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Nvidia announces 3GB variant of GeForce GTX 1060 for $199

By Scorpus · 45 replies
Aug 18, 2016
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  1. Nvidia has announced a new variant of their GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card today, which features half the VRAM and a slight reduction in CUDA core count. This new card, the GTX 1060 3GB, will go head-to-head with the AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB at a $199 price point.

    Normally when lower-capacity variants of a graphics card are released, the only change is the reduction in VRAM. The GTX 1060 3GB does see a cut in GDDR5 frame buffer from 6 GB to 3 GB on the same 192-bit bus, but Nvidia has also disabled one of the ten SMs in the GP106 GPU for this model, which introduces a new core configuration under the GTX 1060 name.

    With nine of the ten SMs active in this card, the core count drops from 1280 to 1152, and the texture units see a similar reduction from 80 to 72. Clock speeds remain unchanged, at 1506 MHz with a boost to 1709 MHz, though rated compute performance decreases by 11 percent (from 4.4 to 3.9 TFLOPs). Despite the core count reduction, the TDP of the 3GB model remains at 120W.

    Changing the core configuration for the GTX 1060 3GB does introduce some confusion into Nvidia's product line-up, as comparisons between GTX 1060s now go beyond the included frame buffer. Nvidia claims the real-world performance drop from disabling one SM sits at around five percent, which is pretty reasonable considering the price has dropped by $50 (or 20 percent).

    Despite the reduction in performance, Nvidia could have a compelling graphics card here for just $199. The GTX 1060 6GB was already decent value at $249, but it couldn't beat the $199 Radeon RX 480 4GB in a cost-per-frame battle. This new 3GB variant should end up performing similarly to or slightly better than the RX 480 4GB, albeit with lower VRAM, for the same price.

    The battle between GTX 1060 3GB and RX 480 4GB might already be won by Nvidia though, because they have the advantage of availability. You can head to Newegg right now and purchase the GTX 1060 3GB at its MSRP of $199, while the RX 480 is perpetually out of stock

    Permalink to story.

  2. Fbarnett

    Fbarnett TS Booster Posts: 210   +30

    Man AMD is done for. Sucks but they cant get anything going anymore. I like compitetion but AMD does not seem to have it anymore
  3. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,786   +1,003

    AMD will be fine. The 3 GB GTX 1060 has a good chunk of CUDA cores taken out and half the RAM. It doesn't even have enough RAM for most games at 1080 ultra. It's going to be slower than the RX 480, especially with high textures, above 1080p, in DX 12 / Vulkan, and as games require more and more RAM. The only saving grace it has is power consumption and there is only a small difference at that. AMD is doing poorly but the 3 GB 1060 is a poor example of it.

    About the RX 480 shortage, I've heard that people are buying them up for eterium mining.
  4. soulsassassin

    soulsassassin TS Addict Posts: 107   +42

    Releasing the gtx 960 with a 2gb frame buffer was a big mistake now a generation later nvidia seems to be going the same road again with a 3gb 1060
  5. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,357   +1,516

  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,786   +1,003

    Yep, the 960 didn't see much of a drop until playing at settings or resolutions it isn't able to handle anyways. The 960 is the perfect example of just enough. The question is, can the 1060 be fed by only 3 GB of memory? The GTX 1060 3 GB has 63% (rounded up) more TFlops output than the 960 (3.9 vs 2.4) while only having 33% more memory (2 GB vs 3 GB). If a RAM limitation were ever to surface it should be with the 1060.
    Reehahs likes this.
  7. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,314   +537

    Oh no... another GPU release... bring out the AMD fanboys to say how this will totally fail... and the Nvidia ones to say how awesome this card will be!!

    Does this mean we won't be seeing a 1050 this year?

    Nvidia claims that this card is 10% faster than the 480 8GB... if true, that's a bad sign for AMD... I suspect that will only be true for 1080p gaming - but if you want to game at 1440p or better, you shouldn't be buying either card...
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
  8. Jennax1985

    Jennax1985 TS Rookie

    Hmm, not sure what to make of this, the VRAM is too low for even 1080p gaming. Maybe those still gaming on 720p tv's and those few in 3rd world nations with 720p monitors???? It would have been wise to just sell the GTX 1060 6GB at $200, a little loss per card goes a long way when many are sold and would only increase Nvidia's happy customers. Though, I hope AMD comes out strong with both Zen and Vega to make Nvidia lower their outrages prices. I remember the days of when the truly revolutionary 8800GTX first came out only costing $600 for double the performance of the 7900GTX before it.

    Though, I read an article yesterday that hints at AMD truly being able to bring the fight back against Intel when their 3 ghz clocked Zen CPU went head to head and even beat it in some areas with Intel's 6900k clocked at 3 ghz too. So I have high hopes for both Zen and Vega. Since I already own a single Titan X Pascal, I may get a Vega card to play with the Titan in DX12 for the games that will support combined GPU's. I'm hoping Nvidia is forced to lower their price similar to the 6 series era where AMD forced them to do so. Because $1200 for the Titan X Pascal is too much (and I even got mine for $800 with my man's GI discount from a local PC shop). Let's hope AMD comes back firing on all cylinders, we need the competition, depending on the performance of the 8 core 16 threaded Zen CPU on the AM4 architecture, I may upgrade from my Z97/i7 4790k since that would be useful for Blender that my Titan X Pascal is great in for rendering with all that VRAM and of course, being the first card for true Ultra 4k gaming for most games. I just need a stronger CPU then my great i7 4790k for Blender and from the press conference AMD had, it seem single thread performance of Zen is over 40% over the previous Excavator architecture, that's mighty impressive. I'm also interested in the feature of all the threads acting as a single thread for the programs that aren't multithreaded.

    This GTX 1060 3GB will be decent still, but that VRAM and such is too small these days for Ultra 1080p gaming, Nvidia would have had a real winner if it was at least 4GB of VRAM.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,169   +3,261

    I do wish you knew what you were talking about. My GTX 660 is fine for 1080p gaming. I can't help it if your gaming criteria for gaming is out the roof requiring a 1080. There is a reason crippled cards are being sold. There being sold for Gamers who can't afford all the cosmetics you cutting edge players are used to looking at.

    People always think hardware would be better if it had more capability. That hasn't changed in centuries.
    Duckeenie, Burty117 and Steve like this.
  10. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,357   +1,516

    Why do people insist that VRAM capacity isn't dictated by GPU power. Basically if you are aiming for a minimum of 60fps in modern games, then the 3GB model will be fine. You aren't going to be playing with settings that chew through VRAM if you are targeting high frame rates on this card.

    Tell me cliffordcooley, why? Help me keep my sanity :D
    Kenrick, Burty117 and cliffordcooley like this.
  11. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,041   +793

    In the UK, the 1060 vs RX480 pricing is very interesting:

    RX480 8GB = £230
    1060 6GB = £240

    For an extra £10 you get a considerably better graphics card making the RX480 a bit pointless.

    RX480 4GB = £200
    1060 3GB = £190

    If the 1060 3GB can surpass the RX480 4GB or match it's performance, then AMD are going to be forced to lower there prices.

    *All prices quoted are from scan.co.uk I'm sure you can find better prices for both sides elsewhere.
    Duckeenie and Blakey like this.
  12. Duckeenie

    Duckeenie TS Booster Posts: 80   +62

    The benchmarks I've seen show the 3GB 1060 to be <10% slower at 1080P on most games than the 6GB. Not too shabby.

    Prices being as close as they are though I would probably still opt for the 6GB model for those occasional games that appear and leave you kicking yourself that your card didn't come with more memory.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,986   +2,875

    Only a few in 3rd world economies? Have you ever been to a 3rd world country? it would be obtuse to believe everything you see or read on your 4K displays that your Titan X renders. Most 3rd world economies have the very latest tech as well, by the tons, often costing far less than than the equivalent USD.
    soulsassassin likes this.
  14. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,493   +3,490

    This is because they are awash in money. Seriously, Nigerian princes email me daily wanting to transfer huge sums. They're richer than us!
    Phr3d and Duckeenie like this.
  15. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,986   +2,875

    They're spamming you but it's true, they're richer than you, thanks to their drug empire.
  16. codgerface

    codgerface TS Member

    Seriously. In a different forum yesterday I saw somebody post that you should just pitch in more for the 1070 because the 1060 is only for casual gamers (and this was for the 6GB version, mind you). So, a card that is essentially equivalent to a 980 is only for casual gamers...

    Because, ya know, it ends in "60" and that's how it works, right?

    I don't know what's worse for newcomers in forums that are seeking help in choosing components, fanboy-ism, or conjured and misinformed opinions about what you "need" to be a "proper" gamer (whatever that is).

    Looking forward to your review of the 3GB cards, btw.
  17. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 581   +159

    Actual 3rd world countries are actually mostly made up of those too poor to own computers (though cell phones do seem universal).
  18. Fbarnett

    Fbarnett TS Booster Posts: 210   +30

    The Thing that sucks here is the AMD rx480 was suppose to be a really good card now Nvidia bottom of the barrel cards is kicking its ***?
  19. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,986   +2,875

  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,169   +3,261

    That's just it! The person you are trying to help has to draw their own conclusion of what a "proper" gamer is. Your definition while trying to help is irrelevant, because the judging bar is nearly being raised on a daily basis. A bar of which everyone has their own opinion for.
  21. Silvernine

    Silvernine TS Member Posts: 21   +17

    Aaargh. I bought an AMD RX 470 4GB a few days ago for $200 and it was shipped yesterday. I'm upgrading from a NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti. Then this came out... This one has 1GB less RAM but isn't it slightly faster than 480 (at least from the benchmarks of the 6GB version)? Although I read that you can overclock the RX 470 to match up with the RX 480 so I guess it should be fine.

    Whatever. I do look forward to the new AMD Radeon Settings. Catalyst was such a POS on my friends computer. That's one thing I really like about NVIDIA. Also love the support for scientific computing that NVIDIA cards generally has.

    As long as the card does what you need it to do within your budget, it's all fine. I never really get all these fanboyism that happens all the time with various things. It's the same with the whole PC gaming vs console gaming. It shouldn't matter. There will be great games for both and if you can get them both and enjoy them, that's great isn't it?
  22. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,786   +1,003

    Mate you need to read the article, this 1060 3 GB has 11% less CUDA cores. I guess Nvidia calling it a 1060 instead of a 1050 will get them extra sales with people believing they are getting full 1060 power.
  23. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,314   +537

    It has 11% less than the 1060.... which still makes it faster than the 480 (at least on paper)... Once we have a real review and some benchmarks, we'll know for sure - but it looks like anyone who bought the 470/480 is gonna be pretty peeved....
  24. YSignal

    YSignal TS Rookie Posts: 19

    They have no reason to be peeved, 470/480 does excellent in dx12 and vulkan, and thats what upcoming titles will use going forward.
  25. MrN1ce9uy

    MrN1ce9uy TS Rookie

    I think there will be a PASCAL 1050 later this year. NVIDIA will want something in the lower tier (sub $200 range) as they have done every generation. I suspect it will be a $149.99 GTX 1050, maybe (hopefully) another 3GB card as I just can't see them going with 2GB, but you never know! :/ @Speculation

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