Could this new 10-series card with boosted clock speed be your new baby when aiming for a VR-ready rig? Let’s find out in our review.
We previously tested out two of the heavy hitters of Nvidia’s Pascal cards, though of course getting a behemoth card to pump up your games will cost you an arm or a kidney. However there are still options for gamers who want to have a better performing card with a price tag that would not leave a heavy dent to their wallets. Enter the GTX 1060, it promises to have better graphical performance that from the GTX 970. And given with a Strix treatment, it has some nifty features and an overclocked settings to provide more juice from the standard 1060 card. So let us take a look on how powerful this card can be.
- Let us take a look at the specs of the Strix GTX 1060:
- Graphics Engine: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
- Bus Standard: PCI Express 3.0
- OpenGL: OpenGL®4.5
- Video Memory: GDDR5 6GB
- Engine Clock:
- OC Mode – GPU Boost Clock : 1873 MHz , GPU Base Clock : 1645 MHz
- Gaming Mode (Default) – GPU Boost Clock : 1847 MHz , GPU Base Clock : 1620 MHz
- *Retail goods are with default Gaming Mode, OC Mode can be adjusted with one click on GPU Tweak II
- CUDA Core: 1280
- Memory Clock: 8208 MHz
- Memory Interface: 192-bit
- Resolution: Digital Max Resolution:7680 x 4320
- DVI Output : Yes x 1 (Native) (DVI-D)
- HDMI Output : Yes x 2 (Native) (HDMI 2.0)
- Display Port : Yes x 2 (Native) (Regular DP)
- HDCP Support : Yes
Looking at the design of the card, it still has the familiar Strix design from the previous 9-series cards, and for this case they are using the same case from the Strix GTX 1070, thus having the triple fan setup and full backplate. There are two variants available for the 1060, the OC edition and the standard, both have the same package and card design with the only difference is that the OC edition has a boosted frequencies and more expensive than the standard. GPU Base Clock was boosted to 1873 MHz from the standard 1746 MHz and the 1645 MHz Base Clock compared to the 1531 MHz.
And since the GTX 1060 has a triple fan setup, this would also mean that this is one huge card, with an 11.73 inch length, some users may have some issues mounting this on their small PC case. The top side of the card features the RGB lighting effect that is available for the Strix line of cards and can programmed with the ASUS Aura app. The backplate covers the entire back portion of the card with the logo of the ASUS Republic of Gamers etched on it. It uses an 8-pin PCI power connector, so that means it needs more juice as it requires around 120W TDP. For the I/O ports, the 1060 sports two HDMI 2.0 ports instead of just one, this was intentional for VR devices such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift that requires more HDMI ports, it still has two Display Port 1.4 and a single DVI-D port.
As for the performance, the GTX 1060 tries to be as powerful as AMD’s newest GPU; the Radeon RX 480. And surprisingly the 1060 can outmatch its predecessors the GTX 970 and GTX 980 in some games or at least in par with the GTX 980. We tested some games to see if how well the GTX 1060 can perform.
Based on the tested games, Overwatch is getting really good results as the GTX 1060 has no problem running this on the highest settings, as it can maintain smooth frame without dropping at less than 60 frames per second. The Witcher 3 gave the GTX 1060 some rough time to main a steady 60 frames per second but drops at around 50 frames in open areas with lots of NPCs. Same goes with Fallout 4 but it does not reach less than 50 frames for its minimum framerate, the framerate gets better inside buildings and other closed dungeon areas. Finally the Division can run well on the GTX 1060, still managed to maintain a smooth 60 frames during missions and with less explosion effects though there are occasional drops below 60 in open areas and with tons of action happening on screen.
The included apps for the Strix graphics card adds some flair to it, aside from the standard GPU Tweak II to control the clock speed and fan speed of the graphic at any time along with some one button performance presets, it also introduces the Aura RGB Lighting where users can customize the lighting colors of the GTX 1060 to their liking. It can produce different lighting gimmicks aside from choosing millions of different color combinations to the lighting. If you want a strobe effect, they have it, how about that breathing gimmick just like in your gaming mouse? The Aura has it as well. Then how about a pulsing effect that reacts to the beat of the music you are playing? They have that too, and even a lighting effect that tells you how high the GPU temperature is.
Overall if you are looking for an upgrade that is just enough for your budget but can perform well similar to the last gen top tier GPUs, then the Strix GTX 1060 is a must have for you. Initially overclocked straight out of the box, it is powerful enough to run the latest games and VR games though still ranged in the mid-level of the Pascal cards, but it is enough to provide you a great gaming experience in terms of performance. And added with the Aura RGB, it produces a new range of customization options to make your gaming rig look neat. Some setbacks for some users would be the large design of the card despite being a mid-ranged card and would be an issue to users with smaller rigs. But if you are looking for a new upgrade card, then go for the Strix GTX 1060.
By the way, Nvidia is having an ongoing promotion in partnership with Epic Games to provide $115 worth of in-game items for Paragon; a new free-to-play game that features MOBA game mechanics in a third-person action game. All you have to do is purchase any of the new GTX 10-series graphic cards or notebooks and you will be able to redeem for the goodies. You can earn the following items:
- 1000 Paragon Coins
- 7 Hero Master Challenges – Twinblast, Gideon, Greystone, Sparrow, Murdock, Grux and Muriel
- 2 Character Skins – Snakebite Murdock Skin and War Chief Grux Skin
For more details, head on to the Nvidia Paragon bundle link
- Aura RGB lighting
- Can run well in 1440p
- Almost better performance compared to the GTX 980
- Larger sized card
- A bit expensive from the standard GTX 1060