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.

Why?

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! 😀

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

  1. 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,
    Christian

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply

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