MSI RX 480 and GTX 1060 Gaming X Review
Published: 25th August 2016 | Source: MSI | Price: £289 & £299 |
It is amazing the versatility of modern GPU coolers. It wasn't that long ago that you had different cooler designs for the two main manufacturers, and not much further into history than that when even different GPU types had their own cooler. Nowadays you can buy almost any model and it will look just as good as the high end one. As you can see from the two cards in today's review it's almost impossible to tell the difference between the the RX 480 Gaming X and the GTX 1060 Gaming X. We're just big fans of the fact you can buy an affordable graphics card without it having to look like you brought it from your local discount store.
Both cards perform very well too. They go about solving the problem of modern eye-candy in slightly different ways, but you end up with exceptionally closely matched cards when comparing them to the other vendors. Neither of them quite top their respective sections of the graph, but both are consistently up in the thick of it. Although we're not strictly comparing the two cards when the pressure is on the GTX 1060 just about shades its Gaming X brother, but you could buy either of these cards and be pleased with the results. Even as we move into the 4K sphere the RX 480 clings tightly to the GTX 1060, their factory overclock getting it done.
In fact we have to dig deeply into their capabilities to separate them, and the differences are solely a result of the underlying GPUs. AMD have made a point about their power efficiency with the Polaris GPU, but it still requires more power than the nVidia Pascal does to get the best from it. With both cards having the same essentially cooler it means that, of the two, the RX 480 Gaming X is slightly hotter than the GTX 1060. Energy creates heat after all. This heat has to be dissipated and so the fans on the Twin Frozr VI have to work harder, which makes the RX 480 louder. MSI made what probably was the best 390X cooler on the planet so we know they are capable of more than this and we think that the RX 480 creating more heat needed a better cooler to truly get it cool and quiet.
It might be fine margins that separate them, but when the looks are identical and the pricing is the same, it's on these fine margins that things are decided. If you want a RX 480 then you can be certain that the MSI Gaming X is a great version with good performance, cooling and enough of a factory overclock to keep you in the thick of the action. Ally that to it's excellent looks and you wont be disappointed. Similarly if you want a GTX 1060 then you could do much worse than the Gaming X. It's cool, quiet, looks great and has bags of performance. If you're only caring about bang for buck, then the GTX 1060 just about squeaks ahead because at the time of writing it is actually £10 cheaper, hence it gets the higher award, but whichever MSI Gaming X card you choose you will be pleased with the results.
RX 480 Gaming X
GTX 1060 Gaming X