970M vs 1060 – Laptop Graphics Comparison Benchmarks

July 30, 2019 posted by


Hey guys, Jarrod here and today we’re going
to be benchmarking two similar laptops to compare the Nvidia 970M against the 1060 to
see just how much better the newer Pascal based card performs, and find out if it’s
worth upgrading to. I’ve previously tested the 970M against a
1070, as it was all I had available at the time. Many of you pointed out that in the
Pascal GPU range, the 1060 more closely aligns with the older 970M, and I agreed. Now that
I’ve got my hands on a laptop with a 1060 we can test the differences between them. First let’s discuss the other differences
between these two laptops. Both are running slightly different CPUs, the laptop with the
970M has an older Intel Skylake 6700HQ quad core CPU at 2.6GHz, while the newer laptop
with the 1060 has an Intel Kabylake 7700HQ quad core CPU at 2.8GHz. While this may affect
some of the benchmarks as the newer laptop doesn’t have the exact same CPU, the majority
of tests are graphics based, however just be aware that a small percentage of the difference
may be due to the difference in CPU. I suggest that you look at my recent video where I compared
the differences between these two CPUs if you’re interested in further information on
this, but basically they perform very similarly. Both laptops have 16GB of DDR4 RAM at 2400MHz,
and both use an SSD for the primary hard drive and are running Windows 10 with all available
updates applied. At the time the benchmarks were performed, both also had the latest Nvidia
drivers currently available installed, which was version 378.49. No manual overclocking
was performed for any of these tests. G-Sync has also been disabled in the tests, I didn’t
want them to limit the FPS in any way. Alright so far the laptops are pretty similar. The main difference here of course, is that
one is running with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M, while the other has a Nvidia GeForce
GTX 1060. We can see straight away that the specs of the 1060 are quite a bit higher,
so how do they compare? Let’s find out and jump into our benchmarks.
We’ll cover both real world gaming benchmarks in terms of frames per second, as well as
the results of some benchmarking tools. First we’ll start with the gaming benchmarks
as these are most useful. I’ve tested GTA 5, The Witcher 3, and Shadow of Mordor on
both laptops. In GTA 5 I tested with FXAA on with MSAA set
to x8 with a 1080p resolution and with VSync off. We can see that the 1060 performed quite
a bit better than the 970M here, with 55 FPS compared to 32 FPS. In the Witcher 3 I used the Ultra preset,
and disabled VSync and NVIDIA Hairworks, and again ran at the full 1080p resolution. The
difference between the two cards looks fairly similar to the last test, the 1060 scored
51 fps while the older 970m got 33 fps. In Shadow of Mordor with ultra settings at
1080p, the 1060 is not quite doing twice the FPS but it’s close and a significant performance
difference at 95 FPS compared to the 970m’s 52 FPS. Now onto the benchmarking tools, while a useful
indicator note that these results are less practical compared to the real world gaming
tests previously shown. In Heaven benchmark with the quality set to
ultra, tessellation on extreme, and anti-aliasing on x8 at 1080p, the 1060 scored 58 fps while
the 970m got 34 FPS. It’s a similar story in Valley benchmark,
with the quality set to ultra and anti-aliasing on x8 at 1080p, the 1060 came out ahead by
similar amount. The 3DMark Time Spy and Firestrike benchmarks
also tell the same story, with the 1060 getting a nice boost when compared against the 970M.
I’ll also note that we’re only looking at the graphics scores here. Finally let’s check the temperatures of
each card during the testing, we can see that the idle temps were pretty close together
with the 1060 being slightly warmer here, however keep in mind that the cooling implementation
of each laptop will factor in here too. Under load however, the 1060 was actually running
cooler. As expected the 1060 came out on top in all
tests performing around 40% better on average compared to the 970M. The results were quite
impressive for a laptop graphics card only a single generation newer, but is it worth
upgrading to? If you already have a laptop with a 970M, probably not. Upgrading would
involve buying a new Pascal based laptop, which is an expensive upgrade path and thereby
hard to recommend unless having the latest hardware is important to you. On the other
hand if you’re looking for a new laptop and you’re trying to decide between the
970M or the newer 1060, well I think the results here speak for themselves, you should go with
the newer 1060 as it simply performs quite a bit better while running at cooler temperatures
during use, unless you can get one with a 970M for a great deal and the lower frame
rates are acceptable to you. While the 1060 does have more horsepower,
you’ll limited to the refresh rate of your display anyway. In my case the display on
the laptop with the 970M is 60Hz, while the 1060 has a 120Hz display. This is worth keeping
in mind, if you’re running a 970M and getting 60FPS in your favourite games on a 60Hz panel
there isn’t going to be much benefit in upgrading, unless you also look at a higher
refresh rate panel, or want to run at higher settings. If you’re going to be running
an external display with a higher refresh rate, then that may be another story and an
upgrade could help you out there. At the same time, most of my tests show that
we aren’t even reaching 60 FPS with very high settings with the 1060 anyway, so there
may be no need for a panel over 60Hz, unless you’re happy to run with lower graphics
settings to increase the frame rate. If you were looking to go even higher, then you’d
probably want to look at a 1070 instead with a panel with a high refresh rate. I hope this video has helped you see the real
world differences in performance between these two graphics cards, be sure to leave a like
on the video if you found it useful, and don’t forget to subscribe for future videos like
this one. I’m also going to look at comparing the 1060 with another laptop running a 1070,
so keep an eye out for that one.

65 Comments

65 Replies to “970M vs 1060 – Laptop Graphics Comparison Benchmarks”

  1. Dylan Hubery says:

    I'm not sure if you have overwatch but please can you benchmark that in the future!

    love your channel.

  2. Barnacles says:

    The sad moment when ur laptop has a 970m

  3. DFox Review says:

    You sure used that track pad :)), i was going to go for something with the 970m but then i heard about the pascal cards coming so i decided to wait a few months, also got the skylake version cause it was cheaper.

  4. THE DOOVER says:

    hey jarrod, I got myself a metabox prime p650-g and i'm not sure how to operate g-sync on it? the option doesn't show up in the NVidia control panel to turn it on/off

  5. Luke Davies says:

    bro, where are you getting the funding

  6. Joseph Lamarche says:

    is there a fps difference on a 3gig 1060 to the 6gig

  7. StarBricks says:

    great review, we are all metabox users and supporter here. me with a 15" 970m and 4 friends with the 1060. The difference can be seen while playing most of the games with the same settings. 1060 just burn my 970 when we talk about shadows and weather effect. If you need to buy a new laptop for gaming just go for the 1060 and you will never regret it. Best thing about it that on like Arma 3 or Rainbow Six siege it reach half of temperature that my laptop with a 970 does.
    Nice video as always, keep it up!

  8. CJ Van der Merwe says:

    How about the 1060vs 980m ?

  9. YummierMussel says:

    Now unlock the vbios and overclock the 970m! Ive done this on my alienware 17r3 970m 3gb model and went from 1038mhz to 1400mhz and +400mhz on the memory. This gives me 980m performance. These maxwell mobile chips are desktop 970s that are clocked lower, giving them extreme overclocking capability. Assuming you have a good power supply, i would skip the 1060 and nap a 970m or 980m and overclock. Temps stay around 60-65c on mine using a cooling pad. Cpu temps never go above 80c, usually stay in the 60s and 70s. If you jump to a pascal gpu, go for a 1070 with a higher refresh rate screen. Cpus havent changed much unfortunately.

  10. MAHDYY MAHD says:

    If anyone can help me out I would appreciate it. I'm not sure if it's possible but I would like to connect two laptops to one monitor with a split screen view while controlling both laptops with one mouse or mouse pad. Please let me know if this is possible, Thank You.

  11. Nick Motsarsky says:

    The laptop 1060 is roughly equivalent to a 980m.

  12. AnimeOkatu says:

    I bought a laptop with a 970m for $500. Do you think its worth?

  13. Joe Frazer says:

    Your tests are really very very good.
    I've got a question for you.
    I would like to buy a new gaming laptop.
    And I sway between GTX 1060 or GTX1070 ..
    The gtx1070 is indeed better but is it this extra charge also worth?

  14. Dennis Mungai says:

    Wait…Who's Metabox? That vendor is unknown to me.

  15. William Antonio says:

    Well, I get that 970m should be compared with 1060 because they have the same wattage, thus will probably come on laptops that is more-or-less on the same price level. But, 970m already loses against 960 (desktop), and the GTX 10 series laptop GPU has almost the same performance with their desktop counterpart, so 1060 will kill 970m, no question asked.

  16. erzascralet48 says:

    The 1060 is a replacement to the 980M. 1050Ti is the replacement for the 970M, and the 1050 for the 960M. Pretty much if you have a 980M laptop or older, any of the Pascal chips are going to be better because they are practically desktop GPUs inside rather than cut down chips.

  17. amarkumar leelakumari says:

    Can You Think of reviewing the HP Omen 17? Thanks

  18. Ragnarok says:

    No, thoose two CPU are the same. At the end, in game , difference are ridiculous

  19. SolidSonicTH says:

    Thankfully Skylake vs. Kaby Lake is almost nothing.

  20. Joel A.K.A.B says:

    is there not a 6 gigabyte variant of the 970m. just curious.

  21. Stefan says:

    GTX 1060 + 6700HQ
    ftw!

  22. Adrian says:

    Using a 3gb 970 vs 6gb 1060 is not a fair test.

  23. StrangerDanger says:

    I am thinking to get a brand new gaming laptop custom made but i want to see if it will hold up for awhile for the newer multiplayer games like Playerunknowns battlegrounds and h1z1 king of the hill tell me what you think

    Processor: Intel® Core™ i7 Kaby Lake – 7700HQ 2.8 GHz, (8M Cache, up to 3.80 GHz)

    Memory: 32 GB Memory DDR4 (2133 MHZ)

    Hard disk: 240GB M.2 SATAe SSD

    m.2 ssd: None

    Display (LCD): 15.6" IPS FullHD 16:9 (1920x1080p) LED-Backlit Matte

    Wireless network adapter: Intel Wireless-AC 3165 Wi-Fi+Bluetooth Combo Card (M.2)

    Operating System: Genuine MS Windows® 10 Pro 64bits

    Microsoft office: None

    Warranty: 3 Year Warranty Labor & 1 Year Warranty Parts

  24. Erem Özkader says:

    Can you make 980m vs 1060 or 1050ti please

  25. Aussie Pride says:

    I got the 970m metabox but my primary pc has i7700k 32 gb ram and x2 1080 ti 11gb grapics cards on sli the 970m is fine for gaming on the run

  26. Angel Petronacci says:

    Does it change anything the gpu if i only intend to play diablo 2 ?

  27. gemkill says:

    I regret buying a laptop early that has 970M. 2 months later they release laptops that has 1060 with almost the same price as the 970M. Should have waited! very sad :<

  28. tim t says:

    very good

  29. Morten Orre says:

    Great review, thanks!

  30. Aspect says:

    970m is cheaper and it has pretty good performance

  31. Saul Matta says:

    980m vs 1060

  32. Buddlebot says:

    I don't think this comparison is proper. These cards are entirely different. It's like comparing mobile handhelds to gaming consoles. The 1060 is a desktop class with everything but with worse thermal design power. The (m) mobile chips aren't anywhere the same thing. But since they can make the desktop GPU's (barely) and I mean barely fit.. they likely won't be continuing mobile series. Which sucks because they could make those for super small laptops and make them more power efficient. Would be great for PC handhelds, Nintendo switch, 13 inch or below laptops… ect.

  33. Buddlebot says:

    Also upgrading wouldn't matter about the refresh rate for external displays UNLESS you have HDMI 2.0. otherwise you'll be restricted to 30HZ for any resolution above 1080p (externally). I'd recommend the 970m as it is the last of the mobile chips series, is far less expensive $5-1100 when compared to range of prices with systems that have the 1060(GPU) $1200-2300..

  34. r a v e n n 4 1 1 says:

    The test were done in what setting for GTAV? Medium, High, Very High, Ultra?

  35. Hector Gonzalez says:

    We need 980m vs 1060 for laptop please

  36. Ye et says:

    is 970m capable of running rainbow six siege at medium setting ?

  37. Scotty McLean says:

    I've got a 1070 GL502VSK from Asus. Runs hot AF even with a cooler under it. 85 degrees celc avg and can spike as high as 95 on cpu. GPU has its own heat sync and runs cooler as expected but its really no thermal upgrade from my 2014 Lenovo Y50 gaming laptop. That too ran hot with a i7 4700HQ + GTX 860M.

    My new laptop is the i7 7700HQ and fuck its still hot despite dedicated heatsync + fan +Cooling pad.

  38. Paulo Silva says:

    What is the program that does these videos to see fps mate ? Nice Video 😀

  39. Biswanath sahu says:

    Hey great review i need a laptop with 1060 but i don't like ips panel because in dark i can't see a thing so which will you suggest me please reply sir it will make a great help for me

  40. Dennis Mungai says:

    So, the mobile version of the GTX 1060 6 GB Non-Max-Q variant performs almost identically to a well-scaled GTX 970M SLI setup. Fascinating. I'm seeing similar results here as on an Aorus X7 Pro (the X7 v4–CF2 variant). Pascal is indeed, a massive leap into the future. Note that the Aorus X7 v4–CF2 was a $2500 notebook at the base configuration on launch, and now competes with a ~$1000 notebook with a GTX 1060 such as the Acer Helios 300. Wow. Top up all the issues that SLI adds up, such as missing driver profiles and CPU overheads and you'll see how far we've come in such a short time.

  41. Peter Pan says:

    jarrod would u choose an alienware 13 w/1060 and tn panel with i5 or alienware 15 i7 w/970m and 4k IPS panel?

  42. Maxim Chernykh says:

    Hello! What you can say about CYBERPOWERPC Tracer II TVR15600? 1200$ laptop with 7700hq + gtx 1070 is reall or fake on amazon? 🙂

  43. Abdiel Hdz says:

    estos resultados no son verdaderos o quisas dependen de la laptop, mi alienware 15 r2 con gtx 970m me da mejor fps que la del video incluso jugando al gta v con todo en ultra me da 60fps y baja a 55 en algunos sitios pero 60 estables

  44. Ahmed360 says:

    Till this day, I am still amazed how good 10-series are compared to 9-series.
    1060 is basically more powerful than 980M! Amazing
    Wonder how good Nvidia 11-series will be.

  45. NaGringaBR USA,Viagens,Carros,Gastronomia&Vida says:

    That's a serious review. thanks a lot for your help. Great work!!! I really appreciate people that put so much effort in helping other people. thanks a bunch perfect review!!!!! impeccable!

  46. VGA GAMES says:

    I see good 980m , 1860 is bad

  47. epoxeclipse says:

    Running a laptop with a 970m is actually great! as long as it's attached to a decent laptop you can play any game at decent settings.

  48. Lars Jungbluth says:

    I think this comparison is pretty useless imo. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the much lower fps is caused by probably hitting the vram limit or by being over 3.5gb usage. If you keep the usage under this value, you get way higher fps in games.

  49. Ganesh Gautam says:

    Helped me alot thanks man

  50. BILLYBONEGAMING says:

    i an get 80 fps on gta 5 on my laptop with a 970m card, there laptop must be shit

  51. sevan grigoryan says:

    So I should just buy a gtx1060 or higher laptop. And forget the mseries laptops?

  52. Pasha Boss says:

    we neeed 970m vs 1050 or 1050ti

  53. Ultra Indigo says:

    Nice, I have a Sager NP9150 with a GTX 680m, i7-3740QM, 32GB of RAM, and it has served me well for gaming and 3D modeling but while the CPU still has some life in it (scores around 600 in Cinebench r15) I cannot say the same for the 680m. It never really thermal throttles but it becomes uncomfortably hot when doing IPRs in Cycles and is all but useless in Substance Painter. For this reason I was contemplating on upgrading it but most laptop GPUs were pushing around a grand CAD until I noticed Eurocom selling it for a little over 700. Not only does it have a lower TDP but it will boost to over twice as many TFLOPS, no doubt consistently as it will run cooler on the same… cooler.

    I got over 5 years of use out of my laptop, heres to 5 more!*

    *Assuming nothing else breaks first.

  54. James Sisk says:

    There was also a different variant of the 970M that has more RAM, not sure of any other differences.

  55. dormytorry says:

    I've been informed very well with this video. Thanks!

  56. nuno neves says:

    Hi, why didn t you cap both cpus to the same 2.6GHz frequency?

  57. OllAxe says:

    Did you have these computers connected to their chargers while running these benchmarks and tests? If not, then you're not getting the full preformance of either of these computers. Laptop batteries typically can't deliver enough power to run both the CPU and GPU at full blast, so therefore they'll throttle their preformance to discharge the battery at a healthy and safe rate. Just Cause 3 for example will run at an unplayable 10 FPS at the lowest settings when running on my laptop (GTX 970m, i5 6300HQ, 8GB RAM) off the battery but will easily reach 60 fps at the highest settings when the laptop is charging.

    Of course it's still worth noting that newer CPU's and GPU's are much more efficient and can therefore run much faster off of limited power. I still think you should've run the tests both while charging and while battery powered to reflect both efficiency improvements as well as overall preformance improvements, and to account for all usage scenarios.

  58. Adrien L. says:

    Thank you

  59. Enrico Kianaldo says:

    Help, im looking for a good thin and light gaming laptop, it doesnt need a ssd and no big hdd required, if possible i want a 1070(max q or not) but lowest 1060, i have done alot of research but cant seem to find one i really like. Help pls

  60. Fridgemusa says:

    The 970M is a turd compared to it's desktop counterpart, if you don't believe me look at any (Desktop) GTX 970 vs GTX 1060 benchmark 🙁

  61. Ghostcatcher64 says:

    I wonder why i have so much different framerates on games compared to your gtx 970m.. i have a MSI ge72 6qf 049xfr with a i5 skylake (can't remember the number) and a gtx 970m, i compared the framerates with a few friends that have a gtx 1060 (asus rog, strix, acer pred) and i had about 70-80% of their performance, on GTA 5 even on ultra i was at about 55fps Min. I know i disabled some processus that ate memory and cpu power, i tweaked the NVIDIA settings to have a better performance, but i didn't change the boost clock or the base clock of the CPU nor the GPU.. there were almost no diff between our games (just little ones like shadow's resolution (tiny bit) and reflection) but we really needed to compare with screenshots etc.. i don't understand, literally. Maybe your screen's refresh rate is more than 60Hz ? We were on 60Hz 1080p monitors so maybe that's why. Dunno

  62. DRG Glitcher says:

    GTX 970m 3gb vs GTX 1060m 3gb ?????

  63. Rocksteady Gaming says:

    If a 1060 laptop is on sale, would you recommend upgrading from a 970M laptop if the focus is on getting a VR compatible PC?

  64. Randy Hulsebos says:

    What about the 980M? i heard it comes very close to the 1060. Not sure if i should upgrade, the HP Omen 17 is very cheap and has a i7 8750H and GTX 1060 (1280 cores). Mine is a Asus G751JY, i7 4860HQ, GTX 980M 4GB. HP has a 144hz screen, but mine is OC'd at 100hz without issues and does have a gsync capable screen but is locked by hw id sadly and old drivers locks me out of a few games. 🙁

  65. OLine5766 says:

    Love the consistency of the testing process in your videos! Very helpful!

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