The GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition & ASUS Strix GTX 1060 Reviewby Ryan Smith on August 5, 2016 2:00 PM EST
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.