The NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB Review

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Thermal Imaging

 

This is one cool-running card and while there are some minor heat spots near the GTX 1060’s bank of VRMs, that’s to be expected. From what’s visible there aren’t any points of concern here. Of special note is the heatsink that peaks through the plastic / aluminum shroud; it barely gets warm to the touch have plenty of gameplay time.

Acoustical Testing

What you see below are the baseline idle dB(A) results attained for a relatively quiet open-case system (specs are in the Methodology section) sans GPU along with the attained results for each individual card in idle and load scenarios. The meter we use has been calibrated and is placed at seated ear-level exactly 12” away from the GPU’s fan. For the load scenarios, Hitman Absolution is used in order to generate a constant load on the GPU(s) over the course of 15 minutes.

While this isn’t exactly the quietest card we’ve tested, it is one of the least invasive reference designs around. Simply put, the fan doesn’t require high RPMs to achieve an optimal core thermal level.

System Power Consumption

For this test we hooked up our power supply to a UPM power meter that will log the power consumption of the whole system twice every second. In order to stress the GPU as much as possible we used 15 minutes of Unigine Valley running on a loop while letting the card sit at a stable Windows desktop for 15 minutes to determine the peak idle power consumption.

NVIDAI’s Pascal architecture has impressed us again and again with the efficiency it puts on display and the GTX 1060 continues that tradition in a big way. While our sample did consume a bit more power than a GTX 960 2GB, its power requirements relative to AMD’s RX480 are nothing short of shocking considering each card’s performance metrics.

It looks like AMD’s Polaris architecture requires almost 40W more to achieve framerates that are –at best- equal to the GTX 1060’s. Not only does that reflect poorly upon Polaris’ ability to scale upwards to other higher end products but it also highlights the inroads NVIDIA continues to make towards optimal efficiency.

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