Testing the GeForce GTX 1060 on the example of the MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G video card


The season of high-profile announcements continues. After the older graphics cards of the Pascal family, NVIDIA is introducing a mid-range model – the GeForce GTX 1060. The new product will be a response to the recent release of the Radeon RX 480 and will replace a number of mid-high-end models of the previous series.

GeForce GTX 1060

GeForce GTX 1060

The GeForce GTX 1060 will take full advantage of the new Pascal architecture. It is based on the GP106 GPU, which is based on two graphics clusters of five TPC multiprocessors. The architecture of such clusters and multiprocessors is traditionally the same within one series. More about them in a separate article about the architectural and technological features of Pascal.

GeForce GTX 1060

Each multiprocessor has 128 CUDA stream processors and eight texture units. As a result, the GPU has a total of 1280 stream processors and 80 TMUs. Work with external memory is organized via a 192-bit bus via six 32-bit controllers. Support for advanced color data compression improves data transfer efficiency and actual throughput. Improved work with asynchronous calculations. A special Simultaneous Multi-Projection block has been added to the Polymorph Engine engines, which allows you to simultaneously calculate geometry for several projections at the hardware level. This allows you to correctly display the image on displays that are complex in shape and form a panorama with the correct viewing angle in multi-monitor configurations. In addition, multi-projection is used in a number of NVIDIA VRWorks technologies to optimize and speed up rendering in VR mode.

In terms of its main characteristics, the GeForce GTX 1060 occupies an intermediate position between the GeForce GTX 960 and GeForce GTX 970. Slightly more computing units compared to the GeForce GTX 960, L2 cache increased from 1 MB to 1.5 MB, memory bus increased from 128 bits up to 192 bits. Thanks to the new 16nm process technology and the optimization of the silicon core structure, the frequencies have been significantly increased. Given the architectural improvements and a significant increase in frequencies from the new product, one would expect it to replace the GeForce GTX 970, but the manufacturer promises the performance level of the GeForce GTX 980 in the GeForce GTX 1060, which is impressive.

GeForce GTX 1060

The base frequency of the GPU GP106 is set at 1506 MHz, and the average Boost Clock is 1708 MHz. This is close to the core frequencies of the GeForce GTX 1070, and Boost is even slightly higher. GDDR5 memory chips with a total capacity of 6 GB are used. Their effective communication frequency is 8 GHz. The TDP level is at a modest 120W, which is similar to the TDP of the GeForce GTX 960.

For a visual comparison of the GeForce GTX 1060 with previous models and the GeForce GTX 1070, we will summarize their characteristics in one table.

Video adapter GeForce GTX 1070 GeForce GTX 1060 GeForce GTX 980 GeForce GTX 970 GeForce GTX 960
Core GP104 GP106 GM204 GM204 GM206
Number of transistors, million pieces 7200 4400 5200 5200 2940
Process technology, nm 16 16 28 28 28
Core area, sq. mm 314 n/a 398 398 228
Number of stream processors 1920 1280 2048 1664 1024
Number of texture blocks 120 80 128 104 64
Number of render units 64 48 64 56 32
Core frequency, MHz 1506–1683 1506–1708 1126–1216 1051–1178 1126–1178
Memory bus, bit 256 192 256 256 128
Memory frequency, MHz 8000 8000 7010 7010 7010
Memory size, MB 8192 6144 4096 3584+512 2048
Supported version of DirectX 12.1 12 12 12 12
Interface PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0 PCI-E 3.0
Power, W 150 120 165 145 120

Even at the time of the announcement of the GeForce GTX 1080, we wrote about the new Ansel software technology. Now she has acquired the status of a finished product. This is a screenshot platform with a free camera and the ability to overlay additional visual effects. While it only works in Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, Ansel will soon be supported by The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and other games.

GeForce GTX 1060

Buyers of the GeForce GTX 1060 and other current NVIDIA graphics cards will be able to test Ansel with the release of the next official driver package.

The first GeForce GTX 1060s on the market will follow the reference design. These models will be called Founders Edition and will be offered at a higher price. Later, non-standard versions will be released, in which the official price tag may be lower by $ 50.

GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition looks like older models, but a little more compact and a little simpler. Instead of a transparent window on the cooling system, there is a plug.

GeForce GTX 1060

Turbine-type cooling inherits the design of top cards. There is a massive base and two heatsinks – one on the GP106 chip and an additional heatsink to improve VRM cooling.

GeForce GTX 1060

The board is as compact as possible, as it was in its time with the GeForce GTX 760 or GeForce GTX 660. The power supply of the core is three-phase.

GeForce GTX 1060

Our practical acquaintance will immediately begin with a non-reference version. We will get acquainted with the new video card using the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G as an example, which will be tested at factory frequencies, at recommended frequencies (reference level) and overclocked.


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