EVGA GTX 1060 3GB review: A compelling $200 graphics card with a questionable future

Nvidia's new 3GB version of the GeForce GTX 1060 goes toe-to-toe with the $200 Radeon RX 480—in theory.

Our test system

We tested the EVGA GTX 1060 3GB Gaming on PCWorld’s dedicated graphics card benchmark system. Our testbed’s loaded with high-end components to avoid bottlenecks in other parts of the system and show unfettered graphics performance. Key highlights:

Intel’s Core i7-5960X ($1,016 on Amazon) with a Corsair Hydro Series H100i closed-loop water cooler ($97 on Amazon).

An Asus X99 Deluxe motherboard ($360 on Amazon).

Corsair’s Vengeance LPX DDR4 memory ($65 on Newegg), Obsidian 750D full-tower case ($155 on Amazon), and 1,200-watt AX1200i power supply ($308 on Amazon).

A 480GB Intel 730 series SSD ($248 on Amazon).

Windows 10 Pro ($199 on Amazon).

We’re comparing the $200 EVGA GTX 1060 3GB Gaming against its direct competitors: AMD’s RX 480 and the XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition True OC ($210 on Amazon), as well as the original 6GB GTX 1060. (We’re testing the $240 8GB version of AMD’s RX 480 card, though the 4GB model offers virtually identical performance.) As the full-fat GTX 1060 offers performance that falls somewhere between the older GTX 980 and GTX 970, we’ve also tossed in results from EVGA GTX 970 FTW, a highly overclocked GTX 970 custom card. We’re not including results from AMD and Nvidia’s last-gen $200-ish graphics cards, as our original GTX 1060 review established that this new generation blows those older models away.

We benchmark every game using the default graphics settings unless otherwise noted, with all vendor-specific special features—such as Nvidia’s GameWorks effects, AMD’s TressFX, and FreeSync/G-Sync—disabled. Based on the GTX 1060 3GB’s target performance we’re looking at 1080p and 1440p results today.

Test 1: The Division

The Division, a third-person shooter/RPG that mixes elements of Destiny and Gears of War, kicks things off with Ubisoft’s new Snowdrop engine.

1060 3gb division

The effects of the cut-down GPU start to show themselves immediately, as the EVGA GTX 1060 3GB Gaming pumps out about nine percent fewer frames than its full-fledged cousin. That makes sense, considering one of the GP106 GPU’s ten streaming multi-processors is disabled in this model. That pulls the 3GB GTX 1060 away from the 6GB model’s no-compromises 1080p performance at 60fps. It’s a smidge faster than AMD’s Radeon RX 470, though.

Next page: Hitman

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags nvidia

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?