Performance Summary Charts

Performance summary charts

Here are the summary charts of 26 games and 1 synthetic test. The highest settings are always chosen and it is usually DX11; DX12 is picked above DX11 where available, and the settings are ultra or maxed.  Specific settings are listed on the performance charts.  The benches were run at 1920×1080, 2560×1440, and at 3840×2160.

All results, except for FireStrike and Time Spy, show average framerates and higher is always better. Minimum frame rates are shown when they are available and they make sense, next to the averages but they are in italics and in a slightly smaller font.  In-game settings are fully maxed out and they are identically high or ultra across all platforms.  “NA” means the benchmark could not be run.  “X” means the benchmark was not run, and an asterisk (*) means there were some major issues with the visuals.

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The GTX 1070 generally wins every game benchmark followed generally by the GTX 980, and closely by the GTX 1060.  The RX 480 wins a few and trades blows with the GTX 1060 in several games, but it is generally slower, although it is a bit faster than the 290X; and they are all generally faster still than the GTX 970 OC.   We can also see that GTX 1060 is significantly faster than the overclocked GTX 960 from the previous generation – the 2GB vRAM-equipped card from early 2015 cannot even run every game at the ultra settings that we use.

DOOM Testing with Vulkan vs. OpenGL

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Since DOOM has no built-in benchmark, we can only load up a single scene where the framerates are consistent and give rough averages.  Here are our test cards comparing OpenGL performance to the Vulkan API.

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As we can see, Nvidia’s OpenGL drivers are far more efficient than AMD’s.  However, Vulkan does not appear at all optimized for Nvidia cards since their OpenGL performance is consistently faster.  In the case of the GTX 980, Nvidia’s OpenGL performance is faster than AMD’s RX 480 or 290X performance using the otherwise more efficient Vulkan API.

The GTX 1060 vs. the RX 480 and vs. the GTX 980

Here is the GTX 1060 compared with AMD’s new Polaris architecture card, the RX 480, with the GTX 980 results also added.

1060v980vrx480We see that the GTX 1060 is generally faster than the RX 480 although the RX 480 trades blows in some games and wins in a few others.  Since the RX 480 has significantly improved performance since its launch with new drivers and setting a new maximum Power Limit over stock values, we cannot confirm Nvidia’s claim of the GTX 1060 being 15% faster – however it is faster.  And we also found that the GTX 980 is somewhat faster than the GTX 1060.

What about Nvidia’s Claim that the GTX 1060 is as fast as the GTX 980?

The reason we find that in our benchmarks the GTX 980 is a little faster than the GTX 1080 is because of how we run them.  We found the GTX 980 to be consistently faster than the GTX 1060 is because of the way that we have always benchmarked video cards.  We always set the Power and Temperature limits to their maximum and have thus never had any issues with throttling, and have had consistent results with our benching.  However, the GTX 1060 does not benefit very much performance-wise by this setting although the GTX 980 certainly does.

Here are some examples of some additional testing with both cards set completely to default including the Power/Temp Targets (black numbers, center column), and we found that the GTX 1060 generally matches the stock GTX 980’s performance.  The third column represents our regular testing with Power/Temp Targets set to maximum so the GTX 980 does not throttle.
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So the answer is yes, the stock GTX 1060 is about as fast as the completely stock GTX 980.  We are going to explore this further in a follow-up article when we run the maximum overclocked GTX 980 versus the maximum overclocked GTX 1060 (and versus the maximum overclocked RX 480).

Overclocking

Here is the chart repeated from our Overclocking and Noise page.
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We see excellent scaling with our GTX 1060 overclocked a further +200MHz on the core and +700MHz on the memory. And we will test this further in an upcoming evaluation pitting the max overclocked GTX 1060 versus the max overclocked RX 480 versus the max overclocked GTX 980.

Let’s head for our conclusion.

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