There is certainly no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a GTX 1060 graphics card, Nvidia’s mid-range GPU is the most fiercely contested by all its graphics partners. MSI’s Gaming Series interpretation of Nvidia’s GPUs has been a winning formula in this competitive market in the past, let’s see if MSI’s latest iteration has what it takes to continue that success.
With five MSI graphics cards to choose from for Nvidia’s new GTX 1060 MSI is naturally trying to draw the buyer’s attention towards the more prestigious and expensive Gaming Series variants. The design philosophy is consistent with recent MSI graphics cards, even the keen observer will find there’s fairly little to differentiate the MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X from Gaming variants of the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080.
The front panel of the card features a variety of outputs. There are three DisplayPort 1.4 outputs in addition to an HDMI 2.0b output and a DVI-D Dual-Link output. The GTX 1060 is not just about high-resolution gaming. Computationally intensive programs can utilize the GPU's 1280 cores to accelerate tasks using CUDA or other APIs.
To keep cool, even when overclocked, MSI implemented their Twin Frozr VI cooler on this card. The Twin Frozr VI cooler uses two large fans to force air through the heatsink and dissipate heat and lower the GPU's internal temperature. Because this kind of cooler recirculates air back into the case, this card works best in cases that have unrestricted airflow. There are several LED lights on the GPU, which can be controlled individually by choosing any of the animation effects available in the MSI Gaming App. You can choose to have the LED lights respond to game sounds or music. You can pick a static color or have it breathing and flashing. Of course, you can just turn them off if you don't need them.
MSI’s sixth iteration of the Twin Frozr cooler uses a dual slot form factor and measures in at 11 inches/28cm which is fairly sizeable for a mid-range GPU.
Both fans measure in at 95mm, 9.5 cm, and have alternating blade designs with what MSI are calling “dispersion” and “traditional” blades.
The full-cover backplate provides additional PCB rigidity and protection for the graphics card. MSI claims “solid metal” but it feels more like a low-grade metal and has the texture of plastic. 11 screws hold the backplate on and it can be removed without voiding the warranty. However, the cooler cannot be removed without voiding the warranty so prospective buyers looking to regularly change thermal paste should take caution.
- 1594 MHz Core - Boostable up to 1809 MHz
- 1280 CUDA Cores
- Pascal Architecture
- 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM
- 8.1 Gbps Memory Speed
- 192-Bit Memory Interface
- DisplayPort 1.4 | HDMI 2.0b | DVI-D DL
- 7680 x 4320 Max Digital Resolution
- TWIN FROZR VI Cooler with Back Plate
- GeForce GTX VR Ready
The slot cover sports five connectors, four of which can be used concurrently in a multi-monitor setup. There’s one dual-link DVI-D connector without an analog signal, joined by two HDMI 2.0 connectors and three DisplayPort 1.4 outputs.
Where you don't find display outputs, the rest of the bracket features openings to facilitate airflow. If MSI chose to leave off the seldom-used DVI connector, there'd be even more space for ventilation. As you may have noticed, Nvidia went that route with its recent GeForce GTX 1080 Ti announcement, bundling a DP-to-DVI dongle for those who still need the interface.
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