Introduction

MSI (Micro-Star International Co., Ltd), stylized as MSI is a Taiwanese multinational information technology corporation headquartered in New Taipei City, Taiwan. It designs, develops and provides computer hardware, related products and services, including laptops, desktops, motherboards, graphics cards, All-in-One PCs, servers, industrial computers, PC peripherals, car infotainment products, etc.

The company has been a sponsor for a number of eSports teams and is also the host of the international gaming event MSI Masters Gaming Arena (formerly known as MSI Beat IT). The earliest Beat IT tournament can be traced back to 2010, featuring Evil Geniuses winning the championship.

The MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G is verily the most stunning yet reliable upgrade to get immense gaming experience with fully loaded Game Works by Nvidia itself, latest DirectX 12 API support that came right up with Microsoft Windows 10, Pascal architecture with a tremendous escalation in power to performance ratio, 6GB of GDDR5 memory and 192bit of bus width. Detailed specifications are as below:

  • Graphics processor Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, 1,549MHz (1,809MHz boost)
  • Pipeline 1,280 stream processors, 80 texture units, 48 ROPs
  • Memory 6GB GDDR5, 8.1GHz effective
  • Bandwidth 194.4GB/sec, 192-bit interface
  • Compatibility DirectX 12, Vulcan, OpenGL 4.5
  • Outputs/Inputs 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, Dual Link DVI-I, 1 x HDMI 2.0b
  • Power connections 1 x 8-pin PCI-E, top-mounted
  • Size 277mm long, 140mm tall, dual-slot

 

  • Warranty Three years
  • Price $376 (At the time of review)

Packaging and Unboxing

The MSI Gaming X yields the dual fan and dual slot design so its package is somewhere in between two package size of Asus Strix and Gigabyte Mini. The box is made of cardboard having enlarged Twin Frozr Vi design printed on it and Nvidia’s Pascal series features including VR Works, Nvidia GameWorks, G-Sync & DirectX 12. Gaming X mono and most notable MSI Logo is also printed on fore-side of the box. Opening the box by cutting the seal on openings on each side, there is another black colored box which slides out and has one side fully exposed. The exposed open side has a black thin box (having “MSI” logo printed on it) inserted. Opening that thin black colored box there is an envelope (having “MSI” logo printed and blended on it) enclosing accessories that have come up with the package. There is a driver & utility disk, MSI Stickers set, manuals and comic kind of user-friendly picture book, full of funky images of setup walkthrough labeled as “Lucky the Dragon Computer Workshop”.

Putting the thin black colored box out. There is a thin cushioning layer interacted between the GPU placement and the box above it. Beneath the layer there lies the GPU nicely tucked inside a fragile holding foam carved nicely as per the Graphics Card design. The GPU is packed inside the radioresistant wrap with a seal on it.

Accessories

Following goodies are provided with the box:

  • Quick Guide
  • A Driver disk
  • Sticker set
  • Setup Walkthrough comic

The I/O shield has a cutting-edge design. Following connectivity options are available on this card:

  • 3x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x DVI-D Dual Link

Size

The GPU’s I/O shield yields two slots of your chassis. With dual fan design, it takes 277mm in length and 140mm in height.

Design and Build Quality

The Twin Frozr VI is the successor of Twin Frozr V which came along with Maxwell architecture. MSI continued by keeping the traditional look and adding up RGB lights that illuminates up the MSI logo as RGB and shards only with red backlit. MSI MysticLight software is provided with drivers to have a control over the spectrum of lights patterns and colors. It is not cool as Aura which is supported my Asus ROG Strix variant but it still rocks the with the Twin Frozr Vi fluent and sharp design. There is a black matte backplate with an MSI Dragon blended on it.

The build quality is not compromised at all. The Twin Frozr VI is just an add up to it. The material is majestic to touch and graceful to slide fingers on!

There are 5 layers which can also be observed with naked eyes. Starting from the front there are fans and Twin Frozr VI iconic shield. Below it there is a mesh of intellectually designed heatsink. Beneath the heatsink, there is a metallic shield cover. Below it there is the main board and GPU unit. And on the backside, there is a smooth backplate which enrolls in spreading out the temperature.

Testing

Following test build setup was used to test the performance of the graphics card:

  • Intel Core i5 6600k @ 4.1Ghz
  • Gigabyte Z170-HD3 DDR4
  • Corsair Vengeance LPX LED 8GB @ 3000MHz
  • Antec 650 Watts semi-modular PSU
  • Samsung 840 120GB SSD for OS
  • Samsung 2TB HDD
  • Samsung 23″ @1920×1080 60hz
  • Cooler Master Masterbox Lite 5

These games are personally tested on the time of review and results are post followed by them:

  • Batman Arkham Knight
  • Call of Duty Black Ops 3
  • Grand Theft Auto V Redux + MVGA
  • Call of Duty: WW2
  • Doom
  • Gears of war 4
  • Forza Horizon 3
  • Just Cause 3
  • Need for Speed Rivals
  • Need for Speed Payback
  • Mortal Kombat XL
  • Tekken 7
  • Sniper Elite 4
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
  • Vampyr
  • Assassins Creed Origins
  • Injustice 2

Batman Arkham Knight

Batman Arkham Knight was played on Ultra presets @1080P, Resultant average FPS are 66 and 41 as a minimum

Call of Duty Black Ops 3

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 was played on Ultra presets @1080P, Resultant average FPS are 80 and 74 as a minimum

Grand Theft Auto V Redux + MVGA

Grand Theft Auto V Redux + MVGA was played on Ultra presets with Advanced settings at medium and MSAA X2 @1080P, Resultant average FPS are 57.

Call of Duty: WW2

Call of Duty: WW2 was played on High presets with MSAA max and Ambient Occlusion to HBAO+ @1080P, Resultant average FPS are 62 and minimum are 44.

Doom

Doom 2016 was played on ultra presets with Vulcan mode: On @1080p, Resultant average FPS are 78 and 65 as a minimum.

Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 was played on ultra presets @1080p, Resultant average FPS are straight 60 and 55 as a minimum.

Forza Horizon 3

Forza Horizon 3 was played on High to ultra presets setting, Texture to high, MSAA to X8, Shadows to ultra @1080p, Resultant average FPS are 60 & minimum are 47

Just Cause 3

Just Cause was played on ultra presets with Max AntiAliasing @1080p, Resultant average FPS are 95 and 74 as a minimum.

Need For Speed Rivals

Need For Speed Rivals was played on ultra presets with  @1440p (Upscaled/Nvidia DSR), Resultant average FPS are straight 60! (FPS Cap)

Need For Speed Payback

Need For Speed Payback was played on ultra presets with  @1080p, Resultant average FPS are 60 and 51 as a minimum.

Mortal Kombat XL

Mortal Kombat XL was played on ultra presets @1440p (Upscaled/Nvidia DSR), Resultant average FPS are straight 60! (FPS Cap).

Tekken 7

Tekken 7 was played on ultra presets @1080 & Resolution Scale at 200, Resultant average FPS are straight 60! (FPS Cap).

Sniper Elite 4

Sniper Elite 4 was played on ultra presets @1440p, Resultant average FPS are 55 and 52 as a minimum.

Vampyr

Vampyr was played on ultra presets @1080, Resultant average FPS are 66 and 58 as a minimum.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was played on ultra presets @1080p, Resultant average FPS are 77 and 56 as a minimum.

Assassins Creed Origins

Assassins Creed Origins was played on ultra presets @1080p, Resultant average FPS are 49 and 31 as a minimum.

Injustice 2

Injustice 2 was played on ultra presets @1080, Resultant average FPS are straight 60! (FPS Cap).

Overclocking & Temperature

The card has boosted to 1746Mhz out of the box. During my overclocking session with this card, it reached 1.97Ghz boost clock and memory clock up to 2025Mhz with +100MHz on the core clock and the +100MHz on the memory clock.  The temperature hits 45 at idle, 55 during normal rendering and 65-67 as max during the gaming and benchmarking session.

Note: Temperature peaks may vary, relying on physical condition and publisher’s region!

Temperature test was conducted using Furmark V1.13.0.0 and max it could reach with manual overclocked configuration up to 100Mhz. And peak temperature is recorded as 66C only!

It is recommended to not to alter the voltage and power limit if you know nothing about overclocking followed by the instructions given by the product support or overclocking experts.

Softwares and other Features

MSI provides a fully customizable approach to the end user, so the user can either overclock the GPU using MSI Afterburner, Change lights color and spectrum patterns using MSI MysticLight or can set clock mode with presets, Turn VR Mode On/Off, enhance colors and turn Zero Frozr method On/Off using MSI Gaming App. All these software are provided in a bundle that has been written into the disk available in accessories.

Unigine Engine Heaven Benchmark

Heaven Benchmark is an extreme performance and stability test for PC hardware: video card, power supply, cooling system which checks your rig in stock and overclocking modes with the real-life load! Also includes interactive experience in a beautiful, detailed environment.

The MSI Geforce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G performed beautifully scoring over 68 average FPS and hitting a peak temperature of 66C @ +100 overclocked configuration (Overclocked GPU memory and clocks by 100Mhz using MSI Afterburner), other graphical configurations and results are as follows:

  • MSAA: 8X
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Direct3D: DirectX 11
  • Presets: Ultra
  • Tesselation: Extreme
  • Screen Size: Full-screen
  • Unigine Engine version: 4.0 (Basic Edition)

Without overclocking and running the benchmark on default clock the MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G performed slightly slower with an average FPS recorded as 65 @ 66C of peak temperature. Results are as follows.

Unigine Valley Benchmark

Valley Benchmark is another known performance and stability test for PC hardware: video card, power supply, cooling system which checks your rig in stock and overclocked modes with the real-life load! Also includes interactive experience in a beautiful, detailed environment.

The MSI Geforce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G performed beautifully scoring over 69 average FPS and hitting a peak temperature of 66C @ +100 overclocked configuration (Overclocked GPU memory and clocks by 100Mhz using MSI Afterburner), other graphical configurations and results are as follows:

  • MSAA: 8X
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Direct3D: DirectX 11
  • Presets: Ultra
  • Tesselation: Extreme
  • Screen Size: Full-screen
  • Unigine Engine version: 4.0 (Basic Edition)

Without overclocking and running the benchmark on default clock the MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G performed slightly slower with an average FPS recorded as 67 @ 66C of peak temperature. Results are as follows.

Conclusion

I personally reckon this GPU as best amongst the other AAA variants like Asus ROG Strix and Gigabyte Aorus. MSI dragged the perfection without adding molest features to it and reshaped Twin Frozr design to finest and maintained the demand of MSI in the terms of choosing the best in the hassle of other fair looking competitors. If you are a PC charm enthusiast, this revamped GPU might be your first choice. Although there are other superior 3rd party cards in MSI lineup like Lightning, Trio and Sea Hawk but these are for GTX 1070 or better ones.

Tech4Gamers Recommended Award