Unboxing and Reviewing ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB - Stellar Budget Performer!

On: Monday, January 23, 2017 Comment: 0 Hit: 1771

Introduction:

Today, we’ll be reviewing the ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini. With the successful release of AMD’s RX 480, NVIDIA introduced their competitive offer in terms of GTX 1060 GPU. Since the release, both rival solutions have offered each other great competition and the winner has always been a moot point. Today, we’ll have look at 1060 Mini 6GB from ZOTAC and in a coming up review, we will be comparing this card with RX 480 for our readers.

ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB Pakistan

Specifications:

Specs of the GTX 1060 mini are: -

GPU

GeForce GTX 1060

CUDA Cores

1280

VRAM

6GB GDDR5

Bus Interface

192 bit

Core Clock

Base : 1506MHz

Boost : 1708MHz

Memory Clock

8GHz

PCI Express

3.0

Display Outputs

3x Display Port 1.4

1x HDMI 2.0b

1x DL-DVI

Multi Display

Quad Display

Power Consumption

120W

Recommended PSU

400W

Power Input

6-pin

DirectX

12 API feature level 12_1

OpenGL

4.5

Cooling Solution

Single Fan

Slot Size

Dual

SLI

Not Supported

Dimensions

174mm x 111.15mm

 

ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB Pakistan

Packaging:

Card comes in traditional ZOTAC scheme of mostly yellow color with black and green colors combination. Basic info about the card like Game Works, VR Works, GSync, DX 12 and VRAM are printed on the front cover. The back side highlights some of the salient features and specs for the users. Back side has got almost all specs that user could look at while buying.

ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB Pakistan

ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB Pakistan

Packing box is sturdy. There is another black color box inside containing the graphics card and the accessories. Box is placed inside an inner packing for safety.

ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB Pakistan

Included accessories are: -

Driver Disk,

User Manual and Case Badge of ZOTAC

ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB Pakistan

Card is wrapped inside a static proof sheet.

 

 ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB Pakistan

 


 

Closer Look:

The card, despite its small form factor, has an aesthetically pleasing cooling shroud with ZOTAC branding near the IO panel. There is single 90mm fan cooling the single large heat sink over the PCB, more on it in later section. This card does not feature ZOTAC’s Icestorm cooling.

ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB Pakistan

The cooler shroud is made of black plastic. PCB of the card is black.

Looking from the top there is a single 6-pin power connector. Total power draw of the card is 120W. Fan connector and header are visible in white color.

ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB Pakistan

Vents are there on the shroud to ensure the effective dissipation of heat. Hint of a single large size heat sink is clear. There is no RGB or any lighting for this part which is understandable given the low cost of the card.

Let’s have a look at the main PCB of the card.

ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB Pakistan

Card features 4+1 power phases for VRM. No SLI fingers on the PCB. NVIDIA did not enable SLI support on their 1060 GPU line. Given the low price of the card and good performance measures, particularly on Full HD, moves makes sense. SLI of two 1060s would have crossed the performance on NVIDIA’s main stream GTX 1070 GPUs. Card packs 6GB VRAM made of Samsung B-Die.

ZOTAC is using Aluminum Sunflower heat sink under the cooler’s shroud. This heat sink makes a direct contact with the GPU and evenly spreads out the heart through the outer edges.

ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB Pakistan 

Backside of the card has typical IO port featuring:

3x Display Port 1.4 ports

1x HDMI 2.0b port

1x DL-DVI port

 

Card has support for upto four displays and HDCP. Nothing particular is on the front side of the card. Heat Sink can be seen over the PCB. Bottom side of the card has vents similar to the top side for effective heat dissipation. There is no backplate on the backside which is not a surprise given the card’s price and size. PCB is reference.

ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB Pakistan

 

Testing System

Following test system was used to measure the performance of the card.

Asus Rampage V Edition 10

Intel i7 6850k [Stock]

Corsair Vengeance 64 gigs @ 2666MHz

Samsung 840 EVO 250GB [for OS] /1TB SSD [For Steam Games]

WD Black 6TB [For Orign and Uplay games]

Corsair AX 1200i

Windows 10 x64 Professional Edition

Graphics Driver : 375.50

Methodology

Cards’ performance was first tested on stock sing benchmark software and games. Following stress tests were conducted:

Unigine Heaven 4.1

Unigine Valley 1.0

3dMark Time Spy

3dMark Fire Strike 1.1

3dMark Fire Strike Extreme 1.1

3dMark Fire Strike Ultra 1.1

Following games were tested:

Battlefield 1

Battlefield 4

Metro Last Light Redux

Grand Theft Auto V

Call of Duty : Black Ops 3

Far Cry 4

Assassins Creed Syndicate

Doom

Games were test on 1080p and 1440p on Ultra maxed out settings to put the hardware under extreme usage scenario. Where FPS dropped significantly below 60FPS, games were run on High or Very High settings to determine the performance level of the card. All the settings used are mentioned in the graphs. Battle Field 1 was run under DX11 and DX12 APIs. Results are interesting. Time for real performance indicators.

 

3d Mark

ZOTAC GTX 1060 Mini 6GB Pakistan

These are graphics scores, not overall scores. Pretty good for a budget card.

 

Unigine Valley was run at 1080p and 1440p with Ultra settings. Only FPS  is shown in the graph.

The card can handle gaming at Full HD with ease.

 

Unigine Heaven was run at 1080p and 1440p at Ultra settings. Only FPS is shown in the graph.


 

Doom

Card chewed everything we threw at it during Doom.

 

Battle Field 1

Battle Field 1 was run with Ultra and High settings with DX11. On Ultra, card struggles for 60 FPS.


 

Battle Field 1

On high settings, card was able to give player above 60 FPS though high FPS was not that much.

 

Battle Field 1

Game was played under DX12 on Ultra and High settings.

On Full HD, DX11 has approx. 17% more performance over DX12 based on Avg FPS readings. But, on higher resolution, this difference reduces significantly and was at 6% based on Avg FPS. Even on Ultra settings with DX12, card struggles.

 

Battle Field 1

High Settings with DX12

Surprisingly, even on High settings, card struggles at 1440p. On high setting, DX11 has approx. 6% performance advantage over DX12 at 1080p. On 1440p, DX11 has approx. 9% performance advantage over DX12.

Hopefully, with API optimization and games optimization for DX12, performance will improve in coming times.

 

Battle Field 4

Card handles both resolutions very well in this game.


 

Grand Theft Auto – V

On Ultra settings with 4x MSAA card handles the game well in Full HD but struggles in 1440p.

 

Grand Theft Auto-V

On High settings with 2x MSAA and Tessellation, Ambient Occlusion of Normal, card handles the game well on both resolutions.


 

Far Cry 4

 

 

Card struggles on both resolutions with maxed out settings and 4x MSAA. Normally, with such card, one would play with some settings adjusted to make the game play possible at 60 FPS.

Far Cry 4

Settings were reduced to High with 2x MSAA. Card handles 1080p well but struggles at 1440p.

Call of Duty : Black Ops 3

 

Card handles this game well in maxed out settings on both resolutions.


 

Metro Last Light Redux

 

This game has always been a good tool for graphics card performance measurement due to intense graphics and environment. Result is pretty obvious here. Card struggles at 1440p. Even 1080p was not an exception though maximum of 69 FPS were achieved.

 

Metro Last Light Redux

 

 

With reduced settings, card handles the game well on both resolutions.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

This is the second title where card struggles badly on both resolutions. Normally, gamers would reduce the settings to get good FPS on high resolutions. In order to ensure the standardization among the settings across all games, such ultra high settings were used. These settings are pretty much over kill for the card of this sort.

 

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

With relaxed settings, card did well on both resolutions.

 

Overclocking, Thermals and Power Draw

ZOTAC cards are known to be a good overclockers particularly amp extreme. This card no exception.

Boost clock on Stock

1885.5MHz

Temperature on Idle

29C

Temperature on Load

68C

 

Card was OCed to +200MHz on Core clock and +300MHz on Memory clock with 50% voltage boost. Max boost clock was 2076MHz.

Boost clock with OC

2076 MHz

Temperature on Idle

41C

Temperature on Load

71C

 

Thermals

During my complete testing, fan was run on default settings. I did not change the fan curve to bring the temps down as temps above are still very good for this card. As no sound recording equipment was available at the time of testing, sound level could not be checked. But, still from my personal experience, fan was quite audible under load.

Power Draw

On stock, maximum power drawn under load was 300W as recorded by AX1200i software.

Overclocking Results

To check the performance gains following bench software and game were used:

Unigine Valley

Fire Strike

Time Spy

Battle Field 4

 

 

Fire Strike

There is a 9.8% gain in graphics score which is quite a good performance boost with the stable overclock.

 

Time Spy

 

Approx 8.4% performance boost in graphics score.

 

Unigine Valley

This was run at 1080p only with overclock. Only FPS are shown in the graph.

Approx 3% performance boost.

Gaming Performance Boost

 

10 FPS gain on average is a good figure which represents 13.5% gain over the FPS without overclock.

 

Conclusion:

ZOTAC is bringing some excellent value stuff in the market for enthusiasts and gamers particularly in graphics card. There are 2 graphics cards in GTX 1060 lineup from ZOTAC, GTX 1060 Amp and GTX 1060 Mini with later being targeted for market segment with budgetary constraints and small form factor builds. This card does not have any blows and whistles like RGB and back plates higher end cards have, however there is absolutely no compromise in performance.. It has simple shroud design. No lighting effect and no icestorm cooler either. But, above facts and figures are enough to justify the purchase of this card particularly when one would consider the price of it. Its price is $253 as listed on NewEgg and PKR 32,899 as listed on PakDukaan.

Performance:

Performance wise, this card has delivered very good gaming experience. I’ve absolutely no complaint with it on Full HD. Anything and everything which I’ve thrown at it, it has chewed it very well. I cranked up all the possible graphics settings to max and tested the card on 1080p and 1440p resolutions.  In some games, it has struggled particularly on 1440p. But, this card is not intended for this high resolution those settings are not used on daily basis and lowering them from Ultra to Very High would see the card doing 60+ FPS in many games on1440p. The card has excellent overclocking potential as well.

Design:

This card has a very simple design on it. Knowing that card does not have icestorm cooling on it, we were skeptical about its performance but ZOTAC has done well with this cooler as well.

Value:

With $253 / Rs. 32,899 (PKR), one would get ultimate gaming experience card for 1080p resolution. For what it offers in this price range is too good for the gamer.

I would rate this card as “Must Have” for a budget user on Full HD.

Special thanks to our sponsor, PakDukaan for this review.

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