In this article, we compare the performance of the GTX 1060 vs R9 290 to determine if an upgrade is worth it. The Radeon R9 290 is the older card having been released almost three years before the GTX 1060. But does its performance still hold? Read on and find out how the older card performs in comparison to the newer GTX 1060.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
The GTX 1060 is a mid-range performance card released by the green team in July 2016. Nvidia understands that most gaming happens at 1080p and that’s exactly the spot that the 1060 is aimed at. Unlike the GTX 1050, you don’t have to dial back on your games settings to get smooth gameplay at full HD. The 6 GB version can run demanding titles smoothly at 1440p.
The GPU is based on a new chip, the GP106. Unlike the more expensive 1070 and 1080 which share the GP104 chip. They all use the more efficient Pascal architecture. The 1060 is manufactured in the 16 nm process that allows Nvidia to add more transistors on a single die without increasing the heat or the power consumption.
The chip features 1280 shaders. It has a base clock speed of 1506 MHz and the boost speed reaching up to 1708 MHz. The 1060 has 6 GB of GDDR5 memory running at 8 GB/s. The GTX 1060 also has a 3GB variant with half the memory and 128 fewer shaders.
AMD Radeon R9 290
The R9 290 is an AMD high-end graphics card released in 2013. The card is based on the GCN architecture that had been refined since 2011. The AMD GPU is based on the Hawaii chip and is manufactured in the 28-nanometer process. The chip is 24% larger than the predecessors HD7970 and is fitted with 6.2 billion transistors compared to the 5.2 billion in the 290’s biggest competitor at that time, the GTX 970.
The r9 290 features 2560 shader units across 40 compute units. It runs at a core speed of 947 MHz. the 290 is fitted with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 5000 MHz. the memory is connected via a 512-bit interface, which is much wider than the GTX 1060’s 192-bit. This brings the total bandwidth to 320 GB/sec. the card supports OpenGL 4.6 and DirectX 12 feature 12_0 APIs.
These are the benchmarks for the GTX 1060 vs R9 290 performance comparison. The GTX 1060 scores 8.1% higher than the 290 in 3DMark Fire Strike Graphics non-gaming benchmark. The R9 has 18% better texture details in the Parallax test.
In the gaming benchmarks by the UserBenchmark, at 1080p max settings, the GTX 1060 6 GB crashes the R9. With the GTA V, it averages at 61 fps against 43 fps by the 290. In Fortnite, the GTX 1060 provides 101 fps while the R9 290 averages at 76 fps. In PUBG, the Nvidia leads the AMD card with 68 fps vs 44 fps.
Despite the R9 290 having more shaders, more bandwidth, and wider memory bus, the GTX 1060 still comes up on top in terms of performance. It also uses less power (120 watt vs 275 watt TDP) and produces less heat. The performance difference is significant but it would be better to upgrade to a GTX 1070 for a more noticeable gain. Hope you found our GTX 1060 vs R9 290 review helpful. Ask us any questions in the comments.