Gainward GTX 1060 GS

Just as I was wrapping up my GTX 1060 launch day coverage, Gainward's GTX 1060 Phoenix GS landed on my doorstep. We weren't expecting a partner card in time for the official GTX 1060 release so we were happy to have the Gainward card on hand.

Due to the card's late arrival, we're just going to update three games with the GTX 1060 Phoenix GS results and we will also include custom overclocking as well as a note on thermals.

Before we get to that let's take a closer look at the card itself. Like the Founders Edition, the Phoenix GS measures 250mm long. Whereas Nvidia's design stands 110mm tall the Gainward card is 123mm tall thanks to the oversized cooler.

Speaking of which, the cooler has been constructed primarily from plastic but does feature anodized aluminium trimmings. Moving air over the heatsink below are a pair of 90mm fans featuring Gainward's new blade fin design. These fans are extremely quiet, even when the card has been placed under load for an extended period.

In total there's 210mm by 73mm at 28mm thick worth of heatsink. Improving efficiency are four 6mm copper heatpipes which connect to a large base plate that also covers the six GDDR5 memory chips as well as the VRMs.

The PCB design has been changed and now we find a 4+1 power phase design, a slight upgrade. The PCB also stretches the full length of the card so again we find the 6-pin PCIe power connector at the end of the graphics card. That being the case, no upgrades to the power input have been made so there's nothing here that really suggests the Phoenix GS will overclock any better than the Founders Edition graphics card.

Out of the box the Gainward GTX 1060 Phoenix GS comes with a factory overclock. The base clock has been set at 1620MHz which results in a boost clock of 1848MHz. The memory has been left at 2002MHz resulting in a data rate of 8Gbps. That's an 8% core overclock and nothing on the memory.

Around the back we find a huge full size back plate protecting the card, though the aluminum plate is pretty boring in terms of design. The I/O configuration remains standard with a single dual-link DVI output, HDMI 2.0b and three DisplayPorts.

When it came to overclocking the card we were able to push the memory up to 2302MHz while the core reached 1745MHz resulting in a boost clock of 1973MHz. However, due to the way GPU Boost 3.0 technology works, the GTX 1060 Phoenix GS spent most of its time operating at around 2.1GHz, just like the Founders Edition. Again, we weren't able to increase the voltage but the power target was maxed out at 119%.

Interestingly, despite its larger cooler, Gainward's card operated quite a few degrees hotter than the Founders Edition card. Part of this was down to the power consumption which was quite a bit higher than the FE card, as you'll see in a moment. First let’s take a quick look at a few benchmark results…

Out of the box the Gainward GTX 1060 Phoenix GS was just slightly better than the Founders Edition graphics card. Once overclocked the Phoenix GS was only able to match the Founders Editions 47fps average so not a terribly exciting result.

Again the Gainward card was just a frame faster with the factory overclock and even with the maximum custom overclock applied the Phoenix GS pulled just a single frame ahead of the Founders Edition.

The last game we checked out was Rise of the Tomb Raider and here the Phoenix GS was again just a frame or two faster than the Founders Edition. This was true when comparing the two out of the box as well as with the maximum stable overclock applied.

As expected, the Gainward GTX Phoenix GS consumed a similar level of power as the Founders Edition card with the total system consumption reaching just 194 watts in Call of Duty Black Ops III.

Considering the cooler is so much larger and that dual fans typically outperform blower style cooler, we were surprised by the thermals. The Phoenix GS ran at 67 degrees, 3 degrees hotter than the Founders Edition card. In Gainward's defense we will say that the GTX 1060 Phoenix GS was near silent, even under full load so that was a huge plus.