GTX 1060 vs GTX 980: Which Graphics Card Reigns Supreme?

When it comes to high-performance graphics cards, Nvidia has always been a dominant force in the market. Two of their popular offerings, the GTX 1060 and the GTX 980, have consistently been hailed as top contenders for gamers and graphics enthusiasts. Both of these GPUs boast impressive capabilities and have garnered a loyal following in the gaming community. However, the question still remains: which graphics card reigns supreme?

The GTX 1060 was released in 2016 and quickly became a favorite among gamers due to its impressive performance and affordable price point. Equipped with 6GB of GDDR5 memory and a boost clock speed of 1,708 MHz, this card offers a smooth gaming experience with high frame rates and stunning visuals. On the other hand, the GTX 980, released in 2014, was once Nvidia’s flagship GPU. With 4GB of VRAM and a slightly lower boost clock speed of 1,216 MHz, this card still holds its own against the more recent models. In this article, we will delve into the specifications, benchmark results, and real-world performance of both cards to determine which one truly holds the title of the supreme graphics card.

Specifications Comparison: Examining The Technical Details Of The GTX 1060 And GTX 980

When it comes to choosing a graphics card, understanding the technical specifications is crucial. In this section, we will compare the GTX 1060 and GTX 980, examining their key specifications and differences.

The GTX 1060 features the Pascal architecture and is built on a 16nm process. It comes with 1,280 CUDA cores, a base clock speed of 1,506 MHz, and a boost clock speed of 1,709 MHz. With 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM, it offers a memory speed of 8 Gbps, and a memory bandwidth of 192 GB/s.

On the other hand, the GTX 980 is built on the Maxwell architecture and is manufactured using a 28nm process. It has 2,048 CUDA cores, a base clock speed of 1,126 MHz, and a boost clock speed of 1,216 MHz. With 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, it offers a memory speed of 7 Gbps, and a memory bandwidth of 224 GB/s.

Overall, the GTX 1060 has a higher clock speed and memory bandwidth compared to the GTX 980. However, the GTX 980 has more CUDA cores and a slightly faster boost clock speed. These specifications play a significant role in determining the overall performance of the graphics cards, which will be discussed further in the article.

Performance Showdown: Benchmarking The GTX 1060 And GTX 980 Across Different Games And Applications

The performance of a graphics card is crucial for gamers and professionals alike. In this section, we will dissect the performance capabilities of both the GTX 1060 and GTX 980 across various games and applications.

When it comes to gaming, the GTX 1060 holds its ground impressively. It offers a solid 1080p gaming experience, delivering smooth frame rates and crisp graphics in popular titles such as “Fortnite,” “Apex Legends,” and “Dota 2.” The card’s 6GB of VRAM plays a significant role in ensuring smooth gameplay.

On the other hand, the GTX 980, although older, still manages to deliver commendable performance. It can handle most modern games at 1080p, but might struggle slightly with more demanding titles. With 4GB of VRAM, it may face limitations when running games with high-resolution textures or multi-monitor setups.

In terms of non-gaming applications, both cards perform admirably. The GTX 1060 showcases its prowess in tasks such as video editing, 3D modeling, and content creation. Similarly, the GTX 980 provides sufficient horsepower for professionals working on graphics-intensive projects.

Overall, the GTX 1060 offers a slightly better gaming performance across a wider range of titles, thanks to its VRAM capacity and improved architecture. However, the GTX 980 can still hold its own, especially for users on a budget or those primarily focused on non-gaming workloads.

Power Efficiency: Analyzing The Energy Consumption And Heat Dissipation Of The GTX 1060 And GTX 980

When it comes to power efficiency, the GTX 1060 takes the crown from the GTX 980. With its advanced Pascal architecture, the GTX 1060 offers significant improvements in energy consumption and heat dissipation. The GTX 1060 is built on a 16nm FinFET process, which allows for better power efficiency and lower heat output compared to the 28nm process used in the GTX 980.

In terms of energy consumption, the GTX 1060 is a clear winner. It requires a mere 120W of power, while the GTX 980 consumes around 165W. This means that the GTX 1060 not only offers comparable performance but also does so with lower power requirements.

The power efficiency of these two graphics cards also affects heat dissipation. The GTX 1060 runs cooler than the GTX 980, thanks to the improved architecture and manufacturing process. This makes the GTX 1060 an attractive option for users who are concerned about heat generation and the overall cooling requirements of their system.

In conclusion, the GTX 1060 proves to be more power-efficient and capable of dissipating heat compared to the GTX 980, making it a better choice for users seeking a balance between performance and energy consumption.

Pricing And Availability: Comparing The Market Value And Availability Of The GTX 1060 And GTX 980

The availability and pricing of graphics cards are crucial factors when deciding which one to purchase. In this subheading, we will compare the market value and availability of the GTX 1060 and GTX 980.

When it comes to pricing, the GTX 1060 has the upper hand. Being a more recent release, the GTX 1060 can often be found at a lower price point compared to its predecessor, the GTX 980. This makes the GTX 1060 a more attractive option for budget-conscious gamers or those looking to maximize their value for money.

In terms of availability, the GTX 1060 also enjoys an advantage. Since it is a newer model, it is more readily available in the market compared to the GTX 980, which may have limited stock or only be available through second-hand sources. This easy accessibility gives gamers more options and flexibility when purchasing a graphics card.

Overall, the GTX 1060 surpasses the GTX 980 in terms of both pricing and availability, making it a more attractive choice for those in the market for a new graphics card.

Overclocking Potential: Evaluating The Ability To Overclock The GTX 1060 And GTX 980 For Enhanced Performance

When it comes to squeezing out every bit of performance from a graphics card, overclocking is an essential technique. In this section, we will compare the overclocking potential of the GTX 1060 and GTX 980 to determine which card reigns supreme.

The GTX 1060, based on the Pascal architecture, offers impressive overclocking capabilities. With its efficient 16nm manufacturing process, the GTX 1060 runs cool, leaving plenty of headroom for overclocking. It boasts an out-of-the-box base clock of 1506MHz, but many users have reported achieving clock speeds well over 2000MHz with proper cooling and voltage adjustments. This allows the GTX 1060 to deliver a significant performance boost, rivaling even more expensive options.

On the other hand, the older GTX 980 also holds its ground in terms of overclocking potential. While it may not match the GTX 1060 in terms of raw performance, the GTX 980’s Maxwell architecture still offers a decent overclocking headroom. Users have reported reaching clock speeds around 1500MHz, providing a noticeable improvement in performance.

Overall, both the GTX 1060 and GTX 980 offer substantial overclocking potential, allowing users to push their graphics cards to new limits and attain enhanced performance.

Future Compatibility: Considering The Longevity And Compatibility Of The GTX 1060 And GTX 980 In Upcoming Technologies And Games

As technology keeps advancing at an accelerating pace, it is crucial to consider how well a graphics card can keep up with future technologies and games. Both the GTX 1060 and GTX 980 are powerful cards that can still handle modern games with ease.

However, when it comes to future compatibility, the GTX 1060 holds a slight advantage. It features newer architecture, being based on NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture, while the GTX 980 is based on the older Maxwell architecture. This means that the GTX 1060 will likely be better optimized for upcoming technologies, such as ray tracing and virtual reality.

Additionally, the GTX 1060 has more video memory, with 6GB compared to the GTX 980’s 4GB. This extra memory can be beneficial for future games that require higher VRAM capacities.

In terms of software support, NVIDIA tends to prioritize their newer graphics cards for driver updates and optimizations. This further suggests that the GTX 1060 will have better long-term compatibility and support.

Overall, while both cards are capable options for the present, the GTX 1060’s newer architecture, increased VRAM, and continued software support make it a more future-proof choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the key differences between the GTX 1060 and GTX 980 graphics cards?

The GTX 1060 and GTX 980 differ in terms of architecture, VRAM capacity, power consumption, and performance. Understanding these differences is crucial in determining which card is superior.

2. Which graphics card offers better performance for gaming?

When it comes to gaming, performance is a significant factor. Comparing the GTX 1060 and GTX 980, which card provides a smoother gaming experience with higher frame rates and better overall graphics quality?

3. How do the power consumption levels of the GTX 1060 and GTX 980 compare?

Considering power efficiency can be essential for building a cost-effective and environmentally friendly system. Which card exhibits better power consumption characteristics, potentially resulting in lower electricity bills?

4. What advantages does the GTX 1060 have over the GTX 980?

In terms of features and advancements, the GTX 1060 may offer several advantages compared to the older GTX 980 model. Exploring these advantages will help determine if upgrading to the newer card is worth it.

5. Is it worth upgrading from a GTX 980 to a GTX 1060?

For existing GTX 980 owners, determining if an upgrade to a GTX 1060 is justified requires understanding the performance gain and potential cost implications. What factors should be considered in making this decision?


In conclusion, both the GTX 1060 and the GTX 980 are powerful graphics cards that have their own strengths and weaknesses. The GTX 1060 offers better performance in terms of power efficiency and newer technologies such as VR support. On the other hand, the GTX 980 provides slightly better raw performance in certain games and is still a capable card for gaming. Ultimately, the choice between the two graphics cards depends on the specific needs of the user, whether it be gaming, VR, or other graphics-intensive tasks.

Overall, the GTX 1060 seems to be the more future-proof option due to its efficiency and support for newer technologies. However, if you can find a good deal on a GTX 980, it can still offer a solid gaming experience. Ultimately, it is important to consider factors such as pricing, availability, and personal preferences before making a decision between these two graphics cards.

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