Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB versus 3GB – which should you buy?

GTX 1060 clean

Nvidia has rolled out its second budget-oriented Pascal card, the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB.

This cut-down version of the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB aims to deliver 1080p performance at a cheaper price point than ever before.

Although this may be true internationally, prices can be vastly different in South Africa.

We thought we’d compare the performance and local pricing of the two graphics cards in order to determine which is the better GPU to buy in South Africa.


Specifications

Although the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB has half the VRAM of the 6GB model, it is also different in a far more important way.

The lower-end graphics card features less CUDA cores, which means that the two graphics cards will differ in performance somewhat.

Specifications
GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
CUDA Cores 1,152 1,280
Boost Clock 1,708MHz 1,708MHz
Memory Speed 8Gbps 8Gbps
Memory Amount 3GB GDDR5 6GB GDDR5
Memory Bandwidth 192GB/s 192GB/s
TDP 120W 120W

Performance

Below is the performance comparison of the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and 3GB graphics cards, using benchmarks from Guru3D.

In order to avoid any inconsistencies, both graphics cards we compared were MSI Gaming X models.

The performance differences shown below are accounted for by a difference in both number of stream processors and VRAM amount.

Real 1080p Performance
GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
DX12 – Rise of the Tomb Raider 70 81
DX12 – Hitman 52 67
DX12 – Total War: Warhammer 68 73
OpenGL – Doom 103 113
DX11 – Far Cry Primal 66 73
DX11 – The Division 58 66
Average FPS 69.5 78.8
Synthetic Benchmarks
GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
3DMark FireStrike 11,368 12,010
FireStrike Extreme 5,855 6,211
FireStrike Ultra 2,988 3,207

Pricing

International MSRP

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB – $200
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB – $250

Local Pricing

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB – R4,813
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB – R4,799

Internationally, the pricing of the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB reflects its decreased performance, but local pricing is varied and it is possible to find a 6GB card for a lower price than the 3GB model.

This means that unless the price of the 3GB card decreases by a significant amount, local PC gamers should opt for the 6GB version of the GeForce GTX 1060.


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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB versus 3GB – which should you buy?

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