EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB Gaming review

Nvidia claims the throne once again

The back and forth struggle between the two titanic graphics manufacturers is what the GPU race is all about. Don’t be mistaken: this is an arms race. A race to nd the best value card. For Nvidia, it’s all about retaining its horrendously progressive market share, while AMD is chinking away at Nvidia’s armor, outmaneuvering it to sink its own teeth back into the juicy esh of mainstream superiority. From month to month, prices change and margins shift, as each side competes for your hard-earned cash. What does that mean? In short, it means better value for us, the consumer. It’s pretty hard to argue that this isn’t a good thing. Competition is always going to be good for the majority.


With the launch of Polaris 10 and 11, AMD dominated the low end of the market, thanks to its RX 480. In fact, it was our favorite card last issue. However, it seems that, at last, it has a competitor—not in the form of the Founder’s Edition GTX 1060, but in its slightly lower-specced 3GB little brother. Indeed, that’s why we’re reviewing this card right now—because the spec variance extends far beyond a simple drop in overall VRAM.

So, for your money you get 1,152 CUDA cores (128 fewer than the 6GB version), the same number of transistors at 4.4 billion, the same GPU die size, the same TDP, the same memory bus at 192-bit, and a reduction in overall VRAM from 6 to 3GB of GDDR5, still allowing for 192GB/s of memory bandwidth. But it’s that drop in CUDA cores that really caught our eye. In fact, you’d be forgiven for viewing this as a GTX 1050 out of the gate.

Performance deficit?

There’s a good reason why those 128 extra cores have been disabled, and we believe this is down to generating a greater performance de cit between the two variants. In our testing last issue, we noticed that the difference between the 8GB and 4GB variants of the RX 480 was minimal at best, but with a slight drop in CUDA cores, it’s possible to see a more substantial shift in performance between the two cards. That’s not to say that the GTX 1060 3GB is a bad card—not at all—it’s just been slightly handicapped to ensure it doesn’t compete quite so closely with the full- edged variant of the GTX 1060.

So, let’s get to the point: performance. It’s good. Incredibly good for the price. EVGA’s advanced single-fan cooling solution on the GTX 1060 is nothing short of awe-inspiring. It’s quiet, cool, and has a smaller footprint than Kanye West’s talent. At 1080p, this card dominates those frame rates. Our testing suite showed average frame rates of 61fps in Far Cry Primal, as opposed to 66 from the 6GB version, 35fps in RotTR, compared to 38, and 36 in Attila, against the 6GB’s 38fps. At 1440p, the playing eld evens out a little further, with the two cards being within 1-2 frames per second of one another. Far Cry Primal, at ultra with HD texture packs, showed VRAM usage at 83 percent at most. Not too shabby for a 3GB card.

What can we say about the GTX 1060? It’s still extremely close to the likes of last-gen’s GTX 980, and for a price that, to be honest, is nigh on ridiculous. This makes the 3GB GTX 1060 insanely good value for money, trumping last issue’s GPU group test winner. Is it going to be ideal for 1440p and above? Well, yes and no—that depends entirely on what games you run frequently, but it’ll certainly have a crack at running most titles comfortably in the mid-40s range. All in all, it’s a gorgeous little number, with some neat power savings and a tiny form factor, and it brings some competition back to the market at a time when we, the consumer, desperately need it.

–zak sTorey

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EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB SC GAMING, ACX 2.0 (Single Fan), 3GB...

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Last update was on: May 27, 2024 3:00 am
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9 Total Score
EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB Gaming review

Nvidia claims the throne once again

  • Exceptional 1080p performance; solid 1440p performance; crazy price point; quiet; cool; small.
  • No SLI support.
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