With all the new high-tech graphics cards hitting the market these days, one fact remains – They are all so expensive! If you are a gamer looking to play your favorite PC games on a budget, it can seem like there is no answer for you. In today’s article, we are going to check out two of the best budget graphics cards that are still great for gaming: the Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB vs 970.

Being older GPUs, you may be wondering if the GTX 1060-6GB or the GTX 970 from Nvidia are still any good. When it comes to gaming, streaming, editing, and watching high-resolution videos it is important to have a graphics card that is going to keep up. How do the GTX 1060-6GB and 970 stack up against each other? And how do they handle modern gaming?

These are just a few of the questions we are going to answer in today’s article. With full side-by-side comparisons, benchmarks, and cold-hard facts, we will figure out which card is better, and if either one is still worth buying.

Nvidia GeForce GTX
The first Nvidia GTX graphics cars were released in mid-2016.

Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB vs 970: Side-by-Side Comparison

Having a look at the specs of each card gives you an idea of how they stack up against each other. At first glance, it isn’t clear which graphics card will deliver the best performance, as they each have pros and cons. Take a look at the table below to see how each GPU compares.

GTX 10760-6GBGTX 970
Graphics Processor:GP106GM204
Shader Cores:12801664
TMUs:80104
ROPs:4856
VRAM Type:GDDR5GDDR5
VRAM Capacity:6 GB4 GB
Bus Width:192 bit256 bit
GPU Clock:1506 MHz1050 MHz
Boost Clock:1709 MHz1178 MHz
Memory Clock:2002 MHz1753 MHz
Texture Fill Rate:136.7 GTexel/s122.5 GTexel/s
Pixel Rate:82.03 GPixel/s65.97 GPixel/s
Double Floating-point Performance:136.7 GFLOPS122.5 GFLOPS

When comparing the GTX 1060-6GB against the GTX 970, we can see the 970 appears to have higher specs in some areas, particularly in shader core count, texture mapping units (TMUs), and raster operations pipelines (ROPs). This does not necessarily equate to higher performance, however, as the GTX 1060-6GB ranks higher in theoretical performance.

It is quite clear that, despite the minor differences, both of these graphics cards are fairly similar. The big question is, how do these minor differences affect performance when it comes to gaming, streaming, and other tasks?

Sale
NVIDIA - GeForce GTX 970 4GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 Graphics Card …
  • The GeForce GTX 970 is a high-performance graphics card designed for serious gaming.
  • Powered by new NVIDIA Maxwell architecture, it features advanced technologies and class-leading graphics for incredible gaming experiences.
  • NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0
  • NVIDIA SLI Technology
  • NVIDIA G-SYNC Technology

GTX 1060-6GB vs 970: A Brief History

Even though the GTX 1060-6GB and 970 appear similar, they actually have some major differences. The biggest disparity between the two GPUs is the age. The GTX 970 is almost two years older than the GTX 1060-6GB. Nvidia improved upon its technology quite a bit in that period, and it is very apparent when we compare these two graphics cards.

Nvidia released the GTX 970 in September 2014 to a very excited fanbase. At the time, it was very appropriate to be excited about this card. Built on the 28 nm GM204 graphics architecture, it was almost 40% faster than the previous model. Designed to replace the GTX 770, which came out a year prior, the GTX 970 shattered the previous generation’s benchmarks. In gaming benchmarks, users reported much better lighting effects, faster multi-rendering, and much better reflection handling. 

Overall, the GTX 970 was a massive upgrade over the existing graphics card lineup from Nvidia. The only GPUs of the time that were any better were the GTX 980 and 980 Ti, as well as the enthusiast-grade Titan graphics cards. AMD, Nvidia’s main rival in the GPU industry, offered some competition to the GTX 970: the R9 390 and the R9 290X. Even so, in most benchmarks and reviews, Nvidia destroyed the competition.

When Nvidia released the GTX 1060-6GB almost two years later in July 2016, they delivered amazing results yet again. The GTX 1060-6GB was not designed as a replacement for the GTX 970, but rather the GTX 960. When the GTX 1060-6GB launched, it ultimately proved to be significantly faster than both the GTX 960 and 970. Even though the GTX 1060-6GB has lower specs on paper, it proved itself as a faster GPU thanks to the newer 16 nm GP106 graphics architecture.

GTX 1060-6GB vs 970: Four Must-Know Facts

  • Both the GTX 1060-6GB and 970 are compatible with DirectX 12 for gaming.
  • While the GTX 1060-6GB supports G-Sync, the GTX 970 does not.
  • Both graphics cards are suitable for entry-level gamers.
  • Both GPUs use the older style DDR5 video memory.

GTX 1060-6GB vs 970: Price and Value

Both the GTX 1060-6GB and GTX 970 are budget gaming graphics cards, designed to serve the mid-tier price and performance segment. Though not as expensive as their higher-end counterparts, the GTX 1080-Ti and the GTX 980-Ti, both GPUs deliver great performance for the money. This level of performance for such a reasonable price makes both the GTX 1060-6GB and GTX 970 an excellent value.

When the GTX 970 first came out, the MSRP was only $329. What is most surprising, is that the GTX 970 still sells for close to what it did when it came out. This makes you question if the GTX 970 is still a good value.

Not necessarily, especially when you consider that the GTX 1060-6GB delivers significantly higher levels of performance for a similar price. When the GTX 1060-6GB launched, the MSRP was a very reasonable $299. Considering that this GPU is newer and more powerful, you’ll be pleased to find out that it still sells for near MSRP. When faced with the choice of GTX 1060-6GB vs 970, the obvious better value is the GTX 1060-6GB.

Sale
NVIDIA - GeForce GTX 970 4GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 Graphics Card …
  • The GeForce GTX 970 is a high-performance graphics card designed for serious gaming.
  • Powered by new NVIDIA Maxwell architecture, it features advanced technologies and class-leading graphics for incredible gaming experiences.
  • NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0
  • NVIDIA SLI Technology
  • NVIDIA G-SYNC Technology

Power Consumption, Size, and Ports

Power consumption is another area where the GTX 1060-6GB outshines the GTX 970. Nvidia managed to deliver higher performance with the GTX 1060-6GB all while using less power than the GTX 970. This is great news if you are trying to achieve better energy efficiency with your PC.

The GTX 1060-6GB uses up to 120 watts under full load, drawing power through a single 6-pin PCI-e power connector. The GTX 970 on the other hand, draws up to 148 watts and requires the use of two 6-pin connectors to get power. Luckily, you won’t need much power no matter which card you pick; either one will work fine as long as you have at least a 300-watt power supply.

Another area where the GTX 1060-6GB beats the GTX 970 is when it comes to size. If you are trying to minimize the space required in your PC case, the GTX 1060-6GB will work better than the 970. With a footprint of under 10 inches, the GTX 1060-6GB is almost a full inch shorter than the standard GTX 970. This is excellent news if you have a small PC case but still want top-notch gaming performance.

As for connectivity, both the GTX 1060-6GB and the GTX 970 have a pleasing variety of display connections. In fact, both GPUs come standard with the same selection of ports: one DVI, one HDMI 2.0, and three Display-Port 1.4a ports. You’ll easily be able to connect multiple high-resolution monitors.

Which One is Better for Gaming?

One of the most important benchmarks for determining which GPU is the winner is how well it can play games. Even though both the GTX 1060-6GB and 970 are older graphics cards, we were quite impressed at the solid gaming performance we saw in the benchmarks.

We compiled benchmarks from some of the most popular games, including older and newer titles. On the highest settings, at full 1080p HD resolution, the GTX 1060-6GB showed a clear improvement in performance over the GTX 970.

GTX 1060-6GBGTX 970
CSGO160+ FPS156+ FPS
Fortnite101+ FPS94+ FPS
PUBG68+ FPS63+ FPS
GTA V62+ FPS53+ FPS
League of Legends178+ FPS156+ FPS
Overwatch101+ FPS97+ FPS
Minecraft215+ FPS189+ FPS
DOTA 2131+ FPS121+ FPS
World of Warcraft77+ FPS63+ FPS

The GTX 1060-6GB defeated the GTX 970 in every game tested. Even though the GTX 1060-6GB is the clear winner, the GTX 970 still excelled and showed very good average frame rates.

Which One Should You Buy?

If you want a newer graphics card with notably higher performance and better benchmark results, the best GPU for you would be the GTX 1060-6GB. If you already have a GTX 970 and you are wondering if you should upgrade to the GTX 1060-6GB, the answer to that is not quite as clear. There are newer graphics cards on the market than the GTX 1060-6GB, but whether they can beat the price-to-performance ratio of this card is another thing.

The GTX 1060-6GB is a clear winner when it comes to value graphics cards. Even several years after its release, this GPU is still delivering amazing performance for the money. Whether you are gaming, streaming, or video editing, the GTX 1060-6GB is an excellent choice. 

Last update on 2022-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB vs 970: Which Older Graphics Card Reigns Supreme? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is the Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB better than the 970?

With a newer graphics architecture, the GTX 1060-6GB is a considerably better graphics card for the price than the GTX 970.

What's the difference between the Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB and the 970?

The GTX 1060-6GB is newer and has more Vram than the GTX 970. It also uses less power and gets better benchmark results when tested with the most popular games.

What are the best features of the Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB and the 970?

Both GPUs support DirectX 12 and are able to play all modern games. Both GTX 1060-6GB and 970 feature GDDR5 Vram, enough to handle most games. Both GPUs also feature a good selection of display options such as DVI, HDMI, and Display-Port.

How much are the Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB and the 970?

Both GPUs were similarly priced at launch. The GTX 1060-6GB retailed for $299 and still costs about the same. The GTX 970 shipped with an MSRP of $329. and can be had for a bit less due to its age.

When did the GTX 970 come out?

The GTX 970 came out on September 19th, 2014.

How much power does a 970 use?

The GTX 970 has a TDP rating of 148 watts. You should have at least a 300-watt or higher power supply to run this card.

Is Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 good for gaming?

Despite being almost 8 years old, the GTX 970 is still a reliable gaming graphics card, showing impressive benchmark results for its age.

How much VRAM does a GTX 1060 have?

The GTX 1060 shipped in two different Vram configurations: 3GB and 6GB.

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