MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 3G Review: Page 7 of 13

Posted by Paul Malfy on Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 8:00am

ASIC Quality

What exactly is ASIC Quality and how does it affect a GPU? Application-specific integrated circuit, or ASIC, is a chip customized for a specific use. For example, a GPU is a graphics processing unit. That’s why we equate ASIC quality with GPUs and not CPUs. CPUs are designed to do a wide range of tasks and GPUs handle graphics. As the chips are produced, they are tested to ensure quality, and assigned a rating. The high quality ASIC is one that achieves the highest clock speed, while consuming the lowest amount of power and producing the least amount of heat. An ideal chip you might say. So what does this have to do with a GPU? When applying ASIC quality to a GPU, you take into consideration power consumption and heat production. With less power consumption and lower heat, in theory comes a higher ASIC Quality. This is where the binning process comes into play and why the higher end GPUs like for example the EVGA Kingpin and the MSI lightning should end up with the higher binned, and therefore higher ASIC quality chips. So what is a good ASIC score. GPU-Z essentially says if you have a higher ASIC Quality, your card will overclock just fine on AIR, usually 70% +. However, if you have a lower ASIC quality, 60% +, the card is better suited for other means of cooling, such as water or LN2. This is just how Techpowerup interprets ASIC Quality. With that being said, the 3gb MSI Gaming X GTX 1060 card that I used in this review has an ASIC Quality of 60.2%. Also, it seems that GPU-Z wouldn’t give an ASIC reading on any card after version 0.8.7. Also, I have read that with Pascal, it’s been giving false ASIC readings. So please take that into consideration.

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