Averaging out the percentage differences between them, GeForce GTX 1060 is about 13.5% quicker at 1920x1080 across our suite. Its advantage slips to 12.5% at 2560x1440.
On the flip side, you do lose support for SLI. Although DirectX 12-based apps with support for multi-display adapter and linked display adapter explicit modes work with 1060 setups, linked display adapter implicit, controlled by Nvidia, is not enabled. In theory, the company could get it working over PCI Express; it simply chooses not to. That disappoints us, sure. But as developers explore new post-processing effects and asynchronous compute, the alternate frame rendering technique Nvidia used to generate its big scaling numbers is no longer universally effective. Now, more than ever, it’s better to have one fast GPU than a couple of slower ones.
The company says it’ll sell for $290, though other 1060s in MSI's portfolio go for as little as $250. This is where the battle between Pascal and Polaris gets more interesting. But even then, for 1080p gaming, the 4GB Radeon RX 480 at $200 is tough to beat. Stay tuned as we start cranking through the third-party cards already stacking up in the lab.
Reference edition RX 480s are in the $240 range with custom editions hitting the $250 range when they release starting Friday. They say custom GTX 1060s are going to sell for less than the Founders Edition (which is $300), so probably the $275 range, so we're probably looking at around 10% more for 10% more performance once retail markup takes effect due to demand, so pricing really isn't an issue. The big problem is power consumption, where a slower card consumes much more power despite AMD having the more advanced process. And it isn't just 10% or 20%, it's 42% higher, which means in some places means the initial price difference will quickly be realized in electrical bill savings. And this figure no doubt will grow larger with custom RX 480s with an 8 pin connector.
Granted RX 480 is first run and GTX 1060 is third run, 42% higher power consumption is just unacceptable. We can only hope the extra 8 months or so between the Polaris 10 and Vega 10 releases means huge steps in power efficiency for the top tier Vega 10s...