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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Graphics Card Roundup

Introduction & Overview

Nvidia launched its GeForce GTX 1060 6GB in July of 2016 to inevitable comparisons with AMD's Radeon RX 480 8GB. Although the 1060 was faster in DX11 games, it also commanded a premium that was harder to justify than the uncontested GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080.

A month later, Nvidia quietly rolled out a 3GB version of the 1060 to battle the 4GB RX 480. Its GPU took quite a haircut in the process, though, dropping from 1280 to 1152 CUDA cores and affecting performance far more than model name suggests. Presumably, Nvidia couldn't risk the 3GB and 6GB models appearing too similar at 1920x1080.

After wrapping up our initial GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 round-ups, Tom's Hardware DE set to work on a collection of 1060s, 3GB and 6GB alike. This first incarnation includes eight different boards from a field that spans anywhere from under $200 (£150) to over $300 (£250). Each individual review goes incredibly deep, covering manufacturing quality, technical features, power consumption, clock rates, cooling, and acoustics.

The gaming performance of every factory-overclocked board within a given chip class is usually pretty similar to begin with. But that's more true now than ever. This is a result of features like GPU Boost 3.0, which allows manufacturers to safely extract as much headroom as possible from a processor. Very little is left on the table, even if you have access to extreme overclocking hardware.

We will continue to update this roundup as new test samples become available.

The final analysis of each card is listed below for quick and easy comparison.


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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition

Build quality
Cooler exhausts waste heat
Quiet
Price
Power target-limited
Six-pin power connector
Low thermal ceiling

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition

EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC Gaming

Compact size
Modder-friendly warranty
One of the least-expensive 6GB cards
No MOSFET/memory cooling

EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC Gaming

Gainward GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Phoenix GS

Compact size
Good performance
No U.S. availability
Budget-oriented cooler
Hysteresis issues

Gainward GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Phoenix GS

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6G

Large, capable cooler
Aggressive factory overclock
Backplate aids cooling
Price
Size

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6G

Inno3D GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming OC

Simple, straightforward design
Factory overclock
Spotty availability
Prohibitive pricing in U.S.
Noisy by default

Inno3D GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming OC

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 3G

Designed well for MMORPG and MOBA games
Beefy cooler
Low noise
3GB isn't enough

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 3G

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G

Beefy cooler
Acceptable price
Eight-pin power connector
Solid performance
Sample shipped with non-standard firmware

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G

Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Super JetStream

Compact size
Good performance
No US availability
Budget-oriented cooler
Hysteresis issues

Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Super JetStream


MORE: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Roundup


MORE: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Roundup


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  • TechyInAZ
    Thank you for doing these roundups! Very informative.
    Reply
  • Achaios
    @Igor: I really appreciate your articles. I have one small request: PLEASE consider adding benchmarks results from 3D MARK FIRESTRIKE so that we can compare your results with our GPU's. Really appreciated your "Das große Radeon RX480 Test-Roundup - Teil 1" too, though again, there are no 3D MARK FIRESTRIKE results.
    Reply
  • bloodroses
    Darnit, the Zotac and Gigabyte mini models weren't covered. I was curious to see how those two compare vs. the EVGA model since I'm working with limited space inside my case.
    Reply
  • agent88
    I bought a retail MSI Geforce GTX 1060 Gaming X card last month and it was defaulted to OC mode by default. This is the same as the test version that the press received. Wondering if MSI is shipping this version to all consumers now or if I just got lucky with a "golden sample". Also, MSI provides both the MSI gaming app and afterburner software. The gaming app offers 1-click option to choose the OC mode. A
    Reply
  • Pete16
    What about Asus? At least two graphics should be there
    Reply
  • shrapnel_indie
    Good to see a roundup... However, I think the 3GB and the 6GB belong in the same category as much as the RX-470 and RX-480 do. That is: they don't.
    Reply
  • ITFT
    Where is my ASUS 6Gb OC edition? Clocks over 2Ghz by the way :D
    Reply
  • FritzEiv
    We're working on getting more cards in for all categories (1080, 1070, 1060), including from Asus, which is working on getting us cards. In fact, we'll have an update to our 1070 roundup shortly (2 new cards). And we're working on a 480 roundup as well.
    Reply
  • mikeangs2004
    19457023 said:
    Darnit, the Zotac and Gigabyte mini models weren't covered. I was curious to see how those two compare vs. the EVGA model since I'm working with limited space inside my case.

    they are kind of for the niche market just like in the days of low profile units
    Reply
  • Ancient1
    Regarding the EVGA GTX 1060 SC :
    Could someone who disassemble it post the measurements ( WxHxL ) of the HEATPIPE ?? I plan on carving a Copper Heatsink, rather than Thermal Pads.
    I am also thinking about HS for the memory etc , along the Pipe. But it will impact AirFlow and might degrade the HeatPipe efficiency as , to my knowledge, Heatpipe depends on temperature difference between the cooled GPU and the Heat Expelling (to the fins) areas of it.
    Please post, Google will find it :)
    Thanks in advance
    Reply