It appears the green team wasn't content to let AMD own the midrange after all. Just two weeks after the launch of the Radeon RX 480, the Pascal-powered GeForce GTX 1060 is on store shelves. Jeff wrote some words about the GP106 chip powering the card this morning, so I'll spare you the technical stuff you probably already read anyway. If the card's performance proposition seems promising, you can ride the hype train all the way to the bank.
Unlike its bigger brothers, the GTX 1080 and 1070, the GTX 1060 is available on launch day in both Founders Edition and custom models. If you want a Founders Edition card, you'll have to hit up Nvidia's store, where they're still available for the suggested $299.99. There's something to be said for a standardized board design and a cooler that removes heat from the case entirely, but you'll pay for the privilege.
For non-reference cards, Newegg alone has a plethora of listings already. Asus takes the prize for fanciest card with a hot-clocked ROG Strix OC edition, although there's a cheaper Strix with stock clocks. Both of these cards have RGB LED lighting on board, and they both list for over $300 right now. If you'd rather not pay more than Founders Edition pricing for a GTX 1060, Asus has a cheaper Turbo version with a blower.
Gigabyte's G1 Gaming model runs at a significant overclock, while the regular "Windforce" edition appears to be essentially the same model running at lower clock speeds. Both these cards ditch the Founders Edition card's six-pin PCIe connector for an eight-pin setup.
MSI has "OC", Armor, Gaming, and Gaming X editions on sale already. The OC card is the cheapest entry point into GTX 1060s, while the Gaming X is the top-end card in the Dragon Army's lineup. The OC and Armor cards should need just a single six-pin power connector to do their thing, while the Gaming and Gaming X cards need an eight-pin plug.
Meanwhile, Zotac has an Amp edition and a Mini version of the GTX 1060. Both cards are compact, but the Mini is downright tiny. The Amp card needs an eight-pin power connector, while the Mini gets by with a six-pin plug.
EVGA has two cards up at the time of this writing. Both are very small and visually reminiscent of the Radeon Nano, with single axial fans on a card barely longer than the PCIe connector. The SuperClocked variant lives up to its name by being one of the higher-clocked cards available now despite its size.
Finally, we have a lone entry from PNY that runs stock clocks despite an impressive-looking dual-fan cooler. Unfortunately, most of those cards are out of stock now. Many of them were in stock when we began composing this post, suggesting that these cards are going fast. That's no surprise, considering that the $250 price point has historically been the sweet spot for GPUs—a fact borne out by how the Radeon RX 480s have been moving. Let us know in the comments if you pick one up. Just don't buy a pair, because SLI is not supported.
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