The mid-range graphic card market is exciting this generation, what with Nvidia and AMD both releasing cards that are far more accessible than the previous generation. For AMD, it's the RX 480; for Nvidia, it's the GTX 1060. Since we've already taken a look at the RX 480, I was wondering if I would be able to put a GTX 1060 through its paces.Lo and behold, ASUS delivered with their top-of-the-line GTX 1060, the ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1060. I've heard things about the Strix line of components of course, that being that they're among the most power, and also among the most expensive components that one can buy. Does the Strix GTX 1060 continue that trend? Let's find out.
Design and Hardware
The first thing that you'll need to know about the Strix GTX 1060 is that it is a long card. Measuring at almost 30cm long (11.73 inches), this card will take up quite a bit of space in your CPU. If you have a case that leans on the compact size, you might want to do your measurements before actually buying the thing.
Moving on, the Strix GTX 1060 as a whole is very much identical to all other Strix-line graphic cards that were released this year. The card comes with ASUS's DirectCU III cooling mechanism as well as the RGB LEDs that is all the rage these days among gaming peripherals, components, and even chairs.
ASUS was rather generous when it comes to output options on the Strix GTX 1060. The card itself comes with two HDMI 2.0 ports, two DisplayPorts and a single DVI port. An eight-pin power connector can be found on the upper front end of the card.
Test Bench Hardware Specifications
Processor: Intel Core i7 6700K
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z170x Gaming Ultra
RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4 8GB x 2
Storage: Apacer AS720 240GB SSD, Western Digital Blue 1TB
OS: Windows 10 Home
Casing: Cooler Master Test Bench v1.0
ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1060 Specifications
Battlefield 4 Benchmarks
Based on the benchmark results shown above, the Strix GTX 1060 will be able to handle 1080p and 1440p gaming on high to max settings with little problems (provided of course that the game in question doesn't have any performance issues in the first place). 4K gaming isn't something I'd recommend with this card, but if you wish to do so, get ready to drop some graphics settings to get playable framerates.
How does the Strix GTX 1060 compared to the RX 480 in terms of a head-to-head comparison? Before I talk about that, here's a disclaimer. I've tested both the Strix GTX 1060 and the RX 480 on different test benches, which is the reason why I did not include a side-by-side comparison of benchmark numbers in the tables above. But judging from what I'm seeing from my benchmarks, as well as benchmarks from various other sources, my conclusion is mostly the same as many other websites: the Strix GTX 1060 is generally superior to the RX 480 in terms of the mainstream gaming. In general, the Strix GTX 1060 will outperform the RX 480 when it comes to raw numbers,
However, when it came to DirectX 12 games and Vulkan games like DOOM or Hitman, the results are much more interesting. The RX 480 is able to trade blows with the Strix GTX 1060, continuing the trend that AMD cards stand to gain more from both DX12 and Vulkan. While I've yet to receive an AiB version of the RX 480, I'm willing to hazard a guess that should a Strix GTX 1060 and an AiB RX 480 be tested against each other, the AiB RX 480 will be able to outspeed the Strix GTX 1060 by a slight margin.
Temperature isn't something to worry about for the Strix GTX 1060 as the DirectCU III cooler works really well when the card is on load. Under idle conditions, the card hovers around the 39 degree celsius mark. On load, the card's temperature averages around the 72 degree celsius mark, with the maximum reading that I've got never exceeding 76 degrees. Fan noise isn't an issue here as the card remains almost silent even during gaming sessions.
There is no doubt in my mind that the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1060 is a pretty good version of Nvidia's midrange card. That being said, you should know that this is one of the most expensive GTX 1060 cards available in the market. With an asking price of RM1,599, the Strix GTX 1060 continues the proud Strix tradition of being considerably more expensive than its competitors.
I honestly would not recommend the Strix GTX 1060 to those on a tight budget or those who just wants a no-frills GTX 1060. The extra amount of cash you need to spend over this card is simply not worth it. However, if you have a looser budget to play with, and you don't mind spending a little bit more for it, the Strix GTX 1060 is worthy of your consideration.
- One of the most powerful GTX 1060s available
- Out-of-the-box overclock
- Incredible cooling system with little noise
- Length of the card is long, meaning you'll need a big case