ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini 3 GB Review 18

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini 3 GB Review

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Introduction

ZOTAC Logo


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 Market Segment Analysis
 Radeon
R9 390
GeForce
GTX 970
Radeon
RX 480
Radeon
R9 390X
GeForce GTX
1060 3 GB
ZOTAC GTX
Mini 1060 3 GB
GeForce
GTX 980
GeForce
GTX 1060
Radeon
R9 Fury
GeForce
GTX 1070
Shader Units2560166423042816115211522048128035841920
ROPs64563264484864486464
Graphics ProcessorHawaiiGM204EllesmereHawaiiGP106GP106GM204GP106FijiGP104
Transistors6200M5200M5700M6200M4400M4400M5200M4400M8900M7200M
Memory Size8 GB4 GB8 GB8 GB3 GB3 GB4 GB6 GB4 GB8 GB
Memory TypeGDDR5GDDR5GDDR5GDDR5GDDR5GDDR5GDDR5GDDR5HBMGDDR5
Memory Bus Width512 bit256 bit256 bit512 bit192 bit192 bit256 bit192 bit4096 bit256 bit
Core Clock1000 MHz1051 MHz+1266 MHz1050 MHz1506 MHz+1506 MHz+1126 MHz+1506 MHz+1000 MHz1506 MHz+
Memory Clock1500 MHz1750 MHz2000 MHz1500 MHz2002 MHz2002 MHz1750 MHz2002 MHz500 MHz2002 MHz
Price$290

$235

$250$410$200$195$360$250$310$380

Packaging

Package Front
Package Back




You will receive:
  • Graphics card
  • Documentation

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back

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.

Graphics Card Height

Installation requires two slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

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.

Multi-GPU Area

The GeForce GTX 1060 does not support SLI.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back

Pictured above are the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front, back).

A Closer Look

Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

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.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

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.

Graphics Card Memory Chips

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).

Graphics Chip GPU

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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