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GTX 1070 vs GTX 1060

If you’re a gamer, you might find yourself looking for a new graphics card for your gaming laptop. Chances are you’ll most likely come across the GeForce GTX 10-series from Nvidia. Two of the most popular 10–series graphics card include the GTX 1060 and GTX 1070.

Both are really fast and can be used with a VR headset in addition to the traditional PC. The price for the GTX 1060 ranges between $249 and $500. That of the GTX 1070 starts at $349. The latter is more expensive considering it offers more features and speed.

You may find that your laptop already has a graphics processor built into it. In such a case, these prices may not apply to you unless if your laptop allows you to connect a full-size PCI-express graphics card externally. This means that you can eternally upgrade your graphics card, something that is rare with most gaming laptops.

All 10-series graphics cards from NVidia run on the manufacturer’s Pascal platform. This means that they are available with similar features. The main differentiator is their performance. This post takes a look at GTX 1060 and GTX 1070. It compares the two based on their features, strengths, and weaknesses.

GTX 1070 Description

The GTX 1070 is available in a mobile version with lower clock rates and 2048 shaders, and a desktop version that comes with 1920 shaders. Both versions feature the 16nm Pascal architecture and are based on a GP104 chip.

The GTX 1070 comes with 8GB GDDR5 graphics memory, offering 2GB more when compared to the 1060. During gaming, it consumes about 145W of power which is an increase of about 25% over the GTX 1060. On average, the 1070 performs better by 26-37%, making it more efficient.

At 1080p, the 1070 performs 26.9% better than the GTX 1060. At 1440p, the number rises to 31.1%. At 2160p (4k), the 1070 performs 36.6% better. It also boasts of a longer life. This means that you will not need to upgrade it any time soon.

Since the 1070 comes with a Pascal-based card, it is more energy-efficient when compared to its predecessors. The card is also built to perform three times faster. This means that you get breakthrough gaming experiences whether you’re using it on your PC or VR. While it shares a similar processing core with its successor, it has 25% of its resources inactive. Nvidia released the 1070 with a starting price of $450. Third-party cards have since brought the price down, making it a bit more affordable for users.

gtx1070Strong Sides

  • Higher memory bandwidth
  • Higher texture and pixel rates
  • Offers 16 more render output processors
  • Offers 640 shading units above the 1060
  • Higher face detection scores
  • Has a wider memory bus
  • Better performance when it comes to floating-point
  • Can be easily overclocked

Weak Sides

  • Costs more than the GTX 1060
  • High dynamic range lighting

GTX 1060 Description

The GTX 1060 debuted in July 2016. Its starting price then was $250. The card features premium materials and parts and has brilliant thermals that keep your GPU cooled even during the most adverse gaming conditions.

The 1060 comes with 6GB memory and is rated 120 Watts. It’s also based on the 16nm Pascal GPU. Having debuted earlier than the 1070, the 1060 boasts of lesser performance features. However, it still offers great value for money.

It measures 9.92” x 4.4” x 1.52” and weighs just under 29 ounces. If you add the box and other contents, the weight gets to about 2.96 pounds. It comes with die-cast aluminum components and a shroud made of black plastic. It is not as metal-fest as the 1070 but looks great, nonetheless. You get an HDMI 2.0b port, a DVI port, and three DisplayPort connectors. Third-party manufacturers have already produced compact versions of the 1060, providing cards suitable for living-room PCs and ultra-small desktops.

The 1060 still provides great performance for HD gaming. It also gives a silky smooth performance without compromising on the graphics settings. The card is well-built and musters a resolution of 1440p while running 60fps. This makes it a good graphics card for games like GTA V. There’s a 3GB version of the 1060 that is available. It runs on the same GP106 GPU chip but reduces clock speeds and CUDA cores. It’s physically identical to the 6GB version and performs well for its price.

Like the 1070, the 1060 is powered by the Pascal architecture. This means that it also boasts of the 16nm manufacturing process that allows Nvidia to pack more transistors on a single piece of silicon. This is achieved without raising power consumption or heat produced.

Since the card comes with 1,280 CUDA cores, it’s able to handle most of the graphics legwork. Surprisingly, it has a higher clock speed when compared to the 1070. While this does not translate to higher performance, it enables the card to play Full HD games at a resolution of 1440p. The 1060 also supports VR gaming and is the cheapest option from Nvidia when it comes to VR-ready graphics cards.

gtx_1060Strong Sides

  • Slightly higher clock speed
  • 20% lower TDP

Weak Sides

  • No SLI support
  • 3GB version has less shaders than the 6GB version.

Overview and Conclusion

The GTX 1070 outperforms the GTX 1060 on several games. However, your need to buy either will depend on the monitor you’re gaming on. If you’re using a 1080p monitor with a 60hz refresh rate, you may not need the 1070. All the GPU power would be wasted. The 1070 would be ideal if you game on a 1080p screen and higher with 144hz as the refresh rate. The 1070 can also do some 4K gaming, making it a better option where such a monitor is used. This is the main difference between the two graphics cards, in addition to their prices.

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