Clock Speed Consistency and Overclocking
With very little technically changing between the ASUS GTX 1060 Turbo and the Founders Edition, other items need to be checked on. First up, does the cooler on the ASUS card get the job done? Can it keep the GPU cool enough to run at reasonable temperatures and to allow the GPU to work at the expected clock speeds?
ASUS includes a specific utility for its GTX 10-series of graphics cards that allows the user to select between three different modes that it can be run: Gaming, OC and Silent. Moving between them changes the default base and boost clock speeds, but very little else.
Gaming mode (Default)
A quick glance at GPU-Z while alternating between these modes shows only one change being made: the clock speed shifts by 20 MHz. That's not much and honestly it won't make a noticeable impact in either your gaming performance or the noise levels the card is going to produce. Only worry about this if you need the easiest possible solution to get a smidge of additional performance out of your new card.
If you really want to dive into the world of overclocking, and you probably will want to, grab the latest version of GPU Tweak (I was using v126.96.36.199) and go to the custom section where you can access controls for the GPU clock offset, memory clock offset, fan speeds power target and more.
Click to Enlarge
Running at stock settings, under the Gaming profile to be precise, the GTX 1060 Turbo from ASUS was able to stabilize at a clock speed of 1815 MHz after 10 minutes of Unigine Heaven looping. That's a great deal higher than the 1709 MHz "typical" rated Boost clock on the GTX 1060. The GPU itself sits comfortably at 79C, well within the boundary to prevent any kind of clock degradation or throttling.
Click to Enlarge
After doing some overclocking, which is simple with the GPU Boost options built into the NVIDIA GeForce infrastructure, I was able to push the ASUS GTX 1060 Turbo up to a +241 MHz offset. That gives us a base clock of 1747 MHz and a Boost clock of 1950 MHz. That's a 16% increase in GPU clock with very little effort on my part!
The net result is an average clock rate that settles in over 2080 MHz while the GPU temperature goes up to 80-81C under a full load. Obviously the fan is spinning a bit more here and increases the noise output of the card; but based on my sound level meter it only went up by 0.2 dbA.
No matter how you look at it, these are impressive stock and overclocked results – the ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 Turbo 6GB card is able to provide a high level of gaming performance and overclockability despite its lower cost and using what many consider a cut-rate cooler. Looks like it's going to be harder and harder for custom cooled add-in cards to really stand out.