As always we’ll also take a quick look at synthetic performance. While GTX 1060 is of course a cut down Pascal architecture part, how it has been cut down is interesting. Compared to GP104, GP106 has half the SMs and GPCs, but 3/4 the ROPs, which may prove to have an impact.

Synthetic: TessMark, Image Set 4, 64x Tessellation

Starting off with tessellation performance, we find the GTX 1060 coming in just behind the GTX 980, showing that NVIDIA’s performance estimates generally apply not only to games, but synthetic tests as well. But perhaps more interesting is the fact that the card is neck-and-neck with the Radeon RX 480. NVIDIA has traditionally enjoyed a sizable geometry performance lead over AMD cards, but it looks like those days have come to a close.

Up next, we have SteamVR’s Performance Test. While this test is based on the latest version of Valve’s Source engine, the test itself is purely synthetic, designed to test the suitability of systems for VR, making it our sole VR-focused test at this time. It should be noted that the results in this test are not linear, and furthermore the score is capped at 11. Of particular note, cards that fail to reach GTX 970/R9 290 levels fall off of a cliff rather quickly. So test results should be interpreted a little differently.

SteamVR Performance Test

As NVIDIA’s now entry-level VR card, GTX 1060 looks very good in the Steam VR test. A score of 7.9 Newells means that it’s comfortably above the 6.x range generally required, and it also means the GTX 1060 is comfortably ahead of the RX 480 in this scenario.

Finally, for looking at texel and pixel fillrate, we have the Beyond3D Test Suite. This test offers a slew of additional tests – many of which use behind the scenes or in our earlier architectural analysis – but for now we’ll stick to simple pixel and texel fillrates.

Synthetic: Beyond 3D Suite - Pixel Fillrate

Starting with the pixel fillrate, we can see the impact of GTX 1060’s slightly more unusual ROP and GPC arrangement when it’s compared to the GTX 980. At 54.8 GPixels/second, GTX 1060 trails GTX 980 significantly. The card not only has fewer ROPs, but it has half of the rasterizer throughput (32 pixels/clock) as GTX 980. As we’ve seen in our gaming benchmarks the real-world impact isn’t nearly as great as what happens under these synthetic tests, but it helps to explain why sometimes GTX 1060 is tied with GTX 980, and other times it’s several percent behind. If nothing else, at an architectural level this is what makes GTX 1060 a better 1080p card than a 1440p card.

Synthetic: Beyond 3D Suite - Texel Fillrate

As for texel throughput, things are right where we expect them. GTX 1060 is virtually tied with GTX 980, and while it’s ahead of RX 480 in the process, it’s not by a massive amount.

Compute Power, Temperature, & Noise


View All Comments

  • Wall Street - Friday, August 5, 2016 - link

    Yeah, it is amazing how many times the text "$249" appears in this review of a $299 card and a $314 card. Ryan is fully feeding into nVidia's price anchoring. I think that if the price chart shows $249 for the GTX 1060, then it should also show $299, because the $249 cards are nowhere to be found and explicitly not the ones he looked at. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, August 5, 2016 - link

    The entire Founders Edition things makes reviewing a bit more complicated. But since it's purely a stock card from a performance perspective, it's a very reasonable proxy for the $249 cards. No GTX 1070 is going to under perform the 1060FE, because that's the minimum specs allowed to begin with. Reply
  • Wall Street - Saturday, August 6, 2016 - link

    With Turbo Boost, I am not 100% sure that the single fan Zotac or EVGA 1060s which are the actual $249 cards will maintain the same clocks as the founders edition will. Reply
  • Samus - Sunday, August 7, 2016 - link

    What's depressing (for me anyway) is this card consistently outperforms my 970 in the games I play...and my 970 cost substantially more just a year ago. It's pretty unusual for a mainstream card to overtake an enthusiast card in one generation. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, August 7, 2016 - link

    Well, this was a full node shrink (no half node) and a much more advanced process (FinFET), so unfortunately, it was very likely. However, you've had a good year of great performance out of your 970, so not too much to complain about there. :D Reply
  • Samus - Monday, August 8, 2016 - link

    True. The 970 will hold tight until I eventually graduate from 1920x1200 to 2560x1600. Reply
  • spbx - Friday, August 5, 2016 - link

    after anand left thing weren't the same :( Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, August 5, 2016 - link

    So true! There was a huge decline in the use of capital letters and punctuation by readers in the comments section. Reply
  • Cygni - Friday, August 5, 2016 - link

    Yeah, the influx of the same terrible negativity posters from other websites has really been annoying lately. Reply
  • Morawka - Friday, August 5, 2016 - link

    That's what popularity and the reddit crowd will bring. Reply

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