Nvidia's GTX 1060 makes high-performance 1080p gaming affordable to more than just the enthusiast crowd.
GeForce GTX 1060 at a glanceHow powerful is the GTX 1060? The GTX 1060 is capable of delivering smooth performance in most modern games at 1080p resolution.
When did the GTX 1060 come out? Nvidia launched the 6GB and 3GB models of the GTX 1060 in July and August 2016 respectively.
How much does the GTX 1060 cost? Pricing for the GTX 1060 ranges from $350 to $500+ depending on the brand and memory configuration.
What is the GTX 1060?
The GTX 1060 occupies the mid-range spot in Nvidia's GTX 10 graphics card line. It offers a balance of price and performance better-suited to the average gamer than Nvidia's premium GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 cards, especially for those accustomed to the capabilities of current-generation consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One.
Powered by Nvidia's Pascal GPU architecture, the GTX 1060 is geared towards high-performance gaming at 1080p. It can hit 60fps or higher in most modern games at this resolution, even with the graphics settings bumped up to their maximum.
For those who prefer visual fidelity to high framerates, it can also deliver solid performance at 1440p, though hitting 60fps may require turning down a few of the more demanding graphics settings depending on the game. 4K enthusiasts may want to consider looking elsewhere, as the GTX 1060 tends to struggle with modern games at 2160p.
On the other hand, budding virtual reality explorers will find the GTX 1060 to be a viable entry point into the world of VR. Along with meeting the minimum requirements for both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets, it happily handles even the most graphically-intensive VR experiences like Dirt Rally and Fallout 4 VR without jeopardising the all-important 90fps anti-sickness buffer.
Unlike most other cards in the GTX 10 series, the GTX 1060 is available in two different memory configurations: one with 6GB of GDDR5 RAM and one with 3GB of GDDR5 RAM.
Other than the amount of memory and a slight difference in the number of CUDA cores, both models are identical in their standard specifications. Each is clocked at a base GPU speed of 1506MHz with the capacity to boost that to 1708MHz. The RAM operates on a 192-bit bus and can hit speeds of 8Gbps.
As is the norm nowadays, a typical GTX 1060 covers two slots on a motherboard, meaning you'll usually need a vacant adjacent slot in addition to the PCIe 3.0 slot the GTX 1060 installs into. Alternatively, you can find single-slot variants of the GTX 1060 from select brands if you shop around.
Along with the PCIe 3.0 slot, a stock GTX 1060 requires a 6-pin power connector and a power supply with a capacity of at least 400W. Keep in mind that certain variants of the GTX 1060 that feature more powerful cooling solutions may require additional power connectors or larger power supplies.
What features does the GTX 1060 support?
Like the rest of Nvidia's GTX 10 line, the GTX 1060 benefits from all the advantages the Pascal GPU architecture brings to the table. The most pertinent of these are listed below:
- Nvidia Ansel
- DirectX 12
- HDCP 2.2
- OpenGL 4.5
- Display Port 1.4
- HDMI 2.0b
- Simultaneous multi-projection
- Driver-level triple buffering
How powerful is the GTX 1060?
The GTX 1060 sits in the sweet spot between the premium power of the GTX 1070 and the budget-focused GTX 1050. It serves up smooth, stable performance in modern games at 1080p resolution, hitting the 60fps threshold that has become the hallmark of PC gaming. You can even wring out 60fps at 1440p in a large number of current titles provided you're willing to sacrifice a few graphical flourishes here and there.
Gaming at 4K is another matter. While the GTX 1060 can deliver a playable experience at 4K in some modern games, you'll have to settle for 30fps at best in most cases. Additionally, some games are simply too taxing for the GTX 1060 to keep up.
Owners of virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will be happy to know that the GTX 1060 can handle the vast majority of VR titles without issue. You may need to lower the graphical settings in certain games such as Fallout 4 VR or Robo Recall, but in general the GTX 1060 offers a solid VR experience at an affordable price.
No matter what resolution you use to play, don't forget that performance can differ dramatically from game to game, so there is no guarantee that all games will run smoothly even at 1080p.
GTX 1060 availability and price
Nvidia introduced its mid-tier GTX 1060 cards with the launch of the 6GB GTX 1060 on July 19 2016 and followed that up with the launch of the 3GB model on 18 August 2016.
Pricing for the 3GB model starts at around $350 while the 6GB model typically begins around $450. Variants of both cards that feature overclocked GPUs, enhanced cooling solutions or other special features can hit price points of $500 or higher.
GTX 1060 specs
- Base clock speed
- Boost clock speed
- 3GB/6GB GDDR5
- Memory speed
- Memory bus
- Card length
- Card width
- Dual slot
- Card height
- Power draw
- Recommended system power
- Power connectors
- No. HDMI ports
- No. Display Ports
- No. DVI ports
- DirectX support