MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 3GB Review

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Better value at 219 USD/Euro

In this article we'll review the 3GB version of the GeForce GTX 1060, aimed at the budget minded consumer this card is cheaper (start at 219 USD) compared to the 6GB edition. Being an MSI product it comes factory overclocked and the good stuff RGB LED system, backplates and premium TwinFrozr VI cooler.

The new GeForce GTX 1060 is once again based on Pascal, fabbed at a 16 nm node with fins baby. As it turns out, the smaller 16 nm FinFET fabrication process works out really well for Nvidia. The 1070 and 1080 have been a high clocked success story ever since their launch. It's never been a busier Summer, but hey, we aim to please and as such today we offer a review on the reference card from Nvdia. Nvidia definitely stepped it up as cooling wise we do not see the cheaper plastic designs, the 1060 will receive something similar to the 1070/1080 founder edition coolers as well. The GeForce GTX 1060 might have the GP106 GPU housed on its PCB. Where the GeForce GTX 1080 has 2,560 shader processors and the GeForce GTX 1070 with its 1,920 shader processors, the GeForce GTX 1060 has 1,280 / 1,152 of them. This means it is has 9 (3GB model) or 10 (6GB model) SMs active (10 streaming multi-processors x (2x64) 128 shader cores). The cards will be equipped with properly fast memory as well, you can choose either a 3 GB or 6 GB model, though we do recommend the 6 GB models to be a bit more future proof. That memory is tied towards a 192-bit wide bus locked in at 2,000 MHz which is 8 GHz (GDDR5-effective) at a memory bandwidth of 192 GB/s. 

  • GeForce GTX 1080 offers just over 9 TFLOP/s Single-precision floating point performance
  • GeForce GTX 1070 offers just over 6 TFLOP/s Single-precision floating point performance
  • GeForce GTX 1060 offers just over 4 TFLOP/s Single-precision floating point performance
The 3GB cards will be slowed down a notch, not just in memory but a SM shader cluster is to be disabled. Normally the 1060 6GB would have 1280 shader processors, the 3GB models however will get 1152 shader processors activated. The  GeForce GTX 1060 reference clocks get a 1506 MHz GPU base clock, with 1708 MHz boost alongside 8 Gbps memory (3GB / 192-bit). The 3GB models are aimed against AMDs Radeon RX 470 and RX 480 with 4 GB graphics memory. 
  • 1809 MHz / 1594 MHz / 8108 MHz (OC Mode)
  • 1784 MHz / 1569 MHz / 8008 MHz (Gaming Mode)
  • 1708 MHz / 1506 MHz / 8008 MHz (Silent Mode)
The card can be clocked in three conditions with the MSI Gaming APP, default are the Gaming clocks:
Boost Clock / Base Clock / Memory Frequency. The MSI GAMING X version obviously comes with a tweak or two and gets a 6-phase power delivery and PCB design.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 3GB with the Nvidia GP106-A1 GPU ( Gaming Mode - 1,569 MHz core / 1,784 MHz boost / 8 GHz memory )

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