Nvidia has announced its latest mainstream graphics card in the form of the GeForce GTX 1060. The new GPU offers a big performance jump over its predecessor and is certified VR Ready, making it more affordable than ever (though still pretty pricey) to jump into the enticing world of virtual reality.

The GeForce GTX 1060 is based on Nvidia's latest Pascal graphics architecture. There's a hefty 6 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory on board, alongside 1,280 CUDA cores, and a base clock speed of 1,506 MHz (with 1.7 GHz boost clock). The new card joins higher-end Pascal-based GPUs, the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070.

If you're upgrading from the new card's predecessor – the GTX 960 – then there's a lot to get excited about, with the new GPU delivering performance similar to the last-gen GTX 980. According to Nvidia, that means you can expect big performance increases in games AAA games like Rise of the Tomb Raider and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

The GTX 1060 is also fully VR-ready, meaning you can expect a smooth experience using it with the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. The card is also a lot more energy efficient for VR gaming, consuming just 120 watts of power during use.

Perhaps the biggest news is the price point of the GTX 1060, which is set at US$249 – less than half the $549 launch price of the performance-comparable GTX 980.

Alongside rival AMD's just-launched RX 480 GPU, the cost of building a VR-ready PC is significantly lower than it was at the launch of the Rift and Vive, dropping from roughly $950 to around $800 or less. That's still a hefty sum, but it'll likely make VR more appealing for PC gamers who have been holding off until now.

If you're interested in picking up a GTX 1060, you won't have to wait long, with the card hitting shelves July 19.

Source: Nvidia via AnandTech

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