Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1060 appears to thrash AMD's 480, but at a price

Leaks of what appear to be benchmarks of Nvidia's as yet unannounced GeForce GTX 1060 have appeared online.

The battle for VR has been raging since the first specifications for the Oculus Rift were announced. Both AMD and Nvidia, the only companies making graphics cards today, have offerings that claim to bring VR to the masses.

So far, Nvidia’s been at the helm. It’s 970 and 980 GPUs were great, but the recently unveiled 1080 and 1070 simply smoke the competition away. In an attempt to sway things their way, AMD switched to a new microarchitecture (finally) and released the R9 480.

The 480 offered something that Nvidia didn’t, a relatively budget-friendly offering that could match the best from Nvidia. In crossfire at least.

The current king-of-the-hill in the GPU space is the Nvidia GTX1080 and it retails for a hefty $499 (though it’s ridiculously priced at Rs 64,000 in India). AMD’s 480 was priced at $200 (starting at Rs 22,000 in India) and AMD claimed that two of them would beat the 1080 with ease, making the AMD 480 the best value-for-money offerings around.

It even seemed like AMD would get away with it, until now. Leaks of what appear to be an Nvidia 1060 have appeared online. The 1060, going by Nvidia’s naming conventions, is a mainstream card. Rumours put the price at $250, which is about 25 percent higher than that of the 480.

These leaks however indicate that the 1060 trumps the 480 by about 15 percent. Coupled with support for Nvidia’s Ansel, Simultaneous Multi-Projection and other such features, does that mean that, once again, AMD has been relegated to the also-rans?

If the benchmarks are true, the answer is most probably a yes. The Nvidia 1080 is a beast and two AMD 480s might beat it, but dual-GPU support has always been far from perfect and it’s simply more efficient to have a single GPU do the job of two separate GPUs.

Squash any plans of pairing two 1060s in SLI though. It appears that the 1060 and cards of its ilk will not support SLI.

Courtesy of WCCFTech, here’s what we know of the Nvidia 1060’s specifications:

Graphics Card Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
Graphics Core GP106 GP104 GP104
Process Node 16nm FinFET 16nm FinFET 16nm FinFET
Transistors TBD 7.2 Billion 7.2 Billion
CUDA Cores 1280 CUDA Cores 1920 CUDA Cores 2560 CUDA Cores
Base Clock 1506 MHz 1506 MHz 1607 MHz
Boost Clock 1708 MHz 1683 MHz 1733 MHz
FP32 Compute TBD 6.5 TFLOPs 9.0 TFLOPs
Bus Interface 192-bit bus 256-bit bus 256-bit bus
Power Connector Single 6-Pin Power Single 8-Pin Power Single 8-Pin Power
TDP 120W 150W 180W
Display Outputs 3x Display Port 1.4 3x Display Port 1.4 3x Display Port 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0b 1x HDMI 2.0b 1x HDMI 2.0b
1x DVI 1x DVI 1x DVI
Launch Date 13th July 2016 10th June 2016 27th May 2016
Launch Price $250 US $379 US $599 US

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