Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Review

Ashes of the Singularity, Battlefield & GTA V Results

Ashes of the Singularity (DX12)

The Radeon RX 480’s strong performance in Ashes of the Singularity staves off Nvidia’s attack right out of the gate. In fact, GeForce GTX 1060 lands closer to the 970’s performance than the 980 it’s supposed to emulate. Although Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 secures a first-place spot, the Radeon R9 390-series boards show their mettle by besting the GTX 980 for second and third place.

Not surprisingly, the trend continues from top to bottom at 2560x1440 where AMD’s Radeon RX 480 again slips past GP106. It takes at least a GeForce GTX 980 to surpass Polaris 10, and the 980s still available sell for more than $400.

Aside from the GeForce GTX 960, which clearly struggles due to its 2GB of GDDR5, the rest of the field is mostly playable. But at this early stage, those AMD cards impress most.

Battlefield 4 (DX11)

Although the GeForce GTX 1060 can’t quite catch the 980 in Battlefield 4, it comes close. The two cards are almost indistinguishable in our frame rate over time chart. Meanwhile, the 1060 cruises past AMD’s Radeon R9 390, 390X, and RX 480 in a reversal of what we saw from AotS.

The only change at 2560x1440 is the GeForce GTX 970 and Radeon R9 390 swapping places. Otherwise, expect playable performance as far down as the Radeon RX 480 using the Ultra preset.

Grand Theft Auto V (DX11)

GeForce GTX 1060 again registers slightly lower average performance than GTX 980. Their frame rates over time are nearly identical though, save that sharp dip the 1060 suffers toward the benchmark’s end.

Interestingly, at 1920x1080 the Radeon RX 480 beats both Grenada-based cards. It trails GeForce GTX 970 though, which in turn is slower than GTX 1060.

The 1060 achieves playable frame rates at 2560x1440 too, averaging slightly lower performance than GeForce GTX 980 once more.

We’ll keep an eye on where the 1060 lands compared to the GTX 970 as well. After all, those cards are available today for less than $300. If the GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition isn’t notably faster at the same $300 price point, well, then it’s kind of a bust, isn’t it?

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Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • Vosgy
    Well with it's price point above the 480 and performance performance difference relatively matching the price difference seems like it will come down to what someone can afford at the time.
    Guess I'll recommend either from now on.
    Thanks for the review guys, pleasure as always :D
  • mitch074
    I wonder: with Battlefield 4, why not add the Mantle-enabled rendering path? All existing tests show it to be pretty much equivalent to DX12, and future high-performance, low-latency titles are much more likely to make use of DX12, Vulkan etc. than DX11 or OpenGL...
    On that review, as a matter of fact, you use pretty much only DX11 games and only one DX12 title; new API paths are available in Dota2, Talos Principle and Doom 2016... Why not include them, as a reference for the future of gaming, instead of only showing off DX11 games?
  • LFCavalcanti
    You could have included in the value discussion the question about having 2 RX480 in Crossfire vs a single 1070, sort off denying a market place in value for the 1060.
    I don't know what NVidia is thinking... their marketing campaign might be stronger than I understand and people will still buy the 1060, but value on it just don't make sense right now.
  • BrutalPigeon
    Where are DX12 reviews? Hitman DX12? Time Spy? 1060 gets rekt in DX12. Nvidia biased review again, also project Cars? How is this even a benchmark, obviously gimped for Radeons.
  • kicsako
    This review is kinda strange. You use Project Cars what is known of running so bad on AMD cards, yet there are no dx/vulkan 12 titles except AOTS. We already have Doom(Vulkan), and Total War+Hitman for dx12. This review is weirdly Nvidia biased. People who buy mid lvl cards are not going to change it for at least 2-3 years. And we will see more and more dx12/vulkan titles yet you only include dx11 games with mostly Nvidia support. Never gona read tomshardware ever again.
  • Myrmidonas
    Yes indeed. I read elsewhere on DX12 benchmarks GTX 1060 does not cope well against rx480. Also, why not DOOM?

    Long story short, if you have Win7 and don't plan to upgrade for the next 2-3 years you have a solid reason to get a GTX 1060. The "plot changes" in favor of RX480 if you are going all forward with Win10.
  • logainofhades
    No SLI, on a card of this caliber. Quite the disappointment. Doesn't appear that it quite met the hype. Solid card, at its price point, but still not quite what was expected.
  • IceMyth
    What I understood from this review is either get 1070 or 1080 or RX 480... the 1060 is a waste of money and time since you cant SLI so what you will get will be fixed and to get better gaming you will need to replace the whole GPU to one of the 3 top.

    Honestly I expected something decent but seems they released a cheap GPU for NVidia fans rather than to compete with AMD performance and prices!
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Thank you for the review Chris! It was a pleasure to read high-quality writing with good English - my brain really thanks you! :-)

    I would also like to join others in their request for:
    - including 2x RX480s in Crossfire (price-wise they are comparable to a 1070,)
    - a benchmark using Doom's Vulkan rendering path, and
    - results from the TimeSpy benchmark please.

    Thank you again for a relaxing and informative read,
  • cknobman
    I'd say typical Nvidia cash grab.

    A. Card is priced about $50 too high as review kind of indicates.
    B. SLI is removed because Nvidia wants you to spend more $$$$$$$ on their higher priced cards. They dont want people trying to achieve playable 4k resolution without paying that Nvidia premium tax.

    Right now if I was buying to play 1080-1440 I'd go AMD 480 all the way.