We previously reviewed AMD’s RX 480, a graphics card that is geared towards 1080p gamers. Today we are going to look at and review its direct competitor from the green team. We have here the PNY GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics card, featuring reference clock speeds, but with better cooling solution compared to the reference one (NVIDIA’s Founders Edition). NVIDIA claims that the GTX 1060 is similar to their previous GTX 980, making this a very much capable graphics card at 1080p and 1440p as well. We currently don’t have a GTX 980 to compare, but we do have the RX 480 and other graphics cards to compare it with. Are you looking for that sweet spot for 1080p gaming? Please continue reading our PNY GTX 1060 6GB review below, this card could be the one you are looking for.
PNY GTX 1060 6GB Dual Fan Review
After AMD officially launched and released their new RX 480, a mid-range graphics card geared towards 1080p gamers, NVIDIA was very fast at countering the RX 480 and unleashed the GeForce GTX 1060. The GeForce GTX 1060 is not a cut-down version of the GTX 1070, since the 1070 already uses a cut down version of the GP104 found on the GTX 1080. Instead the GTX 1060 uses a different GPU chip with fewer transistor counts; but is said to deliver performance similar to a GTX 980. On top of that, the MSRP is $299 for the Founders Edition and $249 for the non-Founders Edition. This makes it $20 more expensive compared to the 8GB version of the RX 480. How about the performance? Can it beat the RX 480? We’ll learn more about that on the benchmark results.
The GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics card is powered by a GP106 chip based on a 16nm FinFET process, featuring NVIDIA’s new Pascal architecture. To be exact, at the heart of every GTX 1060 is a GP106-400-A1 chip featuring 4.4 billion transistor count, 1280 CUDA cores (exactly half CUDA cores on the GTX 1080), 10 streaming multiprocessors, 80 TMUs, 48 ROPs, 6GB of GDDR5 with 256BG/s bandwidth running on a 192-bit memory interface. By the way, there is also a 3GB version of the GTX 1060 that has fewer CUDA cores and half the memory. We currently don’t have a 3GB version on hand, but I’m guessing that their performance difference would not be that far from one another. Depending on the user’s scenario, the GTX 1060 3GB version may be the more bang for the buck, which is priced at $220.
Moving on, the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB has a TDP of only 120W (more power efficient compared to GTX 980) and requires only a minimum of 400W power supply. The GTX 1060 also features Simultaneous Multi-Projection, VR Ready, NVIDIA Ansel, NVIDIA G-Sync, NVIDIA GameStream, GPU Boost 3.0, Vulkan and DirectX 12 (12_1) API support, and Open GL 4.5 support. BUT it doesn’t support SLI! That’s right no more SLI, unlike the previous generations. Only the GTX 1070 and up supports SLI, so this is one thing you should consider if plan to get a GTX 1060 and you usually do SLIs.
Going back to the PNY GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Dual fan version, the graphics card itself doesn’t feature anything special. It’s a plain black graphics card with a beefier cooler design; more or less better compared to the reference blower type cooler. One thing though, PNY didn’t mentioned this, but the dual fans do feature a fan-stop feature where the fans don not turn on when the graphics card is on idle or light load. The fans only start to spin when it hits a certain temperature to properly cool the GPU.
Below is a side by side comparison of the PNY GTX 1060 6GB and NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and 3GB variants. Next page, we’ll take a closer look at the graphics card itself.
PNY GTX 1060 6GB Specifications
|Specifications||PNY GTX 1060 6GB||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB|
|GPU||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce GTX 1060|
|Video Memory||6GB GDDR5||6GB GDDR5||3GB GDDR5|
|Engine Clock||Base: 1506 MHz|
Boost: 1708 MHz
|Base: 1506 MHz|
Boost: 1708 MHz
|Base: 1506 MHz|
Boost: 1708 MHz
|Memory Clock||8000 MHz||8000 MHz||8000 MHz|
|Display Outputs||3x DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, DL-DVI||3x DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, DL-DVI||3x DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, DL-DVI|
|Multi Display Capability||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Recommended Power Supply||400W||400W||400W|
|DirectX||12 API feature level 12_1||12 API feature level 12_1||12 API feature level 12_1|
|Slot Size||2 slots||2 slots||2 slots|
|SLI||Not supported||Not supported||Not supported|
|Supported OS||Windows 7-10, Linux, FreeBSDx86||Windows 7-10, Linux, FreeBSDx86||Windows 7-10, Linux, FreeBSDx86|
|Card Length||9.92" x 4.4"||9.823" x 4.378"||9.823" x 4.378"|
|Accessories||6-pin PCIe adapter|
User Manual, Driver Disk