The new generation of AMD processors has finally restarted the much anticipated arms race between the two main chipmakers in the world. At the same time, only the older models of the Ryzen 7 line are available on the market so far and the first shipments of more affordable Ryzen 5 solutions, future competitors to Intel’s Core i5 series solutions, are scheduled only for mid-April this year. This leaves Intel time to think about its next steps, and gives us the opportunity to once again evaluate the achievements of the aforementioned Core i5 processors over the 6 years of its existence.
The key feature of this material is that we will consider only mid-level assemblies, where video cards priced at about $ 300 will be used as a graphics adapter. Such a testing model is much closer to the real situation of purchase and use, when a mid-range processor complements a mid-range video card. The main goal is to check the difference in performance of video cards in modern games, depending on the generation of the installed CPU. But before moving on to the tests themselves, we want to get to know one of the test participants in more detail – the Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Jetstream accelerator.
Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Jetstream 6GB (PA-GTX1060 Jetstream 6G)
Palit Microsystems cannot be called a novice in the field of gaming video cards; the first products under the same name brand appeared back in the distant 90s. Over a long period of work in the history of the company, there were both successful and not very models, which led to conflicting fame among the gaming community. Specifically, the JetStream series was first introduced in 2012, and after a number of improvements to the proprietary cooling system in subsequent generations, it has become one of the most attractive offers among all current solutions based on NVIDIA GPUs. It should be noted that there are no structural differences between the JetStream and Super JetStream lines. The only difference is that the latter has factory overclocking, which allows advanced users to save an additional $20-25 by manually overclocking the video card.
The accelerator comes in a large cardboard box with a distinctive color scheme. On the back side, the key features and benefits of the card are listed: the presence of two BIOS, switchable fans with a proprietary blade design, support for 4K resolution, etc. Don’t forget to mention the customizable RGB lighting system.
The delivery set is standard and does not contain any additional accessories. It included: a video card, a disk with drivers, a user manual and an adapter from six pins to two “molex”.
The design is classic, which frankly pleases against the backdrop of the dominance of bulky, futuristic casings from other vendors.
The dimensions of the card are 248x123x52 mm. It can be easily installed in most standard cases, at the same time, when laying out the system, you must take into account that the cooler occupies 2.5 slots in height. The reverse side of the board is covered with a metal plate designed to increase the rigidity of the overall structure.
Additional power is connected via one six-pin connector located in the right extreme corner on the end. The latch of the connector is directed upwards, which facilitates the installation procedure.
Of the available image output connectors on the rear panel, three DisplayPort 1.4 ports, one HDMI 2.0b and one DVI are output.
The cooling system consists of a nickel-plated radiator and two fans with a diameter of 90 mm each. The operation of the active CO mode begins at 55 ° C, until it is reached, the video card remains absolutely silent.
The radiator is pierced by four heat pipes, but direct contact with the graphics chip passes through a large plate. It also covers key batteries, as well as memory chips, which improves the overall temperature of the device.
The external massiveness of the cooler in practice is a visual illusion caused by a design feature of the casing. If you look closely at the photo below, you can see that the heatsink is actually only about 80mm wide. The remaining space is occupied by protruding heat pipes and fan blades.
Although the circuit board of the Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Jetstream 6GB has been modified, its GPU power subsystem has three phases, just like the reference design models. Another phase is responsible for the work of six gigabytes of GDDR5 memory manufactured by Samsung. On the one hand, you can lament about this, because most competitive solutions use 5-6 phases for their graphics core at once. On the other hand, in none of the previously tested GeForce GTX 1060 series accelerators, the presence of more phases did not provide a higher level of overclocking. In this case, the upper clock frequency threshold depends on the available power limit, which, in turn, is strictly regulated by NVIDIA engineers and does not depend on the number of phases involved.
By default, the hero of the review works on the reference frequency scheme for the GeForce GTX 1060: the base core frequency is 1506 MHz, the Boost Clock is 1709 MHz, the actual Boost frequency in gaming applications is 1860 MHz, the effective memory frequency is 8008 MHz.
The cooling system capabilities were tested on an open stand (ambient temperature 26 °C). In the absence of a significant load, the core temperature was 34 ° C, watching videos on youtube or simply surfing the Internet raised it to a maximum of 39 ° C. Ten minutes of playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt managed to warm up the GPU to already 68 ° C, while the fan speed reached an insignificant 990 rpm, and the level of generated noise can be described as minimal. If the Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Jetstream 6GB is placed in a closed case, then, most likely, the user is unlikely to hear it against the background of the sound of the rest of the PC components, even during peak loads.
During manual overclocking, only clock speeds and Temp values were adjusted. Limit and Power Limit (the latter can be raised up to 116%). Changing the GPU voltage is available in the minimum aisles, but has absolutely no effect on the final result.
After completing the above steps, the base core frequency was increased to 1721 MHz. The Boost value reached 2101 MHz, with drawdowns up to 2063 MHz in the most difficult modes. The memory functioned stably at a frequency of 9508 MHz. As expected, the standard power supply is enough to squeeze the full performance potential out of the NVIDIA GP106 GPU. The maximum core temperature increased slightly – up to 71 degrees. Fan speed increased to 1080 rpm. The noise level remained unchanged.
Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Jetstream 6GB comes with Thunder Master proprietary utility. Its functionality completely repeats the well-known MSI Afterburner program, so the only reason why future owners should remember the existence of Thunder Master is the ability to configure or disable the illumination of the Palit logo located on the end of the video card.