GeForce GTX 1060 review: Nvidia battles AMD for PC gaming's next-gen sweet spot

The first head-to-head battle in the next-generation graphics card war is here.

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Ashes of the Singularity

Ashes of the Singularity, running on Oxide’s custom Nitrous engine, was an early standard-bearer for DirectX 12, and it’s still the premier next-gen game. (It’s fun, too!) The performance gains it offers with DX12 over DX11 are eye-opening—at least when running on Radeon cards.

gtx 1060 ashes 1440 crazy
gtx 1060 ashes 1440 high
gtx 1060 ashes 1080 crazy
gtx 1060 ashes 1080 high

It’s important to keep things in perspective here though. Yes, the Radeon RX 480 sees a big jump in performance switching from DX11 to DX12, while the GTX 1060’s performance remains mostly static. But that big DX12 bump for Radeon cards only serves to raise the RX 480 to just shy of the GTX 1060’s DX11 performance levels. When it comes to performance you’ll see while you play the game, the GTX 1060 actually runs slightly, imperceptibly better than AMD’s $240 card.

Considering how thoroughly Radeon cards whup on GTX 900-series hardware in Ashes, that’s a big win for Nvidia. And yes, the GTX 1060 outperforms the GTX 980 here.

Also note that the last-gen $200 graphics cards can barely run Ashes, especially at “Crazy”-level graphics settings. Again: These new cards represent a major leap forward in sheer performance.

Next page: SteamVR performance and synthetic benchmarks

At a Glance
  • Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1060 offers no-compromises 1080p gaming and supreme power efficiency for an affordable price.

    Pros

    • No compromises 1080p gaming performance
    • Extremely power efficient and cool
    • Can run virtual reality experiences

    Cons

    • No SLI connector
    • More expensive than AMD's Radeon RX 480, but similar performance
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