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MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review

MSI nails the mid-range graphics card with its new GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G. Come and take a look at our full review.

@anthony256
Anthony Garreffa
Published Tue, Aug 23 2016 8:10 PM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction, Pricing & Availability

MSI has really nailed the GeForce GTX 10 series launch, with a top to bottom stack of graphics cards that are all great products. From the higher-end GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming Z (which we're going to be reviewing very soon) to the GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G which we have here today, MSI has killed it.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 10 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 47 IMAGES

NVIDIA's answer to the Radeon RX 480 was the GeForce GTX 1060, which is a more expensive but faster graphics card. MSI did their tweaks to the GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G, resulting in a better graphics card that runs cooler, and performs better.

This is what we've come to know and love from not just MSI, but most of the custom AIB partners and their graphics cards shortly after the launch of a new card. MSI's new GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G is a great card for 1080p and 1440p gaming, which is something you'll find out more about in the review.

Pricing & Availability

The new MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G is on Amazon right now for $299.99, compared to the GTX 1060 Founders Edition which costs just 99 cents less directly from NVIDIA, making this MSI graphics card a fantastic value for money proposition.

GIVEAWAY: We are giving away one of these cards, enter before Aug 29, 2016.

Specs, Detailed Look, & Cooling Technology

Specifications

MSI has performed its usual tweaks to the GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G graphics card, with three different modes that have the card at different base/boost clocks. There's Silent, Gaming and OC modes which all have slightly different GPU and RAM speeds.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 14 | TweakTown.com

The first two, Silent and Gaming modes, don't have the RAM overclocked but do tweak the GP106 GPU. The OC mode has the 6GB of GDDR5 clocked at 8108MHz, up from 8008MHz.

Base/Boost clocks on the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G:

  • Silent Mode: 1506/1708MHz
  • Gaming Mode: 1569/1784MHz
  • OC Mode: 1594/1809MHz

Detailed Look

As always, we'll start with the box and then move onto the graphics card itself.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 01 | TweakTown.com

The box for the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G remains mostly unchanged from the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 versions.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 02 | TweakTown.com

The same goes for the back of the box.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 03 | TweakTown.com

And again for the graphics card itself, with the front of the GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G identical to the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 cards, but the lack of an SLI connector is noticed.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 04 | TweakTown.com

Even though this is a cheaper card than the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080, we still have the gorgeous backplate from MSI with the MSI dragon in the top right.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 05 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 06 | TweakTown.com

The top of the card, with its heat pipe array and single 8-pin PCIe power connector on show.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 07 | TweakTown.com

At the end of the card, we can see the heat sink, to help keep the card nice and cool.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 09 | TweakTown.com

Display connectivity remains the same, with 3 x DP, 1 x HDMI 2.0 and 1 x DVI.

Twin Frozr VI

MSI is using the same Twin Frozr VI cooling technology on its GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G as it did on their GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 offerings, something that I've gone into greater detail about here.

Testing Methodology & Test Setup Configuration

Testing Method

For the purposes of testing the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G, and for all future graphics card reviews and articles, we've changed up our benchmark suite. I've removed Battlefield 4, GRID: Autosport, BioShock: Infinite, and Grand Theft Auto V. In their place, I've got Far Cry Primal and The Division.

I've also added in some DX12 testing, with Hitman and Ashes of the Singularity. This will provide us with enough variety, but I'm on the hunt for new benchmarks all the time. The second that Battlefield 1 drops, we'll be including that in our GPU reviews, while I'll also be keeping an eye out on the release of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

Test System Configuration

Corsair sent us over their kick-ass AX1500i PSU, which provides 1500W of power for our 3 and 4-way GPU testing that we have coming very soon.

Anthony's Video Card Test System Specifications

Benchmarks - Synthetic

3DMark Fire Strike - 1080p

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 50 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike Extreme - 1440p

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 51 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike Ultra - 4K (3840x2160)

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 71 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 1080p

Heaven is an intensive GPU benchmark that really pushes your silicon to its limits. It's another favorite of ours as it has some great scaling for multi-GPU testing, and it's great for getting your GPU to 100% for power and noise testing.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 52 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 1440p

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 53 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 4K (3840x2160)

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 72 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks @ 1080p

1080p Benchmarks

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 101 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry Primal is a game built on the impressive Dunia Engine 2 with wide open, beautiful environments. It might look stunning, but the performance is actually quite good - but most cards will be stressed at 1440p, and especially so at 4K and beyond.

You can buy Far Cry Primal at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 61 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 103 | TweakTown.com

We recently changed over to Metro: Last Light Redux, with developer 4A Games making the Redux version of Metro: Last Light the 'definitive' version of the game. Redux had a fresh coat of paint on the already impressive 4A Engine, and it really pushes our GPUs to their limits.

You can buy Metro: Last Light Redux at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 63 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 104 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the most graphically intensive games we test, with Monolith using their own Lithtech engine to power the game. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 64 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 105 | TweakTown.com

Thief has been around for quite a while now, with the latest version of the first-person stealth game powered by Epic Games' older Unreal Engine 3. While it's old, it has some great multi-GPU scaling that we use to test out our various GPU setups.

You can buy Thief at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 65 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 106 | TweakTown.com

Tomb Raider is still such a gorgeous game, with developer Crystal Dynamics using their own 'Foundation' engine to build Lara Croft into the new world. One of the best parts about Tomb Raider is the absolutely stellar multi-GPU scaling, so this is an important test to see how well our NVIDIA GeForce SLI and AMD Radeon CrossFire setups scale.

You can buy Tomb Raider at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 67 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks @ 1440p

1440p Benchmarks

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 101 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry Primal is a game built on the impressive Dunia Engine 2 with wide open, beautiful environments. It might look stunning, but the performance is actually quite good - but most cards will be stressed at 1440p, and especially so at 4K and beyond.

You can buy Far Cry Primal at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 89 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 103 | TweakTown.com

We recently changed over to Metro: Last Light Redux, with developer 4A Games making the Redux version of Metro: Last Light the 'definitive' version of the game. Redux had a fresh coat of paint on the already impressive 4A Engine, and it really pushes our GPUs to their limits.

You can buy Metro: Last Light Redux at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 82 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 104 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the most graphically intensive games we test, with Monolith using their own Lithtech engine to power the game. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 83 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 105 | TweakTown.com

Thief has been around for quite a while now, with the latest version of the first-person stealth game powered by Epic Games' older Unreal Engine 3. While it's old, it has some great multi-GPU scaling that we use to test out our various GPU setups.

You can buy Thief at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 84 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 106 | TweakTown.com

Tomb Raider is still such a gorgeous game, with developer Crystal Dynamics using their own 'Foundation' engine to build Lara Croft into the new world. One of the best parts about Tomb Raider is the absolutely stellar multi-GPU scaling, so this is an important test to see how well our NVIDIA GeForce SLI and AMD Radeon CrossFire setups scale.

You can buy Tomb Raider at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 85 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks @ 4K

4K Benchmarks

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 101 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry Primal is a game built on the impressive Dunia Engine 2 with wide open, beautiful environments. It might look stunning, but the performance is actually quite good - but most cards will be stressed at 1440p, and especially so at 4K and beyond.

You can buy Far Cry Primal at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 41 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 103 | TweakTown.com

We recently changed over to Metro: Last Light Redux, with developer 4A Games making the Redux version of Metro: Last Light the 'definitive' version of the game. Redux had a fresh coat of paint on the already impressive 4A Engine, and it really pushes our GPUs to their limits.

You can buy Metro: Last Light Redux at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 43 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 104 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the most graphically intensive games we test, with Monolith using their own Lithtech engine to power the game. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 44 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 105 | TweakTown.com

Thief has been around for quite a while now, with the latest version of the first-person stealth game powered by Epic Games' older Unreal Engine 3. While it's old, it has some great multi-GPU scaling that we use to test out our various GPU setups.

You can buy Thief at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 45 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 106 | TweakTown.com

Tomb Raider is still such a gorgeous game, with developer Crystal Dynamics using their own 'Foundation' engine to build Lara Croft into the new world. One of the best parts about Tomb Raider is the absolutely stellar multi-GPU scaling, so this is an important test to see how well our NVIDIA GeForce SLI and AMD Radeon CrossFire setups scale.

You can buy Tomb Raider at Amazon.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 47 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - DX12 & OC Adventures

This is our new section for video card reviews, with DX12 and VR becoming a huge deal over the course of the last 12 months. We have just a handful of DX12 tests right now, so expect this section of the site and our reviews to grow considerably over the coming months.

The same goes for VR, where we have both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in house now. We will be testing VRMark for now, which is in Preview form, as well as our thoughts on VR gaming on the HTC Vive with the new MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G graphics card.

DirectX 12 Performance

We have 3DMark Time Spy Ashes of the Singularity and Hitman with DirectX 12, with the NVIDIA Titan X stomping all over every other GPU setup I've tested. Insanity.

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MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 250 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 107 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 68 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 108 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 200 | TweakTown.com

Overclocking Adventures - 2151MHz Boost!

I was able to get the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G to a pretty damn high boost clock, hitting 2151MHz completely stable. The additional performance was nice, as we have a decent bump in performance over the GTX 1060 Founders Edition at stock settings and even more performance with the overclock.

The additional performance was welcomed, as you can see in our 3DMark FireStrike benchmarks:

3DMark Fire Strike - 1080p

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 500 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike Extreme - 1440p

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 511 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike Ultra - 4K (3840x2160)

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 711 | TweakTown.com

Power, Temperature, & Noise

Power Consumption

MSI's GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G clocks in at just 215W power consumption with our entire Core i7-5960X test bed, which isn't too much less than the 250W that the GTX 1080 consumes. But, the GTX 1070 uses only 215W too and is much faster than the GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G.

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Still, at just 215W, the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G is a power efficient card considering the slight bump in performance over NVIDIA's own GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition, which consumes 25W less, at 190W total.

Temperature & Noise

During all of my testing and gaming sessions on the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G, the card was running at around 47C average with the fan spinning at around 1200 RPM. It stayed nice and silent, without making noise during heavy loads, which is just the way I like it - and identical to the performance from the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 from MSI when it comes to acoustics.

The Twin Frozr VI cooler is very efficient, keeping the card both cool, and quiet.

Performance Summary & Final Thoughts

Performance Summary

For gamers who are in the market for a new graphics card and are using a 1080p display or TV, the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G will handle everything you can throw at it while pumping away at 60FPS average or higher. You could even turn up some of the anti-aliasing and enjoy 60FPS average, or run Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) and render some games at 2560x1440, and still maintain 60FPS.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 03 | TweakTown.com

Moving up to 2560x1440, the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G once again maintains 60FPS average in most games. It won't handle everything at 1440p with 60FPS average, but if you turned down some of the in-game visual settings, I don't see 60FPS average being a problem. However, games like Overwatch will run at 60FPS and beyond with everything nearly cranked to maximum.

4K gaming isn't too far out of your reach with the GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G, but you'll be enjoying 3840x2160 at around 30FPS average. It's not too bad, but you wouldn't want to be playing it at 30FPS - but then again, if we compare this to mainstream consoles, a $300 graphics card that can handle 4K gaming at 30FPS is pretty damn good.

Final Thoughts

Buying an MSI graphics card means you're buying something that is a quality product, from an established and well-known brand. MSI's new GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G is one of the best value for money cards you can buy right now, offering more performance than NVIDIA's own GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition, for just 99 cents more at the time of writing.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G Graphics Card Review 10 | TweakTown.com

MSI also has its Radeon RX 480 graphics card which costs $299, so I'll be interested to see how it compares against the GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G. It's actually going to be my next review, so I'll be doing a traditional review like this, and then I'll write an MSI Radeon RX 480 vs. MSI GeForce GTX 1060 review. That'll be an interesting look at MSI vs. MSI, especially at 1080p and 1440p, considering they both cost $299.

GeForce gamers will want to dive right into the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G, especially if you didn't want to spend $400+ on a new GeForce GTX 1070 and only gamed at 1080p. The MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G plays games perfectly at 1080p and 1440p at around 60FPS average, while the Twin Frozr VI cooler keeps everything nice and cool - and most of all, quiet.

Kudos MSI, you've done it again.

TweakTown award
Performance (overclocking, power)95%
Quality (build, design, cooling)95%
General Features (display outputs, etc)95%
Bundle, Packaging & Software95%
Value for Money95%
Overall95%

The Bottom Line: MSI fills out its GeForce GTX 10 series line up with the GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G, offering awesome 60FPS+ gaming at 1080p and 1440p, all while being dead silent. There's some OC headroom as well, and a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. MSI continues kicking GPU ass!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

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CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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