Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB vs GTX 1060 6GB Comparison

In this GTX 1060 3GB vs 6GB comparison, we look at the GeForce 1060 and its 3GB variant to help you decide which graphics card provides the best value for your money. Nvidia in this product used the product name to group the GPUs in terms of performance and not specifications.

According to the company, the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB variant should only offer a 5% performance deficit compared to the full 6GB version, this would be barely noticeable in real life tests. There is a 50% cut on memory amount in the 3GB version and modern titles are only getting memory hungrier. How will the 3GB hold up in the next 2-3 years?

Read on and find out if the price difference is justifiable.

The graphics cards specifications

In this Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB vs 1060 3GB comparison, both are mid-range graphics cards for desktops released in the third quarter of 2016. The 6GB version came out on July and the 3GB variant came about a month later. The 1060 runs at a base frequency of 1506 MHz which can be boosted up to 1708 MHz.

The GPUs are based on Pascal architecture and on the GP106 chip. They are manufactured using the 16 nm FinFET technology. Both graphics cards use GDDR5 memory clocked at a speed of 8000 MHz using a 192-bit interface. Memory bandwidth is 192 GB/s for both. They are both rated at 120 Watt TDP.

Differences between the 6GB variant and the 3GB

While they use the same sized chips, the GTX 1060 6GB has 128 more shader units than the 3GB variant. The 6GB came with 1280 shader units while the 3GB has 1152 shader units. The 6GB variant has twice the memory in the 3GB version.

The memory difference is important because it’s the way the GPU stores all the information it needs such as what to render. Having way more memory than necessary doesn’t add to performance as getting enough. But, getting less than enough can lower the performance greatly.

Benchmarks comparison

In this GTX 1060 3GB vs 6GB comparison, you will find out that there are a few games that require the extra memory, such as GTA V, Rise of the Tomb Raider and DOOM. The 1060 6GB version performed slightly better than the 3GB variant in the gaming and non-gaming benchmarks.

In the non-gaming benchmarks by UserBenchmark, the 6GB variant provided slightly better peak texture details in Parallax with 243 fps against the 3GB variant’s 217 fps (12% difference). In the Gravity benchmark, the 1060 6GB variant provided 6% faster peak NBody calculation at 225 fps against 213 fps by the 3GB. The performance difference in MRender was a negligible 1%.

In the gaming benchmarks, the 6GB variant provided 160 fps on CS GO at maximum setting at 1080p resolution while the 3GB variant averaged at 152 fps. In Fortnite, the 6GB performed slightly better with 101 fps against the 3GB’s 95 fps. And, 7% better in Overwatch at 101 fps against 95 fps. The difference in GTA V was 1% with the 6GB providing 61 fps against 60 fps.

Verdict

The difference in performance is not much and most times the GTX 6GB is only slightly faster. The only real difference is the VRAM. The 3GB is fine for now but the 6GB is future proof when games become more memory demanding. Either graphics card you choose will be good to go as they are pretty close in performance.

Hope you found our GTX 1060 3GB vs 6GB comparison helpful, let us know if you have any questions in the comments.