In this review I looked at the Gigabyte GTX 1060 D5 G6 video card. This is a base model video card using a modified reference PCB and custom Windforce 2X cooling solution. Long time readers of Hardware Asylum will know I tend to favor hot clocked or factory overclocked video cards. For the most part that still stands however there is no reason why a base model card cannot also be fun, especially when overclocking is involved.
Overall the GTX 1060 D5 performed quite well and held its own against the Sapphire R9 Fury. I cannot say it was any faster than that card or faster than a GTX 980 but for the $249 USD there is no reason to complain.
There are several advantages associated with custom coolers most notable being better cooling. That isn’t to say the stock NVidia cooler is bad but rather that custom designs can improve on the design and add something special and unique. For instance the Windforce 2X features dual cooling fans and a separated cold plate for both memory and VRM. This can ensure that GPU heat is handled quickly and is not influenced by other components on the card. The cooler also features its own RGB lighting system and a light specific for when the fans are active. Or in this case inactive.
Maybe one of the biggest disappointments with the GTX 1060 in general is the lack of SLI support. When SLI was announced it was marketed as a budget friendly upgrade path that would allow gamers to buy one card now and upgrade to a second card later. Given the lack of SLI fingers on the GTX 1060 it would seem that NVidia is now forcing users to buy the higher end GPUs just to have the option for SLI when in fact it is best served by the midrange market.
Overclocking performance was better than expected. I used the familiar MSI Afterburner to overclock this video card and was able to get the card to run at 2126Mhz core and 4600Mhz memory with a 230Mhz gain over the base clock. While the resulting number is quite impressive it was done using the Boost 3.0 technology which is unpredictable at best. For instance I could get the card to run at 250Mhz however depending on what benchmark I ran the boost clock varied between 2126Mhz and 2150Mhz which allowed the GPU to hit the clock ceiling and crash the driver. Still, anything over 2100Mhz is good when dealing with Pascal so I’ll take it.
Windforce 2X Heatsink
$249 USD Pricetag
No SLI support
D5 is the basemodel card (need hot clocks)