Aorus GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps Review

June 12, 2017 // 5:28 p.m.

Tags: #aorus #gddr5 #geforce #gtx-1060 #nvidia #pascal

Aorus GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps Review

Manufacturer: Aorus
UK price (as reviewed):
£289.99 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $289.99 (ex tax)

We've seen a number of Aorus cards in recent months, and Gigabyte's high-end brand has proven strong in a number of areas. It also gave us our first chance to look at one of the new GTX 1060 SKUs that bump the memory clock speed from 8Gbps to 9Gbps, utilising improvements in GDDR5 technology. Those on top of their graphics card homework will know that Nvidia pulled a similar move with the GTX 1080 recently too. The higher memory speed and resultant memory bandwidth doesn't make a huge difference in games, and we're not expecting it too here either. As such, the asking price of £290 for this card seems steep given that GTX 1060s can be had for £230 and RX 580 8GB cards for £240 (at least when they're in stock).

Aorus GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps Review
Click to enlarge

Aorus produces two SKUs of this card, with the other being an Xtreme Edition card with a beefier cooler and a slightly higher overclock. This standard version, however, still comes with plenty of features, including a factory overclock. Out of the box, it runs in Gaming Mode, which means a 1,607MHz base clock (seven percent higher than reference cards) and a 1,835MHz boost clock. This can be pushed to 1,632MHz / 1,860MHz respectively by switching to OC Mode in the Aorus Graphics Engine software, or it can be dropped to reference speeds by selecting Silent Mode. There is unfortunately no memory overclock applied in any mode.

We've seen numerous cards with 2.5-slot coolers recently, but this would be excessive for the GTX 1060, we think, so we're happy Aorus has stuck to a dual-slot design here. It's a fairly long card at 280mm, but then it does have a triple-fan cooler to accommodate.

Aorus GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps Review
Click to enlarge

This card sports the usual Aorus black and orange colour scheme, although the orange is limited to just a few highlights here and there. This is good, as the card also has RGB lighting for the logo along the top edge, and RGB LEDs always seem at odds with having lots of non-neutral colours in the rest of the design. The meta backplate completes the package and looks much better than a bare PCB would. If you have other compatible Aorus or Gigabyte hardware, RGB Fusion allows you to synchronise the RGB LEDs here with those on the other bits.

Aorus GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps Review
Click to enlarge

The single eight-pin PCI-E power connector provides easily enough juice for a card of this calibre. It isn't indented on the PCB, so your power cables will protrude a little, but the card isn't particularly tall, so this shouldn't be an issue. A white LED on the PCB is used to indicate power supply stability for this connector, too.

Aorus GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps Review
Click to enlarge

No change has been made to the display outputs compared to the reference ones; we have here DisplayPort triplets, one HDMI connector, and a dual-link DVI-D header.

Aorus GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps Review
Click to enlarge

Direct-contact, copper heat pipes that use Aorus' composite design are used to cool the GPU, although Aorus is only using two of them here – understandable, since it's a fairly low-power GPU. These span the length of the card, distributing heat through three different fin stacks. A metal contact plate surrounds the GPU area and, via thermal pads, cools the six GDDR5 memory chips. A similar setup is used to cool all the critical components of the VRM area too. Lastly, as we've become used to from Aorus, even the backplate helps out with cooling. A small copper area draws heat away from the rear of the GPU, while more thermal padding is used at key points for extra heat transfer. It's good to see Aorus' all-round approach to cooling carried over into lower-end models in the stack, although this is still a near-£300 card.

Aorus GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps Review Aorus GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps Review
Click to enlarge

The trio of 80mm fans all spin in the same direction and use the same blade design as we've seen elsewhere where a triangle at the front edge is used to split the air that's then split and directed by grooves along the surface, supposedly achieving higher effective airflow. More importantly, the fans are all semi-passive, so in low-load and idle situations where the GPU is cool enough, you won't hear a peep from them.

Aorus GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps Review
Click to enlarge

The PCB plays host to a 6+1 phase power design, which is significantly beefier than the 3+1 design of the Founders Edition card. This being an Aorus product, Titan X-grade chokes and capacitors are used here as well.

Specifications

  • Graphics processor Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, 1,607MHz (1,835MHz boost) (1,632MHz / 1,860MHz in OC Mode)
  • Pipeline 1,280 stream processors, 80 texture units, 48 ROPs
  • Memory 6GB GDDR5, 9Gbps effective
  • Bandwidth 216GB/sec, 192-bit interface
  • Compatibility DirectX 12, Vulcan, OpenGL 4.5
  • Outputs/Inputs 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, Dual Link DVI-I, 1 x HDMI 2.0b
  • Power connections 1 x 8-pin PCI-E, 1 x 6-pin PCI-E, top-mounted
  • Size 280mm long, 111mm tall, dual-slot
  • Warranty Three years

QUICK COMMENT

View this in the forums

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

WEEK IN REVIEW

TOP STORIES

SUGGESTED FOR YOU