Conclusion & The Verdict

Conclusion

This has been quite an enjoyable exploration for us in evaluating the new GTX 1060 Founders Edition.  It did well performance-wise comparing it to the GTX 980 where it trades blows with the more expensive GTX 980 Maxwell generation card, and it beats the GTX 970 OC. And it is a blowout in favor of the new GTX 1060 compared with its predecessor, the GTX 960 OC.  The GTX 1060 beats its AMD competitor, the RX 480 in stock benching and it is a blowout if you consider overclocking as the reference version barely managed 3-5% over its reference clocks at stock settings.

We are totally impressed with this mid-level performance single 6-pin PCIe cabled Pascal chip that has such good overclockability and an excellent price.  Priced beginning at $249, and at $299 as tested, the GTX 1060 does well in price to performance compared with the more expensive GTX 980 and against the similarly priced GTX 970.  If you value power efficiency, the GTX 1060 is also a better deal, performing above the $239 RX 480, and it offers more advantages and new features for its price compared with similarly priced Maxwell GPUs.   The reference/Founders Edition GTX 1070 is intended as a better than entry-level VR budget card and it brings good value at $249-299.

As the GTX 1060 is an ideal card for 1920×1080, it has been priced between $249 to $299 to slot well below the GTX 980’s current price range and it is price competitive with the GTX 970 even though it is more powerful.  We see good overclockability with quietness at stock voltage and fan profile from the reference/Founders Edition design GTX 1060.

Pros

  • TDP and power draw is almost unbelievable at 120W for such high-performance from an upper-midrange GPU, using only one 6-pin PCIe cable; in contrast the reference RX 480 requires 150W and cannot overclock nearly as well.
  • Overclockability is very good and GPU Boost 3.0 works with the Precision XOC overclock utility to further fine-tune overclocks.
  • The reference design cooling is quiet and efficient; the card stays cool even well-overclocked on a hot Summer-like day.
  • VR becomes very possible with the GTX 1060 with Simultaneous Multi-projection.
  • GameWorks brings new features to gaming and to VR.
  • New Fast Sync allows for high performance decoupling from the monitor, without tearing at very high frame rates.
  • Pricing is good as it has launched near GTX 970 pricing and far below GTX 980 pricing.  The GTX 1060 beats the overclocked GTX 970 and come very near to GTX 980 performance.
  • There is a solid feel to the Founders Edition and the industrial design is eyecatching.

Cons

  • None.  Perhaps the Founders Edition $299 pricing is an issue compared with Nvidia’s partner GTX 1060s beginning at $249 if you look at performance alone.

The Verdict:

  • Badge---Editor's-choice -final rev.If you are buying a fast video card right now and looking for good performance for a better than entry-level VR or for maxed out 1080P gaming, the GTX 1060 is an excellent choice since the GTX 980 is more expensive.  The GTX 1060 beats its competition the reference RX 480 at stock, it overclocks better, and it uses less power.
  • We would like to award the Founder’s Edition of the  GTX 1070 the BabelTechReviews Editor’s Choice Award.

We do not know what the future will bring, but the GTX 1060 brings a superb performer to the Pascal GeForce family now.  With great forward looking features, you can be assured of immersive gaming by picking this card for 1920×1080 or even 2560×1440, and especially for better than entry-level VR.

If you currently game on an older video card, even like the last generation GTX 960, you will do yourself a big favor by upgrading. The move to a GTX 1060 will give you better visuals and performance on the DX11 and DX12 pathways.

AMD offers their own set of features including Eyefinity and GCN 2.0. However, Polaris is less power-efficient architecture and the reference version of the RX 480 at $239 is a poor overclocker.  AMD is concentrating on their midrange and we hope to bring you reviews of their partner RX 480s which should be be better overclockers, and also of their upcoming lower-midrange cards.

Stay tuned, there is a lot coming from us at BTR.  Next, we will test the GTX 1060 maximum overclocking with the latest Precision XOC versus the maximum overclocked GTX 980 and versus the maximum overclocked RX 480.  And don’t forget to check out BTR’s tech community!  You can feel free to comment there or in the comments below.

Happy Gaming!