When NVIDIA announced the GeForce GTX 1060, the company allowed its add-in card (AIC) partners to launch their custom-design cards right away. The company set the MSRP of this SKU at US$249 and is selling its reference-design "Founders Edition" SKU at $299, a $50 premium. This allows its partners to position their custom-design cards at either around the $249 baseline price or the $299 Founders Edition one.
The GeForce GTX 1060 is NVIDIA's response to the Radeon RX 480, which offers performance rivaling that of $350 products from the previous generation at an attractive $229 price point. It is based on the newer 16 nm GP106 silicon, which is the third ASIC built on the "Pascal" architecture. This chip features half the SIMD machinery of the GP104 silicon on which the GTX 1080 is based, but has 75% of the raster operation machinery and memory configuration.
In this review, we are testing the ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 3 GB, which is a close-to-reference design card without any bells and whistles, using a simple heatsink and stock clocks, but with excellent pricing of $195, $5 cheaper than the NVIDIA MSRP.
|GeForce GTX |
1060 3 GB
|ZOTAC GTX |
Mini 1060 3 GB
|Memory Size||8 GB||4 GB||8 GB||8 GB||3 GB||3 GB||4 GB||6 GB||4 GB||8 GB|
|Memory Bus Width||512 bit||256 bit||256 bit||512 bit||192 bit||192 bit||256 bit||192 bit||4096 bit||256 bit|
|Core Clock||1000 MHz||1051 MHz+||1266 MHz||1050 MHz||1506 MHz+||1506 MHz+||1126 MHz+||1506 MHz+||1000 MHz||1506 MHz+|
|Memory Clock||1500 MHz||1750 MHz||2000 MHz||1500 MHz||2002 MHz||2002 MHz||1750 MHz||2002 MHz||500 MHz||2002 MHz|
You will receive:
- Graphics card
The Zotac GTX 1060 Mini comes in a compact form factor with a basic heatsink. A backplate isn't available either, which helps with pricing, which matters the most in this segment. Dimensions of the card are 17.5 cm x 11.5 cm.
Installation requires two slots in your system.
Display connectivity options include a DVI port, one HDMI port and three DisplayPorts. Unlike previous NVIDIA cards, the DVI port no longer includes an analog signal, so you'll have to use an active adapter. NVIDIA also updated DisplayPort to be 1.2 certified and 1.3/1.4 ready, which enables support for 4K @ 120 Hz and 5K @ 60 Hz or 8K @ 60 Hz with two cables.
The GPU also comes with an HDMI sound device. It is HDMI 2.0b compatible, which supports HD audio and Blu-ray 3D movies. The GPU video encoding unit has been updated to support HEVC at 10-bit and 12-bit.
The GeForce GTX 1060 does not support SLI.
Pictured above are the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front, back).
A Closer Look
Zotac's thermal solution is really simple, just a slab of metal that sits on the GPU core.
With the main cooler is removed, you can see a small secondary heatsink which provides cooling for the VRM circuitry.
Zotac has kept the single 6-pin power input of the reference design.This power configuration is good for up to 150 W of power draw.
The uP 9511 voltage controller is a new model for recent NVIDIA cards. It does not support voltage control via I2C.
The GDDR5 memory chips are made by Samsung and carry the model number K4G41325FE-HC25. They are specified to run at 2000 MHz (8000 MHz GDDR5 effective).
NVIDIA's GP106 graphics processor is the second consumer chip using the Pascal architecture. It is produced on a 16 nm process at TSMC, Taiwan, and has a transistor count of 4.4 billion and a die size of 200 mm².
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