Nvidia releases the GTX 1060 into the wild

Nvidia GTX 1060 release

The Nvidia GTX 1060 has launched today, hitting GTX 980 speeds for nearly half the price.

Check out our in-depth review of the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060.

Nvidia have just taken the wraps off their brand new GTX 1060 graphics card, the first mainstream, vaguely-affordable version of their impressive Pascal GPU architecture. We’ve been testing the GTX 1060 Founders Edition for the past couple of weeks and it’s one hell of a powerful graphics card for the money.

The GTX 1060 sits beneath the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 in the Pascal hierarchy, but will also retail significantly cheaper than either of its larger siblings. The price of the Founders Edition is a rather pricey $299 (£279), but you’ll only be able to pick up one of those shiny bad boys from Nvidia’s own store.

There will also be custom cards available in retail today from all the usual suspects, like MSI, Asus, Gigabyte and Zotac, around the MSRP of $249 (£239). We’ve been assured by Nvidia that there will definitely be options at launch ticketed at that lower price point, though there will also be a selection of factory overclocked cards on sale with prices tending towards the $300 (£300) mark too.

Overclocked GTX 1060

The Nvidia GTX 1060 is rocking a brand new GPU, based on the same Pascal technology and 16nm FinFET production process as the other cards in the GTX 1000-series range. We’ve got a full run down of the architecture, as well as the Founders Edition performance, in our in-depth GTX 1060 review.

Suffice to say though that it matches up to Nvidia’s initial claims of performance on par with the GTX 980 – a card that at release was the fastest graphics card available. That was less than two years ago when the GTX 980 was still a $500 part. Those performance metrics also means the GTX 1060 is capable of kicking AMD’s recently-released RX 480 to the curb in the mainstream GPU battle.

Our only real sadness with the GTX 1060 release is the decision by Nvidia to not allow SLI with these mid-range GPUs. They claim it’s because no-one wants to put a pair of mid-range cards in their rigs, only high-end cards. But with the performance of a single GTX 1060 being on par with a GTX 980, a pair of them could potentially push past a GTX 1080. And for a little less cash too. We’d always recommend going for the fastest single GPU you can afford rather than two cards, but having the option down the line, when prices drop, wouldn’t have been a bad thing.

We do though expect AMD to fight back very soon and launch their RX 470 cards.These lower-priced cards should be AMD’s $150 Polaris variants with the potential to get mighty close to the performance of the RX 480 with a little overclocking work. The RX 470 comes with the same Polaris 10 GPU, but with only a few GCN cores culled.

Stay tuned, the graphics war is really heating up again!