GTX 1060 3GB vs 6GB: Performance Comparison, Gaming Tests, and More

Hello everyone! Not so long ago, I wrote an article in which I compared the GTX 1050 with its older modification 1050 Ti. 

To continue this section was awarded two video cards of a slightly higher price category, which you all know about. Today two sisters will meet in the ring, the main difference of which is the amount of video memory GTX 1060 3GB and GTX 1060 6GB.

In this article, I will try to answer the most popular questions, Gtx 1060 3gb Vs 6gb: is it worth overpaying for the 6 gig version? Is the 3 gig version really such a stub as many used to think? What are the pros and cons of each? And, of course, which version is more profitable to buy?

Before starting, I want to immediately note that I am the owner of a GTX 1060 with 3 gigabytes of video memory onboard, but this will not affect my further reasoning in any way, I will try to be as objective as possible and at the very end, I will explain why I stopped my eyes on this one graphics card.

Gtx 1060 3gb Vs 6gb

Gtx 1060 3gb Vs 6gb GPU

So let’s go in order. As I wrote just above, many users believe that the “GTX 1060 3GB” is an inferior video card and almost the worst model in the entire line. Let’s see if this is so. The arguments of the antagonists boil down mainly to two facts. The first is that 3 gig of video memory is currently very small and there is no margin for the future.

The second is that the GTX 1060 3GB was released after the GTX 1060 6GB and, they say, only the second was announced at first, and the first appeared a little later as a pathetic parody.

I propose to postpone the amount of video memory a little since I have prepared a large paragraph for you that will be related to performance. But I can easily parry the second argument. It is important to understand that very smart people work in any large, leading company in their field, some of the best in their field. And if they release any kind of product, then there are certain reasons for this. 

Certainly, some products turn out to be far from the most successful, but to deny the fact that the release of each video card model has its own prerequisites is silly. And it’s very easy to understand the reasons for the birth of the GTX 1060 with 3 gigs. 

See also Is 4GB Graphics Card Good For Gaming

Gtx 1060 3gb Vs 6gb: Price

To do this, let’s pay attention to the pricing policy. Let’s take the most popular models of the latest line in the middle price segment, namely: GT 1030, GTX 1050, GTX 1050 Ti, GTX 1060 3GB, GTX 1060 6GB. We will consider prices for the beginning of the second quarter because the current prices are inadequate due to the mining boom. Take May for example.

It’s not hard to guess why I decided to look at these prices. There is a very clear pattern. Each subsequent model is more expensive than the previous one by a few 50 to 100 Dollars on average. 

Now let’s imagine that we have thrown out anyone link from this chain. In this case, the difference between neighboring cards will be 50-100$! That is, a hefty gulf appears, and the supply on the market will not match the demand. 

Yes, this is marketing, but marketing is not always bad.

In this case, we got a wider choice in stores and this is good. In general, we figured out why and why the 3GB model appeared. Now to the question of performance and the feasibility of buying.

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Gtx 1060 3gb Vs 6gb graphics card: Differences

First, I propose to compare video cards to understand their differences.

Gtx 1060 3gb Vs 6gb: Differences

We see that the most important difference is the amount of video memory. The number of CUDA cores is the same, the older model has 128 more cores, which is not such a big difference in conditions of such numbers. + 11%. The rest of the video cards are absolutely identical. 

UserBenchmark tells us that the stronger model outperforms its sister by only 5%.

Gtx 1060 3gb Vs 6gb GPU: frames per second

I will do some math calculations based on the number of frames per second in various games.

We make an equation in which we take the frames per second produced by both video cards and look for X – the performance of the older version relative to the younger in percentage. I will not take the results of easy games, since the difference in FPS in them is minimal, I will immediately take demanding games. 

In Fallout 4, the GTX 1060 3GB averaged 66.2 frames, while the GTX 1060 6GB averaged 74 frames.

We compose the equation and get the following:

  • 66.2x = 74 * 100
  • 66.2x = 7400
  • X = 7400 / 66.2
  • X = 111.7

Take Battlefield 4. 1060 3GB averaged 89.6 frames, 1060 6GB averaged 97.8 frames. By analogy, we compose an equation. We get:

  • 89.6x = 97.8 * 100
  • 89.6x = 9780
  • X = 9780 / 89.6
  • X = 109.1

109.1-100 = 9.1%. The older version is only 9.1% more powerful in terms of frames per second. 9.1% of 16000 is 1456. The difference is even greater. Well, the last demanding game on the basis of which I will calculate is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

50.3 frames for the youngest versus 56.2 frames for the older one.

  • 50.3x = 56.2 * 100
  • 50.3x = 5620
  • X = 5620 / 50.3
  • X = 11.7

Hah, the result is the same as in the case of Fallout 4. You don’t even need to count anything, the numbers are exactly the same. 

See also


Well, now let’s move on to my conclusions on Gtx 1060 3gb Vs 6gb and reasoning. With regard to performance, the conclusion is clear. Yes, the 6GB version looks better and is a little more powerful, but from the point of view of expediency for purchase, the younger version is preferable. 

I clearly demonstrated this with my simple calculations. I specifically took games that are demanding on video memory and eat 5-7 gigs at maximum settings (Fallout 4, The Witcher 3, Battlefield 4). The thing is that in essence, it is the same video card, the same graphics core, only the amount of video memory differs. But video memory is not the most important characteristic for a video card, the frequency and number of CUDA cores are much more important. In my opinion, 6 gigabytes of video memory for such a GPU is an excess. 

In general, in my opinion, GTX 1060 3gb turned out to be a more successful version of its older sister, and that is why I took it myself and recommend it to you as well. 

Hi, fellow tech enthusiasts! I’m Syed Kashif Shah, and I’m proud to be your go-to expert for all things like problems, suggestions, recommendations related to graphics cards. As a seasoned Technology Consultant and Hardware Enthusiast, I’ve spent years in the graphics card troubleshooting and repair field.