Performance summary charts
Nvidia’s WHQL driver 372.54 was somewhat problematic for the GTX 1060 3GB. We originally had difficult installing it and had to install an older version (368.64) first so that it would recognize our hardware. Also, in two games – Rise of the Tomb Raider and in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – we had issues with the performance that appeared to be related to memory management, and are we showing the results of the older drivers for those two games on the following charts. Very often we would notice that even at 1920×1080, the video memory was maxed out very close to the 3GB limit. And this morning, Nvidia has released brand new drivers, WHQL 372.70 which hopefully address our issues.
The EVGA GTX 1060 3GB vs. the GTX 1060 Founder’s Edition & vs. the Red Devil RX 470
All results except for Firestrike are expressed in average fps (in Bold) and also generally in minimum fps (where they make sense, in smaller font italics next to the averages).
The stock EVGA GTX 1060 3GB performance results are in Column 1 and the GTX 1060 6GB at Founders Edition reference clocks performance results are in the second column. The third column shows the performance deficit of the 3GB version (marked with a minus “-” sign) compared with the 6GB version, and the fourth column shows the Red Devil RX 470 results. The fifth column shows the performance difference between the EVGA GTX 1060 3GB and the PowerColor RX 470 (with Red Devil “wins” in red and marked with a minus “-” sign).
As you can see, the stock-clocked EVGA GTX 1060 3GB is around 5-10% slower than the reference GTX 1060 6GB version with several considerably higher deficits where the more limited 3GB of vRAM probably makes a difference, especially at 2560×1440 resolution.
The $199 stock clocked EVGA GTX 1060 3GB is overall faster than the $199 PowerColor Red Devil RX 470. In fact, out of 50 individual game benchmarks, the Red Devil RX 480 only wins 14 benchmarks.
The main summary chart: The Big Picture
This main summary chart is what we call, “The Big Picture” since it places our three main test cards into a much larger 11-configuration test bed. Driver revisions for each card are noted on the chart; GTX 1060 368.64 launch drivers are the performance equivalent of the WHQL 368.81 public release drivers. An “X” means the benchmark was not run. All results except for Firestrike and Time Spy are expressed in average fps (in Bold) and also generally in minimum fps (where they make sense, in smaller italics next to the average results).
Make sure to open this chart in another window or in a separate tab for better readability.
It is interesting to see the EVGA GTX 1060 3GB trade blows with the more expensive RX 480. It is also faster than the overclocked GTX 970, and it absolutely blows away the last generation GTX 960 OC and the 280X.
Let’s head for our conclusion.