Test Configuration – Hardware


Intel Core i7-6700K (reference 4.0GHz, HyperThreading and Turbo boost is on to 4.4GHz; DX11 CPU graphics).

ASRock Z7170M OC Formula motherboard (Intel Z7170 chipset, latest BIOS, PCIe 3.0/3.1 specification, CrossFire/SLI 8x+8x)

HyperX 16GB DDR4 (2x8GB, dual channel at 3333MHz), supplied by Kingston

MSI G1 Gaming RX 480, 8GB, at reference clocks.

VisionTek 290X, 4GB, reference clocks.  Fan is set to 100% to prevent throttling.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC 6GB, at Founders Edition reference clocks, supplied by EVGA

Two 2TB Toshiba 7200 rpm HDDs for each platform

EVGA 1000G 1000W power supply unit

Corsair H60 Watercooler

Onboard Realtek Audio

Genius SP-D150 speakers, supplied by Genius

Thermaltake Overseer RX-I full tower case, supplied by Thermaltake

ASUS 12X Blu-ray writer

Monoprice Crystal Pro 4K


Test Configuration – Software

Nvidia’s latest GeForce WHQL 376.33 and the original 368.64 launch drivers used for the GTX 1060.  High Quality, prefer maximum performance, single display.   

AMD Crimson Software ReLive 16.12.1 hotfix and the launch 16.6.2 drivers plus 16.7.2 were used for the AMD cards.

VSync is off in the control panel.

AA enabled as noted in games; all in-game settings are specified with 16xAF always applied

All results show average frame rates including minimum frame rates shown in italics on the chart next to the averages.

Highest quality sound (stereo) used in all games.

Windows 10 64-bit Home edition, all DX11 titles were run under DX11 render paths. Our DX12 titles are run under the DX12 render path. Latest DirectX

All games are patched to their latest versions at time of publication.

Sapphire TriXX  was used for AMD cards.

MSI’s Afterburner, latest beta, was used for NVIDIA cards.


Firestrike – Ultra & Extreme

Time Spy DX12

DX11 Games

Crysis 3

Metro: Last Light Redux (2014)

Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor

Alien Isolation

Dragon’s Age: Inquisition

Dying Light

Total War Attila 

Grand Theft Auto V


the Witcher 3

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Batman: Arkham Origins

Mad Max

Fallout 4

Star Wars Battlefront

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Just Cause 3

Rainbow Six Siege

DiRT Rally

Far Cry Primal

Tom Clancy’s The Division (also DX12)

DOOM – Open GL and Vulkan APIs

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

Deus Ex Mankind Divided

Shadow Warrior 2

Battlefield 1 

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare

Titanfall 2

Watch Dogs 2

DX12 Games

Ashes of the Singularity


Rise of the Tomb Raider

Total War: Warhammer

Deus Ex Mankind Divided

Gears of War 4

Civilization VI

Nvidia Control Panel settings:



Power/Temperature targets are set to maximum by Afterburner.

AMD Crimson Control Center Settings:


Crimson CP - system drivers Global-1

Power Limit/Temperature targets are set to maximum by TriXX.  The 290X fans are set to 100% to prevent throttling

Let’s head to the performance charts to see how the RX 480 compares with 290X, and with the GTX 1060 now, compared with performance from about 6 months ago.


  1. These results are incredible, make sure that you guys compare the rx 480 and gtx 1060 once they age by the way, i’d be awesome to see a comparison between the 280x and 780 ^^

    • This. Also they should do a comparison between the R9 380 and the GTX 960. Most sites wrote that the GTX 960 was faster. Tomshardware went so far to write that the GTX 950 is extremely close to the 960 (so close that they couldn’t recommend the 960 anymore) and ahead of the 380. Yeah right. In all 2016 reviews, the 380 destroys the 960, while the 950 is far behind. If you want to have a good laugh, read their review.

  2. Why am I now finding out about this. I been slacking. Great job on all the work you put in for this!

  3. Fine Wine baby. Still running waterblocked 290x’s in CF in one of my rigs. Bought them when they came out and they just keep getting better. They are hot and draw a lot of power, especially overclocked like mine, but they hold a special place in my heart haha. The RX 480 is great for budget builds I guess, but its pretty sad that the only real improvement is power draw and temps. Only recently broke down and bought a gtx 1080 for a newer rig to get away from using crossfire.

  4. Got a 290X MATRIX in reserve and a 390X STRIX in my wife’s systems Still very solid cards for 1080p and some 1440p titles. Basically though 480 ~390X~290X and 1060 6GB ~980~780Ti. Really this is all top end 2013 performance. Same as 1070~980Ti.

  5. If I’m reading these right the majority of the 1060 results have got worse, Is that right? All within margin of error but a definite downward trend.

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