Nvidia GTX1060 FE Review

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Before I begin my post, let me qualify that this is not a professional spec and stat review, I did not do the testing the hardcore way – shutting down background programs, repeated tests under the same conditions etc.

This review is more about real world performance, in real world games, and how the card performs in my computer.
My comparisons are also going to be very specifically vs the GTX970
But of course, I’ve needed to run tests, so that I can examine the numbers and use them to figure things out.

Here are some links for you, as well as the card specs

Key facts about GeForce GTX 1060
· Crafted for speed and optimized for performance per watt: GeForce GTX 980-level performance with only 120 watts of power
· GeForce GTX 1060 custom boards starting on-shelf July 19, MSRP starting at $249
· Great for overclocking: Easy to overclock to 2GHz, on average 15% faster and over 75% more power efficient than the closest competitive product
· Simultaneous Multi-Projection come to UE and Unity game engine: More than 30 games are already in development, (including Unreal Tournament, Poolnation VR, Everest VR, Obduction, Adr1ft and Raw Data.)

http://www.geforce.com/hardware/10series/geforce-gtx-1060

Here’s my unboxing videos, if you’re interested to see how the FE looks packaged

 

  1. Let’s start with my computer hardware and set up.

I use a 3 monitor set up, you can see the models and how I set them up in the screenshots below.
My 1060 is connected via DVI-D to my BenQ XL2411T, which is a monitor that can go up to 144hz.
My 970 is connected to my BenQ RL2450H by DVI and by HDMI to my HP2311.
My XL2411T is running on 120Hz (any higher and my other monitor shuts off, I’m not sure why).

set up

set up 2

Overall table of comparison of Firestrike

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 7.01.48 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 7.02.18 AM

Here are my OLD computer hardware specs, and some results based on 3D Mark tests that I ran.

fire strike scores scores

gfx

As you can tell, I was using 2 gfx before this, I had a 560Ti on the 2nd PCIE x8 slot, and my 970 on the PCIE x16 slot.

Not shown is my 600w cooler master power supply.

processor and general

Even a year +  ago, on may 23 2015, my CPU was the bottleneck.

Fast forward to TODAY, these are my current specs and test results.

750w FSP power supply not showm

new gfx

The 1060 shows up as a “Generic VGA” because I’m using direct downloaded drivers which don’t show the make and model.

As you can tell, I’ve shifted my 970 to the PCIE x8 slot, and put the 1060 in the PCIE x16 slot.
Looking at the numbers, there isn’t really THAT BIG a difference between my previous set up and this current one. There’s roughly a 200 point increase in the 3D score, and some decreases in the other scores.

scores 2

And just for kicks, I did yet another test, taking out the 970 totally, and simply leaving the 1060 in.

scores 3 scores 4

And here’s where we see a bigger jump in the scores. I’m churning out 5 digit scores now.

So from this I can only conclude that the 970 might be throttling the performance of my 1060, and that my CPU is definitely bottlenecking my performance.

SO, that’s it for the number heavy bits… on to…

2. REAL WORLD PERFORMANCE

I play mainly 2 games right now, World of Warcraft and DOTA 2.
I also stream at 720p and 2000 bitrate.

All feedback is based on having my 1060 in the main slot, and 970 on the second slot, dedicated to physx

A) World of Warcraft

in game stats wow
Here are my settings and in game FPS.
Running on full screen mode, at 120 FPS, my in game frame rate is a steady 90+, in fact, most of the time it hovers around 96-98.

On my previous set up, I was getting almost only half the FPS with a range from 40-60.

A fun fact about my XL2411T monitor : While most FPS gamers buy this for the 120/144hz refresh rate, I actually bought it specifically to play MMOs – Wow and FFXIV. I get “carsick” when I play MMOs on low FPS, because the tearing and floaty graphics kill my eyes.

 

B) DOTA 2

I don’t play DOTA 2 on the highest settings, and I don’t require it on 120Hz. I’m pretty used to 60Hz play, and it gives me a flat 120fps when my stream is not on.
With my 970, I wasn’t getting 120, I was getting around 80.

C) Live Streaming on Twitch

On my old set up (I removed the 560TI and use my 970 as a solo card), streaming was pretty decent, but still not up to standard.
Software wise, I’m using XSplit, but will probably try to do some texting on Shadowplay sometime in the near future.
I was streaming on 2000 bitrate, 720p @30fps, and my system would choke now and then.
It still could manage to run and stream 2 games at once – I would tax my system by playing WoW whilst queuing for

Streaming DOTA 2 is generally not a very intensive thing, and I was managing this with minor problems – my in game FPS would drop to 40 fps, which is actually pretty jerky to play, but not that bad to watch on stream. It thus wasn’t very enjoyable to stream and play simultaneously.
I tested the new set up on the old stream settings (2000 bitrate, 720p @30fps) as well as the new settings (2600bitrate, 1080p @ 30fps) for quite a few games each, and here are my findings.

With my 1060, I can do 80fps in game, whilst streaming at 2600/1080/30. Whereas streaming on 2000/720/30 gives me 90FPS.

Streaming WoW on 2600bitrate, 1080p @ 30fps gives me an in game fps range of 60-80+. It doesn’t go over 90 fps, but the game play is smooth.

3. Summary/Overall Thoughts

Overall, of course there’s a noticeable difference in the performance of my graphics, but it’s also quite obvious that my CPU is a bottleneck.
I think it would be really fun to see what kind of stats I can get with the latest gen i7. Judging by the 3D mark scores online, I’m about 5000 points off firestrike – I do see stats of 15k.

In the meantime though, the biggest differences I see are when I play WoW, and when I stream. So I’m going to go out on a limb and conclude that you will see the best improvement on mid-high graphics intense games with the new card, if you were using a 970 previously.

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