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Saturday | December 4, 2021
GeForce GTX 1060 Review (Asus and Gainward)

GeForce GTX 1060 Review (Asus and Gainward)

Last week NVIDIA and their partners announced a whole load of information about their latest GPU, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060. Features, key specifications, and pricing… but no performance figures. That had to wait until today and the expiry of the NDA for the product. We’ve got a couple of GTX 1060s from Gainward and ASUS and will be putting them up against the RX 480 with overclocked speeds. Let’s see how this new GPU compares in our Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review – Packaging and Bundle

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For their card, Gainward goes with Phoenix branding and we get a note on the box that our model is the Golden Sample (GS) version of the card. ASUS stick to the same STRIX branding we have seen recently and like Gainward note that these cards have 6GB of memory and are VR capable. Inside both provide a basic bundle, power cable, software disc and product documentation.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review – The Cards

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Gainward uses a fairly chunky cooler for their 1060, three slots thick it features a plastic cover, dual fans, and a large LED block along the top surface/edge which varies in colour depending on GPU load. There is a block of aluminum fins beneath the fans (which turn off when the card is idle/under low load) and running through that heatsink are four copper heatpipes. The back of the card has a metal backplate and we note there are no SLI connectors on the 1060.

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Looking along the top edge of the card we find a single 6pin power connector which assists our PCIe slot in providing the GTX 1060 with its required wattage. Then turning round to the outputs we find a single DVI, an HDMI and three DisplayPort connectors. Also worthy of note is the presence of a BIOS switch that allows us to recover if extreme tweaking goes wrong.

All key NVIDIA/Industry features are also supported including DirectX 12, CUDA, DirectCompute, 4K, Audio over DisplayPort/HDMI, PhysX, G-Sync, SLI (inc SLI HB) and Dynamic Super Resolution.

As far as specifications go, this card runs at 1620MHz out of the box with boost up to 1848MHz. Memory sits at 2000MHz. In this 16nm Pascal GPU, there are 1280 CUDA cores, 48 ROPs, 80TMUs, 192bit memory bus and 6GB of GDDR5.



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ASUS has decided that their Strix 1060 should be a full-length model, similar in size to the standard 1070 and 1080 models. This allows them to accommodate three fans, each surrounded by LED lighting. Underneath the metal heatsink cover, we find that the aluminium fins run the full length of the card and that there are 5 copper heatpipes. As with most recent graphics cards, the fans on the Strix turn off when the card is running at the desktop, or under low load, and this model also features a large metal backplate.

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ASUS have moved away from the reference specification in more than just the PCB and cooler design. This card features an 8pin power connector rather than the standard 6pin which should provide more stability for those who wish to overclock their GPU. Outputs on the Strix 1060 are DVI, two HDMI and dual DisplayPort. There are also another couple of connectors on the Strix, two 4pin fan connectors at the back end of the card which allow us to control system cooling using our GPU software.

As with other 1060s, all key NVIDIA/Industry features are also supported including DirectX 12, CUDA, DirectCompute, 4K, Audio over DisplayPort/HDMI, PhysX, G-Sync, SLI (inc SLI HB) and Dynamic Super Resolution.

This card runs at 1645MHz core with boost up to 1873MHz. Memory sits at 2050MHz. In this 16nm Pascal GPU, there are 1280 CUDA cores, 48 ROPs, 80TMUs, 192bit memory bus and 6GB of GDDR5.


Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review – Software

gtool atools

Gainward and ASUS both provide free software tools with their cards. These allow us to monitor and tweak the products to our needs in just a few button clicks. On the ASUS side, we also get an application dedicated to lighting configuration, offering various effects for our card. As an added bonus, with the Strix card we also get a licence for Xsplit Gamecaster.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review – Performance

Testing was performed on the Intel Core i7-6950X running on an X99 board with 16GB of DDR4 and a Samsung 850 Pro SSD. Windows 10 was the OS and all games along with the OS were patched.

NVIDIA Driver: 368.64
AMD Driver: Latest Crimson Edition


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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review – Conclusion

Starting with the Gainward Phoenix 1060 we have a card which looks to find a balance between tweaking the reference design and creating something a little more custom. We get a decent cooler, dual fans, reasonably compact design with custom PCB and standard power connector. The fans are low noise (and of course they are silent/off when not gaming) and Gainward do give the clocks a little boost over the reference specs, adding value. The selection of outputs is also good. As far as performance of this model goes. The temperatures are fairly standard for a card of this class of card as is power use. There was a decent amount of overclocking headroom on our sample and Gainwards software tool offered a quick and easy way to apply this.

Would we change anything about the Gainward Model? Not much really. The LED feature feels a bit tacked on with this model, rather than offering anything unique. The cooler is probably a bit too chunky for this class of card, limiting its potential for compact or small form factor builds but for its price point the Phoenix, Golden Sample edition is a very competitive product.

Moving on to the ASUS model we have a card which takes the GTX 1060 to the extreme. ASUS manage to keep the cooler width at two slots and while the card is a little longer than we would ideally like to see, they have made good use of the space with that third fan and significant heatsink. We like the ASUS approach to outputs, giving that 2nd HDMI rather than a third DisplayPort. It makes much more sense, especially for those who will look to use VR and a TV on the same system. The redesign of the card and enhanced manufacturing process add quality and the LEDs are very much a feature of this card, offering plenty of configuration options.

On the performance front, the Strix card tended to edge ahead of the Gainward model in framerates. Not by an amount which would be noticeable to the naked eye, though. Where the Strix does stand out is in thermal performance where it is noticeably cooler under load than the Gainward model, as well as the RX 480. Speaking of the 480, throughout our testing the GTX 1060’s outperformed AMDs part, even when we take into account that we were using an overclocked 8GB model of the 480.

Gold Award

Review Date
Reviewed Item
GeForce GTX 1060
Author Rating

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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