Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6GB Review

September 16, 2016 // 5 p.m.

Tags: #best-gtx-1060 #gigabyte-geforce-gtx-1060-g1-gaming-review

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6GB Review

Manufacturer: Gigabyte
UK price (as reviewed):
£275.48 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $289.99 (ex Tax)

The GTX 1060 6GB occupies roughly the same price bracket that the GTX 970 did in the last generation of cards, although it hasn't been met with quite the same critical reception as the latter card due to significant price-performance pressure from AMD's RX 480 SKUs, which saw Nvidia release the cheaper GTX 1060 3GB that cuts back on both core count and memory to reach a lower price point. Nonetheless, Nvidia's board partners have of course been capitalising on the GTX 1060, as Gigabyte has done here with its G1 Gaming variant, which retails for £280; about £50 or 20 percent more than you could expect to pay for a standard version of the GTX 1060 6GB.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6GB Review
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The GTX 1060 G1 Gaming is a pretty big card at 278mm long. That said, it's otherwise a pretty standard dual-slot card in terms of size, and will fit into most cases with ease. Having a big cooler strapped to a GPU with modest power consumption should also mean low temperatures and low noise.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6GB Review
Click to enlarge

The cooler shroud is made predominantly from black plastic with a few orange highlights. The build quality here is fine but can hardly be called premium, but the metal backplate is more so and adds plenty of structural integrity.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6GB Review
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The card retains the reference display outputs meaning we're looking at a trio of DisplayPort 1.4 headers, one HDMI 2.0 port and one DVI-D connector. Where we do see a deviation is the power connector – the single 8-pin PCI-E header will provide more than enough juice for any realistic overclock, and a small LED indicator is used to show that power is being received correctly. Those familiar with the GTX 1060 will know that it doesn't support SLI, so the absence of any connectors is a given.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6GB Review
Click to enlarge

The card is factory overclocked to 1,595MHz base and 1,810MHz boost clocks; a six percent increase on reference speeds. That said, with the free Xtreme Engine utility, you can easily put the card into OC Mode (1,621MHz base, 1,836MHz boost), which is almost eight percent higher than stock, although exact boost speeds will vary. We've tested in OC Mode as this is readily available out of the box even if it's not the true default, but there's also an Eco Mode which drops the base clock to the reference speed of 1,506MHz, giving us a boost of 1,721MHz. As a G1 Gaming card, all the GPUs used have been binned through Gigabyte's GPU Gauntlet Sorting programme – details of this aren't shared but hopefully we'll see some solid overclocked numbers. Unfortunately, no memory overclock has been applied.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6GB Review
Click to enlarge

The custom cooler is a Windforce 2X design sporting dual 90mm fans. The fans spin in different directions to one another, a feature Gigabyte has cleverly named Alternate Spinning Fan Design, and the blades have a unique design said to boost airflow. 3D Active Fan is Gigabyte's way of saying the card is semi-passive, with the fans switching off entirely once the GPU is cool enough (typically below 60°C). The 'Fan Stop' logo along the top edge will light up when this is the case. Both this and the Gigabyte logo are lit by RGB LEDs, which you can control through the Xtreme Engine software.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6GB Review
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Power is delivered through a 6+1 phase power system; very beefy for this level of GPU and a considerable upgrade over the reference 3+1 design. It's common for companies to use upgraded components in their premium card designs, and the GTX 1060 G1 Gaming is no different, receiving the full complement of Ultra Durable PCB components. This sees the PCB itself as well as the capacitors, chokes and MOSFETs all being upgraded in certain ways compared to normal ones. Gigabyte also uses what it calls Tier 1 memory, suggesting another type of binning process is in use.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6GB Review
Click to enlarge

The GP106 GPU is tiny, and it only needs two direct touch 6mm heat pipes to fully cover it. There are two fin stacks in the large cooler: one which draws heat away from the GPU and memory chips (via a contact plate and thermal pads) and a secondary one that is fed by the aforementioned heat pipes and also absorbs heat from the MOSFETs and chokes, again via thermal padding. The cooler shroud is fairly closed but not completely, and air will mainly be expelled towards your motherboard or back into your case thanks to the vertical arrangement of the fins.

Specifications

  • Graphics processor Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 1,621MHz (1,836MHz boost)
  • Pipeline 1,280 stream processors, 80 texture units, 48 ROPs
  • Memory 6GB GDDR5, 8GHz effective
  • Bandwidth 192GB/sec, 192-bit interface
  • Compatibility DirectX 12, Vulcan, OpenGL 4.5
  • Outputs/Inputs 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, Dual Link DVI-I, 1 x HDMI 2.0b
  • Power connections 1 x 8-pin PCI-E, top-mounted
  • Size 278mm long, 114mm tall, dual-slot
  • Warranty Three years

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