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Nvidia slashes GTX 1060 memory to compete with AMD's Radeon RX 480 4GB card

Although Nividia hasn’t made any formal announcements, EVGA and MSI launched on Thursday new graphics cards based on Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 design relying on a mere 3GB of onboard GDDR5 memory. Previous models served up by Nvidia’s partners featured double the GDDR5 memory amount when they hit the market in late July.

According to the specifications, the 3GB and 6GB models are exactly the same save for the number of available CUDA cores, with counts of 1,152 and 1,280 cores, respectively. Both have speeds of 1,506MHz (base) and 1,708MHz (boost), and both sport a 192-bit memory bus with a memory bandwidth of 192GB per second. Neither version can be used in an SLI configuration.

EVGA states that its new 3GB models are “superclocked,” providing 20 percent faster performance than the GeForce GTX 970 while sporting a 28 percent smaller form factor in the process. This performance increase is achieved thanks to EVGA’s PrecisionX OC technology developed specifically for Pascal-based GPUs, combining its EVGA Precision and EVGA OC Scanner technologies.

Related: Nvidia spills the beans on its newly released mobile GTX 10 series

The new 3GB models from EVGA depend on its ACX 3.0 fan-based cooling system that consumes four times less power than the average “Brand A” two-fan system. ACX 3.0 includes double ball bearings, optimized fan curves, an optimally-tuned heatsink/fin design, increased heatpipes and copper contact, and a memory/MOSFET cooling plate. All of this is topped off with a white LED crammed into each fan.

That all said, EVGA provides five variants of the GTX 1060 3GB layout, ranging from a single-fan design with a base clock speed of 1,506MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,706MHz, all the way up to its “extreme” two-fan model with a base clock speed of 1,632MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,860MHz.

MSI_GTX1060

Meanwhile, MSI is now providing five models of the GTX 1060 3GB layout, too, dubbed as the GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming 3G Series. Provided in single and double-fan designs, these cards are backed by the company’s Twin Frozr VI cooling system featuring its Torx Fan 2,0 technology. This system includes a “huge” heatsink, 8mm thick copper heat pipes with a squared, flat bottom for maximum heat transference, and a solid nickel-plated copper baseplate.

“Dressed in a fashionable Black & White design inspired by advanced armor shielding, the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Armor 3G series are perfect for gamers and case modders looking for something unique and different,” MSI states.

The base model provided by MSI has a default clock speed of 1,506MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,708MHz. The fastest GTX 1060 3GB model that the company currently offers has a base clock speed of 1,594MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,809MHz. Three cards provide three DisplayPort connectors, two cards have two DisplayPort connectors, and only one offers a single DisplayPort connector along with HDMI and DL-DVI-D options.

On the pricing front, MSI and EVGA currently aren’t providing any pricetags, but given that the default price point of the 6GB model suggested by Nvidia is $250 ($300 for Founders Edition), hopefully we’ll see around $200 with the base 3GB models. These newer solutions with the lower memory haven’t showed up on Newegg as of this article, so just keep checking back over the next day or so.

Nvidia is seemingly tacking AMD with its new 3GB solution for the GTX 1060, addressing a mainstream gamer market currently invaded by AMD’s similarly priced Radeon RX 480 with 4GB of onboard memory. AMD’s 4GB offering is also served up with a nice $200 price tag.