Nvidia’s GTX 1060 might just be the best mid-range GPU on the market. Can AMD compete?
If you didn’t already know, dear reader, I’m delighted to let you know that we’re entering into the golden age of affordable graphics cards. Nvidia and AMD have both rolled out GPUs based on their new architectures – Pascal and Polaris, respectively. What you need to know about these cards is this: they’re powerful, they’re fast, they’re efficient, and they’re affordable. That’s wonderful news, and it’s even better for us that AMD and Nvidia are releasing their flagship cards at the same time; the competition between them means better bang for our buck. Dance, monkeys, DANCE!
Seriously though, AMD recently unveiled its Radeon RX 480, which it’s marketing as the obvious go-to for budget-driven gamers looking for the best performance-to-price ratio at around $250 USD. Not to be outdone (or even contended with), Nvidia has just revealed the GTX 1060, little brother to the GTX 1080 and 1070. Those latter cards are behemoths; serious powerhouses that should offer you true 4K gaming at up to 30 fps. They’re expensive, though. The 1060 is a more modest option coming in at around $250 USD, and set to release later this month. We can tell from the price and the specs that this is intended to compete directly with AMD’s RX 480, and compete it does.
The GTX 1060 is said to be just as fast as last generation’s GTX 980, which is still a roughly $500 card. It features 1,280 CUDA cores, 6GB of DDR5 memory running at 8 Gpbs, and a clock speed of 1.7 GHz which can be overclocked to around 2GHz. Once people get their hands on this card and overclock it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it can push really demanding games running at 1440p. The embargo lifts on July 19, so we’ll have to wait a little while longer before we see how it stacks up against the RX 480 for sure. Either way, if you’re looking for a GPU upgrade in the near future, you’ll have some great options.