NVIDIA and AMD have updated the middle class of graphics devices by introducing new models of graphics cards. And the confrontation between the GeForce GTX 1060 and the Radeon RX 480 attracted a lot of attention, since the advantage of one or another rival varies greatly depending on the specific application and the type of API used. In this article, we will return to this issue again and consider at the same time another non-reference video card of the GeForce GTX 1060 series. This time, our focus is on the model from ASUS from the ROG Strix line.
ASUS ROG STRIX-GTX1060-O6G-GAMING
The video card comes in a large box. The packaging has a typical design for the new Strix. The package includes Velcro ties for wires, a disk with software, instructions and an invite code for 15 days of World of Warships premium.
The massive map looks very impressive. And although a low TDP level is declared for the GeForce GTX 1060, the manufacturer installed a large cooler with three fans on the ASUS ROG Strix. A similar cooling system is used in the GeForce GTX 1070/1080 of the same Strix line. The total length of ASUS is about 30 centimeters.
Slots are made along the edges of the plastic casing through which LED strips are visible — one is stretched at the top, the other at the bottom.
In working condition, the video card is highlighted in different colors. It is possible to control the backlight and customize it to your taste using a special software application AURA.
The reverse side of the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1060 is protected by a metal plate with a geometric pattern and logos on the surface.
In the corner there is one external power connector for eight pins, which is turned with the latch up. There is no SLI bridge connector, GeForce GTX 1060 video cards do not support this mode.
There are five interface connectors on the rear panel: two DisplayPort, two HDMI and one DVI. Usually GeForce Pascal has only one HDMI. The use of two HDMIs is justified when connecting VR systems. So if you decide to buy a virtual reality helmet in the future, you should pay attention to the ASUS card.
The cooling system turned out to be not only identical to that used in older video cards, it is absolutely the same design with five heat pipes and direct contact technology with the GPU surface. But the GP106 crystal itself is smaller, because of this, only two heat pipes are in contact with it. The side tubes are also involved in the overall heat transfer, but they do not play such an important role.
The radiator itself consists of two large sections. One of them is in contact with power elements through a special platform. Such a single system is certainly better for cooling the VRM unit, but it also increases the overall thermal load.
Such a system needs good airflow, which is provided by three 90 mm fans.
For memory chips, a small heatsink in the form of a plate is provided. Some such plate covers only partially.
The design of the board is noticeably different from the usual short PCB. It is immediately clear that we have a high-level product. And the best part is that the board from the older STRIX-GTX1070-O8G-GAMING card is taken as the basis.
The GPU power subsystem has six phases based on integrated DrMOS assemblies. At the edge of the board are connectors for connecting fans and lighting. Next to them are additional connectors for external fans. With the new ASUS FanConnect technology, you can connect PWM-controlled case fans directly to your graphics card, and it will control their speed depending on its temperature.
The GPU GP106-400-A1 is rectangular in shape. It has 1280 CUDA cores, 80 texture units and 48 ROPs with a 192-bit memory bus.
Six gigabytes of memory is recruited by six GDDR5 chips Samsung K4G80325FB-HC25
ASUS ROG STRIX-GTX1060-O6G-GAMING runs at higher frequencies. Base core clock 1620 MHz with Boost Clock 1848 MHz. The memory is accelerated from 8000 MHz to 8200 MHz, which is especially nice, because other manufacturers often ignore memory overclocking.
Like other GAMING models, the video card supports several operating modes. Initial frequencies correspond to Gaming Mode. There is also OC Mode, where the base frequency is increased to 1648 MHz, and Silent Mode with a decrease in frequency to 1594 MHz. The memory frequencies remain unchanged. Mode selection is done through the ASUS GPU Tweak II utility. The same program provides ample opportunities for monitoring operating parameters and manual overclocking.
With the initial settings (Gaming Mode), the Boost frequency rose to 2012 MHz at some peak moments, the real frequency is closer to the level of 1974 MHz. When loaded with the Tom Clancy’s The Division benchmark (lower left screenshot) in Full HD, the core temperature did not exceed 60–61 °C at 24–25 °C indoors. The fan speed barely exceeded 1600 rpm. With a heavier load of Metro: Last Light at 2K, the core temperature reached 64 ° C at 1700 rpm.
As a result, we have low fan speeds at extremely low operating temperatures. These are excellent figures. And the question of noise simply does not arise.
Now let’s see what the ASUS graphics accelerator is capable of when overclocked. After selecting the optimal and stable frequency configuration, we settled on a base value of 1750 MHz and overclocking the memory to 9524 MHz. The power limit has been increased to the maximum.
In the heaviest applications, Boost kept at 2101 MHz, although peak values \u200b\u200bof 2152 MHz were recorded. By increasing the fan speed to just under 1900 rpm, we managed to keep the GPU temperature at the initial level. Below is a screenshot of monitoring in Metro: Last Light.
Boost was 10-20 MHz higher in some applications. As an example, below is a screenshot of monitoring during the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt tests.
So the final core frequency can be designated as 2100+ MHz, which in general can be a very good result. Not all new Pascal graphics cards can maintain full stability above 2100 MHz. As for memory overclocking, the increase is excellent, but not unique — the MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G had the same overclocking results for GDDR5 chips.
In the end, let’s talk about the settings under which ASUS replaced the reference version. According to reviews of such models, their average Boost frequency under load is close to 1860 MHz. Accordingly, the base frequency was reduced so as to obtain a similar average value. This value was not stable, there were drawdowns up to 1848 MHz. Individual peak values reached 1886 MHz, but, in fact, did not affect performance. For clarity, below is a screenshot of monitoring at such frequencies during testing of Tom Clancy’s The Division.