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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Gets GDDR5X in Fifth Makeover

Nvidia is back at it again, revealing last week the fifth variant of its popular GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. Priced at $299, the card differs from past approaches in that it's outfitted with faster GDDR5X memory instead of the GDDR5 used in the other four variants.

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Graphics card manufacturers often rewarm their silicons to produce multiple variations of the same product if it's doing particularly well in sales. Although both AMD and Nvidia are guilty of this practice, the latter takes it to another level with the GeForce GTX 1060. If four different versions of the GeForce GTX 1060 wasn't enough, Nvidia has now added a fifth. Who can blame them? From a price-to-performance perspective, the GeForce GTX 1060 is hard to beat and very popular among gamers. In fact, the graphics card has been the reigning champion on Steam's Hardware & Software Survey for a while now. 

AMD is expected to usher in its Radeon RX 500-series refresh very soon. It seems Nvidia is preparing to compete. The Geforce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5X can serve as Nvidia's answer to AMD's upcoming Radeon RX 590 graphics card.  

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Specs Comparison

GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5XGeForce GTX 1060 6GB 9GbpsGeForce GTX 1060 6GBGeForce GTX 1060 5GBGeForce GTX 1060 3GB
Architecture (GPU)Pascal (GP104)Pascal (GP106)Pascal (GP106)Pascal (GP106)Pascal (GP106)
CUDA Cores1,2801,2801,2801,2801,152
TMUs8080808072
ROPs4848484048
SM101010109
Base Clock 1,506MHz1,506MHz1,506MHz1,506MHz1,506MHz
GPU Boost Clock1,708MHz1,708MHz1,708MHz1,709MHz1,708MHz
Memory ClockN/A2,257MHz (9,028MHz effective)2,002MHz (8,008MHz effective)2,002MHz (8,008MHz effective)2,002MHz (8,008MHz effective)
Memory Capacity6GB GDDR5X6GB GDDR56GB GDDR55GB GDDR53GB GDDR5
Memory BusN/A192-bit192-bit160-bit192-bit
Memory BandwidthN/A216.7 GB/s192.2 GB/s160.2 GB/s192.2 GB/s
TDP120W120W120W120W120W

The GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5X is reportedly built around a cut-down version of the Pascal GP104 silicon, which is present in the GeForce GTX 1070GTX 1070 Ti and GTX 1080, instead of the GP106 silicon that was employed in previous GeForce GTX 1060 models.

Nvidia didn't disclose memory clock information for the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5X. But since Micron provides Nvidia with GDDR5X memory chips for its GeForce GTX 1080, 1080 Ti, Titan X and Titan Xp graphics cards, we dropped by the U.S. memory manufacturer's website to check its GDDR5X catalog. Micron currently offers GDDR5X memory chips rated at 10Gb/s, 11Gb/s and 12Gb/s. We expect the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5X's memory will probably come clocked at 10Gb/s, since faster memory chips would increase the graphics card's pricing. On the performance front, the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5X should perform a little faster than previous models. 

  • AgentLozen
    If Nvidia isn't modifying the clock speed of this GTX 1060 then its performance probably won't be a lot higher than the original 1060. I wonder if they're just trying to burn through GDDR5X reserves to pave the way for GDDR6.
    Reply
  • logainofhades
    Sounds like Nvidia is trying to push out surplus/defective GPU dies, that didn't quite make the cut to be a 1070, or better.
    Reply
  • velocityg4
    It makes little sense to have all these variants. It just adds confusion and typically minor performance variation.
    Reply
  • King_V
    I mean, have some slight variations.

    Maybe the 3GB version as the 1060LE (since it's a slightly cut down version on CUDA cores, not just memory), and the GDDR5X/cut-GP104 as the 1060Ti.

    Maybe the 9Gbps as a 1060GT or something.

    Is the 5GB version for the SE Asia market only?


    There's no reason for these all to have the same name like this.

    BUT - maybe perversely, I'd love to see a performance comparison between all 5 variants, at 1920x1080, 2560x1080, and 2560x1440.
    Reply
  • AgentLozen
    King_V said:
    BUT - maybe perversely, I'd love to see a performance comparison between all 5 variants, at 1920x1080, 2560x1080, and 2560x1440.

    Neither the CUDA core count nor the clock speed change between various GTX 1060 models . A memory speed change alone would have be beneficial under circumstances where the memory was the bottle neck and not the computational power of the video card. In other words, some games would benefit but many would not.

    I don't expect there to be a big difference between cards but it would still be neat to see what the benchmarks have to say about it.
    Reply
  • King_V
    Well, the 3GB variant has the cut-back number of CUDA cores, TMUs, and SM units.

    The 5GB version, oddly, a lesser memory bus and 8 fewer ROPs.

    The 6GB and 6GB with 9Gbps RAM, well, yeah, memory speed.

    The new one switching to GDDR5X *and* using GP104 instead of GP106 (albeit a cut down GP104).

    Although, overall, I agree. I don't imagine differences would be huge (well, the lesser memory ones, maybe, in some games). Still, it seems these days that memory throughput is more of an issue than clock speeds.

    Would be nice to see a comparison, though. I think 2560x1080 is going to become more common as ultrawide gets more adopted, and it would be interesting to see if these tweaks/upgrades make it capable enough for 1080 ultrawide with max details @ 60fps
    Reply
  • King_V
    Oh, I should probably throw in, I'd love to see how their performance on those resolutions compares to the RX 570 and 580, and, if rumors are to be believed, the supposedly upcoming RX 590.
    Reply
  • elbert
    Looks clear that the 2060 will be $400+ so Nvidia has a huge hole for AMD to step in with a 590/680. It looks like the 1060 GDDR5x update is an attempt to hold that segment. Least until Nvidia can get a 2050/2050ti sometime next year.
    Reply
  • caustin582
    21423203 said:
    King_V said:
    BUT - maybe perversely, I'd love to see a performance comparison between all 5 variants, at 1920x1080, 2560x1080, and 2560x1440.

    Neither the CUDA core count nor the clock speed change between various GTX 1060 models . A memory speed change alone would have be beneficial under circumstances where the memory was the bottle neck and not the computational power of the video card. In other words, some games would benefit but many would not.

    I don't expect there to be a big difference between cards but it would still be neat to see what the benchmarks have to say about it.

    It uses different RAM and a different GPU. I'd say it's worth benchmarking.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    21422754 said:
    I wonder if they're just trying to burn through GDDR5X reserves
    Exactly my thought. Perhaps they ordered too much GDDR5X during the crypto boom (even though it wasn't the best memory for that, but a lot of GPU demand was certainly displaced up to the cards that did use it), and now they're just trying to burn through the rest of that inventory.
    Reply