Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB & The HD Textures: Is The New Card Future-proof?
Nvidia recently launched the cut-down GeForce GTX 1060 with half the VRAM as the full-fat card. Apart from VRAM allocation, the new Pascal based card comes with fewer CUDA cores as well. The GTX 1060 3GB has 1152 shaders on board down from 1280 on the top-tier model. Except that, the two models have the exact same set of features.
The GTX 1060 3GB and 6GB cards have the same 192-bit memory bus clocked at 8GHz delivering a total bandwidth of 192GB/s. The base and boost clock speeds of both cards are also identical. Here’s a quick look at the GTX 1060 3GB specifications:
- Graphics Core: GP106
- Process: 16nm FinFET
- CUDA Cores: 1152
- Base Clock: 1506MHz
- Boost Clock: 1708MHz
- Memory Clock: 8GHz
- Memory Bandwidth: 192GB/s
- Connectors: 3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x Dual-Link DVI
- TDP: 120W
With the new cut-down GTX 1060 out, many people must be wondering whether the 3GB VRAM is enough for a 1080p gameplay. Well according to Nvidia, the new GPU offers performance that is only 5 per cent slower than the full-fat GTX 1060. Considering most of the GTX 1060s available on the market are factory overclocked, the performance differential is reduced to 2 per cent.
GTX 1060 3GB vs 6GB Performance Analysis
To analyze the real impact of VRAM degration, folks over at Digital Foundry recently put the new 3GB version to test and revealed some interesting bits of information. In seven out of eight benchmarks, the cut-down GTX 1060 beats the AMD RX 470 and the four gig RX 480. Even at 1440p, the card didn’t stutter as much as we expected it to be except a general degrade in the overall performance.
The VRAM factor however comes into play as we move to games with HD texture pack. The benchmark sequence for the Rise of the Tomb Raider for example, consists of three different test areas. The first bench sequence is a business as usual, but as we move to the second more VRAM intensive sequence the 1060 3GB version not only stutters but also loses 30 per cent of its performance, dropping behind the RX 470.
What we conclude from this all is that the three gig GTX 1060, and other sub-$200 cards offer an excellent value at 1080p resolution. But at the same time, we’d recommend to stay away from high-quality textures.
With less VRAM, the cards really don’t compromise much of the performance. But still, if you can afford to spend the extra money, go purchase the six gig GTX 1060 or the eight gig RX 480. After all, the more VRAM you have the more future-proof is your setup.