960 SLI vs 1060: Which One Has Better Value for You?

Graphics card is crucial for computer hardware, especially when it comes to the gaming community. Responsible for rendering high image quality, gamers choose the same very consciously. And when it comes to going for the best, who can ignore Nvidia!

GTX 960 SLI and GTX 1060 are two popular names under it. Both of these have earned good reviews post-launch. But are you confused in selecting either? Don’t worry, as today we would be focusing on a comparative analysis of GTX 960 4GB SLI vs GTX 1060 6GB.

960 SLI vs 1060: Which One Has Better Value for You?

Our comparison is based on three primary factors- Performance, Architecture and Requirement, and Price-quality Ratio. The verdict is given at the end, so what are you waiting for? Read on to know the winner.

960 SLI vs 1060 Graphics Card: Head to Head

FactorsGTX 960 SLIGTX 1060
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon
Launch Year20152016
ArchitectureMaxwellPascal
Maximum temperature75 °C76 °C
Maximum fan noise40 dB47.1 dB
Average performance at 1440 p27.5 fps48.4 fps
Average 4K performance16.3 fps28.8 fps

Part 1: 960 SLI vs 1060 Performance

One of the important aspects considered while comparing two graphics cards is their performance. The upcoming section details the sub-points that come under it, and would help in answering the general queries like ‘is gtx 960 sli worth it?’ or ‘is gtx 1060 worth it?’

Game EFPs

EFPs are calibrated out of the average FPS, and thus an understanding of the latter can give you a fair idea of the former. The below-mentioned table showcases the comparison with some of the popular games (benchmarking done at 1080 p):

Name of the gameGTX 960 SLIGTX 1060
Cyberpunk 20777.8 fps20.8 fps
Watch Dogs Legion20 fps32.7 fps
Marvel’s Avengers20 fps39 fps
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey36 fps43.1 fps
The Witcher III37 fps54 fps
GTA V42 fps56 fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider51 fps64.9 fps
Battlefield V63 fps71.7 fps
Forza Horizon IV34 fps82.3 fps

As you are aware that FPS/EFPs are indicative of the gaming performance, thus the table shows that GTX 1060 stands better than GTX 960 SLI. Some of the reasons contributing towards it include the following:

  • 265 MHz higher core clock speed.
  • Launched a year later than 960 SLI
  • Covers more than the minimum requirements in the majority of the games.
GTX 960 SLi Performance

Effective Speed

The effective speed of any graphics card is dependent on three factors:

  • Memory clock speed– This stores the textures for a temporary period, whenever you are playing any game. Faster speed allows more textures to be stored and processed.
  • GPU clock speed– This determines the speed of the GPU and directly impacts the gaming performance. Faster value allows more fps.
  • Boost clock speed– It defines the turbo speed of the card during any heavy workload. A higher value can help in attaining the booster in performance.

Below-mentioned table shows a comparison of the speeds;

Clock SpeedGTX 960 SLIGTX 1060
Boost Clock1178 MHz1709 MHz
GPU Clock1127 MHz1506 MHz
Memory Clock7012 MHz effective8008 MHZ effective

Again, GTX 1060 stands out as the winner and would be an important upgrade for gamers looking for ways to boost gaming performance. In addition, there would not be major challenges on gtx 1060 compatibility with the motherboard.

Overclocking Performance

Overclocking is the process of boosting the normal speed of a graphics processor, and enhance its performance. It happens due to the following:

  • The manufacturers allow a bandwidth within which the base clock speed can exceed.
  • The temperature of GPU is raised significantly and it starts drawing more power to boost the performance.

Thus, overclocking is more about finding the right equilibrium between performance and stable temperature.

Overclocking performance can be compared based on the given points:

  • Lighting- Ability to process complex renders
  • Reflection- Ability to render high graphics objects
  • MRender- Targeting the array and geometry shading performance.
  • Gravity- Ability to compute N-Body particle system
ParameterGTX 960 SLIGTX 1060
Lighting47.5 fps76.9 fps
Reflection63.7 fps107 fps
MRender39.1 fps71.3 fps
Gravity44.5 fps75.6 fps

GTX 1060 surpasses the overclocking performance, and it can be attributed to its higher base speeds and greater value of maximum temperature. A correlation of the factors can be used to study am3 vs am3+ cooler.

The transistor technology is smaller in 1060 when compared to 960 SLI. As a result, the former works at a lesser temperature after getting overclocked, and achieves higher clock frequencies. It can also be correlated to the performance between 140mm vs 120mm fans.

Resolution Performance

It is a known fact that to boost the performance of the PC, you need to enhance its graphics. It would help in upgrading image modification, video playing capacity, video editing, etc. And this property gets extended to gaming, where a powerful graphics card can benchmark the movement of pixels to provide a video of higher resolution, and fine detailing.

The following factors can aid in judging the resolution performance between the graphics cards:

ParameterGTX 960 SLIGTX 1060
Memory4 GB6 GB
Memory bandwidth112 GB/sec192.2 GB/sec
Shader performance12802048

When it comes to resolution performance, GTX 1060 stands out once again, as:

  • The extra memory allows displaying the game characters at higher resolutions.
  • Extra memory bandwidth helps in faster processing of the gaming data, and thus prevents frequent lagging and jagging.
  • Better shader performance helps in smoother processing of the graphical data.
GTX 1060 Gaming Performance

GPU Memory

The last point that comes under performance is the GPU memory. It is a broad term and showcases the ability of the graphics card to read data and store them for longer periods.

It is judged by the following factors:

  • GPU Memory Speed- Showcases the memory bandwidth of the card.
  • Maximum memory bandwidth- Rate at which the data can be read or stored within the memory.
  • Memory bus width- This shows the data that can be carried per cycle.
  • GDDR memory- Determines the transfer rates for enhancing the overall performance of the card.
ParameterGTX 960 SLIGTX 1060
GPU Memory Speed1753 MHz2002 MHz
Maximum memory bandwidth112 GB/sec192.2 GB/sec
Memory bus width128 bit192 bit
GDDR memory4.755

Once again, GTX 1060 stands out with the greater values and surpasses the fact that even performance of gtx 960 sli with the motherboard is comparable to the former.

Part 2: 960 SLI vs 1060 Architecture & Requirement

Along with the performance, you would also like to understand the technical specifications behind the graphics card. Because of these specs, you can draw the relation with the performance factors, and understand how does one stands over the other.

So, fasten your learning belts, as the next section would detail the factors deciding the architecture and requirements.

GPU Architecture

The architecture of any graphics card refers to how the core and other circuital components are arranged within the small body. This parallel composition allows faster processing power and paves the way towards hybrid computing.

As mentioned in the first section. GTX 960 SLI is based out on Maxwell architecture, whereas the same in GTX 1060 is Pascal. You would be amazed to know that Pascal is the successor of Maxwell in the Nvidia world, and this version has better properties than its successors.

The following points would clarify it:

  • Higher bandwidth memory, attributed by 4096-bit bus and memory bandwidth of 720 GB/sec.
  • Unified memory, where both CPU and GPU can access the main memory system.
  • Twice the amount of registers compared to Maxwell.
  • Dynamic load balancing system, that adjusts the task allotment by the GPU.
  • Higher NV Link that allows greater transfer speed.

So, GTX 1060 gains more points compared to 960 SLI.

GPU Display

As defined by the name, Graphics Processing Unit is specialized for rendering the images on the screen. The gamers must get the perfect render during any important mission. The circuitry of the processor performs parallel operations of 2D zooming and panning, as well as 3D rendering and decoding.

The following table would show the comparison between the two graphics cards:

ParameterGTX 960 SLIGTX 1060
Technology16 nm28 nm
Texture Mapping Units80128
Texture rate120.5 GTexel/sec158.8 GTexel/sec
Render output units4864
Pixel Rate72.3 GPixel/sec79.4 GPixel/sec

Probably, this would be the only point where 960 SLI stands above 1060. This means, that with 960 SLI you can expect:

  • Smoother motion
  • Greater sophistication in the GPU
  • More realism while playing the games

Outputs

Outputs are another important factor when it comes to considering the architecture of the graphics card. The output ports decide the compatibility of the graphics card with different laptops, ability to share the gaming screen on to other screens, audio clarity during the multiplayer mode, and similar.

The following table showcases the stark differences between the two graphics cards:

ParameterGTX 960 SLIGTX 1060
Display Connector1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort1x DVI, 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
Maximum digital resolution7680×43204096×2160
HDMIYesYes
HDCPYesNo
Multi-monitor support4 displays2 displays
Display port connections30
G_Sync supportYesNo

There is a tight competition between the cards when it comes to the output ports. However, GTX 1060 stands apart due to the presence of HDCP, display port connections, G-Sync support, and better value of digital resolution and multi-screen support.

Power Requirements

Well, there is fun in gaming, but you cannot consider it above your utility bills! To quantify this factor, power requirements are required. The following table benchmarks the same:

ParameterGTX 960 SLIGTX 1060
Maximum power120 W240 W
Recommended PSU400W/27 A500W/33 A

Being a successor of 960 SLI, Nvidia would have given good thoughts on making the option an economic one, and provide the user with a perfect balance between gaming experience and utility consumption. Therefore, GTX 1060 wins the match once more.

Part 3: Price-quality Ratio

The third section that needs to be compared is the price segment for the graphics cards. As a gamer, budget would also be a constraint for you while deciding on the card, i.e. you would like to have an option that costs economical and yet provides superior performance and specifications. This is the basis for comparison between gtx 1060 price, and gtx 960 sli price.

The table showcases the comparison in terms of price, release points and other costs associated with the graphics cards:

ParameterGTX 960 SLIGTX 1060
PriceUSD 89USD 159
Year of release20152016
1080p cost per frameUSD 7.6USD 5.2
1440p cost per frameUSD 10.5USD 7.2
Ultra-wide 1440p cost per frameUSD 12.3USD 8.4
4K cost per frameUSD 17.8USD 12.1

Undoubtedly, the price point of 1060 is higher than that of 960 SLI. But, if you compare the per-frame costs, you would gain a better idea.

This shows that by just looking at the price, you should not give your final verdict. With this cost, you should also balance the features, year of release, and upgrades compared to the previous models.

And 1060 goes better on all of these. Therefore, our recommendation suggests going for a higher MRP and gaining the best returns out of it for the years to come. 

In simple terms, GTX 1060 wins in terms of the price-quality ratio.

FAQs

1. 960 sli vs 1060- which one has more power consumption?

960 SLI has more power consumption, almost 2x than 1060. It means that your utility consumption would be skyrocketing if you choose 960 SLI as your gaming partner.

2. 960 sli vs 1060- which is better for rendering?

GTX 1060 is better for rendering, due to its superior architecture. To be precise, the higher number of registers per CUDA core saves your day. Better rendering means greater focus and better chances of staying on the creamy layer of the leagues.

3. 960 sli vs 1060- which is better for mining?

There is no firm data established yet on the cryptocurrency mining performance of GTX 1060. Therefore, you should go for 960 SLI as it has quantified and standardized mega hashes per second.

4. 960 sli vs 1060- which is a better GPU for gaming?

When it comes to GPU display, GTX 960 SLI stands above GTX 1060. But it is overshadowed by the better numbers in GPU Architecture, speed, and resolution of 1060. Therefore, on an overall scale, 1060 has a better GPU for gaming.  

Final Words

Based on the comparison shown in the three sections, GTX 1060 stands as the winner of the competition. Be it performance, architecture, price-quality ratio- all of the points are upgrades in comparison to 960 SLI. Nvidia has invested a good R&D resource during the development cycle of GTX 1060.

Within a year’s gap, you can find a stark difference between the specifications of both of the graphics cards. Therefore, our recommendation would always be GTX 1060 for the gaming community out there.

You can refer to our website for similar content- like gtx 960 sli vs gtx 1060 3gb. Stay tuned and take care!

References