The day has come. July 19, 2016. The GTX 1060 from NVIDIA is available online today, starting from 6am Pacific Time. Unfortunately, I was not able to cop myself a review copy prior to release date so I would not be able to give you first-day impressions even if I wanted to. I am usually allowed to test drive a graphics card (like the GTX 980Ti when it released) either as a take-home or timed test at the manufacturer’s location, but for the 1060 weirdly enough I was not able to. It does not matter in the end, though, since you probably have already received a ton of 1060 graphics card reviews, and certainly do not need another one from yet another tech reviewer.
But I will shed my thoughts on it.
If you are relatively out of the loop on all the graphics cards launched in the months and years before today, the GTX 1060 is meant as a high-end, but highly affordable, card. Other cards by NVIDIA. like the aforementioned 980 or 980Ti, were clearly launched as the expensive, future-proof cards, selling for a retail of $550 (for the GTX 980) and still costing right around $400 right now. The 1060, on the other hand, retails for only $299 at the official GeForce website or $250 at some other retailers.
While I do not have enough hard testing to claim that it is faster than the more expensive GTX 980Ti, I am sure that it is faster than the GTX 980. The card competes with AMD’s very impressively priced RX 480, which has been selling very well because of its relatively low price and valuable gaming performance. While the 1060 is a little bit more expensive, numerous tests online show that is does have a small performance boost to the 480.
What I love about it personally, and the reason I woke up extra early today to make sure I got a purchase before it potentially sold out, is that it can run basically all games thrown at it at 1080p resolution, which is perfect for the average gamer. The price is very competitive and affordable for the mass market. I have previously been recommending either the 970, which was a staple in last generation’s graphics cards, or the RX 480 for the sheer value you get. Now, the 1060 enters the scene and is very likely to dominate the “high-end budget” PC market.
Embedded below is a video going over mainly what the GTX 1060 card is and what specific market it wants to cater to. By the way, I disagree with the notion that it is the “RX 480 killer.” It is not.