by Rob Williams on July 19, 2016 in Graphics & Displays
What do we have here? Could it really be another GPU launch? You bet! With NVIDIA having taken care of the high-end with its GTX 1080 and GTX 1070, the time was apparently right to release its mainstream GTX 1060 – coincidentally so soon after AMD launched its RX 480! Let’s see how the two cards compare.
DirectX 12 Testing
Considering the fact that we’ve been hearing about DirectX 12 for what feels like forever, it’s a little surprising that the number of DX12 titles out there remain few. Heck, one such game was Fable Legends, and that was shut down a few months ago. We’re definitely in the middle of a waiting game for more DX12 titles to get here, but thankfully, those that do exist now prove great for testing.
Of all the DirectX 12 games out there, Ashes of the Singularity takes the best advantage of its low-level API capabilities. As a strategy game, there could be an enormous number of AI bots on the screen at once, and in those cases, both the CPU and GPU can be used for computation.
I should be clear about one thing: low-level graphics APIs are designed to benefit low-end hardware better, but when we’re dealing with GPUs that cost hundreds of dollars, that rules that kind of test useless. For that reason, I’ve chosen to benchmark these three games as normal; the results might not be specific to low-level DX12 enhancements, but they’re still fair for comparisons against other high-end graphics cards.
AMD has been dominant for a while in Ashes, but it looks like the GTX 1060 has put an end to that – though as previous tests have shown, even when DX12 isn’t involved, the GTX 1060 can push a good distance ahead of the RX 480.
So, how about Rise Of The Tomb Raider?
Yet again, we see the GTX 1060 leading the pack, hitting 67 FPS at 1080p. Both cards will require graphics tweaks before truly playable framerates can be had at 1440p.
What’s this? Let’s hear it for the RX 480! Despite being the faster card, the GTX 1060 fell short in this DirectX 12 test. It’d fall even further behind if the performance of both cards was 1:1.
July 19 Addendum: As covered a couple of weeks ago, id Software recently updated its mega-hit DOOM to support Vulkan, making it one of the very few games on the market to do so. In that post, I promised to tackle testing in time for this article, but due to time, it was pushed aside. That omission has since been corrected, however, as the below graph can attest:
Throughout most of this review, we’ve seen the RX 480 fall short of the GTX 1060’s performance, but this is one test where NVIDIA can’t touch AMD right now. Despite the GTX 1060 being the technically faster card, AMD’s excellent Vulkan performance has pushed the RX 480 18 FPS higher than the GTX 1060 using OpenGL. Conversely, NVIDIA’s GTX 1060 performance actually worsened when Vulkan was enabled. Something tells me there’s some driver work to be done here.