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ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 Turbo 6GB Graphics Card Review

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Manufacturer: ASUS

Specifications and Card Breakdown

The flurry of retail built cards based on NVIDIA's new Pascal GPUs has been hitting us hard at PC Perspective. So much in fact that, coupled with new gaming notebooks, new monitors, new storage and a new church (you should listen to our podcast, really) output has slowed dramatically. How do you write reviews for all of these graphics cards when you don't even know where to start? My answer: blindly pick one and start typing away.

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Just after launch day of the GeForce GTX 1060, ASUS sent over the GTX 1060 Turbo 6GB card. Despite the name, the ASUS Turbo line of GTX 10-series graphics cards is the company's most basic, most stock iteration of graphics cards. That isn't necessarily a drawback though - you get reference level performance at the lowest available price and you still get the promises of quality and warranty from ASUS.

With a target MSRP of just $249, does the ASUS GTX 1060 Turbo make the cut for users looking for that perfect mainstream 1080p gaming graphics card? Let's find out.

Continue reading our review of the ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 Turbo 6GB!

ASUS GTX 1060 Turbo Specifications

This part is simple enough; if you followed and read our review of the Founders Edition of the GeForce GTX 1060 then you are already familiar with the specs.

  GTX 1060 RX 480 R9 390 R9 380 GTX 980 GTX 970 GTX 960 R9 Nano GTX 1070
GPU GP106 Polaris 10 Grenada Tonga GM204 GM204 GM206 Fiji XT GP104
GPU Cores 1280 2304 2560 1792 2048 1664 1024 4096 1920
Rated Clock 1506 MHz 1120 MHz 1000 MHz 970 MHz 1126 MHz 1050 MHz 1126 MHz up to 1000 MHz 1506 MHz
Texture Units 80 144 160 112 128 104 64 256 120
ROP Units 48 32 64 32 64 56 32 64 64
Memory 6GB 4GB
8GB
8GB 4GB 4GB 4GB 2GB 4GB 8GB
Memory Clock 8000 MHz 7000 MHz
8000 MHz
6000 MHz 5700 MHz 7000 MHz 7000 MHz 7000 MHz 500 MHz 8000 MHz
Memory Interface 192-bit 256-bit 512-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 128-bit 4096-bit (HBM) 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 192 GB/s 224 GB/s
256 GB/s
384 GB/s 182.4 GB/s 224 GB/s 196 GB/s 112 GB/s 512 GB/s 256 GB/s
TDP 120 watts 150 watts 275 watts 190 watts 165 watts 145 watts 120 watts 275 watts 150 watts
Peak Compute 3.85 TFLOPS 5.1 TFLOPS 5.1 TFLOPS 3.48 TFLOPS 4.61 TFLOPS 3.4 TFLOPS 2.3 TFLOPS 8.19 TFLOPS 5.7 TFLOPS
Transistor Count 4.4B 5.7B 6.2B 5.0B 5.2B 5.2B 2.94B 8.9B 7.2B
Process Tech 16nm 14nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 16nm
MSRP (current) $249 $199 $299 $199 $379 $329 $279 $499 $379

Nothing changes with the ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 Turbo 6GB card, the speeds and feeds all remain identical when compared to the launch data. The GTX 1060 is the primary competitor to AMD's Radeon RX 480 8GB and 4GB cards, when available, and with 6GB of GDDR5 memory running at 8 Gbps, 1280 CUDA cores and a 120 watt TDP, NVIDIA's GP106 GPU has a lot offer.

Since the launch of the 6GB version of the GeForce GTX 1060, NVIDIA did take the covers off of the 3GB version that has 128 fewer CUDA cores. That is not germane to the conversation at hand, but its worth pointing out that this card is NOT that.

A Look at the Card

So what kind of graphics card do you get for the MSRP price of the GeForce GTX 1060 these days? Honestly, it's not much to look at.

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The black plastic shroud containing the blower fan on the ASUS GTX 1060 Turbo doesn't share any of the design or style of the other ASUS graphics card products, ROG or Strix, as it is built with budget and cost in mind. The silver stripes across the housing are fine, but this is a card that won't stand out at a LAN party in your windowed case.

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The back is bare without a plate to hide the PCB or to protect the componentry. The GTX 1060 does not support SLI at all so the lack of the bridge connections is still a bit jarring for me.

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Using a full length PCB and full cover shroud, the cooler is able to do the job it needs to do, keeping the GTX 1060 GPU running at around 79C under a full load at stock settings. It's not going to give you the low sound levels of something like the ASUS Strix product line, but it's not too far outside the bounds of something like the RX 480 reference and GTX 1070 Founders Edition.

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ASUS has rotated the single 6-pin power connector 180 degrees from standard, so that the retention clip is facing up in a normal ATX system build. While I don't see the need for that rotation on its own, NOT having the clip be located in a way to be interfered with by the cooler housing is a plus.

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Display support is different than the standard NVIDIA allotment. ASUS has gone with a single DL DVI connection, two DisplayPort and two full-size HDMI. The idea here is that users can keep an HDMI monitor connected while also connecting an HDMI VR headset like the Rift.


August 25, 2016 | 10:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"ASUS has gone with a single DL DVI connection, two DisplayPort and two full-size HDMI. The idea here is that users can keep an HDMI monitor connected while also connecting an HDMI VR headset like the Rift."

Ugh. A DP++ port is also natively a HDMI port using a passive (i.e. it does nothing more than rearrange the pins) adapter. By replacing a DP++ port with a HDMI port, you gain NOTHING but lose a DP port. It's moronic.

August 25, 2016 | 01:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm more annoyed about the lack of DVI-I, because for higher resolutions, there simply are no active adapters for VGA.

August 25, 2016 | 01:34 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

And as an added bonus, you block a large portion of the exhaust vent!

Someone once said that DP-to-DVI adapters only give you a single link DVI port, not a dual link. I'm not sure if that's still a restriction. That's the only reasonable reason I could see to keep a dedicated port around.

August 25, 2016 | 01:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

IIRC, DP to DL-DVI adapters do exist (I think apple used them), but they were very expensive (around $100)

August 25, 2016 | 01:07 PM - Posted by jmacguire

Great article Ryan!

August 25, 2016 | 01:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Any chance you can take the shroud of of that thing so we can see the heatsink? I'm wondering how this card got up to 80c in the temperature test while the FE only hit 73c after extended testing. Did Asus cheap out on the heatsink?

August 27, 2016 | 01:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I guess not? Do they not let you take the card apart?

August 25, 2016 | 01:55 PM - Posted by JohnGR

I am surprised not to see Project Cars in the list of games that the card was tested.

August 25, 2016 | 02:15 PM - Posted by Giant Oyster (not verified)

I'd like to see PCPER test Project Cars too.

August 25, 2016 | 03:37 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Why in particular?

August 25, 2016 | 08:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

because you guys are nVidia shills.

you don't even make the point that this card will fail hard in all upcoming DX12 games

shame on you

August 26, 2016 | 12:32 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

DX:MD

August 26, 2016 | 04:21 AM - Posted by JohnGR

Oh, come on. You didn't started benchmarking graphics cards yesterday.

August 26, 2016 | 11:43 AM - Posted by Giant Oyster (not verified)

I think it's the best looking racing game on PC and runs across a wide variety of hardware. It's available for VR, too.

August 25, 2016 | 02:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Will the fan be idle under 0 load or is it still spinning?

August 25, 2016 | 03:38 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

It still spins, but very slowly and pretty much silently.

September 11, 2016 | 07:06 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

When my machine idles, the ONLY thing I hear is the gtx 1060 turbo. I wouldn't call this a silent card. If you have other fans running at more than 1000rpm, you won't hear it anymore of course.

August 25, 2016 | 05:11 PM - Posted by willmore

Could you do all graphs with a white background? The ones with the black background were illegible. ;( Please?

August 25, 2016 | 05:34 PM - Posted by Coverptech (not verified)

Hi Ryan (or any other staff member)! Is this a good card for 1080p gaming for the next 3 years? Or should i save for the 1070?

August 25, 2016 | 08:29 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

you should buy the RX 480 - nVidia Pascal will fail hard in all new DX12 games

August 26, 2016 | 03:28 AM - Posted by BlackDove (not verified)

Why?

And you mean all 10 of them that will be released in the next 5 years? Lol i just built a new pc with a 1070 and windows 8.1 because i dont want the spyware in 10. Fuck dx12.

August 27, 2016 | 09:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous Nvidia User (not verified)

I agree about dx 12 unless they offer it for win 8.1. It might wither away like dx 10 did. That's why AMD is buying up every new game and adding dx 12 support coded solely their way with async. Over a year and what no designed from the ground up games yet. There are only badly coded ones added with patches.

Dx 12 is a failure so far. They need to start work on dx 13 that shouldn't be biased like the last 3 were for AMD. DX 10,11, and 12. Solely because of Xbox console.

August 26, 2016 | 06:11 PM - Posted by AnonymousE (not verified)

Did I see the same graphs? This card is clearly better than a 480 even on TR dx12

October 4, 2017 | 05:53 PM - Posted by Muttley (not verified)

"nVidia Pascal will fail hard" - NONSENSE. They're the most high end cards on the market. My 1080Ti does not "fail hard". LMAO.

August 26, 2016 | 04:25 AM - Posted by JohnGR

Nvidia cards of this price range are NEVER made to last 3 years. If you don't mind lowering settings sooner, rather than latter, this card will be OK. NOT EVEN THINK about saving some more and getting a 3GB version.

Now, because you are talking about 3 years, I would suggest the GTX 1070. It is overkill today for 1080p, but you will never have to go to settings and lower any of them for that period of time. And if in 2-3 years you start thinking of a higher resolution monitor, the GTX 1070 will not be a reason to stay at 1080p.

February 12, 2017 | 09:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Never, you say?

I'm using a 4-year-old EVGA GTX660 (2GB) card to drive a monitor with native 1080p resolution, and I paid around $240 for it new.

It runs a STEP:Core installation of Skyrim Legendary at an average 58fps framerate. You could make the argument that it's an old title, but you'd be dodging the point: it's a DX11 game (I run Win7x64) and with the mods, it pushes video HW as hard as anything.

August 26, 2016 | 03:15 AM - Posted by pdjblum

Interesting choice of games. I wonder how the Saphire Nitro+ 480, the non ref card you had for review for some time now, would compare? It doesn't throttle and is cool and relatively quiet.

August 26, 2016 | 03:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No hitman, no Doom, no Gears of War. Another biased article. How much was the bung from nvidia this time?

August 27, 2016 | 01:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

For this review, since we have identical performance between the GTX 1060 Founders Edition and the stock settings of the GTX 1060 Turbo 6GB from ASUS, we are trucating the list of games and the number of graphics cards tested.

Page four, paragraph seven. Read the 1060 Founders Edition for those game results.

August 26, 2016 | 10:32 AM - Posted by jabbadap (not verified)

"So, as a result, our testing suite has been upgraded with a brand new collection of games and tests. Included in this review are the following:

3DMark Fire Strike Extreme and Ultra
Unigine Heaven 4.0
Dirt Rally (DX11)
Fallout 4 (DX11)
Gears of War Ultimate Edition (DX12/UWP)
Grand Theft Auto V (DX11)
Hitman (DX12)
Rise of the Tomb Raider (DX12)
The Witcher 3 (DX11)"

What, where, when.

August 26, 2016 | 10:59 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Where is Doom, Hitman, Gears of War, fallout 4 and BF4 in this review?

August 27, 2016 | 01:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

For this review, since we have identical performance between the GTX 1060 Founders Edition and the stock settings of the GTX 1060 Turbo 6GB from ASUS, we are trucating the list of games and the number of graphics cards tested.<\blockquote>

They skipped them, since they're already covered in the 1060 Founders Edition review.

August 29, 2016 | 02:49 AM - Posted by JohnGR

Yes, they skipped the bad ones.

August 28, 2016 | 07:25 PM - Posted by 24nolf

Are we still waiting for official Nvidia Vulcan support for Doom? I feel like the test suit really needs a fast paced FPS given:
1) How popular that genre is
2) Aren't fast FPS games the genre where smooth visuals matter the most?

I feel like Hitman could be dropped in favor of a FPS and no one would care.

August 29, 2016 | 08:30 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The problem with that is that fast-paced FPS's hardly exist anymore. Compared to the original Doom, playing Doom 4 feels damn empty, even on the highest difficulty.

August 29, 2016 | 02:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous Nvidia User (not verified)

Typical AMD fanboy responses. They won't be happy unless all the benchmarks used are from AMD Gaming Evilved games.

It is a review of an Nvidia video card. One has to know how it will perform on Games works games or neutral games. Mostly not AMD games that they probably have little interest in buying because of poor coding for Nvidia cards.

September 1, 2016 | 09:23 PM - Posted by Zaxx (not verified)

'you get reference level performance at the lowest available price and you still get the promises of quality'

It's all well and good as long as you don't mind having a friggin' leaf blower in ur rig...lol

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