Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review: Fighting for the mid-range crown

By Steve · 49 replies
Jul 19, 2016
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  1. This generation's GPU battle is heating up. Beginning in May with the flagship GeForce GTX 1080 aimed 4K gamers, Nvidia's 16nm Pascal assault continued a few short weeks later with the GTX 1070 delivering performance akin to a GTX 980 Ti for a heavily discounted price.

    Nvidia then decided to soft-launch the GTX 1060 on July 7, providing most of the GPU's specifications and even divulging pricing information. This was no doubt done in a move to steal some of the RX 480's thunder and the timing couldn't have been worse for AMD given its less than perfect release -- though it has since addressed the card's PCIe power concerns.

    What we have is a $250 GeForce GTX 1060 ($300 for the Founders Edition) facing off against a $240 RX 480 8GB ($200 for the 4GB model). This fight over the mid-range market should be great news for consumers, although for now we are yet to see Nvidia cards anywhere near their MSRP and AMD is struggling with availability from AIB partners.

    Read the complete review.

  2. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,648   +1,091

    In the end it all boils down to how much each video card costs in your country,
    Reehahs, gingerbill and KernTUG like this.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I won't be upgrading to this latest series af nVidia cards but if I were I'd wait about another 6 months and rather throw my money at a 1070 which will cost about $300 here by then.
    gingerbill and jauffins like this.
  4. jauffins

    jauffins TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +24

    25-50% more money for 10-13% more performance. Sigh.
    noc81 likes this.
  5. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 569   +370

    Finished reading all reviews from tech sites.

    If you want the BEST and king of mainstream card, get the gtx 1060.

    If you are in a TIGHT budget and a lot of rx480 in the shelves. get that.
  6. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 569   +370

    where did you get the 50% more money?

    you are just taking a hit at most by 30%. Lower with 3rd party coolers. You get 6GB opposed to 4GB, faster in both DX12 & 11, power efficient, overclocking prowess and less heat. I can give up a month of starbucks or mcdonalds and I can get that $50 in no time.

    The problem is Nvidia should address the supply issues.
  7. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,648   +1,091

    we are talking about mainstream here. everything is on a tight budget. if forking another 50$ was that easy then most people would just buy the 1070 :D
    and for your knowledge, most people can't wait a month just to buy something marginally better.
    Reehahs likes this.
  8. meric

    meric TS Booster Posts: 110   +53

    Very cool temps, will be much better with AIB designs thus will probably provide some good OC potential, there may be a ti version in plans
  9. risc32

    risc32 TS Addict Posts: 209   +96

    Oc? Like the 1070 & 1080? That is, just about nothing to be gained. Ti version? What makes you think that?
  10. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 857   +872

    TPU got 14% more performance out of an OC. Hardly "nothing to be gained"
  11. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves TS Booster Posts: 191   +45

    Except these days you have to consider the screen situation too. The price premium on G-sync monitors means the GTX 1060 either gets pushed out of mainstream territory price-wise or you get a nicer screen with the RX 480.

    Either way, nVidia's refusal to support DisplayPort Adaptive Sync or make G-sync cheaper means that the only people this card is best for are those not likely to change their screen or who will be gaming on a type of screen that doesn't support variable refresh rates (projector etc.).

    For a standard gaming desktop, the RX 480 is undoubtedly the default choice and I'd be surprised if many pre-built systems showed up with GTX 1060s.
    darkzelda likes this.
  12. Xero07

    Xero07 TS Booster Posts: 100

    The 50% more case was the founders edition 1060 compared to AMD 480 4GB.
    jauffins likes this.
  13. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 565   +179

    Good review Steve. Was the RX480 re-benched against the GTX 1060, or do you just pull numbers over from review to review (I know re-benching all the gpus's = tons of work and time) just curious if the numbers for the rx480 are with the new drivers or the launch drivers.
    Phr3d likes this.
  14. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,085   +1,266

    The GTX 1060 is a really compelling card for 144 Hz or 120 Hz 1080p. The only problem I'm seeing here is that the RX 480 is gaining on it in higher resolutions. This is a really tough choice. I don't see a clear cut winner emerging here unless Async compute becomes common.
  15. NightAntilli

    NightAntilli TS Addict Posts: 170   +120

    One thing;

    GTX 970 beating the R9 390 and RX 480 at 1080p with Hyper settings in Mirror's Edge is pure nonsense.

    Digital Foundry fell into the same trap. The GTX 970 defaulted to the Ultra setting instead due to its memory limit, silently decreasing image quality, appearing to have superior performance.

    Double check that.... And make sure the same thing is not happening with other cards. I doubt it, since it's a memory issue, and the GTX 1060 has 6GB, but if there's a 3GB version, it should make users/buyers wary.

  16. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,085   +1,266

    I believe there is supposed to be a 3 GB version but it is also reported to have less CUDA cores and memory bandwidth. It's probably going to be under the RX 480 in 1080p and far under in 1440p.
  17. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 565   +179

    Probably called the 1050 as well ;D
  18. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,085   +1,266

    Lol, could be. That would mean only 1 variant for the 1060 though. Can't say I would be disappointed, 3 GB would be too little.
  19. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 565   +179

    I saw only a 6gb version being said in a lot of stuff. Would make more sense if it's not even going to have the same amount of cuda cores it would be called something else.
  20. Boilerhog146

    Boilerhog146 TS Guru Posts: 340   +98

    Too Bad! no sli breaks this deal for me.it woulda been an ok upgrade from a pair of 670's,maybe look for a couple 980ti's cheap...but because of availability,or lack thereof.,970,980,etc are holding their ground price wise..at 200 dollars the 1060 woulda slain the Rx480 outright
    the 1060 is also priced to high for the crowd this card is aimed at.great OEM box upgrade.with a single pci-e slot maybe a pci-e plug on a cheapo psu..would power this fine.just beating the Rx480 on performance isn't good enough,2 Rx480 in CF will have decent price to performance, and just became my next upgrade if I can find a pair,staples I think has stock..no 4 gig cards though.I wonder why.?
  21. theBest11778

    theBest11778 TS Addict Posts: 296   +125

    Steve how did you guys benchmark Doom in Vulkan? I can't find any tools that support the Vulkan API, and seems limited for DX12 as well.
  22. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    I have re-tested the RX480 using the latest driver and there are no changes over the previous driver in the games tested. I know AMD was claiming something like a 3% performance boost but that was mostly fluff. Their performance wasn’t based on the average of more than a single run, so they took the highest results from multiple runs and claimed a performance boost. Anyway I only update the results if there is more than a 1-2fps change.

    Pure nonsense ey ;)

    Once you disable the memory limit it stays disabled. Anyway it was disabled in my test and this is pretty obvious when looking at the 1440p results. Not just that but the video you linked showed that on average the 970 was faster at 1080p when using the ultra-quality preset. They initially show performance with the Hyper preset and the 970 won’t provide playable performance under those conditions.

    I use PresentMon.
    Phr3d and Puiu like this.
  23. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Evangelist Posts: 302   +107

    As far as I read, this is the best review on the web, it includes all the important measures and also includes some Vulkan tests. In my opinion, in the long term, the RX 480 is a better buy. I'll stick with my GTX 970 for now and wait what Vega will bring to the table.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
    Puiu and Steve like this.
  24. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 565   +179

    I never understood anyone moving from the 970 and 980 to the new cards. Next gen was where I thought the real upgrades were gonna be for people with the newer cards.
    gingerbill, Puiu and darkzelda like this.
  25. Nima V

    Nima V TS Rookie

    How 4GB RX 480 can have exactly the same performance compare to 8GB 480 despite having less Vram and less bandwidth(7Gbps Vram Vs 8Gbps Vram)?
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016

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