Question 1050ti 4gb vs 1060 3gb

Sep 11, 2019
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Hello, I recently bought a gaming PC which has the 1050ti as its gpu, and so far it's really great for me, as I can play games like GTA on high/very high for around 60-70 fps.
I was thinking about upgrading to the gtx 1060 3gb, the 6gb is a bit out of my budget rn.
What's scaring me a bit is the V-ram.
Will it affect for future games?, and will games demand the same amount of ram on the 1060 that it's currently demanding in my 1050ti?
I'm a bit new to pc gaming and any advice would really appreciated.
 
Sep 11, 2019
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Yes, I was looking at all of these cards, but I'm asking about the 1060 as I saw a guy listing for a really cheap price and I wanted to ask about it before I make any move
 

TJ Hooker

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Herald
A new RX 570 for around $120-$130 might be a good option, for the simple reason that you are getting new hardware with 2-3 years of warranty coverage. Performance-wise though, a 1060 3GB and an RX 570 should generally perform rather similar, on average close to 50% faster than a 1050 Ti when performance isn't CPU-limited. In some games one card or the other will perform faster, but overall their performance should be quite close on average. It is worth noting that an RX 570 has somewhat higher power draw under load though, which could be relevant if your power supply happens to be rather low-end.

Maybe you're not aware, but a 1060 3GB is a weaker GPU than a 1060 6GB, in addition to having less VRAM. A 570 is typically as good or better than a 1060 3GB. And in a few cases where the 1060 runs out of VRAM, much better.
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-radeon-rx-570-4gb,5028.html
The 1060 3GB is a little over 10% slower than the 6GB version even when VRAM limitations don't come into play, due to having 10% fewer cores. However, having only 3GB of VRAM shouldn't make as much of a difference as is seen in those benchmarks, as they used what appears to be some questionable testing methodology to arrive at those results...

"Hitman runs into big problems on the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB when you allow the game to override its memory safeguards. Of course, we do this to ensure a similar workload across the cards we’re testing."

Typically, I don't think you're going to see such extreme performance issues due to the lack of VRAM. I would rather have a card with more though, especially when keeping future games in mind, but I suspect most demanding future games won't be getting run at max settings on this hardware anyway.
 

TJ Hooker

Illustrious
Herald
The 1060 3GB is a little over 10% slower than the 6GB version even when VRAM limitations don't come into play, due to having 10% fewer cores. However, having only 3GB of VRAM shouldn't make as much of a difference as is seen in those benchmarks, as they used what appears to be some questionable testing methodology to arrive at those results...

"Hitman runs into big problems on the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB when you allow the game to override its memory safeguards. Of course, we do this to ensure a similar workload across the cards we’re testing."

Typically, I don't think you're going to see such extreme performance issues due to the lack of VRAM. I would rather have a card with more though, especially when keeping future games in mind, but I suspect most demanding future games won't be getting run at max settings on this hardware anyway.
It sounds like they simply ran the games at high settings, rather than tailor the settings to try and workaround the card's VRAM limitations. Doesn't seem too strange to me. But yes, you could probably adjust settings such that you don't see that sort of extreme performance hit. But having to carefully adjust settings lest your FPS fall off a cliff isn't exactly great either. Although even the 4GB cards start to stumble in RotTR at 1080p.
 
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It sounds like they simply ran the games at high settings, rather than tailor the settings to try and workaround the card's VRAM limitations. Doesn't seem too strange to me.
No, I think they were doing something weird there, manipulating game or system settings in a way that either made the game think it had access to more VRAM than it really did, or prevented the use of system RAM as an overflow buffer. Just look at the results in this GTX 1060 roundup from a month prior, from the same reviewer...

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1060-graphics-card-roundup,4724-2.html

In the game Hitman at "ultra" detail settings, you see the 1060 3GB average 68fps with a minimum of 41 at 1080p, and even at 1440p it averaged 48fps with a minimum of 31. Compared to the various factory overclocked 6GB models, it performed just 9-12% behind at 1080p, and 19-21% behind at 1440p in that game.

Then, several weeks later, we see the 1060 3GB only averaging 16fps with a minimum of 6 at 1080p, and 15fps with a minimum of 7 at 1440p, paired with a vague note about "overriding memory safeguards". It was at that point performing around 80% behind the 6GB version in that game. Clearly there was some significant change to the test setup there. I seem to recall looking into that at the time and finding that they did change some setting to behave in an abnormal way, not like what one would normally run into.

Now, I could see the limited VRAM potentially being more of an issue in some of the most demanding games on a system with just 8GB of RAM or less. If the game needs to shuffle some data out of VRAM in that case, the system is more likely to access virtual memory, which could cripple performance.
 
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