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MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Review

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MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Conclusion:

As you might expect, the MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G is going to outperform a card that comes with lower baseline core clock speeds, even if they are at the top end of the Gaming App range of speeds by default. In just about every test, MSI's GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G delivered higher FPS levels than the Founders Edition card. After the launch of the GTX 1080 and 1070 Gaming X cards, MSI took some heat about the Gaming X cards running at the Gaming App overclock settings by default. Some felt this was an unfair advantage that was not clearly advertised. The card does run faster by default than the advertised clock speeds, however you have the option of using MSI's Gaming App to slow things down a bit.

By using MSI's Gaming App, you have the option of running lower clock speeds that are coupled with different fan speed profiles. The application has three GPU speed profiles: Overclocked, Gaming and Silent. Overclocked gives the end user the maximum rated performance. The Gaming setting runs slightly slower and quieter, and of course Silent is going to offer the lowest clock speeds and noise profile. If you get max performance and the noise level works for you, the only reason to compromise your clock speeds is to take advantage of the ability to change the lighting of the MSI Gaming logo to any color in the RGB spectrum. The Gaming App has more functionality built-in with one click setup for VR and the ability to use Dragon Eye to capture and upload your gaming content or to use the OSD to monitor gaming performance, clock speeds, voltages, and temperatures.

As delivered, the fan noise profile is pretty tame. The large Twin Frozr VI cooling solution is more than up to the task of keeping the Pascal GP106 core cool while gaming. By using the large 100mm Torx 2.0 dispersion blade fans coupled with MSI's airflow control technology in the large heat pipe-equipped cooling solution, the company has been able to mitigate fan noise and maintain or improve cooling performance. As I saw with the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 Gaming X cards, the solution just works. If you are just scrolling web pages, the fans go to full stop to fully eliminate any fan noise. As long as the GPU temperature stays below 60 degrees Celsius, the GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G is totally silent. If you really want to maximize cooling, cranking the fan speeds is the way to go. Thankfully, at full song you do not get the full screamo effect à la Vantex Tornado. Running the fans all out inside a chassis proves that you can have your cake and eat it, too. The noise profile is so far from objectionable that it really becomes just a part of the chassis hum once you button up the case.

VR Ready is one of the key words being thrown around at this point, since it is one of the next big steps in gaming. To fully enjoy a VR experience, you will really want to step up the ladder a couple notches to get the best experience. You can increase the performance of the GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G by overclocking. As seen by the maximum clock speeds on the setup page, the GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G has got some overclocking chops. We will look at overclocking the GTX 1060 in an upcoming article.

Another way you could improve performance in the past has been to add a second card to the system and run an SLI multi-GPU configuration. Sadly, NVIDIA has moved away from official SLI support at this price point to focus support on the higher end of the product stack. That does not mean that all hope is gone. If developers implement multi-GPU modes in DirectX 12 games, the potential is there.

By over delivering on cooling performance, MSI is able to maximize gaming performance by keeping the core from throttling back the clock speeds until you get over the 52-ish °C hump. To make sure that the core and memory get the power they need, the MSI Gaming X 6G is overbuilt from an engineering perspective, with a large custom PCB and use of MSI's Military Class build strategy using Hi-C Caps, Super Ferrite Chokes, and solid capacitors. All of this coupled together makes for a card that offers great performance at its price point.

For $289, you get GTX 980 performance levels on a mid range budget. If you play games at 1080 or 1440 resolutions, you really cannot go wrong with an MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G. Add in a G-Sync monitor and you really can enjoy a great gaming experience.

 

Pros:

  • Factory overclocked
  • Twin Frozr VI cooling
  • Low to no noise
  • VR Ready
  • Gaming App
  • Pricing
  • MSI Gaming APP

 

Cons:

  • SLI not supported


 

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