AMD might have NVIDIA beat in being cheap and new but when it comes to quality and widespread driver support, there is a strong bias towards NVIDIA cards especially inside the gaming community.
But now NVIDIA, it seems, wants to take that edge away from AMD as well. NVIDIA has just announced the all new GTX 1060 which would cost around $249 but, in a weird and favorable twist for consumers, provide speeds that would match and even exceed that of GTX 980.
And if that wasn’t enough for the year 2016, readers should not forget the other two major announcements NVIDIA made a while back with almost simultaneous launches of GTX 1080 and GTX 1070.
This is turning out to be a remarkable year for the PC gaming community as manufacturers are flooding the market with newer technology for cheaper price. NVIDIA’s flagship graphic card is no doubt the GTX 1080 but along with that, we have the much more affordable but still powerful GTX 1070.
Some consider GTX 1070 to be a mid range card but for any purchaser who wasn’t on GTX 980 before 2016, the performance levels from GTX 1070 will definitely feel like out of this world.
What doesn’t feel otherworldly is AMD’s Radeon RX480 which costs around $200, which allows it access to a massive cut of the pie that is the lower end, price sensitive, gaming consumer market.
Mind you, AMD’s Radeon RX480 is still a formidable card, but its performance, according to most standards, will not blow you away. With that said, it will unquestionably feel a lot lighter on your pocket when it comes to purchasing time.
NVIDIA though wants to shake up the lower end of the gaming consumer market as well with GTX 1060. It is now, officially, as a cheap GPU of its own to rival that of the AMD’s.
Basically, the GTX 1060 is a $249 card that the company claims will be equally fast when set against 2014’s monster graphic card GTX 980.
The other piece of information which would especially be interesting for those looking for “biggest bang for the buck” is that GTX 980 cost around $549 while, as just mentioned, GTX 1060 will give the same output if not better, for a mere $249.
The GTX 1060 will launch on July 19 and the initial manufacturing partners would include the usual suspects i.e Gigabyte, ASUS, and EVGA. And that’s not all. Just like NVIDIA did with GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 a few months back, it will release a Founder’s Edition which will set back those who are overly enthusiastic a further $50 for a grand total of $299. Still great value for money according to many.
And before anyone runs out of patience, let’s turn our attention to the technical aspects of GTX 1060.
We’ve already touched upon the fact that NVIDIA’s GTX 1060 is amongst the cheapest cards ever build on its 16 nanometer Pascal architecture. But what we haven’t discussed is NVIDIA’s performance claims. As of now, looking at those claims, it is very likely that the GTX 1060 will put on display all the benefits that graphics cards get by moving to a manufacturing process that is small. Smaller, for the more discerning readers.
It is expected to be parcelled in with 6GB of DDR5 RAM and a clock speed boost of 1.7GHz. No comments have been made about the base clock at this moment in time but if the two previous juggernauts (GTX 1080 and GTX 1070) are taken into consideration, the base clock is expected to be a few hundred Mhz slower than those two.
NVIDIA has communicated that just like the previous two cards; the GTX 1060 will most definitely be overclockable to about 2GHz without any significant strain. That indeed was also the case with GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 Founders Edition cards.
The gaming community can expect about 1280 CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture, or in a more passionate manner, NVIDIA’s answer to AMD’s “Stream Processors”) cores in the GTX 1060.
CUDA cores are basically NVIDIA’s proprietary parallel computing programming model that is able to leverage the GPU to perform tasks that helps the graphic card achieve more performance with much less power on high-end games.
If we compare GTX 1060’s CUDA cores (1280) to GTX 1080’s 2560 and GTX1070’s 1920 then that points to a significant performance difference. But it is also true that most experts don’t like to compare different generations of graphic cards on CUDA model.
And that makes sense as well since 2014’s GTX 980 had about 2048 cores but now as we have heard, NVIDIA affirms that GTX 1060 will be able to outperform GTX 980 in the speed department. That advantage is thanks to GTX 1060’s superior processor, memory, and a few other components.
For those interested in VR technology, there is positive news for them as well. NVIDIA has confirmed that GTX 1060 will sport a technology known as “simultaneous multi-projection that will allow all NVIDIA’s graphics cards based on Pascal to perform better in VR games and tasks.
It shouldn’t be surprising that the gaming community will once again be torn apart between AMD and NVIDIA.
AMD certainly has NVIDIA’s number when it comes to the price point (RX480 will cost a mere $200) and many industry insiders believe that people who like to play the latest and greatest games on a budget would drift towards the AMD edition that has 8GB memory that would cost around $239.
If and when that happens, there is little doubt that NVIDIA (with its GTX 1060 at $249) and AMD will once again lock horns for more market share of the gaming community.
Benchmarks of both these inexpensive behemoths will begin sometime next week so stay tuned for further news.