Nvidia launched has launched an even more affordable Pascal GPU (3GB 1060) and MSI is definitely trying to capitalize on the budget market. The company previously launched six different editions of the 6GB GeForce GTX 1060 and well over a dozen GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 models, including a couple of watercooled cards. Now that the 3GB 1060 variant is available, MSI has doubled down and launched a cheaper counterpart for each of its various GTX 1060 models.
The GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 3G is the top of the stack. It features a Twin Frozer VI cooler with two Torx Fan 2.0 fans, RGB LED lighting and an included full-cover backplate, just like the flagship GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G. This card is built for performance and features an 8-pin power connector, 6-phase power delivery system, Military Class 4 components (passes MIL-STD-810G testing standards), 8mm copper heat pipes, and a nickel-plated copper baseplate.
MSI’s GTX 1060 Gaming X 3G comes from the factory with the GPU base clock overclocked to 1594 MHz and a rated boost clock of 1809 MHz. If the factory overclock isn’t important to you, but you still want the Twin Frozer VI cooler, MSI is also offering a GTX 1060 Gaming 3G, which doesn’t include the backplate (it’s an optional extra) and isn’t as aggressively overclocked.
If red and black aren’t your cup of tea, MSI has the Armor series, which features a black and white dual fan cooler. The Armor series doesn’t have a Twin Frozer cooler, but these cards to include two Torx Fans, which were developed for the Twin Frozer V. The Armor series is available with a reference clocked GPU and an overclocked version with an addition 38 MHz on the base clock.
MSI is also offering an entry level option for prospective GTX 1060 owners. The company gave us details about a dual fan card, which features military class components, dual 9cm fans, and “won’t break the bank.” The dual fan card features the same mild overclock as the Armor OC. MSI said there is a single fan option as well, but it didn’t provide any details about that model. We assume it operates at Nvidia’s reference clocks speeds.
The 3GB version of the GeForce GTX 1060 isn't quite the same GPU as the one found in the 6GB version. The GPU model is the same, but the one found in the 3GB cards is actually cut down slightly. Nvidia's specifications for the original GP106 GPU included 10 SMs and 1280 Cuda Cores. The cheaper alternative has one bank of SMs disabled for a total of 1152 Cuda Cores. It remains to be seen how much of an impact this difference will have in real-world gaming.
MSI did not provide pricing for its various 3GB GTX 1060 models, but judging from previous Pascal releases from the company, we expect the base model to come in at the $200 price point and scale up accordingly.
|Name||GeForce® GTX 1060 GAMING X 3G||GeForce® GTX 1060 GAMING 3G||GeForce® GTX 1060 ARMOR 3G OCV1||GeForce® GTX 1060 ARMOR 3GV1||GeForce® GTX 1060 3GT OC|
|Core Clock (OCMode) Base:||1594 MHz||1531 MHz||1544 MHz||1506 MHz||1544 MHz|
|Core Clock (OCMode) Boost:||1809 MHz||1746 MHz||1759 MHz||1708 MHz||1759 MHz|
|Memory Size / Type||3GB GDDR5||3GB GDDR5||3GB GDDR5||3GB GDDR5||3GB GDDR5|
|Thermal Design||TWIN FROZR VI||TWIN FROZR VI||ARMOR 2X||ARMOR 2X||DUAL FAN|
|LED||Yes (RGB)||Yes (RGB)||Yes (RGB)||Yes (RGB)||No|
|Connectivity||DisplayPort x 3 / HDMI / DL-DVI-D||DisplayPort x 3 / HDMI / DL-DVI-D||DisplayPort x 2 / HDMI x 2 / DL-DVI-D||DisplayPort x 2 / HDMI x 2 / DL-DVI-D||DisplayPort / HDMI / DL-DVI-D|
|Dimensions||277 x 140 x 39 mm||277 x 140 x 39 mm||277 x 140 x 39 mm||277 x 140 x 39 mm||243 x 115 x 39 mm|