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03 NV GTX 1060

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition Graphic Card Review

  1. Introduction, Packaging, Specification and Closer Look
  2. Test Bench and Testing Methodology
  3. Futuremark Benchmark
  4. OpenGL Benchmarks
  5. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  6. Rise of the Tomb Raider
  7. Hitman
  8. DOOM
  9. GPU Computation Benchmark
  10. Folding at Home and LuxMark OpenCL Benchmark
  11. Overclocking and LED Function Impressions
  12. Conclusion
  13. Online Purchase Links
  14. View All

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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

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

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.

Test Setup

Hardware BBQ gets very minimum support from hardware manufacturers since we have a no-strings-attached policy and ended up blacklisting even tier 1 brands for improper misconduct. But thanks to a handful of companies who value the importance and benefits of providing components for the test bench, we do what we’re good at with the resources at hand. I would like to thank:

  • Gigabyte India for providing Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming GT Rev 1.0 motherboard
  • WD India for providing 4x WD Red 3TB NAS drives
  • Coolermaster India for providing Coolermaster GX450 RS-450-ACAA-D3 Power Supply
Test Setup for: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition
CPU+ CPU Cooler Intel i7 4790K + Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming GT Motherboard
Memory Kingston 8GB 1600MHz DDRIII
Primary OS drive SanDisk Extreme 240GB SSD + WD Red 3TB WD30EFRX
Power Supply Corsair TX750
Chassis Lian Li A70F Full Tower PC Case

Driver Version: 368.64 WHQL

The fan speed is kept at auto for stock benchmark and on 100% when overclocked.

Futuremark Benchmarks

  • 3DMark: Sky Diver, Fire Strike, Fire Strike Extreme and Fire Strike Presets
3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark your PC and mobile devices in one app. Whether you’re gaming on a smartphone, tablet, notebook, or a desktop gaming PC, 3DMark includes a benchmark designed specifically for your hardware.

With more tests coming soon, we’ve given 3DMark a new interface that’s faster, more flexible and easier to use. What’s more, you can now get faster downloads and save storage space by choosing to install only the tests you need.

  • 3DMark 11: Xtreme Preset
3DMark 11 is a DirectX 11 video card benchmark test for measuring your PC’s gaming performance. 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of DirectX 11 features including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 consistently and reliably tests your PC’s DirectX 11 performance under game-like loads.

OpenGL Benchmarks: Cinebench 11.5 and Cinebench R15

CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software Cinema 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.

Game Benchmarks

  • Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor DX 11 with 3 presets
Fight through Mordor and uncover the truth of the spirit that compels you, discover the origins of the Rings of Power, build your legend and ultimately confront the evil of Sauron in this new chronicle of Middle-earth.
  • Ashes of the Singularity DX 11 and DX 12 with 3 presets each

Planet by planet, a war is raging across the galaxy. The technological singularity has given humanity the power to expand further than they ever have before. Now, they compete with each other and their sentient artificial intelligence adversaries for control of newfound worlds.

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider DX 11 and  DX 12 with  3 presets each
Featuring epic, high-octane action moments set in the most beautiful hostile environments on earth, Rise of the Tomb Raider delivers a cinematic survival action adventure where you will join Lara Croft on her first tomb raiding expedition as she seeks to discover the secret of immortality.
  • Hitman (2016) DX 11 and DX 12 with 3 presets each
As Agent 47, you perform contract hits on high-profile targets in exotic locations around the world. With the Full Experience, you will have access to all episodes as they release periodically throughout 2016, starting April 2016.
  • DOOM OpenGL 4.5 with 3 presets each
DOOM returns as a brutally fun and challenging modern-day shooter experience. Relentless demons, impossibly destructive guns, and fast, fluid movement provide the foundation for intense, first-person combat.

Buy game licenses for cheap!

For measuring GPU computation, I’ve included Compubench benchmark workloads.

  • Face Detection and TV-L1 Optical Flow Test
  • Ocean Surface Simulation Test
  • Particle Simulation-64K Test
  • Computation Benchmark- Graphics and Video Composition
  • Bitcoin Mining

OpenCL Benchmarks

  • Folding at Home Benchmark
  • LuxMark OpenCL Benchmark

3DMark 11 Benchmark

Extreme Preset


3DMark Benchmarks

Sky Diver

Fire Strike

Fire Strike Extreme

Fire Strike Ultra

Cinebench 11.5

Cinebench 11.5 GTX 1060 FE

Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15 GTX 1060 FE

Shadow of Mordor Ultra GTX 1060 FE

Presets List

Medium High Very High
Texture Quality Medium High Very High
Anisotropic Filter 2x 4x 16x
Shadow Quality Medium High High
Sun Soft Shadows Off On High
Depth of Field On On Very High
Level of Detail High High Very High
Dynamic Foliage Medium Medium High
Ambient Occlusion On On HBAO+
PureHair On On On
Specular Reflection Quality Normal Normal Normal
Vignette Blur Yes Yes Yes
Motion Blur Yes Yes Yes
Bloom Yes Yes Yes
Tessellation Yes Yes
Screen Space Reflections Yes Yes Yes
Lens Flares Yes Yes Yes
Screen Effects Yes Yes Yes
Film Grain

DX 11 Test

DX 12 Test

Presets List

Preset 1 Preset 2 Preset 3
Super Sampling 1 1.5 2
Level of Detail Low Medium Ultra
Anti-Aliasing Off FXAA SMAA
Texture Quality Low Medium High
Texture Filter Trilinear 8x 16x
SSAO Off On On
Shadow Maps Low Medium Ultra
Shadow Resolution Low Medium High

DX 11 Test

DX 12 Test


Presets List

Medium High Ultra
Lights Quality Medium High Ultra
Shadows Quality Medium High Ultra
Player Self Shadow Off On On
Directional Occlusion Quality Medium High High
Decal Quality Medium High Ultra
Decal Filtering 2x 4x 8x
Virtual Texturing Page Size Medium High Ultra
Reflections Quality Medium High Ultra
Particles Quality Medium High Ultra
Compute Shaders Off On On
Motion Blur Quality Medium High Ultra
Depth of Field Off On On
Depth of Field Antialiasing Off On On
HDR Bloom Off On On
Lens Flare Off On On
Lens Dirt Off On On
Rendering Mode Default Default Default
Sharpening Amount 2.0 2.0 2.0
Film Grain 1.0 1.0 1.0
UI Opacity 70% 70% 70%
Show Performance Metrics Off Off Off

 OpenGL Test

With DOOM at Ultra settings, the difference between the GTX 1060 and the Zotac GTX 1070 AMP! Extreme edition.


Bitcoin Mining
Bitcoin mining GTX 1060 FE

Bitcoin mining test is where the card shows a significant difference between its Pascal variants.

FAHBench

FAHBench is the official Folding@Home GPU benchmark. It measures the compute performance of GPUs for Folding@Home. In addition, by use of a loadable DLL system, it provides vendors and skilled hackers with a method make customized plugins and test their results

The single precision implicit model most closely relates to current folding performance. Nvidia GPU will involve tests involving CUDA and OpenCL while AMD Radeon is limited to OpenCL tests.

Folding @ Home GTX 1060 FE

LuxMark

LuxMark is a OpenCL cross-platform benchmark tool. The idea for the program was conceived in 2009 by Jean-Francois ‘Jromang’ Romang. It was intended as a promotional tool for LuxRender (to quote original Jromang’s words: “LuxRender propaganda with OpenCL”). The idea was quite simple, wrap SLG inside an easy to use graphical user interface and use it as a benchmark for OpenCL.

Luxmark GTX 1060 FE

ASIC Quality

Not surprisingly….

ASIC

Nvidia said that the GTX 1060 can overclock easily up to 2 GHz. This is a 292MHz bump over its stock base clock. While I was able to do this, it ended up displaying artifacts. I’ve decreased down to +130MHz over the base clock which seemed to be all good here. Once again, the purpose of doing overclocking in these reviews is not the purpose of getting highest possible overclocking. Not all chips are equal and it’s not necessary all cards get highest ASIC quality core (though the much higher factory-overclocked ones do get them). The purpose of such tests is to find out if there is a realistic bump in performance with some increase in base clocks.

Overclocking!!!

3DMark Benchmark

Game Benchmarks- DX 12/OpenGL 4.5 Highest presets

While its average framerates isn’t showing a significant increase, the card does get the added ability to get higher maximum framerates. Such is the case with Hitman DX12 with its highest setting.

Concluding thoughts…

There is a significant difference between the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1060. But playing at 1080p should be enough to enjoy the gameplay it can provide between medium and high settings depending on the game. Looking at its DX11 performance with games like Shadows of Mordor, people who play indie games with DX11 will also likely to consider this graphic card as an upgrade. Seeing that some manufacturers are pushing out mini variants of the GTX 1070, its no surprise that you will see the same for the GTX 1060.

If you need something more than that, then its the GTX 1070.

GTX 1070 Founders Edition

India US UK
INR 41,899/-  $480 £399

GTX 1060 (MSRP)

India US UK
22,999/- $299 £239

Gaming cafes will also benefit from using GTX 1060 since many of the newer games can be played with decent framerates.

  • Good 1080p gaming performance
  • Proper lower-mid end graphic card
  • Manages to stay cool at stock clocks with the FE
  • Absence of SLI
  • Fan noise is audible at higher speeds

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition Graphic Card Review from hardware


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