linux, FreeBSDx86
Display Support:
Maximum Digital Resolution 5120×3200
Standard Display Connectors DP 1.2, HDMI 2.0, DL-DVI
Multi Monitor Yes
HDCP Yes
Graphics Card Dimensions:
Height 4.376″
Length 9.5″
Width 2 Slot
Thermal and Power Specs:
Maximum GPU Temperature (in C) 98
Graphics Card Power (W) 120 W
Recommended System Power(W) 400 w
Supplementary Power Connectors 6-Pin
[/restab] [restab title=”GTX 1070″]
GPU Engine Specs: GTX 1070
NVIDIA CUDA Cores 1920
Base Clock (MHz) 1506
Boost Clock (MHz) 1683
Memory Spec:
Memory Speed 8 Gbps
Standard Memory Config 8 GB GDDR5
Memory Interface Width 256-Bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 256
Technology Support:
Multi-Projection Yes
VR Ready Yes
NVIDIA Ansel Yes
NVIDIA SLI Ready Yes – SLI HB Bridge Supported
NVIDIA G-Sync-Ready Yes
NVIDIA GameStream-Ready Yes
NVIDIA GPU Boost 3.0
Microsoft DirectX 12 API with feature level 12_1
Vulkan API Yes
OpenGL 4.5
Bus Support PCIe 3.0
OS Certificates Windows 7-10, Linux, FreeBSDx86
Display Support:
Maximum Digital Resolution 7680×4320@60Hz
Standard Display Connectors DP 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, DL-DVI
Multi Monitor Yes
HDCP 2.2
Graphics Card Dimensions:
Height 4.376″
Length 10.5″
Width 2 Slot
Thermal and Power Specs:
Maximum GPU Temperature (in C) 94
Graphics Card Power (W) 150 W
Recommended System Power(W) 500 w
Supplementary Power Connectors 8-Pin
[/restab] [restab title=”GTX 1080″]
GPU Engine Specs: GTX 1080
NVIDIA CUDA Cores 2560
Base Clock (MHz) 1607
Boost Clock (MHz) 1733
Memory Spec:
Memory Speed 10 Gbps
Standard Memory Config 8 GB GDDR5X
Memory Interface Width 256-Bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 320
Technology Support:
Multi-Projection 10 Gbps
VR Ready Yes
NVIDIA Ansel Yes
NVIDIA SLI Ready Yes – SLI HB Bridge Supported
NVIDIA G-Sync-Ready Yes
NVIDIA GameStream-Ready Yes
NVIDIA GPU Boost 3.0
Microsoft DirectX 12 API with feature level 12_1
Vulkan API Yes
OpenGL 4.5
Bus Support PCIe 3.0
OS Certificates Windows 7-10, Linux, FreeBSDx86
Display Support:
Maximum Digital Resolution 7680×4320@60Hz
Standard Display Connectors DP 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, DL-DVI
Multi Monitor Yes
HDCP 2.2
Graphics Card Dimensions:
Height 4.376″
Length 10.5″
Width 2 Slot
Thermal and Power Specs:
Maximum GPU Temperature (in C) 94
Graphics Card Power (W) 180 W
Recommended System Power(W) 500 W
Supplementary Power Connectors 8-Pin
[/restab][/restabs]

Founders Edition Design

Unlike the GTX 960, the GTX 1060 has more GDDR5 chips under its belt, with 8Gbps memory speed and a 192-bit interface bus. It supports higher screen resolution, updated DisplayPort and HDMI spec, OpenGL 4.5 and the newer features like Nvidia Ansel, GPUBoost 3.0, multi-projection with the official “VR Ready” tag. Notice that GTX 1060 has a bit longer. Not something to look at since it’s within the 10″ length.

The design of the GTX 1060 Founders Edition is a bit different. The cooling shroud extends the length of the card, but the PCB measures 6.75 inches. The extended design is needed probably because of the lateral fan. This way, it can blow out the air through the heat fins over the memory chips and the GP106 core.

Fair enough!

Its TDP for the founder’s edition is 120watts and uses the same 16nm finFET process. Its memory configuration is 6GB GDDR5 with 8GBps speed. It provides the same video outputs as its higher-end counterparts- dual-link DVI-D, HDMI 2.0B and three DisplayPort 1.4 connectors.

Nvidia didn’t pitch the GTX 1060 card with MOBA games. In a way, it helps to recognize the GTX 1060 that can be played with newer games. The way it should be. The promise of GTX 1060 providing the performance of the GTX 980 the highlight. The Maxwell 2.0 GeForce GTX 980– a previous generation high-end graphic card that is still good enough for today’s PC gamers. It’s enough to make most people pause their plans to buy a Radeon RX 480. No harm in waiting for a few days, right?

Keep in mind that Pascal GP106 manages to do this while providing the energy efficiency its is known for.

Unfortunately, this card does not include SLI interface. Many assumed this is simply to avoid SLI GTX 1060 that may exceed GTX 1070’s performance. Nvidia gave the following comment about the absence of the SLI interface:

That is incorrect. It’s simply looking at where gamers actually use SLI.  SLI is a high end, enthusiast solution and in mostly used with GTX 1080 or 1070 class GPUs. We’ve worked very hard to ensure the very best performance with SLI in this space coupled with our new high bandwidth SLI bridges.

I’d suggest taking a look at Steam hardware statistics and you’ll see just how few use SLI in the mid-range space. We’re devoted to providing the best single GPU experience here.

18 NV GTX 1060

Unlike the GTX 980, this card’s shroud is plastic. The lid over the heat fins restricts the airflow to blow through and vents through the I/O. The Shroud is longer than the card’s PCB. AMD did the same with its Radeon RX 480. Alas, we can’t anything more about the Radeon RX 480 because they don’t have a habit of replying to a conversation that they started.

The GP106-based GeForce GTX 1060 takes extra power from a single six-pin PCIe connector. While the RX 480’s power connector rests on the PCB, the connector on the GTX 1060 is on the extended shroud. As anyone would guess, there are wires connecting it to the PCB. This is probably done to keep the “GeForce GTX” LED logo where it should. Most likely the non-reference custom designs would stick to the conventional on-PCB. The soldering on the other side could have been cleaner. Keep in mind that Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition is very limited compared to GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 counterpart. This translates into more non-reference versions.

The founder’s edition cooling system is pretty much the same by the looks of it. It’s a lateral fan cooling make and scoops the air in and pushes out through the rear I/O.

Cooling System

[restabs alignment=”osc-tabs-center” responsive=”false”] [restab title=”GPUZ Info” active=”active”]GPUZ 1[/restab] [restab title=”Temperature- Load”]GPUZ LOAD[/restab][/restabs]

Though FE’s cooling design for GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 isn’t significant enough to topple over the preferred non-reference design, the temperature under load on the GTX 1060 FE with stock settings seems rather reasonable. With 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra, the card is about 70 degrees celsius with 59% fan speed. The fan does tend to get loud with higher speeds once set manually.

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