Can NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1060 Squash AMD's Radeon RX 480?

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 was announced earlier this month, but starting today you should be able to find them for sale online. The GeForce GTX 1060 features the brand new Pascal GP106 GPU that is made on the 16nm FinFET manufacturing process by TSMC. NVIDIA was able to get impressive clock frequencies out of the Pascal GP104 GPU used on the GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 series and it appears that trend will continue on the GeForce GTX 1060 as it has 1280 CUDA Cores that are running at a base clock of 1506 MHz and a boost clock of 1709 MHz. When it comes to memory you are looking at 6GB of GDDR5 memory running at 8Gbps on a 192-bit bus for 192.2 GB/s of memory bandwidth. Pretty impressive sounding specifications for a $249 graphics card! GP106 Pascal Block Diagram The GP106 'Pascal' GPU used on the GeForce GTX 1060 utilized two GPCs and 10 Pascal Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs). Just like the GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070, the Pascal SMs used for GP106 contain 128 CUDA cores, 256 KB of register file capacity, a 96 KB shared memory unit, 48 KB of total L1 cache storage, and eight texture units. That means the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 has a total of 1280 CUDA Cores and 80 Texture Units. The GeForce GTX 1060 features six 32-bit memory controllers (192-bit total). Tied to each 32-bit memory controller are eight ROP units and 256 KB of L2 cache. The full GP106 chip used in GTX 1060 ships with a total of 48 ROPs and 1536 KB of L2 cache. GTX 960 Versus GTX 1060 Compared to the GeForce GTX 960 'Maxwell' the GeForce GTX 1060 'Pascal' video card looks like it will be worth updating to as it has the same TDP, but more cores, texture units and ROPs, higher clock speeds, more memory memory. We have a GeForce GTX 960 in our performance charts, so it will be interesting to see how the two generation cards compare. [gallery ids="184355,184351,184358,184354,184350,184357,184356,184349,184352"] The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition features a faceted die-cast aluminum body that looks good and gives the card that heavy quality feel. NVIDIA designed the GTX 1060 Founders Edition features a blower style thermal solution to help keep the GP106 GPU nice and cool without needing ear plugs. NVIDIA went with a dual-FETs power supply design for improved power efficiency, along with a low impedance power delivery network and custom voltage regulators. They believe that this is the ideal GeForce GTX 1060 and are charging the premium price of $299 for it. So, you can get the NVIDIA reference design for $50 more than the MSRP of the NVIDIA board partners base designs. GeForce GTX 1060 Video Cards For this launch article we'll be looking at the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics card ($299) and the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB SuperClocked retail card ($259 before a $10 mail-in rebate). This is EVGA's standard Superclock edition card that features their ACX 2.0 GPU cooler with a single fan design that puts the card at only 7.1-inches in length. The GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition is 9.8-inches in length, so EVGA's card is very small. EVGA's custom GPU cooler features a copper core with dual heatpipes to help reduce temperatures by up to 15C compared to the Founders Edition version. EVGA ships this model with a base clock of 1607MHz and a boost clock of 1835MHz, so it has a nice GPU overclock as the reference card is clocked at 1506 MHz base and 1709 MHz boost. The good news is that the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 uses a reference PCB layout with the exception of the 6-pin power header. GeForce GTX 1060 Power Connectors The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 is rated at 120W TDP and has just one 6-pin PCIe power connector. Some custom GeForce GTX 1060 designs will feature an 8-pin connector, but shouldn't be needed unless you are doing some very extreme overclocking! GeForce_GTX_1060_3Qtr_Front_Left_Thermal_1467926629 One of the interesting things that NVIDIA has done with the GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition is place the 6-pin PCIe power connector at the end of the GPU cooler off the fan shroud. This is interesting as NVIDIA had to solder wires to the reference board to be able to 'move' the 6-pin power connector to the end of the cards cooler for better wire management in PC cases. The concern and feedback from the enthusiast community is that this will make using a water block or custom cooler nearly impossible on the Founders Edition. On the other hand you are paying a $50 premium for the Founders Edition and the big selling point for that card is obviously the sweet looking full metal GPU Cooler! GeForce GTX 1060 Video Card Back On the back of the GeForce GTX 1060 you'll find no back plate or GDDR5 memory chips, so there isn't too much to talk about. Notice that the SLI Bridge connection is missing from the GeForce GTX 1060? Sadly, NVIDIA has informed us that SLI is not going to be supported on the GeForce GTX 1060 series and we can assume that all future cards in the class will not be supporting multi-GPU technology. It appears that NVIDIA will be using SLI multi-GPU technology support to differentiate between the mainstream and high-end graphics cards. GeForce GTX 1060 Video Card Outputs When it comes to video outputs the GeForce GTX 1060 features three DisplayPort 1.4, one HDMI 2.0b and one Dual-Link DVI to ensure that you'll be able to hook it up to your existing display. EVGA is using the reference board design on the EVGA GeForce GTX SC, so the only difference here is the exhaust bracket. Let's move along to the test system overview and then get straight on to the benchmark results!

Test System

Before we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done using a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running.  There has been some concern of people testing a cold card versus a hot card, but we've always done out testing 'hot' since the site started back more than a decade ago. Video Cards & Drivers used for testing: GeForce GTX 1060 Test System

Intel X79/LGA2011 Platform

The Intel X79 platform that we used to test the all of the video cards was running the ASUS P9X79-E WS motherboard with BIOS 1704 that came out on 05/08/2015. We went with the Intel Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E processor to power this platform as it is PCIe 3.0 certified, so all graphics cards are tested with PCI Express Gen 3 enabled. The Kingston HyperX 10th Anniversary 16GB 2400MHz quad channel memory kit was set to XMP Profile #2. This profile defaults to 2133MHz with 1.65v and 11-13-13-30 2T memory timings. The OCZ Vertex 460 240GB SSD was run with latest firmware available. A Corsair AX860i digital power supply provides clean power to the system and is also silent as the fan hardly ever spins up. This is critical to our testing as it lowers the ambient noise level of the room and gives us more accurate sound measurements. Test System Settings Here are the exact hardware components that we are using on our test system:
The Intel X79 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor Intel Core i7-4960X
Motherboard
ASUS P9X79-E WS
Memory
16GB Kingston 2133MHz
Video Card Various
Solid-State Drive OCZ Vertex 460 240GB
Cooling Intel TS13X (Asetek)
Power Supply Corsair AX860i
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit
Monitor ASUS PB287Q 28" 4K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition Video Card GPU-Z Info: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB SuperClocked Video Card GPU-Z Info: EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU-Z Let's move on to the Battlefield 4 benchmark results!

Battlefield 4

bf4-screenshot Battlefield 4 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts. It is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3 and was released on October 29, 2013 in North America. Battlefield 4's single-player Campaign takes place in 2020, six years after the events of its predecessor. Tensions between Russia and the United States have been running at a record high. On top of this, China is also on the brink of war, as Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, plans to overthrow China's current government; and, if successful, the Russians will have full support from the Chinese, bringing China into a war with the United States. bf4-settings This game title uses the Frostbite 3 game engine and looks great. We tested Battlefield 4 with the Ultra graphics quality preset as most discrete desktop graphics cards can easily play with this IQ setting at 1080P and we still want to be able to push the higher-end cards down the road. We used FRAPS to benchmark with these settings on the Shanghai level. All tests were done with the DirectX 11 API. bf4-1080 Benchmark Results: At the popular 1080p gaming resolution, the GeForce GTX 1060 Founders edition nailed it with an average FPS of 107.6! The factory overclocked EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC came in at 110.6 FPS, which smoked AMD's Radeon RX 480 graphics cards score of  83.4 FPS. bf4-1440 Benchmark Results: When scaling the resolution up to 2k (2160×1440), the GeForc eGTX 1060 averaged 68.2 FPS with the minimum frame rate being just 58 FPS in our test section. The AMD Radeon RX 480 dipped down to 42 FPS and averaged 54 FPS, so there is a huge difference in performance here and not so much in price.  bf4-4k Benchmark Results:  When it comes to 4k UHD gaming, the Radeon RX 480 only could average 27 FPS, but the GeForce GTX 1060 could only do slight better with 34 FPS on average. These aren't 4K gaming cards, so keep that in mind! 

Fallout 4

Fallout4 Fallout 4 is an open world action role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. Fallout 4 is set in a post-apocalyptic Boston in the year 2287, 210 years after a devastating nuclear war, in which the player character emerges from an underground bunker known as a Vault. Gameplay is similar to Fallout 3.  The title is the fifth major installment in the Fallout series and was released worldwide on November 10th, 2015. fallout4 settings Fallout 4 was benchmarked with ultra image quality settings with TAA and 16x AF. These settings are tough for entry level discrete graphics cards, but are more than playable on high-end gaming graphics cards. V-Sync can't be disabled in the games options, so we edited the necessary INI files and disabled vsync in the driver software as well. We used FRAPS to benchmark Fallout 4 after you emerge from the vault and are in The Commonwealth. fallout-1080 Benchmark Results: In Fallout 4, at 1080p resolution, the GeForce GTX 1060 FE came in at 95.2 and the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC beat that with a 97.4 FPS average frame rate. The AMD Radeon  RX 480 came in at a respectable 84.3 FPS, but that was 12.9% slower than the GeForce GTX 1060 FE.  fallout-1440 Benchmark Results: With the display resolution bumped up to 2160×1440, the GeForce GTX 1060 came in with a score of 63.0 FPS versus just 45.7 on the AMD Radeon RX 480. This gives the GeForce GTX 1060 FE a 38% performance advantage over the Radeon RX 480 and the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC is even faster than the GTX 1060 FE!  fallout-4k Benchmark Results: With the display resolution bumped up to 2160×1440, the GeForce GTX 1060 averaged 32 FPS versus the 29 FPS seen on the AMD Radeon RX 480.

Grand Theft Auto V

GTAV Grand Theft Auto V, currently one of the hottest PC games, was finally released for the PC on April 14, 2015.  Developed by Rockstar, it is set in 2013 and the city of Los Santos.  It utilizes the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) which Rockstar has been using since 2006, with multiple updates for technology improvements. GTA5-settings GTA5-settings2 In Grand Theft Auto V we set the game to run with no MSAA with 16x AF and high image quality settings as we didn't want the GPU to bottleneck the system too bad, but wanted a setup that your average gamer would actually play on. We used the games built-in benchmark utility to have at least one game we used that could be compared to your setup at home. We averaged all the five of the default benchmark runs and omitted both the minimum and maximum values as those results are garbage due to major inconsistencies. gtav-1080 1080P Benchmark Results: The GeForce GTX 1060 FE came in at 106.3 FPS versus 82.4 FPS on the AMD Radeon RX 480. That puts the GeForce GTX 1060 FE as being 29% faster in Grand Theft Auto at 1080P resolutions. The EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC and the GeForce GTX 1060 FE both were faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 reference card, so performance is no joke!  gtav-1440 1440P Benchmark Results: Scaling up the resolution to 1440P, the GeForce GTX 1060 game us an average of 69.2 FPS versus 55.0 FPS of the Radeon RX 480.  GTAV-4K 4K Ultra HD Benchmark Results: GTA V's built-in benchmark again showed that the current generation of $199-$299 graphics cards can't do 4K gaming as we were only getting 34.4 FPS on the GeForce GTX 1060 FE and 28.0 FPS on the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB. 

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider Rise of the Tomb Raider is a third-person action-adventure video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. It is the sequel to the 2013 video game Tomb Raider, which was itself, the second reboot to its series. It was released for Microsoft Windows in January 2016. Players control Lara Croft through various environments, battling enemies, and completing puzzle platforming sections, while using improvised weapons and gadgets in order to progress through the story. tomb-raider-settings tomb-raider-settings2 Crystal Dynamics used a proprietary game engine called 'Foundation' for Rise of the Tomb Raider and it is able to create some pretty nice looking graphics. We tested Rise of the Tomb Raider with the Very High preset, but then changed the ambient occlusion setting from HBAO+ (an NVIDIA developed feature) to 'ON' to have as fair of a match up as we could. We also disabled VSync. Once we had the graphics and display settings figured out we used FRAPS to manually benchmark a section of the Siberian Wilderness that is about 10% into the game for a couple minutes. Rise of the Tomb Raider does not have a built-in benchmark, so this is one of the only ways you can benchmark this particular game title. tomb-1080 1080P Benchmark Results: Rise of the Tomb Raider had the Radeon RX 480 averaging 67.0 FPS and the GeForce GTX 1060was averaging 77.2 FPS or 10 FPS higher.  tomb-1440 1440P Benchmark Results: With the resolution bumped to 2160×1440, the GeForce GTX 1060 dropped down to 51 FPS on average, but that was still more than the 46 FPS offered by the Radeon RX 480. tomb-4k 4K Ultra HD Benchmark Results: Rise of the Tomb Raider will bring all cards to their knees at 4K gaming, and the RX 480 averaged 24.3 FPS and the GeForce GTX 1060 wasn't much better at 26.4 FPS!

Tom Clancy's The Division

TheDivision Tom Clancy's The Division is an online-only open world third-person shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Massive and published by Ubisoft, with assistance from Red Storm Entertainment, for Microsoft Windows,PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was announced during Ubisoft's E3 2013 press conference, and was released worldwide on March 8th, 2016. The Division is set in a dystopian New York City in the aftermath of a smallpoxpandemic; the player, who is an agent of the titular Strategic Homeland Division, commonly referred to as simply "The Division", is tasked with helping to rebuild the Division's operations in Manhattan, investigating the nature of the outbreak and combating criminal activity in its wake. The Division is structured with elements of role-playing games, as well as collaborative and player versus player online multiplayer. The Division settings The Division uses Ubisoft's new proprietary engine known as Snowdrop, which is made for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Snowdrop was created in-house, at Massive, in response to a specific requirement: to do things better, not bigger. The engine focuses on dynamic global illumination, stunning procedural destruction and a great amount of detail and visual effects. The developers wanted a powerful engine that works intelligently and not by brute force only. The Division settings We ran The Division with the image quality settings set at Ultra and VSYNC was disabled. We tried to FRAPS to benchmark with these settings, but found it was pretty much impossible due to the night and day cycle always changing when you enter the game and the spot where you load in the open world is slightly different. Unable to get consistent results we resorted to used the games built-in benchmark. the-division-1080 1080P Benchmark Results: The Division is one of the game titles that NVIDIA isn't doing too hot on right now and we found that the AMD Radeon RX 480 was able to beat the GeForce GTX 1060 FE by a tenth of a FPS. The EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC came in faster than the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB though, so you can see this cards are basically performing evenly on this particular game title. The NVIDIA reviewers guide showed that they were over 1% faster than AMD, but we used different image quality settings.  the-division-1440 1440P Benchmark Results:  As we scale up to 1440P resolution, the GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 480 hung in pretty well with an average of 42-43 FPS. the-division-4k 4K Ultra HD Benchmark Results: When moving up to 4K UHD resolution, the GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 480 averages 23-24 FPS.

Ashes of the Singularity - DX12

Ashes of the Singularity Battle Ashes of the Singularity is a real-time strategy game set in the future where descendants of humans (called Post- Humans) and a powerful artificial intelligence (called the Substrate) fight a war for control of a resource known as Turinium. Players will engage in massive-scale land/air battles by commanding entire armies of their own design. Each game takes place on one area of a planet, with each player starting with a home base (known as a Nexus) and a single construction unit. ashes options menu We ran the integrated Ashes of the Singularity benchmark utility in DX12 mode with the 'High' Image Quality Profile and disabled VSync. ashes-1080 1080P Benchmark Results: The AMD Radeon RX 480 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 both averaged about 56 FPS in Ashes of the Singularity using the DX12 API.  ashes-1440 1440P Benchmark Results: At 2560x1440, the Radeon RX 480 and GeForce GTX 1060 cards averaged 49 FPS and had basically the same performance. ashes-4k 4K Benchmark Results: The AMD Radeon RX 480 and EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC tied in performance with 38.8 FPS at 3840x2160 with 'high' image quality settings.

3DMark Fire Strike

3Dmark Fire Strike Benchmark Results - For high performance gaming PCs Use Fire Strike to test the performance of dedicated gaming PCs, or use the Fire Strike Extreme preset for high-end systems with multiple GPUs. Fire Strike uses a multi-threaded DirectX 11 engine to test DirectX 11 hardware.

3DMark Fire Strike

Fire Strike Benchmark Results:

firestrike

Benchmark Results: The Radeon RX 480 scored 10,662 points and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 was able to come in ahead of that at 11,028 points in the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark. The EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC scored 11,265 thanks to having higher core clock speeds than the GeForce GTX 1060 FE.

Fire Strike Extreme Benchmark Results: firestrike-x

Benchmark Results: In 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme the Radeon RX 480 scored 5,263 points while the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 scored 5,820 points.

3DMark Time Spy - DX12

3DMark Time Spy just recently came out and it is the latest and greatest DirectX 12 benchmark test for gaming PCs running Windows 10. This DirectX 12 Feature Level 11_0 benchmark utilizes a pure DirectX 12 game engine that supports features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading! The developers opted to use DirectX 12 Feature Level 11_0 to ensuring wide compatibility with DirectX 11 hardware through DirectX 12 drivers. 3DMark Time Spy With DirectX 12 on Windows 10, game developers can significantly improve the multi-thread scaling and hardware utilization of their titles to draw more objects, textures and effects for your viewing enjoyment. 3DMark Fire Strike is a great high-end DirectX 11 benchmark test, but doesn't really show off what new graphics cards can do on a DirectX 12 game title that will have much more going on while you are playing.   3DMark Time Spy Settings We ran 3DMark Time Spy with the standard settings and then with async compute disabled and got the following results: timespy-overall Here in another DX12 benchmark we see the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB performing just slightly better than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB FE graphics card, but the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC beating both. It looks like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 is a killer DX11 graphics card, but on DX12 titles it is comparable to a Radeon RX 480 8GB. Where things actually start to get interesting is when you look at the GPU score and test with Async Compute enabled and disabled. timespy-async With Async Compute disabled you can see the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB FE is significantly faster than the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB.

Temperature & Noise Testing

The gaming performance on a graphics card is the most important factor in buying a card, but you also need to be concerned about the noise, temperature and power consumption numbers. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Idle and Load Temps: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition Temps EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB SC Idle and Load Temps: EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition Temps When it comes to temperatures the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with the stock GPU cooler idled around 34C on our open air test bench and then hit 78C at load while gaming.The EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC idled at just 22C and topped out at 60C when gaming, so there is a huge difference between GPU coolers! The EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC was louder at idle, but the temperatures were amazing. Both cards voltages were identical as they topped out at 1.0620V while they idled at 0.6250.   UPDATE 7/22/2016: EVGA sent over a new 'FanStop' vBIOS for the GeForce GTX 1060 SC that allows for semi-passive fan curve and also unlocked full manual control over the fan speed. fanstop-gtx1060 Old BIOS ID: 86.03.0E.00.00 New BIOS ID: 86.03.0E.00.01 new-bios Noise is way down at idle/load, but temps are of course up. We originally got 22C at idle and 60C at load on an open air test system and that was amazing. Now we are getting 37C at idle and 74C at load, but the card is silent at idle and much quieter at load. Noise was 39.8dB idle and 43.4dB load and now they are at 37.9dB idle and 38.4dB at load. Going down 5dB is huge as the decibel scale is logarithmic! We also noticed that the idle power from 96W down to just 94-95W with the fan off, so lower noise, less power and still respectable temperatures. If you wanted to run cooler you could always adjust the fan profile with a utility like EVGA Precision X OC. fan-update The vBIOS update process is simple... From what we have been told the final build of this vBIOS will be released to the public shortly after testing is complete.   gpu-temps Here is a chart that shows the temperatures of the GeForce GTX 1060 versus some other high-end desktop cards and you can see the Founders Edition card is okay, but the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC is rather impressive!

Sound Testing

We test noise levels with an Extech sound level meter that has ±1.5dB accuracy that meets Type 2 standards. This meter ranges from 35dB to 90dB on the low measurement range, which is perfect for us as our test room usually averages around 36dB. We measure the sound level two inches above the corner of the motherboard with 'A' frequency weighting. The microphone wind cover is used to make sure no wind is blowing across the microphone, which would seriously throw off the data.

noise-1070 The EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC runs at 45% fan speed by default and it can't be adjusted lower right now. EVGA is going to be releasing a new vBIOS for this card in the days ahead that will make this card a 0dB card at idle and also allow for better manual adjustment. Right now the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC is in the middle of the chart for noise, but it should get better! ** The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X reference card that we are using was the original model with a loud water pump that whines. AMD changed the pump design before the cards hit the retail market, but wasn't willing to replace ours. We expect retail cards to perform quieter for this and hopefully AMD will send us a replacement card for proper noise testing. **

Power Consumption

GeForce GTX 1060 Power Connector For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Kill-A-Watt power meter. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers we ran Battlefield 4 at 3840x2160 and recorded the average idle reading and the peak gaming reading on the power meter. power-consumption Power Consumption Results: The GeForce GTX 1060 6GB FE used 98 Watts at idle and 243 Watts at load. That is crazy low considering the AMD Radeon RX 480 used 112 Watts at idle and 324 Watts at peak 4K gaming.  This is a welcome power savings from the R9 380X, but still a decent amount higher than the GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Overclocking

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 is a pretty fast card right out of the box, so we couldn't wait to manually overclock it to squeeze some more performance from the card. evga-precisionx We installed a latest version of the EVGA PrecisionX OC overclocking utility to overclock the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 video card! You can use whatever software utility you like for overclocking but this is what we wanted to use. In case you forgot, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC graphics card is clocked at 1607 MHz base with a boost clock of 1835 MHz. The 6GB of GDDR5 memory is clocked at 2002MHz (8008 MHz effective). Let's see how much higher we can get the GP106 Pascal GPU with 1280 CUDA cores! gtx1060-oc The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 is pretty open when it comes to overclocking. You can increase the power target to 116% and if you leave the GPU Temp Target locked it will automatically increase to 92C. We pushed the GPU Clock offset to +90MHz and the Mem Clock Offset to +500MHz on our card and found it was stable in the game titles that we tested. If we went up to +100 on the GPU Clock Offset we'd get driver crashes in 3D applications. gtx1060-overclock This overclock meant that we were running at up to 2075.0 MHz at times thanks to NVIDIA Boost 3.0 on the core and 2249.1 MHz (8996.4 MHz effective) on the 6GB of GDDR5 memory. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Stock: geforce-gtx-1060 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Overclocked (+90/+500): geforce-gtx-1060-oc By overclocking the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB SC graphics card we were able to take the score of 5,598 on 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme and raise it up to 6,383. This is a 425 point increase in our overall 3DMark score, which represents a performance gain of 7.5 percent. The overal FPS average in Graphics Test 1 went from 32.07 to 34.45, which is a 7.4% performance gain in this particular graphics test. We benchmarked the GeForce GTX 1060 overclocked to +90MHz core and +500MHz memory in a number of game titles and found that it was rock solid with nice performance gains. overclocked-gtx1060 For example in BF4 at 2560 x 1440 we averaged 68.9 FPS on NVIDIA's Founders Edition card and 70.5 FPS on the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 with a factory overclock. When we manually overclocked the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 we were able to get the average FPS up to 75.3 FPS, which is faster than the mighty AMD Radeon R9 Fury X with HBM1 memory! Very impressive scores as we are getting 20FPS or 37% more performance than a stock AMD Radeon R9 480 reference card. Let's wrap this review up!

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

GeForce GTX 1060 Video Cards The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 is a very impressive video card and for $249 it is hard to complain about the performance at that price. The GeForce GTX 1060 dominates the AMD Radeon RX 480 in most all the benchmarks at 1920 x 1080 and 2560 x 1440 resolutions and only shows signs of weakness when running DX12 game titles as AMD handles async compute really well. The good news for NVIDIA is that they are comparable on DX12 game performance with the Radeon RX 480. It would have been nice to have SLI support on the GeForce GTX 1060 for upgradeability, but we understand that NVIDIA is trying to differentiate between their mid-range and high-end graphics cards. AMD is still supporting CrossFire on the Radeon RX 480, so could that cause people to buy it over the GeForce GTX 1060? Time will certainly tell, but the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 looks to be a big upgrade for those running a GeForce GTX 960 or older as shown in our performance charts. The power consumption numbers on the GeForce GTX 1060 were phenomenal and both idle and load. We were seeing almost 15W lower at idle and 80 Watts lower at load. Overclocking performance of the GeForce GTX 1060 was also impressive as we were able to get the 1280 CUDA cores up to nearly 2.1GHz with full stability and no voltage increase! The GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition priced at $299 and only being available from NVIDIA directly is really going to limit who is going to buy it. The price tag is a bit high seeing how NVIDIA's board partners pricing starts at just $249 and the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC that we looked at here today is available for $259, but there is a $10 rebate on it right now. For $249 after rebate the GeForce GTX 1060 SC is pretty amazing! NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Launch Day Pricing:  NVIDIA has shared board pricing with us for their partners, but we anticipate limited availability on launch day given what we've seen on other Pascal GPU launched and from what we are hearing from board partners. Our advice is that if you can find a $249 model in-stock to grab it as we have a feeling they will be tough to find here shortly. steam-vr-1060 The Steam VR Performance test also showed that the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB FE was able to score an 8 or 'very high' on the average quality test, which is better than than what the 6.6 'high' average quality score that the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB could do. At the end of the day the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 is an amazing graphics card with performance that will impress pretty much all 1080P and 1440P gamers! LR Recommended Award Legit Bottom Line:  The AMD Radeon RX 480 was impressive when it came out, but we are more impressed by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060!