In conditions of scarcity and inflated prices for video cards, players often have to make compromises and choose more affordable options within the same series. Such models are often equipped with rustic cooling and operate at standard frequencies. We will consider a similar video card in this review. This is one of the most affordable versions of the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB from Gigabyte. The video card belongs to the WindForce line and is equipped with a two-fan cooler of the simplest design. Let’s see how effective this cooling is, and what kind of overclocking GeForce GTX 1060 WindForce OC 6G users can expect.
The video card comes in a small box without additional adapters and any accessories. It is completed only with a standard disk with the software.
This model is made in the same visual style for Gigabyte. The plastic casing has recognizable outlines and several red elements.
The cooling system occupies two slots. At first glance, it may seem that Gigabyte WindForce is no different from Gigabyte Gaming video cards, but the latter have a more efficient cooler design. And even the Gigabyte Gaming video cards are larger in size. The version in question is 22 cm long.
The reverse side is covered with a plate. You can decide that this is a full-fledged backplate, but the plate is made of plastic. So this element has only a decorative value, increasing the visual status of the device. When viewed from the outside, it is clear that the board is short, so the plastic plate partially covers the empty space.
One heat pipe peeks out from the side. In the corner there is an eight-pin power connector. No illuminated logos — this is an attribute of more expensive Gigabyte video cards.
On the rear panel there are four connectors for image output: DisplayPort, HDMI and two DVI-D.
When parsing, the main obstacle was a plastic plate covering the textolite. It forms a curved visor over an empty space and is inserted into special pins on the plastic fan shroud. Everything sits pretty tight, although screws and glue are not used in the construction. When trying to disconnect the body uncomfortably bent. So this procedure must be done with great care.
The cooler itself looks very simple. This is a one-piece heatsink and one heat pipe. Similar designs are often used on simpler graphics cards. It is worth remembering that the reference GeForce GTX 1060 is equipped with turbine-type cooling with a single fan. So even this option has some advantages.
The heat pipe runs through the base making direct contact with the graphics chip. It can be seen from the imprint that it covers approximately half of the crystal area. The heat pipe is bent so that it is involved in the removal of heat from the memory chips. One end of it re-passes through the base, through the side channel. This area contains a thermal pad for memory chips. Another thermal memory pad is also partially on the tube.
For clarity, here is an image of a heatsink installed on the board.
A shroud with a pair of Power Logic 80 mm fans is screwed to the top of the radiator (the actual size of the impeller is slightly smaller).
A separate radiator is provided for the elements of the power unit. It is small, although even the reference cards use the entire massive base of the cooler to cool the VRM.
The printed circuit board is very compact. Take the reference design as a basis, but the power system has become more complicated.
The processor is powered by four phases, plus one phase to power the memory chips. The reference versions of Founders Edition implement the 3+1 scheme.
Full marking of the GP106-400-A1 processor. There is no protective frame around the crystal.
The video card operates with a memory capacity of 6 GB, which is equipped with six Samsung K4G80325FB-HC25 chips.
The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 WindForce OC 6G is slightly factory overclocked. The base core clock is 1557 MHz instead of 1506 MHz, and the Boost Clock is 1772 MHz instead of 1708 MHz. In practice, the frequencies differ little from what the Founders Edition demonstrates in other reviews. A software profile with frequencies of 1582/1797 MHz is also supported, it is activated through the AORUS Graphics Engine application.
Testing was carried out on an open stand in a room with a temperature of 22–23 °C. Under such conditions, under gaming load, the core heated up to 72–73 ° C, and the fans spun up to 1500–1600 rpm at peak moments. This is illustrated below with screenshots of monitoring data during testing in Subnautica and Assassin’s Creed Origins.
The GPU frequency in most games was kept at 1860 MHz, in some applications it was closer to 1873 MHz. Rare peak values up to 1911 MHz. Often, for tests of the regular version of the GeForce GTX 1060, we limited the Boost frequency to 1860 MHz, but here we have a similar frequency level initially. In order to fit Gigabyte to the capabilities of conventional cards, we only reduced the base value by only 20 MHz, which in this case gave an average Boost frequency level of about 1848 MHz.
Let’s move on to acceleration. This copy was accelerated to 1687 MHz with peak Boost up to 2050 MHz.
The real Boost frequencies were at the level of 2000 MHz. This is a rather weak result among the previously tested GeForce GTX 1060, the best versions showed overclocking to 2100 MHz. But memory overclocking is not much different from the top options, we have reached an effective frequency of 9396 MHz.
Cooling has been improved to stabilize at higher frequencies. The fan speed is fixed at 60%, which is equivalent to 1850 rpm. At the same time, the peak temperature level remained at around 73–74 °C. That is, with a slight increase in frequencies, a certain acceleration was required to maintain the initial temperature characteristics. These seem to be good results, but they were achieved on an open bench. Cooling is simple, it does not have the potential to maintain low temperature and noise characteristics in harsh operating conditions. Having little experience with using this video card inside a case, I must say that it can operate at 1800 rpm and at nominal. And acceleration may require an increase in speed over 2000 rpm.
If we talk about noise, then it is difficult to give an accurate assessment. Our copy has a lifespan of almost a year, and one of its fans produces an unpleasant crackle even at low speeds. This raises a general question about the durability of fans on cheap Gigabyte graphics cards. On the other hand, it is impossible to draw global conclusions from one instance.