MSI GTX 1060 GAMING X 6G Graphic Card Review

  1. About the MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G
  2. Test Bench and Testing Methodology
  3. Futuremark Benchmark
  4. OpenGL Benchmarks
  5. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  6. Rise of the Tomb Raider
  7. Hitman
  8. DOOM
  9. GPU Computation Benchmark
  10. Folding at Home and LuxMark OpenCL Benchmark
  11. GPU Cooling and Manual OC Impressions
  12. Conclusion
  13. Online Purchase Links

Disclosure: This graphic card is provided by MSI

The tale of two GTX 1060 GPUs…

When you look at the lower-mid end MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G graphic card, you may confuse it for an MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G. Aesthetically, it is almost the same. One will assume that its cooling performance would not be so different either. The second impression is that this card is too wide for a GTX 1060.

Who wouldn’t like to have GTX 1070-class cooling and feature design on a GTX 1060?  The Zotac GTX 1060 AMP! is a pretty good card and I never bothered to talk about the backplate, lack of nickel plated copper heatpipes and even a heatbase. It makes sense for the card of that class. But MSI manages to do all that for this card which makes it an awfully tempting choice. Better cooling is good for long term, as long as it’s effective. It also makes an impression that it can higher clock speed.

Packaging and Specifications of the MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G

MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G’s packaging is no different from its GTX 1070 that was reviewed earlier. The card is well protected exactly the way Gigabyte does with its mid-end graphic cards. MSI does provide a couple of stickers, but providing a good metal case badge is a better choice. The lack of PCIe power adapter is not going to be missed. Good riddance!

Graphics Processing Unit NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 1060
Interface PCI Express x16 3.0
Boost / Base Core Clock 1809 MHz / 1594 MHz (OC Mode)
1784 MHz / 1569 MHz (Gaming Mode)
1708 MHz / 1506 MHz (Silent Mode)
Memory Size (MB) 6144
Memory Type GDDR5
Memory Interface 192-bit
Memory Clock Speed 8108 MHz (OC Mode)
8008 MHz (Gaming Mode)
8008 MHz (Silent Mode)
Output DisplayPort x 3 (Version 1.4) / HDMI (Version 2.0) / DL-DVI-D
Digital Maximum Resolution 7680 x 4320
Virtual Reality Ready Y
Maximum Displays 4
HDCP Support 2.2
DirectX Version Support 12
OpenGL Version Support 4.5
Card Dimension(mm) 277 x 140 x 39 mm
Card Weight (g) 1017
Power consumption (W) 120
Recommended PSU (W) 400
Power Connectors 8-pin x 1

MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G has two profiles for two different clock speeds. The OC profile provides higher clock speed for the memory and the GPU core. Nvidia did not provide any SLI support for the GTX 1060.

This is the first GTX 1060 I’ve tested with a factory overclocked memory. The MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X provides a 100 MHz bump in its memory clock speed. There are three profiles in this graphic card, with gaming mode set as default and silent mode set with the reference clock speeds. From the reference clocks, this card’s gaming mode is a 63 MHz base clock bump and 88 MHz bump when switched to OC mode.

Graphics Card Design

For a GTX 1060, this is as big as its GTX 1070 Gaming X counterpart. The VGA length of this is 10.90 inches, while its upper variant is 10.98 inches.

This is also the first GTX 1060 tested so far with a backplate. The card has three nickel plated heatpipes and a large heatsink array. Suffice to say the cooling setup may look like an overkill. Since this has an 88 MHz max factory overclock preset, I am curious to see how good is manual overclocking and cooling performance. The card maintains the requirement of dual slot form factor. According to MSI, its Torx 2.0 fan design provides 22% more air pressure while maintaining silent operation. Both the fans are temperature controlled.

The MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G takes extra power from an 8 pin PCIe cable. The video outputs are no different from its reference design- three DisplayPorts, 1x HDMI and a dual-link DVI-D.

MSI has its fair share of LED bling. The logo is RGB and the accents on the shroud has a few red LED accents.

Closer Look

Dismantling this graphic card is very easy but bear in mind that one of the spring-loaded screws have the warranty void label. Once you remove all those spring-loaded screws, you will need to unplug four wires and simply pop it out. MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X’s internals are not so different from its GTX 1070 Gaming X card. It uses a metal brace to prevent from the PCB from bending, and also acts as the heatbase for the sub-components. This card has a flat heat base to draw the heat from the GPU core and three nickel-plated copper heat pipe to draw out the heat.

There are six Samsung GDDR5 K4G80325F8-HC25 chips used in this PCB. MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G uses a 5+1 power phase design.

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