How To Upgrade From A GTX 1060 The Right Way

Last Updated on October 24, 2022

Looking to upgrade from the GTX 1060? This post will show you how to upgrade from the GTX 1060 for higher frame rates and ray-tracing support with an RTX GPU.

There’s more to upgrading your GPU than simply replacing the card with a shinier, newer GPU… You need to ensure that your PC has enough power, that you’re not overspending for something sub-optimal, and that you understand the type of performance difference that you’ll be having with a GPU upgrade.

That’s exactly what I would like to share with this post! We’ll go over the best upgrades for the GTX 1060, what kind of performance you should expect, and how to tell if it’s actually time to upgrade your GPU.

GTX 1060 cards came out in 2016… Is it time for an upgrade?

Before You Upgrade Your GTX 1060…

The GTX 1060 was first released in 2016 – odds are that if you’re here that you already know it’s high time for an upgrade.

If you know that your PC is ready and you just want to see the best GPUs to upgrade to then you should skip to the best GTX 1060 upgrades part of this post.

Skip to the upgrades here: Best GPU Upgrades For GTX 1060

Otherwise, you should take your time and ensure that your PC is ready for a solid upgrade and that it makes sense in the first place.

Sure, you can just swap out the 1060 for a more powerful card…

But do you have enough power from your PSU for the card?

Do you have a monitor that is able to fully utilize a more powerful card?

Are you going to bottleneck GPU performance from your current CPU?

Before you look into options for upgrading your 1060, you need to ensure that you’re actually ready for an upgrade. There’s more to upgrading than simply replacing the video card, and these are the things you should check into before moving forward with an upgrade.

Check Your Power Supply

Your PC likely has enough power for a base upgrade to an RTX card as is but you might as well double-check and confirm that you have enough power for a specific GPU.

You’ll need a 550W power supply as a bare minimum for upgrading your GTX 1060. A 400W minimum was needed for the GTX 1060, so whether you are upgrading your GPU from a pre-built or a rig that you put together yourself – make sure that the power supply is at least a 550W unit.

You can simply check the side of your PC for wattage, the output power will be listed right on the power supply unit.

Your power supply’s specifications will always be displayed on the side of the unit.

Always make sure you have enough power!

If you’re going for a higher-end upgrade than what is shared here, then feel free to ask me in the comments below for specific upgrades and how much wattage you’ll need. This also includes if you are overclocking and other hardware limits – let me know below and I’ll be happy to help out.

You also need to ensure that you have the right kind of cable for powering the GPU that you plan on getting. You’ll need to check what kind of cable is used for the card and whether or not your PSU provides that cable.

For example, most GTX 1060 cards use a PCIe 6-pin cable for power, whereas some upgrades that you will be considering might use a PCIe 8-pin cable or a PCIe 8-pin + 1 PCIe 6-pin cable…

It’d be a shame to receive your GPU upgrade just to find out that you didn’t have the right cable to provide power to it. So make sure that you’ve got the right cable for the GPU that you’re going for, and that your PSU provides enough power, then you’re good to go when it comes to checking compatibility with your power supply.

Check Your Monitor

With a GTX 1060, you’ve been used to a 60 FPS average with many games at 1080p resolution, right?

Well, with the upgrade options available today… You might also want to look into upgrading your monitor.


Your monitor’s refresh rate should also line up with the performance levels of your upgrade! If you’ve been gaming with a 60 Hz monitor with your 1060 then you should get a monitor that will be able to utilize the upgrade that you plan to get.

If you upgrade to a GPU that can achieve high FPS in games then you’ll need a monitor that has a high refresh rate.

If your monitor doesn’t have a high refresh rate, then you aren’t going to be able to experience high frame rates.

It doesn’t make sense to upgrade your game performance for higher FPS rates when you don’t have a monitor that can display the higher FPS in the first place.

There is a big difference between 60 FPS and 144 FPS – there’s no sense in upgrading when you won’t be able to experience your gameplay at a higher frame rate anyway.

Obviously, it’ll depend on your budget and what kind of monitor that you’re looking for… But I’d recommend at least browsing different 144 Hz monitors that can properly utilize the performance of your next GPU before upgrading.

Avoid Bottlenecking From An Upgrade

Bottlenecking your GPU comes from having a CPU that doesn’t match the performance level of your GPU.

This will obviously depend on which GPU you decide to get, but it’s important to have a CPU that is able to keep up with your GPU performance otherwise you’ll be missing out on the full potential of your new GPU.

Just like with any questions regarding the type of power supply you’d need for an upgrade, you can always reach out to me in the comments for specific CPUs for the different GPUs that you’re looking at.

Most CPUs today aren’t going to bottleneck new GPUs – there is a broad range that they’re able to keep up with. If you’re upgrading your GPU from a pre-built that you bought over 5 years ago… then you’ll need to look into whether or not your current CPU is going to bottleneck your new upgrade.

Best GPU Upgrades For GTX 1060

Today, it’s best to upgrade from a GTX 1060 to an RTX series card. Your frame rates will skyrocket, you’ll be able to experience ray-tracing in newer titles, and your PC will be more “future-proof” for the next generation of games that are coming out.

It should come as no surprise that an optimal upgrade from a GTX 1060 would be the latest and greatest 60 series card from Nvidia… But there are AMD options that you should also consider if you’re wanting to optimize power per dollar spent over the familiarity of Nvidia GPUs.

It’ll come down to what type of performance you want, how much room you have in your budget, and if your PC is capable of handling some of the different high-performance GPUs that are available.

With that said, here are some of the best options to get as an upgrade from your GTX 1060:

1. MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 Ventus 2X OC 12GB

MSI has been a behemoth in the PC hardware market for a long time coming, and they have some of the best RTX 3060 cards out there. Not to mention that they have some of the most availability compared to the other manufacturers as well.

Their RTX 3060 Ventus 2X card has a core clock of 1320 MHz, a boost clock of 1777 MHz, is 235mm in total length, they provide a 3-year warranty for their cards, and it is powered with a PCIe 8-pin cable.

This card easily surpasses system requirements for almost any recent AAA title and will provide high-end performance at 1080p. If you deemed it necessary, this card will also be able to game at 1440p decently well.

When it comes to the most optimal option for an upgrade, the RTX 3060 is hard to beat. Premium performance and a direct upgrade as the newer 60 series card upgrade from Nvidia.

2. PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6600 XT 8GB

An RX 6600 XT is AMD’s answer to the RTX 3060. Both cards are extremely close in terms of performance, with some games being better optimized for AMD cards and vice versa… So you’ll want to look into specific game performance depending on what you want to go with.

This card has a core clock of 1968 MHz, a boost clock of 2607 MHz, is 251mm in total length, PowerColor provides a 2-year warranty, and it is powered by a PCIe 8-pin + 1 PCIe 6-pin cable.

The RX 6600 XT from PowerColor specifically is what is most available at a fair price point. Although PowerColor might not be a top name-brand when it comes to GPUs, there are a lot of people that are using and have used their cards for a long time now – so the proof is in the pudding for the type of quality that comes from this brand.

If you’re open to the idea of switching to AMD software/drivers with your upgrade and want something that is very similar in performance to a newer 60 series RTX card then the RX 6600 XT should be on your radar.

3. ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC 8GB

If you have at least 650W of power with your PSU and are wanting to go above and beyond with upgrading from your GTX 1060 then you should look into snagging an RTX 3070.

This Twin Edge Zotac card has been the best price for the longest time and has been the most available compared to other brands that make a 3070, which is why we’re sharing it here.

This card has a core clock of 1500 MHz, a boost clock of 1755 MHz, is 232mm in total length, Zotac provides a 5-year warranty when you register the card, and it is powered with two 8-pin PCIe cables.

Before you make the leap to a 3070 – it’d be best to not only ensure that your power supply is able to handle a 3070 but also that your CPU doesn’t bottleneck it and that you have a monitor that’s actually able to utilize the full potential of a 3070.

If you plan on gaming at a higher resolution than 1080p or you’re looking for a massive leap in average frame rates at 1080p and have a monitor that has a high refresh rate then the 3070 would be a phenomenal GPU upgrade to go with.

Game Performance After Upgrading

So, now you have an idea of what to do before upgrading your GTX 1060 and the different types of cards that make the most sense.

But, what about the actual performance?

Well, let’s dive into the performance differences with each type of card – that way you can understand what you’re getting yourself into for smoother frame rates and high-end gaming!

There’s actually a great video to share that shows the performance difference between these upgrades at 1080p and max graphics settings in multiple titles.

For sure check this out if you want to see the performance difference between these cards:

As for performance differences from the GTX 1060 with these cards, you can check out this next video for direct reference to the RTX 3060:

So, just from the 1060/3060 difference in FPS… You can expect to gain anywhere from 40-70+ more FPS in some of the most demanding titles!

Then as for specific performance differences between each type of card to the 1060, just refer to the performance differences of the cards from the first video and look into the gains accordingly.

With that said, if you’d want to know about a specific game’s performance difference from the 1060 to any upgrade, just let me know in the comments below and I’ll look into it for you and let you know! ?

Concluding GTX 1060 Upgrades

There are plenty of cards to upgrade to from the GTX 1060 today. The RTX 3060 or the RX 6600 XT is the clear upgrade path for those of you that want a superb upgrade for 1080p gaming at a good price.

It doesn’t have to be the specific model of GPU that we shared in this post. Those are shared because, at the time of this writing, those were the models that were available for the best price.

You may find similar cards for better prices… It just comes down to when you’re looking into these upgrades and what the market looks like at the time that you’re browsing the different GPUs on the market.

Speaking of the pricing in this market… FINALLY, it actually makes sense to buy a GPU!

Pricing has gotten a lot better now that things are starting to get back to “normal” for chip manufacturing and everything else that companies have been dealing with for the last couple of years trying to keep up with GPU demand.

Hopefully, after reading through this post, you understand not just what the best GTX 1060 upgrades are – but also how to make sure that your PC is ready to upgrade from a GTX 1060!

So, which card are you planning on upgrading to?

Are you going to have to upgrade your PSU and monitor as well?

Let me know in the comments below! 😀

25 thoughts on “How To Upgrade From A GTX 1060 The Right Way”

  1. hi colton, ive only thought about changing my gpu when i brought mw3 and love playing zombies. and found my gpu running at 98% and my cpu at 80%. i have to change the pu because its a coolermaster masterlite 500, but with all the gpu’s available i am stumped as to which one i could use. i dont care about playing at 4k, i am happy with 1080 and 60fps. my system is:
    i5 8600k
    msi z370 gaming pro ac (not carbon)
    nvidia gtx 1060 6 gb
    16gb installed
    coolermaster masterlite 500 power unit.
    i have about 250-300 euro to spend on the gpu (not a lot i know).
    any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thanks

    • Hey Rusty,

      Your GPU running at 98% is normal, you want your GPU to be running at the highest capacity to get all the performance out of your card. It’s when your CPU usage starts getting to the 100% usage rate where I’d be worried about it, 80% during MW3 is a lot, but unfortunately normal for most. It’s the CPU temperature that you’d want to look into to ensure it isn’t overheating and causing issues.

      With your 500W PSU, you can really only narrow down to a few older options since newer cards require higher base power output. You could likely get away with using this RTX 3060 from MSI (same card listed above), or this RX 7600 from PowerColor. Both of those cards are listed as needing 550W as a minimum for the PSU, but the actual usage is different than the “recommended” minimum. And both of those cards are right at your price range.

      If you’re already overclocking your 8600K, then I’d also consider doing a PSU upgrade soon. Any higher-end cards than the 3060 or 7600 I linked and you for sure need to upgrade your PSU for more power output. And even with the RTX 3060 or RX 7600 upgrades, you’ll be well over the 60FPS performance range, but those cards are what make the most sense for the future.

      Your current PSU has a PCIe 6+2-pin and the cards I shared both require an 8-pin cable connection, so your 6+2 will work.

      Let me know what you end up deciding on, or if you have any other questions about upgrading your build! 👍

  2. Greetings Colton,
    Thanks for the excellent article on upgrading from a GTX 1060.

    I built my gaming computer (and one for my wife) in January 2020.

    My specs are:
    ASUS Prime Z390-A motherboard
    Intel i5-9600K CPU
    ASUS GTX 1060 Turbo GPU
    32GB Ram
    2TB and 500GB SSDs and 2TB hard drive
    Corsair RM750x Gold PSU
    AOC 12757FH 27 inch monitor 60hz

    My wife’s is the same apart from a Sapphire Pulse Radeon HD 7900 series GPU.

    We play loads of different games but at present mostly play Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Division 2, Sniper Elite series and Euro Truck Simulator and American Truck Simulator.
    The simulators are continually being improved, particularly the graphics, and we are getting a bit of lag and stutter.
    I am reluctant to lower the graphics to get a smoother ride.

    I would like to upgrade but cannot afford to replace the two PCs at today’s prices.
    Here in New Zealand I would be looking at at least $4000 for a new build.

    Can you suggest a possible GPU upgrade which would make a difference without having to change the motherboard or the CPU?

    At 79 gaming is a big part of my life, the only downside is the cost.

    Kind regards, Paul R

    • Hey Paul! I’m happy to hear that the article is helping you out! 👍

      The i5-9600K used in both of those builds would be able to handle using this RTX 3060 from MSI just fine, and you’d get a huge boost in overall performance with both PCs.

      Keep in mind that, since your wife’s build is using an AMD video card, you’ll want to completely uninstall the AMD video drivers before installing the 3060. You can do this using Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) which makes it easier than trying to get rid of every driver manually. Then once you throw the 3060 in, you’ll be able to download the compatible drivers from Nvidia.

      Let me know what you decide on, and if you’d rather keep using an AMD card with your wife’s PC then I’d suggest upgrading it to this RX 6600 XT from XFX – performance is around the same as the 3060 I linked above.

      EDIT: I just noticed that you’re using a 60hz monitor with your current PCs – I’d recommend upgrading your monitors at some point as well if you end up making these upgrades, the performance boost would surely surpass the 60hz limit on those monitors. It’s not essential right off the bat, but figured I’d point that out.

      Cheers, and let me know if I can help any more as you’re moving forward with upgrades! 👍

      • Many thanks getting back to me Colton. In spite of what I said I am now considering upgrading the motherboard, CPU, GPU and monitor, as the Black Friday sales are on here. Just a matter of working out everything with the help of Parts Picker. Again thanks for your help. Kind regards, Paul R.

        • I hear ya on that, I’ve got my eyes on a few upgrades myself once Black Friday/Cyber Monday rolls around. Good luck with the rig updates, would be great to hear about the changes you end up going with!

  3. Hi Colton,

    Thanks for writing this article, very helpful.

    I have a prebuilt pc that I bought around 2018 2019, Its a MSI Z370-A PRO with a INTEL CORE I5-8600K 3.60GHZ 9MB. Sorry for the caps, I just copy and pasted. I upgraded from 8gb of ram to 24 and I also installed an m2 ssd and was wondering if my cpu would be a bottleneck upgrading to a 3060 from a 1060?

    • Hey Max,

      You’re going to have a slight bottleneck using the 8600k with the 3060 at stock speeds, but you should still start with that GPU upgrade to see the type of improvements it will make for different games. Then you could use something like Afterburner to gauge CPU usage vs GPU usage and tell just how much of a bottleneck you’re getting. It’d still be worth upgrading to a 3060 and then later on moving to a better CPU.

      Right now, this 12GB 3060 from MSI is available at a good price point, same card listed above and it’s at a good price right now. 👍

  4. Hi Colton,

    i just upgraded my GPU from GTX 1060 to RTX2080.
    did full re install of windows and clean up of drivers.
    i download the new nvidia drivers for my card, updated windows.
    but when i start any game the game crashes and freezes every time, do you have any ide what can be causing the problem?

    i5-12600K 3.7ghz
    MB: MSI pro Z690-P DR4 ATX
    Ram: corsair vengeanc LPX 32gb 3600mhz DDR4
    PSU: corsair W750HX (an very old PSU from maybe 2008)

    • Hey there Daniel,

      When you upgraded to the RTX 2080, is that when you did a full re-install of Windows and all drivers? How come you decided to reset all of your drivers and Windows if you don’t mind me asking?

      Also, assuming you bought it either refurbished or from someone else, is it possible that it’s a faulty card? It was working fine in the previous PC?

      What type of power supply are you using? If it’s not enough power for a 2080, that could also cause issues. Minimum PSU for 1060 is 400W versus a 2080 needing 650W minimum.

      Have you checked your temps while you are using your PC? Could also be a temperature problem.

      A couple things come to mind, either an error in downloading and installing the new drivers with your new card or a possible memory leak with your RAM would cause games to crash or freeze up in-game.

      Do you ever get any error messages for any specific game during a crash? When your games freeze up, how long are you able to be in-game? Which game or games are you having the most problems with?

      Although you did a fresh install and have gotten the latest drivers, I’d recommend using Display Driver Uninstaller ( to re-install the latest drivers again. It’s rare, but sometimes when upgrading and doing fresh installs of OS like this, sometimes driver updates can mess up and hopefully you just have to try to completely remove the display drivers and re-install. Be sure to follow the instructions on that page while using the software.

      As for whether or not it’s a memory leak issue, you’ll have to check into your BIOS to see if your RAM is running correctly. I doubt that this would be the issue, but if nothing else is working on the display driver side then I’d say it’s worth taking a look.

      It’s likely that something is wrong with the card itself or that during driver installation, something caused it to have errors during installation and you might be able to just completely remove all drivers and re-install again.

      Let me know what you end up deciding to do and if you need any more help! 👍

  5. I am looking to upgrade my graphics card from NVIDIA Geforce 1060 36 to 3060. I was wondering if need to upgrade this also Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7700 CPU @ 3.60GHz 3.60 GHz. My memory is only 111GB should I upgrade that also? Thank you for your time.

    • Hey Brad,

      I’d start with upgrading your 1060 to the RTX 3060 and go from there. If you deem it necessary to upgrade your CPU then you can always do it later – you’ll still be able to benefit from upgrading the GPU.

      With that said, the 7th gen Intel CPUs aren’t going to be able to upgrade to Windows 11 and Windows 10 support end in 2025. So if you’re wanting to be ahead of that gap to receive security update etc, you’ll want to upgrade your CPU to be able to have the latest Windows updates.

      On your memory, I assume you’re referring to your storage? There’s no need to upgrade your storage and replacing it, you can add in another solid state drive or whatever type of drive you’d want to have to add more storage space to your rig.

      If you need more help, let me know! I’m all ears!

  6. Ive built my 1st gaming PC from a refurbished Dell optiplex 7010 ssf w a i7 3770, 500gb SSD, 16gb ram(2x8gb) GTX 1060 6G.. I have to leave the side cover off until I cut a slit in it so the card sticks out the side n added a RGB fan pushing out air from the case and drilled holes in the side also. I actually get a lot of props on how it looks, I did a professional job since I build homes and design renovations, but I’m having trouble now with the monitor not working and says it’s not receiving a signal.. could my used 1060 not be working right, it happened all of the sudden about a month after I built the PC

    • Warren,

      That’s awesome!! Old friend of mine did something similar with an old eMachine PC – gutted everything out and had to cut a similar slit! Was a fun build!

      Have you/are you able to troubleshoot further by using another cable? Using another port on the video card? Trying out another monitor? Maybe an old video card lying around to plug in to see if it is able to display?

      It’s hard to know what is actually wrong without troubleshooting further – hopefully it’s just a bad video cable. Let me know if you were able to troubleshoot it further and if I can try to help you further!

  7. Hi Colton,
    Thanks for the insight on how to upgrade from a GTX 1060. But I’m still not sure what to do in terms of my current spec, I would like to gain at least 70+ frames.

    My current spec is CPU = i7-8700 (3.2GHz) 12MB Cache Six Core Processor

    Motherboard = ASUS PRIME Z370-P, ATX, LGA1151, SATA 6GBs

    • Hey Josh, glad to hear you appreciated this write-up, happy to help.

      Your i7-8700 pairs well with this RTX 3060 – the same one I’ve linked above as the first possible upgrade to go with. You’d easily get over 70+ average FPS on most titles at 1080p with that GPU.

      What else are you still not sure of? Let me know, all ears here otherwise sounds like you’re good to go! 👍

  8. I built my pc 6 years ago…currently thinking of upgrading the GPU to meet the requirements of new games but wondering if my mother board and CPU would need to be upgraded too?

    CPU = Intel Core i5-7600 3.5 GHz Quad-Core Processor
    Motherboard = MSI H170 Gaming M3 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard

    • Hey Karl,

      As far as recommended specs go for more of the higher-end requirements, your CPU is starting to fall behind on performance… For new, high-end titles you’ll want to make sure to check the minimum and recommended requirements to see how your CPU holds up. It’ll come down to if the game is well optimized or not, but I’d say within at least the next couple of years, if you’re wanting better performance (especially to keep up with a GPU upgrade) then you’ll want to look into changing your board and CPU.

      If you need help ensuring compatibility when switching out your board/CPU as well, let me know and I’d be happy to help! 👍

  9. Finally i found an article that tells me what upgrade i need.
    I have a Ryzen 5 2600 cpu. Ill start with the GPU and will go for the 3060.
    Ill just need to check my power supply.
    After that ill start upgrading the rest, My kids keep asking for the PC to be upgraded.
    its just very expensive.

    • Maybe later on ill have to ask you what other upgrades are needed to keep everything working properly.
      CPU: Ryzen 5 2600 (6 core), RAM (16 gig Kingston), Motherboard (ASRock B450M-HDV R4.0 (AM4).

    • Yup, I noticed that it was mainly discussion boards and discussion around just random upgrade paths rather than what else you’ve got to consider when upgrading so I’m stoked to hear that it really helps out! Thanks for reaching out!

      Although yeah, hardware in general is still on the more expensive side of things, the market as a whole has really gotten better over time so it’s a pretty good time to be looking at upgrade paths. Feel free to reach back out after upgrading or if you need help with whatever, all ears here! 👍

  10. Hey! Great article, I don’t know much about computers, but I do love to game! So I bought a prebuilt about 4 years ago, it’s a Predator Orion 3000, P03-600-UR18. It’s a smaller tower. I’ve done a lot of research but can’t really find an answer as to what GPU would fit in my tower. I have a 165hz monitor and would love to be able to play that high. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hey Justin, thanks for the kind words on the article man, I appreciate it 👍

      This RTX 3070 that I also shared above in the article would fit inside of your case just fine, and would be a huge boost on being able to utilize your monitor further. Not only is the card more on the “compact” side on size but your PC’s case will have more than enough room to accommodate for the upgrade as well.

      Also, you’ll want to get a power supply that has more wattage behind it. You’d be safe with at least going with a 650W power supply as it seems that the stock version of your PC came with a 500W power supply which would not be enough for the CPU and GPU combined.

      Let us all know what you end up doing, happy to help more if needed!

  11. Hi Colton,

    First off i wanna say a huge thank you for this article. For someone like me who doesn’t know anything about computers and paid someone else to build my PC 6 years ago, this has been extremely helpful!

    My CPU is an Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6600 @ 3.30GHz.

    Would it be ok to upgrade to say MSI RTX 3060 that you recommended or would i need to upgrade the CPU as well?

    Thank you,

    • Hey, Christian!

      Happy to hear that it helps! Decided to write this up for that exact reason, to help with clarity for the upgrade lol

      You’re referring to this first card, right? You’re going to have a slight bottleneck with the i5-6600… However, you’re still going to see an increase in performance. Thing is, you’ll need to upgrade your motherboard, RAM, and CPU if you decide to upgrade your CPU right away.

      I’d suggest going with that card and enjoying the performance boost as is. Then, down the road and whenever you’d deem it necessary, you could upgrade your CPU, board and RAM to get every bit of performance out of the card!

      Always here to help, let me know what you decide to do!


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