It's been a slow week because of incoming Christmas festivities, but suddenly, out of nowhere, there are new GTX 1060 6 GB cards. Gigabyte's announced a trio of GTX 1060 6 GB cards with GDDR5X chips, an apparent upgrade from the boring old GDDR5 in standard-issue cards.
We looked at the newcomers quite hard and we're hard-pressed to find meaningful differences between them and the previous models. The GPUs' resource allotment and RAM speed reportedly all match the outgoing versions, and the chip clock speeds are also in the same ballpark.
Gigabyte readied three GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB takes, distinguishable from the regular offerings by the "D5X" marker. The G1 Gaming D5X has a base clock of 1620 MHz and will boost to at least 1847 MHz. This variant has a metal backplate, a triple-fan cooler, and RGB LED lighting.
The next card in line is the Windforce OC D5X. This variant is just a little slower than the G1, with 1582 MHz base and 1791 MHz nominal boost clocks. The cooling apparatus is still a triple-fan affair, though it's devoid of blinkenlights.
Finally, the Windforce 2X OC D5X makes do with a two-fan cooler and drops the backplate, likely owing to its shorter overall length. The clock speeds are the same as its sibling. As always, keep in mind that all of these clock figures will likely go higher in practice thanks to Pascal's smarts.
Our best take about these cards is that they're a result of an inventory-clearing move. Nvidia probably found itself with an abundance of GP104 chips and GDDR5X, and arranged with partners to build these cards. According to TechPowerUp, the new cards should perform exactly the same as the old ones, save that there's better memory overclocking potential thanks to the higher-grade chips.
It's possible that the move is also intended to help lower the store price of GTX 1060 6 GBs in general to more competitively position them against the RX 580 8 GB. Newegg has a Zotac card with GDDR5X on sale for $200, but there's no telling if that's simply a great temporary deal or an indication of a price trend.
There's currently no pricing information for the new cards, though we figure we'll see them on virtual shelves soon enough. Thanks to Tom's Hardware for the tip.