Power, Temperature, Noise
The addition of some core frequency and, one would presume, a tad more voltage increases the Asus Strix's power consumption by 20W when compared to the reference card. 218W is a decent return for system-wide power consumption when gaming, but the GTX 1060 is fundamentally more efficient for the same, or better, performance.
The heastink's three fans would occasionally become noticeably louder when gaming yet would sometimes keep quiet under the same load. After some serious head scratching and noting of what was actually happening, it transpires that the Radeon control centre software intermittently increases fan speed in line with the reference board's profile without notice.
One could exit in and out of a game by Ctrl Tabbing and cause the fan speed to go up. The control centre's actions can be overwritten by using the Asus GPU Tweak II utility and setting a constant fan curve, though by default the card would increase fan speed to more than what we considered ideal, ostensibly to keep temperatures in check.
This occurrence isn't limited to any one partner, we hear, because it works on the control centre software level, and it's a shame that a small driver 'bug' causes the fan speed to increase in volume way more than needs be.
And the upshot is a card that, while using an identical cooler, is clearly louder than its GTX 1060 cousin. We're working with AMD and Asus to troubleshoot this fan-speed issue, so stay tuned.