Nvidia boosts GTX 1060 with 6GB of GDDR5X memory to counter AMD’s Radeon RX 590

Nvidia has sneaked out a new variation of its GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card which runs with 6GB of memory, but unlike the previous top-end version of this GPU, it’s produced with faster GDDR5X memory rather than plain GDDR5.

The new graphics card appeared on Nvidia’s website without any fanfare over the weekend, and it should be faster than the GDDR5 variant, at any rate, although as Hot Hardware, which spotted this development, points out, the listing of the fresh GPU is rolled into the existing model on the official product page.

In other words, the 6GB variant of the GTX 1060 is now listed as having ‘6GB GDDR5/X memory’, with a memory speed of 8Gbps regardless of the version in question.

That doesn’t mean the new GDDR5X flavor won’t be clocked faster, though, as Nvidia doesn’t list a later revision of the 6GB model with GDDR5 memory which is jacked up to 9Gbps on the product page, either.

The upshot of all this? The fresh spin with GDDR5X memory should be faster, and there are now four variations of the GTX 1060 in total: the 3GB model with GDDR5 memory, 6GB with GDDR5, the 6GB revision with GDDR5 that’s souped-up to hit 9Gbps, and this new spin with GDDR5X video memory, which should be capable of outdoing its predecessor and hitting 10Gbps in terms of memory speed.

That should enable a nice boost in overall memory bandwidth, to the tune of over 10% compared to the faster 6GB GDDR5 model, and possibly even more if Nvidia has cranked the memory speed beyond 10Gbps (depending on which type of GDDR5X memory has been used on the cards).

Pascal power

The GTX 1060 is still a popular card, despite the Pascal range being succeeded by the new much speedier Turing GPUs, and this new model should help the GPU stay competitive with AMD’s more wallet-friendly cards.

Particularly now AMD apparently has a Radeon RX 590 (Polaris refresh) in the pipeline, which, as a leaked benchmark showed us last week, is designed to beat out the GTX 1060 (and is clocked 205MHz faster than the current Radeon RX 580). The RX 590 will purportedly run with 8GB of video RAM, albeit GDDR5 memory.

Hopefully the refreshed GTX 1060 model won’t see a price increase, or much of one, when we get wind of how much retailers are charging for the GDDR5X-toting GPU.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).