Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 vs GTX 960 Comparison Review

In this article, we compare the GeForce GTX 1060 vs 960 to determine if the performance difference warrants an upgrade. Both are mid-range gaming graphics cards with the 1060 belonging to the Pascal-based 10th generation. The GTX 960 belonging to the Maxwell-based 9th generation.

According to a survey by Steam Hardware, the GTX 1060 is the single most popular GPU globally as of 2019. It powers over 15% of gaming PCs, probably because it is affordable and provides strong 1080p gaming experience. Read on to find out how it compares to its predecessor, the GTX 960.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

The GeForce GTX 1060 is a performance GPU based on the energy efficient Pascal architecture. It was released in July 2016 as a successor to the previous generation GTX 960. It is based on the first generation GP106 chip and it is manufactured in 16 nm FinFET process technology.

The GPU has 10 activated stream multiprocessors offering a total of 1280 shaders, 80 texture-mapping units and 48 render output processors. The central unit is clocked at 1506 MHz base clock and 1708 boost clock. The GTX 1060 exists in two variants, the 3 GB variant and the 6 GB version, the difference between the two is only the V-RAM amount.

The 6GB version has a maximum of 6 GB GDDR5 RAM amount connected via a 192-bit interface. Backed by 8 GB/s memory speed, the total bandwidth is 192 GB/s, which is significant compared to the 112 GB/s provided by the GTX 960. The 6 GB version is used in this GTX 1060 vs 960 comparison for consistency.

Here’s the highest rated GTX 1060 graphic cards

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 960

The GTX 960 is a mid-range GPU for desktops that was launched by Nvidia in January 2015, that is just a year and a half before the 1060 was released. As the name suggests, it is part of the Maxwell-based GTX 900 series. The GTX 960 is built on the GM206 chip and manufactured in the 28 nm process.

The graphics card features 1024 shaders, 64 texture mapping units and 32 render output processors. The GPU uses either 2/4 GB GDDR5 type memory connected with a 128-bit interface. The memory speed is 7000 MHz and the total bandwidth adds up to 112 GB/s. Which is significantly less than the 1060. The GPU supports DirectX 12 and OpenGL 4.4 APIs.

Benchmark results

The specs suggest that the GTX 1060 is faster than the GTX 960. To be sure we have to look at the real-life performance of the two to make an accurate decision. The 1060 performs better in the non-gaming benchmarks as expected. It scores 56% higher in the PassMark test, 42% higher in 3DMark Vantage Performance and 60% better in 3DMark 11 Performance GPU.

In the gaming benchmarks, the GTX 1060 6GB provides 161 fps in CSGO at 1080p, maximum settings compared to 140 fps by the 960. It provides 68 fps in PUBG vs 37 fps and 61 fps in GTA V compared to 42 fps by the GTX 960.

Conclusion

The benchmark results of our GTX 1060 vs 960 comparison shows that the GTX 1060 is up to 60% faster than the GTX 960. Therefore, it would be a worthy upgrade. If you plan to play in higher resolutions than 1080p. You should consider other stronger cards such as the GTX 1070. Both are great GPUs and you will be good to go with either, if you have any question don’t forget to ask in the comments.