Screenshot: Inge Loots.
Anno 2018, consoles have a lot of advantages over gaming PCs. Usually they are a lot cheaper, have superior graphics and you can plays using a controller. On PC, your mileage may vary where it concerns controllers. Why would you invest a lot money in an expensive graphics card knowing all of this?
PC Games vs. Console Games
For one, PC games are usually a lot cheaper than console games. Once you have invested in the hardware, games are quite affordable. It’s not uncommon for console games to be priced in the €50 range per game, or higher. As soon as you upgrade to a newer generation console, your old game won’t work on the new generation console, you need to trade it in and buy new games for another €50 per piece. So, in the long run, the PC is cheaper. So I paid almost €400 for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060*.
Installation and first impressions
Installing the card myself was a breeze. If I can install it without blowing up things, everyone else can! Just unplug the PC, remove old card, plug in new card, connect power supply and screw the case back together. After plugging the PC back in and booting up, Windows recognized the card, updated GeForce Experience and I was good to go.
With the board all green, I went on testing some games on maximum settings. For some games it won’t make a difference because they are so old, but others were a pleasant surprise.
The Lord of the Rings Online can’t handle high settings in the newer areas and crashes due to a memory leak. It can’t handle Dx10 or Dx11 without crashing to desktop. According to the forums, the newer (and higher-end) your system is, the more problems you likely will be having running the 2007 game engine.
The Elder Scrolls Online and Black Desert Online were awesome. A few minutes after running around in the game world, you forget place and time. You will be fully immersed in those worlds. I ran both games on maximum settings and still had 60 frames per second in game. The only situation where frame rate dropped significantly was by toggling remastered or ultra display version in Black Desert Online. Using those settings, I would hover around 20 frames per second. Those settings aren’t recommended for gameplay, but are for recording video footage and taking screenshots.
For most other games maximum settings are no problem, there’s no stuttering whatsoever, you don’t have to close all sorts of applications in the background it just works. Getting a big upgrade like this really feels like getting a new pair of glasses.
The new card comes with a number of specs I didn’t have before. The card itself uses the new Pascal GPU architecture. I opted for the one that had 6GB GDDR5 memory and 1280 nvidia CUDA Cores.
The card is VR-ready, supports nvidia Ansel, which is a 360 degree screenshot experience, and also supports native streaming to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and the like. You don’t need to install a third-party streaming app for that any more. It lets you either stream or record video, but not both at the same time.
The card’s downsides
Overall, it’s a great card, it’s great upgrade and it works as advertised. However, there are some downsides as well.
Most important downside is its energy consumption. You get great graphics, but I could tell from the electricity metre that it uses way more electricity compared to the old card. When you shut down the PC, it still consumes a small amount of electricity in a stand-by mode of sorts, you have to disconnect it completely to stop it from consuming energy while not in operation. I have a switch on my power supply that does the trick.
I also noticed that it makes much more noise than my old card. I’m not sure if it’s the card making more noise or if it’s the CPU having to work harder. At any rate, the innards of the PC get hotter and the fans have to work harder to cool, creating the noise. When we had a heat wave this summer and my indoor temperature went over 31 degrees Celsius, the computer shut down by itself because it overheated.
Hard to clean out dust
The card has a closed design, there’s is a fan at the bottom of the card with a heat sink. But since everything is closed, the fan and heat sink are hard to clean with compressed air. When I put the case on it’s side to remove dust, I have to be careful not to blow the dust inside the graphic cards’ casing.
A great mid-range card
Overall, I don’t regret buying the graphics card. I enjoy my games a lot more. Since I realise how much of an increase in electricity consumption the card has, I now play games in moderation. Gaming has become a real treat!
* indicates an affiliated link. You find more information about this in my financial disclosure section.