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Thursday, February 9, 2017

EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming Review: Mini But Mighty Pascal

Enter The EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming, Compact But Powerful For Gamers

Something obvious to anyone that’s done any shopping for graphics cards recently is that NVIDIA’s add-in board partners have gone all-in on Pascal. Virtually all of NVIDIA’s tier 1 partners have dozens of Pascal-based products in their line-up, from ultra-powerful, triple-slot, overclocked GeForce GTX 1080s to half-height, low-power GTX 1050s. Tucked away neatly in the middle, however, is a graphics card with enough muscle to power a mainstream gaming system, but in a form factor that’s small and power-friendly enough for a compact mini-ITX build – this is the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming.

If you look at is specs, EVGA's GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming seems very similar to a standard GeForce GTX 1060. But EVGA outfitted the card with a custom cooler that shrinks the total package down to only 6.8” long and 4.4” high. Take a look for yourself...


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The EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming

EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming
Specifications & Features

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
Graphics Processing Clusters3
Streaming Multiprocessors10
CUDA Cores (single precision)1280
Texture Units80
ROP Units48
Base Clock1506MHz
Boost Clock1708MHz
Memory Clock (Data rate)4004MHz (Effective Speed - ~8Gbps)
L2 Cache Size1536KB 
Total Video Memory6144 MB GDDR5
Memory Interface192-Bit
Total Memory Bandwidth192 GB/s
Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear)120.5 GigaTexels/sec
Fabrication Process16 nm
Transistor Count4.4 Billion
Connectors3 x Display Port
1 x Dual-Link DVI
1 x HDMI
Form FactorDual Slot
Power ConnectorsOne 6-Pin
Recommended Power Supply400 Watts
Thermal Design Power (TDP)120 Watts
Thermal Threshold94°C
Price$249 - Find Them At Amazon ($199 For 3GB Model)


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We’ve already gone in depth on the GeForce GTX 1060, so we won’t dive into the architecture again here. Just to quickly recap, the GTX 1060 is based on the GP106 GPU, which is essentially a scaled-down version of the GP104 targeted at a more mainstream audience. It supports all of the same features of other Pascal-based GPUs, however, like Simultaneous Multi-Projection (SMP), Ansel, Fast Sync, and enhanced memory compression, to name a few.

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In its full implementation, the GP106 as it configured on cards like the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming, features 10 streaming multiprocessors (SM) with a total of 1280, single-precision CUDA cores, arranged in 2 graphics processing clusters (GPC). Each GPC includes a dedicated raster engine and five SMs with 128 CUDA cores, eight texture units, a shared memory unit, and some L1 cache. There is 1536KB of L2 cache on the chip, and a total of 80 texture units. Each SM is also outfitted with a PolyMorph Engine that handles vertex fetch, tessellation, viewport transformation, vertex attribute setup, and perspective correction. It's also in the PolyMorph Engine that a new unit enables the Simultaneous Multi-Projection feature mentioned earlier. The GeForce GTX 1060 also features six 32-bit memory controllers, for 192-bits in total. Linked to each 32-bit memory controller are eight ROPs, for a total of 48, and 128 KB of that aforementioned L2 cache. GeForce GTX 1060 cards, like this one from EVGA, are offered in either 6GB or 3GB (GDDR5) memory configurations – but if you’re taking the plunge, stick with the 6GB option unless you’re gaming at resolutions lower than 1080P. It’ll have more headroom for the future.

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The EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming has similar clocks to NVIDIA’s Founder’s Edition cards – 1506MHz and 1708MHz base and boost clocks, respectively, with an effective memory speed of 8008MHz. Where EVGA’s card differs is in its cooler and PCB setup. The EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming has a small form factor, similar to something like the Radeon R9 Nano. In total, the card is only 6.8” long and as you’ll see later, it is quite power-friendly too. This card requires only a single 6-pin supplemental power feed. The cooler features a small, but dense array of heat-sink fins, with a double ball-bearing fan sitting on top.

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The outputs on the EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming are identical to most other Pascal-based cards. They consist of a trio of DisplayPorts, an HDMI 2.0b output, and a dual-link DVI output. The DisplayPorts are 1.2 certified and DP 1.3/1.4 ready, which enables support for 4K displays at 120Hz, 5K displays at 60Hz, and 8K displays at 60Hz (using two cables and multi-stream transport). Up to four display outputs can be used simultaneously for multi-monitor or VR setups.

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