NVIDIA Officially Launches GeForce GTX 1060 Graphics Card at $249 US – Review Round Up of The First Card To Utilize GP106 GPU

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted Jul 19, 2016
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NVIDIA has finally launched their first GP106 GPU based graphics card, the GeForce GTX 1060 for a sweet price that starts at $249 US. The GeForce GTX 1060 has been much talked about after the Radeon RX 480 launch as it will be competing against AMD’s Polaris 10 GPU that itself sells at a sweet price point starting at $199 US. The GeForce GTX 1060 brings performance of previously $549 US graphics cards down to $249 US in various custom models and we will be providing you a round-up of all the reviews available today.

The GeForce GTX 1060 is finally available to gamers at a starting price of $249 US.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Launched at $249 US – Here’s The Review Round Up

The GeForce GTX 1060 is finally available to the masses in both reference and custom flavors. While the custom models will be starting at price of $249 US, the reference model known as the GTX 1060 Founders Edition will be available at $299 US. The Founders Edition does feature a great design that can overclock beyond 2 GHz but users should set their eyes on the custom variants which we detailed in a previous article. There are several GTX 1060 custom models to choose from that are set at either $249 US or close to the MSRP while offering better cooling and board solutions.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Review Round Up:

Note: All reviews will be posted below once they go live.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Performance Per Watt and Performance Per Dollar Summary via TPU:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Video Reviews:

Full NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Custom Models

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Full Slide Deck:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 With GP106 GPU Core Features 4.4 Billion Transistors

NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060 is based on the GP106 GPU core. The GP106 GPU features a die size of 200mm2 which makes it 14% smaller than the GM206 GPU and 57% smaller than the GP104 GPU. The GP106 houses total of 4.4 Billion transistors which are 1.4 Billion more transistors compared to the GM206 GPU. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 features the full version of the GP106 GPU so next up, we will detail the block diagram of this graphics chip.

NVIDIA GP106-400-A1 GPU Block Diagram:

The NVIDIA GP106-400-A1 GPU block consists of 2 GPC (Graphics Processing Clusters). Each GPU houses five SM (Streaming Multiprocessor) units. Each SM consists of 128 CUDA cores which means that the full chip features 1280 CUDA cores. Each SM has 8 TMUs (Texture Mapping Units) which give us 80 TMUs on the chip while each GPC is attached to 24 ROPs (Raster Operating Units) providing a total of 48 ROPs. Each SM consists of 256 KB of register file capacity, a 96 KB shared memory unit and 48 KB of total L1 cache storage.

The GP106 GPU lies at the heart of the GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.

The chip also comes with six 32-bit memory controllers which make up the 192-bit bus interface. This allows the card to feature either a 6 GB or 3 GB memory buffer. Each 32-bit memory controller is feature 256 KB L2 cache and the entire design features a total of 1536 KB of L2 cache for the memory bus and 48 ROPs.

The new Pascal GPUs feature the latest Polymorph Engine 4.0 which allows significant geometry enhancements in VR and Surround Display applications. Utilizing the new engine is the Simultaneous Multi-Projection tech that reduces geometry work by up to 32X. The Pascal architecture also provides significant amounts of memory conservation through delta color compression which can provide up to 20% more effective bandwidth than what’s originally featured on the card.

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It’s also true that the GeForce GTX 1060 doesn’t feature SLI support since NVIDIA is now focusing multi-GPU efforts on the high-end section. The card however does support MDA mode or LDA explicit mode in certain DirectX 12 applications where multiple GeForce GTX 1060 cards could be combined to deliver better graphics performance throughput.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 High-Resolution Picture Gallery:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Official Specifications:

Now coming to the specifications of the card itself, the GeForce GTX 1060 is indeed everything what we have been hearing for a few days. It has 1280 CUDA cores, 80 TMUs and 48 ROPs. The GTX 1060 is clocked at speeds of 1506 MHz base and 1708 MHz boost clock which delivers a texture fill rate of 120.5 GTexels/s.

The GeForce GTX 1060 also features a 6 GB GDDR5 VRAM buffer that runs across a 192-bit bus interface. The memory is configured to run at 8000 MHz which is the fastest speed available for GDDR5 memory. GDDR5X is the next phase for GDDR5 memory but comes at a higher manufacturing costs which are not feasible for cards lined up in the budget market.

The GP106 GPU is a very efficient core and features a TDP of just 120W which is the same as its GM206 GPU based predecessor (GTX 960). The card is powered by a single 6-Pin connector while custom models with enhanced PCB and cooling will feature either single 8-Pin or dual 6-Pin connector configurations. The GTX 1060 also features three Display Port 1.4, a single HDMI 2.0b and DVI port for display outputs.

NVIDIA GeForce 10 Pascal Family:

Graphics Card Name NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TiNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3 GBNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3 GBNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6 GBNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080NVIDIA Titan X
Graphics CoreGP107GP107GP106GP104GP106GP104GP104GP102
Process Node14nm FinFET14nm FinFET16nm FinFET16nm FinFET16nm FinFET16nm FinFET16nm FinFET16nm FinFET
Die Size132mm2132mm2200mm2314mm2200mm2314mm2314mm2471mm2
Transistors3.3 Billion3.3 Billion4.4 Billion7.2 Billion4.4 Billion7.2 Billion7.2 Billion12 Billion
CUDA Cores640 CUDA Cores768 CUDA Cores1152 CUDA Cores1152 CUDA Cores1280 CUDA Cores1920 CUDA Cores2560 CUDA Cores3584 CUDA Cores
Base Clock1354 MHz1290 MHz1506 MHz1506 MHz1506 MHz1506 MHz1607 MHz1417 MHz
Boost Clock1455 MHz1392 MHz1708 MHz1708 MHz1708 MHz1683 MHz1733 MHz1530 MHz
FP32 Compute1.8 TFLOPs2.1 TFLOPs4.0 TFLOPs4.0 TFLOPs4.4 TFLOPs6.5 TFLOPs9.0 TFLOPs11 TFLOPs
VRAM2 GB GDDR54 GB GDDR53 GB GDDR53 GB GDDR56 GB GDDR58 GB GDDR58 GB GDDR5X12 GB GDDR5X
Bus Interface 128-bit bus128-bit bus192-bit bus192-bit bus192-bit bus256-bit bus256-bit bus384-bit bus
Power ConnectorNoneNoneSingle 6-Pin PowerSingle 6-Pin PowerSingle 6-Pin PowerSingle 8-Pin PowerSingle 8-Pin Power8+6 Pin Power
TDP75W75W120W120W120W150W180W250W
Display Outputs1x Display Port 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x DVI
1x Display Port 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x DVI
3x Display Port 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x DVI
3x Display Port 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x DVI
3x Display Port 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x DVI
3x Display Port 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x DVI
3x Display Port 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x DVI
3x Display Port 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x DVI
Launch DateOctober 2016October 2016September 2016TBD13th July 201610th June 201627th May 20162nd August 2016
Launch Price$109 US$139 US$199 US$199 US$249 US$379 US$599 US$1200 US

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Can Also Overclock Beyond 2 GHz

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 reference models, also known as the Founders Edition, features a enhanced design scheme. The body was made using faceted die cast aluminum finish to add durability and strength to this card. The enhanced cooler allows the card to keep cool and steady even in brutal overclocking loads as such, the card houses a heatsink that is 50% larger than the heatsink used on GTX 960 offering more surface area for the heat to transfer load. The heatsink itself is a matte black coated aluminum design that features two copper heatpipes that are cooled by the single radial fan on the card.

RX 480 and GTX 1060 DX12 and Vulkan Overclocked Results

The PCB on the card uses dual-FETs for both memory and GPU which is a plus over the previous reference designs. These have been used on all Pascal based cards along with low impedance power delivery network regulators and custom voltage regulators for the best current flow and stability.

The dual gate MOSFET is essentially a form of MOSFET where two gates are fabricated along the length of the channel – one after the other. In this way, both gates affect the level of current flowing between the source and drain. In effect, the dual gate MOSFET operation can be considered the same as two MOSFET devices in series. Both gates affect the overall MOSFET operation and hence the output. via Radio Electronics

The Dual-FET design on Pascal cards delivers stability and maximum power delivery for 2 GHz overclocks.

This allows the GeForce GTX 1060 to deliver the same overclocking potential as its siblings based on the high end GP104 GPU. Internal testing reveals that 2 GHz overclocking figures would be a common sight on both reference and custom variants but I would suggest waiting for the official reviews for more detail info on the overclocking sector of this card.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 2 GHz Overclock Demo:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 2 GHz Overclock

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Official Performance Figures

The GeForce 1060 official performance figures comprise of benchmark results in DirectX 12, DirectX 11 and VR gaming. There are a variety of games tested on both 1080p and 1440p which will be the ideal resolutions to test this card.  The card is not only compared to the Radeon RX 480 but also the GeForce GTX 960 since it uses a GM206 GPU core which the GP106 is succeeding.

Note: Both cards were tested at stock clocks for comparison. We would still advise to wait for independent reviews to hit the web on 19th June for a better look at performance.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Performance_DirectX 12

First up, we have the DirectX 12 performance figures in three games. In Ashes of Singularity which is a title very optimized for AMD cards due to their enhanced Async compute architecture, the GeForce GTX 1060 is total 5% ahead of the RX 480 at 1080p and 4% ahead on 1440p. In Forza 6 Apex, the card is 21% faster at 1080p and 12% faster at 1440p. Rise of the Tomb Raider was also tested which uses a mix of AMD and NVIDIA optimizations. It has 24% better performance for the GTX 1060 at 1080p and 18% better performance than the RX 480 at 1440p. All games were tested on max settings with a combination of Anti-aliasing.

Next up, we have several DirectX 11 titles being tested. In Crysis 3, the GTX 1060 is 23% (1080p) and 19% (1440p) ahead of the RX 480, In Fallout 4, the GTX 1060 is 5% (1080p) ahead but shows no performance leverage over the Radeon card at 1440p which is a bit interesting. GTA V shows the biggest increase of 33% using max settings at 1080p and up to 30% increase at 1440p over the Radeon RX 480. Metro Last Light shows an average 23% gain, Shadow of Mordor shows an average 11% gain and Witcher 3 shows an average 12% gain in performance over the Radeon RX 480 at both resolutions.

Tom Clancy’s Division showed the minimum gains at both resolutions with 1% gain at 1080p and 3% gain at 1440p. Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark shows that NVIDIA still has the lead in geometry and tessellation performance ran on the GPU.

The SteamVR performance test was also shown off where the Radeon RX 480 score 6.6 points while the GTX 1060 scored 8.2 points which is a good increase over its competition. Along with SMP support, the card will be offering the users a taste of premium VR experiences at $249 US. You can check out the reviews in the round up above for more details on its gaming and VR application performance.

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