Last updated March, 2018
When comparing the GTX 1060 3GB vs 6GB mining GPUs, at first glance, they would seem the same. They seem to have nearly the same hash rates for ethash and equihash gpu mining, and they look basically the same. However, when we look at the actual specs on the 6GB vs 3GB cards, we can see they are in fact different animals.
Yes, many of the specs are shared amongst the 2 GPUs – they both have the same baseline clock rate of 1708MHz boost target, memory speed is 8Gbps, and the GPU itself is declared to be using the GP106-400 chip.
Where things change is not only in the 50% reduction of VRAM (3Gb vs 6Gb), but there is actually one fewer stream multi-processor (9 instead of the 10 found on the 6GB mining GPU), which results in 10% less Cuda Cores (1152 on the 3GB mining GPU rather than the 1280 on the 6GB).
There is also 8 fewer texture mapping units(TMUs). TMUs are a low-level component on the graphic cards that are entirely dedicated to texture filtration and manipulating bitmaps – I haven’t found anywhere that those are specifically used in any of the mining operations so this isn’t likely the cause of the drop in mining performance on the GTX1060 3Gb GPUs.
Because of the difference in CUDA cores, the 1060 6GB should have actually been named the GTX 1060Ti – since they are basically different GPUs (similar to what NVidia did with the 1070 and 1070Ti). Interestingly, in its marketing, NVidia was touting the GTX 1060 3GB as having only a 5% perfformance reduction – even despite the 10% reduction in CUDA cores.
As far as mining performance, the GTX 1060 3GB can hash around 20-23 mH/s while mining Ethereum, depending on the quality and overclock settings of the card. Meanwhile, the GTX 1060 6GB seems to get around 23-25 MH/s mining Ethereum.
On equihash, the results are similar: In a comparison of the GTX 1060 3GB vs 6GB, the 3GB version can hash around 250-300 sol/s, while the 6GB mining GPUs seem to get 300-350 Sol/s – a 15% or so decrease.
If you can manage to get a GTX 1060 3GB for less than 85% the price of a GTX 1060 6Gb, then it’s a good deal! Keep in mind that since it hashes slightly less, you’ll need more cards to generate the same hashpower on your GPU mining rig, so make sure you have enough PCIe slots before pulling the trigger on the GTX 1060 3Gb.
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