There’s a question that’s been on the minds of many budget-conscious gamers recently: is the Nvidia GTX 1060, a graphics card that was once considered top-tier, still a viable option for gaming in 2023?
In this blog post, we’re going to tackle that question, discussing the card’s specifications, performance, value, and its place in the gaming market of 2023.
Overview of This GPU
Introduced to the world in 2016, the Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card quickly became a staple for mid-range gaming rigs. Let’s delve into what made this card a popular choice.
The Nvidia GTX 1060 boasts a few specifications that were quite impressive at the time of its launch. Despite the years that have passed, they still hold relevance today.
Built on the 16nm Pascal architecture, this GPU features 1280 CUDA cores and 6GB of GDDR5 memory running at 8Gbps. This combination offered an excellent balance of performance and cost-effectiveness. The card also supports DirectX 12, ensuring compatibility with a broad range of modern games.
From a power perspective, the GTX 1060 is rated for a 120W TDP (Thermal Design Power). This means it requires less power than some of the more recent, high-performing GPUs, potentially making it an ideal choice for gaming setups with a power budget.
Release and Initial Reception
Understanding the GTX 1060’s place in today’s gaming landscape requires a look back at its launch and the initial response from consumers and critics.
Released as a direct competitor to AMD’s Radeon RX 480, the GTX 1060 aimed to offer high-quality 1080p gaming at an affordable price. It was praised for its performance, energy efficiency, and its quiet, cool operation.
The GTX 1060 was widely seen as a card that provided great value for its price. Many reviewers noted that it was capable of running most games on high settings at 1080p, often exceeding 60 frames per second.
Performance in 2023
Now let’s move on to the present day. How does the GTX 1060 stack up when running modern games released up to and including 2023?
Performance in Current AAA Games
One of the best ways to assess a GPU’s viability is to test it with current AAA titles. These are the games with the most demanding graphics and the most representative of the current gaming landscape.
In our tests, the GTX 1060 still offers respectable performance in many AAA titles at 1080p resolution. In “Cyberpunk 2077” it maintains an average of around 30 FPS on medium settings. In “Shadow of the Tomb Raider,” the card achieved an average FPS of 50 on medium settings.
However, when pushed to higher settings or resolutions, the GTX 1060 begins to falter. In “Call of Duty: Warzone,” for instance, the card struggled to maintain 30 FPS on high settings at 1080p.
Performance in Esports Titles
Esports titles, while not typically as graphically intensive as AAA games, still require steady performance for competitive play. Here’s how the GTX 1060 fares.
In popular Esports games such as “Overwatch,” “League of Legends,” and “CS: GO,” the GTX 1060 performs admirably, easily exceeding 60 FPS on high settings at 1080p. This performance makes the GTX 1060 a viable choice for competitive gamers on a budget.
When it comes to newer Esports titles, such as “Valorant,” the GTX 1060 also holds its own, delivering over 100 FPS on high settings at 1080p. However, at higher resolutions, the performance drops significantly.
Comparing the GTX 1060 to Current Options
Now that we’ve discussed the GTX 1060’s performance let’s compare it to other GPU options available in 2023.
Nvidia RTX Series
Nvidia’s RTX series, with its support for real-time ray tracing, is the company’s current flagship lineup.
With the RTX 3060, 3070, 3080, or 3090, you’ll experience superior performance and advanced features such as ray tracing and DLSS. However, these cards also come with a hefty price tag, often being 2-3 times more expensive than the GTX 1060.
For gamers prioritizing performance and advanced features, the RTX series is an attractive option. But for those on a budget, the extra cost might not justify the performance gain.
AMD Radeon Series
AMD’s Radeon lineup is another competitive set of GPUs, offering impressive performance and value for money.
The AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT, for instance, outperforms the GTX 1060 in most modern games. However, similar to the RTX series, these GPUs are often more expensive.
It’s worth noting that both Nvidia and AMD have budget options in their current lineups that might perform similarly to the GTX 1060 but offer more modern features.
Cost and Availability
The price and availability of the GTX 1060 can be a significant factor for gamers on a budget.
Used Market Pricing
One of the most compelling aspects of the GTX 1060 in 2023 is its availability in the used market.
Prices for used GTX 1060 cards are often well below $200, making it a compelling option for budget gamers. However, when purchasing used hardware, it’s important to consider potential risks, including lack of warranty and unknown usage history.
Availability and New Pricing
As for new cards, availability can be a challenge. Most retailers no longer stock new GTX 1060 cards.
However, you may still find new GTX 1060 cards on online marketplaces. The prices for these can be higher due to the rarity of new cards, often exceeding the price of modern budget GPUs.
So, Is It Still Good for Gaming in 2023?
With all factors considered, is the GTX 1060 a viable gaming GPU in 2023? Let’s sum it up.
Recap and Considerations
The Nvidia GTX 1060 still holds its own in 2023, offering satisfactory performance in many AAA and Esports titles at 1080p resolution. However, it struggles with more demanding settings and higher resolutions.
Moreover, compared to modern options, the GTX 1060 lacks features like real-time ray tracing and DLSS. The used market for this graphics card is abundant, making it a cost-effective choice for budget gamers.
Exploring the ongoing gaming capabilities of the Nvidia GTX 1060 prompts us to look back at our evaluation of the Nvidia GTX 960, a link between the past and present in the world of graphics cards.
What are the pros and cons of the Nvidia GTX 1060?
Pros: Excellent for 1080p & 1440p gaming, extremely quiet, and has two big fans. Cons: Quite expensive, and the RX 480 offers a better deal for the money.
What is the difference between the 3GB and 6GB versions of the GTX 1060?
The 3GB version is slower by 5% – 15% in games compared to the 6GB version. Considering that newer games need at least 4GB of VRAM for a good experience, the 3GB version is not recommended anymore.
What is the best processor to pair with the GTX 1060 6GB?
Does the Nvidia GTX 1060 support a 240 Hz monitor?
Yes, you can use a 240 Hz monitor with it, but you won’t get the most out of the monitor if you don’t achieve 240 fps in games, which is possible in some games like CSGO.
Is the Nvidia GTX 1060 a high-end GPU?
It is considered a mid-range graphics card. It can still run almost every title in 1080p fine.
Is 6GB of VRAM enough in 2023?
The least acceptable memory size in 2023 is 4GB, but as time passes, 6GB will take that title. Now, 6GB is good enough for most titles, but for some demanding games, you will need more VRAM.
How does the GTX 1060 perform in various games?
It performs well. For example, it can run Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (High) at 68 fps, Battlefield V (Ultra) at 69 fps, and Fortnite (Epic) at 84 fps.
What is the best alternative to the GTX 1060 in 2023?
The AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT 16GB and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 TI 8GB are considered good alternatives in 2023.
Is the GTX 1060 worth buying in 2023?
While the GTX 1060 is still a viable option for gaming in 2023, it may not be the best investment if you’re looking for future-proofing or playing at very high settings. However, if you’re on a budget and your gaming needs are modest, it could still be a good choice.
If you’re a budget gamer looking to play at 1080p on medium to high settings, the GTX 1060 is a cost-effective solution. However, if you want to experience the latest gaming technologies and higher resolutions, you’re better off considering a more modern graphics card.