Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 vs GTX 970 Comparison Review

In this GTX 1060 vs GTX 970 guide, we compare the newer GTX 1060 performance GPU against the older high-end GTX 970. The GTX 970 is based on the outdated Maxwell architecture while the GTX 1060 uses the newer Pascal architecture.

The 970 was released in 2014 while the 1060 was released in 2016, so there is a 2-year difference between their releases.  Find out how the older card performs against the newer GPU. Read on!

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

The GTX 1060 is a mid-range gaming card that was released in July 2016 by Nvidia. The GPU is based on the smallest chip in the GTX 10 series graphics card GP106 chip using the Pascal architecture. It is manufactured using the 16 nm FinFET process technology.

The desktop GTX 1060 graphics card’s performance should be at par with the older GTX 980, therefore it is suitable for high detail gaming at 1080p. it exists in two variants, the 6 GB and 3 GB.

The GPU features 1280 shader units and runs at a core clock speed of 1506 MHz and 1708 MHz boost. It has a maximum of 6 GB GDDR5 memory using a 192-bit bus interface. The memory speed is 8000 MHz and has a maximum transfer rate of 192 GB/s.

The GPU power consumption is rated at a maximum of 120 watts TDP. And it is recommended that it be used with a 400 watts PSU.

Here’s the highest rated GTX 1060 6GB graphic cards

Nvidia GeForce GTX 970

The GTX 970 is a high-end GPU by Nvidia. It was released in September 2014, this makes it the older card against the GTX 1060 by almost 2 years. The card is based on the same GM204 chip as the faster GTX 980. It is built using the Maxwell architecture in the 28 nm manufacturing process.

The GTX 970 features 1664 shader units and operates at a base frequency of 1050 MHz with the boost at 1178 MHz. Moreover, it uses a maximum of 4 GB GDDR5 memory with a speed of 7000 MHz. The  GTX 970 uses a 256-bit memory bus width and a resulting bandwidth of 224 GB/s. Moreover, the GPU maximum power is rated at 145 Watts and has a recommended PSU of 500 Watts.

Benchmarks

The benchmark results for this GTX 1060 vs 970 comparison show a significant difference in performance between the two graphics cards. In the 3DMark Ice Storm GPU non-gaming benchmarks by TechnicalCity, the GTX 970 performs 79.6 better than the GTX 1050. While, in 3DMark Cloud Gate GPU, the 1060 performs 5% than the 970. And 17% in the 3DMark Fire Strike Score and 7.2% in the 3DMark Fire Strike Graphics.

In the gaming benchmarks, the 1060 and the 970 are close in performance with the GTX being slightly ahead. While, in Apex Legends, maximum settings at 1080p, the GTX 1060 performs much better with 77 fps against 57 fps by the 970.

In CS GO, the GTX 1060 provides just 3 fps more than the GTX 970 with 160 fps compared to 157 fps. In GTA V, the 1060 provides 61 fps vs 53 fps. Additionally, it also provides more fps in Overwatch, Fortnite and The Witcher 3.

Here’s the highest rated GTX 970 graphic cards

Verdict

The difference in performance between the two GPUs is about 12% with the GTX 1060 being the better card, especially the 6 GB variant. The GTX 1060 has lower power consumption and better long term driver support as it is newer.

However, the performance difference is not enough to warrant an upgrade. You are good with either card, hope our GTX 1060 vs 970 comparison was useful. Let us know if you have any questions.