As you’re probably aware, the GeForce GTX 1060 is launching in just under a week’s time. All models including the Founders Edition and the one’s manufactured by Nvidia’s partners will be sporting an impressive 6GB GDDR5, retailing for $299 and $249 respectively (in theory). That’s still up to $100 more than AMD’s chief competitor, the Radeon RX 480, which can be had for as little as $199. To combat this Nvidia also has a 3GB VRAM GeForce GTX 1060, with a price point thought to be hugely competitive, potentially even undercutting AMD.
AMD undoubtedly has the upper hand when it comes to video memory on this generation of mid-tier graphics cards. Its 4GB and 8GB RX 480s will set you back $199 / $239, while the GTX 1060 6GB costs upwards of $249. If you’re willing to take a VRAM cut however, Nvidia is reportedly targeting an impressive $149 price point for partner cards, while its GTX 1060 3GB Founders Edition will price match the RX 480 4GB at $199.
That price bracket could potentially even put the GTX 1060 3GB up against the Radeon RX 470, which itself is due out soon. AMD’s card is thought to sell for $149, carrying 4GB GDDR5 memory and a cut-down version of the Polaris 10 GPU used in the RX 480.
Other than that it’s expected the GTX 1060 3GB will be nearly identical to the 6GB, albeit with a slightly lower CUDA core count. The 3GB VRAM indicates a 192-bit memory bus once again, while it’ll draw on slightly less power than its bigger brother at 100W TDP, 20W less than the GTX 1060 6GB.
We’ve been waiting for Nvidia to deliver a truly competitive mid-range card for a while now. Most of its GTX 10 range has taken a jump up in price compared to the 900 series, so it’s nice to potentially see a card actually hit the budget price point. That said, the 3GB VRAM could prove problematic, which could the advantage AMD needs. On my GTX 970 I’m running into a few VRAM issues even at 1080p, and that’s with 3.5GB + .5GB.
If Nvidia can hit that impressive $150 price point while presumably offering performance in the region of a GTX 970, could this be the smash hit card we’re waiting for? Or does AMD’s impressive looking Radeon RX 470 hold the upper hand?