How We Tested GeForce GTX 1060
The GeForce GTX 1060 is most in its element at 1080p, though it’s generally playable at 1440p even with detail settings turned up. Thus, we ran the GP106-powered board through our benchmark suite at 1920x1080 and 2560x1440, similar to AMD’s Radeon RX 480. In fact, we were able to use most of the performance results from that story, with three exceptions:
- The GeForce GTX 1060, of course. We used GeForce 368.64, Nvidia’s press driver.
- The GeForce GTX 1070. This one didn’t make it into our Radeon RX 480 coverage because it’s quite a bit faster. We add it now, since it’s the next step up from GeForce GTX 1060. The 368.64 build works here, too.
- The Radeon RX 480. After our discoveries in that card’s launch story and AMD’s subsequent corrective driver, it became imperative to re-test with Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.2. Almost across the board, this version increases performance slightly, so it’s a good update to have.
The other Nvidia cards employ GeForce 368.39, while the Radeon R9 390-series board utilize Crimson Edition 16.6.2.
Naturally, the platform we drop these boards into remains constant. From the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Pascal Review:
“Instead of our Haswell-E-based Core i7-5930K at 3.5GHz, we’re using a Skylake-based Core i7-6700K at 4GHz, giving us two generations worth of IPC improvements and an extra 500MHz base clock rate to alleviate host processing bottlenecks wherever they may surface. Of course, the CPU’s LGA 1151 interface also calls for a different motherboard—we tapped MSI’s Z170A Gaming M7 for all of our game benchmarks, and dropped in G.Skill’s F4-3000C15Q-16GRR memory kit composed of four 4GB modules at DDR4-3000. Crucial’s MX200 SSD remains, as does the Noctua NH-12S cooler and be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W power supply.
Gone is Windows 8.1, though. Prior to benchmarking, we installed a clean version of Windows 10 Professional and a new suite of games representing popular AAA titles, some DirectX 12-specific selections and a mix of genres.”
As you dip down from the high-end space into mainstream territory, reference-class hardware becomes less common. This is why our Radeon RX 480 launch story included a number of partner boards. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 receives the same treatment today:
|Actual Core/Memory Frequencies||Reference Core/Memory Frequencies|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060||1506/2000 MHz||1506/2000 MHz1506|
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070||1506/2000 MHz||1506/2000 MHz|
|AMD Radeon RX 480||1266/2000 MHz||1266/2000 MHz|
|MSI R9 390X Gaming 8G||1080/1500 MHz||1050/1500 MHz|
|MSI R9 390 Gaming 8G||1040/1500 MHz||1000/1500 MHz|
|MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G||1190/1752 MHz||1126/1752 MHz|
|Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 Gaming||1178/1752 MHz||1050/1752 MHz|
|MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G||1190/1752 MHz||1127/1752 MHz|
The benchmark suite remains similar to what we ran in the Radeon RX 480 review, right down to the settings and options selected. “The Ashes charts represent DirectX 12 performance using the game’s built-in benchmark/logging tool. Hitman and Tomb Raider are presented using DirectX 11. However, we have results from DirectX 12 using those games as well, and in most cases, performance drops. Everything else is DirectX 11-based, recorded with Fraps.”
|Ashes of the Singularity: DirectX 12, Extreme quality preset, built-in benchmark|
|DirectX 11, Ultra quality preset, custom Tom’s Hardware benchmark (Tashgar jeep ride), 100-second Fraps recording|
|Grand Theft Auto V|
|DirectX 11, Very High quality settings, 4x MSAA, built-in benchmark (test five), 110-second Fraps recording|
|DirectX 11, Ultra level of detail, FXAA, High texture quality, built-in benchmark, 100-second Fraps recording|
|Metro Last Light Redux|
|DirectX 11, Very High detail preset, SSAA off, 16x AF, Normal Motion Blur, Normal Tessellation, built-in benchmark, 145-second Fraps recording|
|DirectX 11, Ultra quality settings, High anti-aliasing, High texture resolution, Nürburgring Sprint, 100-second Fraps recording|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider|
|DirectX 11, Custom quality preset, Very High quality settings, built-in benchmark, 80-second Fraps recording|
|Tom Clancy's The Division|
|DirectX 11, Custom quality preset, Ultra quality settings, Supersampling temporal AA, built-in benchmark, 90-second Fraps recording|
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt|
|DirectX 11, Highest quality settings, HairWorks disabled, custom Tom’s Hardware benchmark, 100-second Fraps recording|
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