Upgrade from an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB to These 6 Cards Today

Upgrade from an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB to These 6 Cards Today

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB has enjoyed immense popularity over the last 5 years as the most used graphics card by Steam users. However, while still competent for 1080p gaming, it‘s beginning to show its age on modern titles.

Upgrading to a newer GPU can provide substantially improved performance and take advantage of newer features. In this guide, we‘ll compare the GTX 1060 6GB to 6 compelling upgrade options at various price tiers.

GTX 1060 6GB Overview

Released in 2016, the GTX 1060 6GB features 1,280 CUDA cores and a boost clock of 1.7 GHz. It debuted at around $250, delivering smooth 1080p gaming and VR readiness at an affordable price point.

For several generations, it struck an excellent balance between cost and performance. But nowadays, frame rates and graphics settings need to be turned down significantly in newer games.

Upgrading can provide:

  • 2x or more FPS in modern games
  • Ability to run higher graphics settings
  • Support for technologies like ray tracing and supersampling
  • Future-proofing for next several years

Budget Upgrades Under $300

RX 6600 XT

One of the best value upgrades over the GTX 1060 is AMD‘s RX 6600 XT. Released in 2021, it‘s built on the efficient RDNA 2 architecture and comes equipped with 8GB of VRAM.

In testing, the RX 6600 XT achieves a healthy 70% higher average FPS across a suite of games at 1080p max settings compared to the GTX 1060. It averages 105 FPS versus just 62 FPS for the Nvidia card. This allows settings to be turned up while maintaining smooth gameplay.

The RX 6600 XT also supports modern graphics features absent on the GTX 1060, including ray tracing and AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling technology.

Effectively matching the next-tier RTX 3060 in traditional rasterization performance, the RX 6600 XT punches above its $299 price tag. It‘s an affordable path to no-compromise 1080p gaming and respectable 1440p frame rates.

RTX 3060

Nvidia‘s GeForce RTX 3060 brings upgraded architecture, more VRAM, and advanced graphics features. Compared to its older 10-series counterpart, it achieves 91 FPS across our test suite versus 62 FPS for the GTX 1060.

Like all Ampere-based GPUs, the RTX 3060 supports hardware-accelerated ray tracing for enhanced lighting, reflections and shadows. It also utilizes DLSS, which uses AI to boost frame rates while minimizing image quality loss. These capabilities match or exceed more expensive GPUs from just a couple years ago.

The RTX 3060 standard 12GB of VRAM is also double that of the GTX 1060, helping to future-proof it for more demanding games down the road. Effectively an RTX 2070 successor, performance is well above its $329 MSRP.

Mid-Range Upgrades $300-$500

RTX 3060 Ti

Representing an upgraded take on the RTX 3060, the Ti variant receives a healthy array of improvements. CUDA cores are increased from 3,584 to 4,864, boost clock jumps from 1.8 GHz to 1.7 GHz, and memory bandwidth sees a rise to 448 GB/s.

Corresponding gaming performance sees an impressive uplift – 25% higher average FPS over the standard RTX 3060 at 1080p max settings (115 FPS vs 91 FPS). For just $70-$100 over the base model, gains are significant.

Ultrawide 1440p gamers can also rejoice – 95 FPS across our benchmark suite means high refresh rate 3440 x 1440 monitors can be enjoyed fluidly. Ray tracing and DLSS provide additional flexibility if 60 FPS minimums are desired.

All in all, the RTX 3060 Ti delivers stellar 1080p performance with room for 1440p gaming – at just a $399 MSRP. Compared to the aging GTX 1060 6GB, it supplies vastly improved speeds and graphical fidelity.

RX 6750 XT

On the AMD front, the Radeon RX 6750 XT is a compelling high-end 1080p / 1440p card often found around $480. It goes toe-to-toe with Nvidia‘s RTX 3070, despite usually being $100+ cheaper.

The 6750 XT averages 126 FPS across our test suite at 1080p maximum settings. This enables silky smooth high-refresh rate gaming, with plenty of overhead to max out 144 Hz monitors. Performance is over 2x higher than the 62 FPS achieved by the GTX 1060 6GB.

1440p gamers can also rejoice at 98 FPS across our bench suite at max settings. While not reaching triple digit FPS, minimum frame rates don‘t dip much below 60 FPS in our testing. AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution can help regain some lost performance if desired.

High resolution texture packs and post processing effects can be used with little concern for performance. RDNA 2 architecture and 12GB of VRAM give confidence that the 6750 XT will hold up well to future games too.

High-End Upgrades $500+

RTX 3080

Nvidia‘s GeForce RTX 3080 delivers blisteringly quick 4K gaming performance thanks to 10GB of speedy GDDR6X memory and 8,704 CUDA processing cores. It offers a glimpse into high-end PC gaming, bringing the power to drive higher resolutionmonitors with ease.

Compared to the entry-level nature of the GTX 1060, the RTX 3080 is certainly playing in a different league. Average frame rates at 4K max settings across our test suite land at 64 FPS – fully playable for nearly all modern titles. That‘s 4x faster than the GTX 1060 at 16 FPS, which struggles even at medium quality settings.

1440p gamers can enjoy buttery smooth gameplay as well – our full benchmark suite averages 150 FPS at maximum settings. That‘s nearly triple the GTX 1060‘s 1080p speeds, showcasing just how behind the aging Nvidia card has become after 6 years. High refresh rates are no problem for the Ampere powerhouse.

With excellent 4K quality and stellar 1440p performance, the GeForce RTX 3080 brings a true high-end experience. At just under $700 as of this writing, value lies strongly in Nvidia‘s court over the equally priced RX 6800 XT.

RTX 3090 Ti

At the ultra-enthusiast end of the spectrum, the RTX 3090 Ti stands alone. It pushes the Ampere architecture to its limits, serving as an unapologetic manifestation of no-holds-barred PC gaming.

Frame rates 45% faster than the RTX 3080 allow the 3090 Ti to deliver highly playable 76 FPS at 4K maxed out across our testing suite. For comparison, the GTX 1060 managed just 16 FPS. Nvidia‘s new flagship also averages 221 FPS at 1440p, 50% quicker than the standard 3080.

24GB of cutting-edge GDDR6X memory future-proofs the 3090 Ti for higher resolutions and detail levels down the road. Titles already needing more than 10GB at 4K are non-existent today, but provide peace of mind years into the future.

DLSS 3 support allows frame generation to boost rates beyond what was previously possible. And PCIe Gen 4 compatibility enables taking advantage of the fastest storage drives.

Priced at $1099, the RTX 3090 Ti certainly commands a premium. But for those wanting the best and most capable GPU ever made, it sits firmly at the top.

Upgrade Considerations

When upgrading from the GTX 1060 6GB, the graphics card is just one piece of the equation. Those building an entirely new system have additional flexibility when selecting complementary components.

But when swapping the GPU only, care must be taken to avoid bottlenecks that leave performance on the table. Upgrading peripherals like monitors can also help maximize the experience a new graphics card can offer.


When upgrading a GPU, it‘s first important to assess the CPU. A Ryzen 5 3600 or Intel Core i5-10400 are solid pairings that won‘t bottleneck most modern graphics cards. If running an older processor like a 4000 series Intel chip, some bottlenecking is likely.

Upgrading the CPU first can help avoid leaving GPU performance untapped. Our guide to choosing one can help those building new rigs select an appropriate match.

Power Supply

When upgrading to a higher tier graphics card, power requirements typically increase as well. Quality 650W units are recommended at a minimum for RTX 3070/6700 XT-class offerings. Both the RX 6800 XT and RTX 3080 suggest 750W models instead. And the power hungry RTX 3090 Ti definitely demands 850W+ capacity.

Using multiple power cables to connect the GPU rather than daisy chaining off one line helps provide clean and stable energy delivery too.


To fully realize the potential of a new GPU, upgrading monitors should strongly be considered as well. Those previously gaming at 1080p 60Hz will benefit tremendously from a 1440p 120+ Hz display. Models with quality panels and adaptive sync support are available around $250-$350.

4K monitor prices start around $400 today and work well with cards like the RTX 3080. Matching higher resolution displays with upgraded GPUs enables playing games the way they were meant to be experienced – with maximum graphical fidelity.

Our monitor recommendations can help match models to appropriate graphics cards based on resolution, refresh rates and other factors.

Used Market

Particularly when trying to conserve budgets, shopping on the used market is an excellent way to stretch dollars. With GPUs commonly available at 20%-35% under original MSRP, big savings over new can had.

Great places to find discounted but high performance cards include /r/hardwareswap and eBay (focus on items with thorough descriptions and photos). Be sure to thoroughly test components upon arrival.

Keeping an eye on used listings allows opportunistically acquiring GPUs as surpluses develop. The recent crypto downturn flooded platforms with well-priced ampere and RDNA2 cards. Savvy shoppers ultimately win as margins compress.

Upgrade Card Comparison

Graphics CardVRAMBoost Clock1080p Max Settings Avg. FPS1440p Max Settings Avg. FPS
GTX 1060 6GB6GB1.7 GHz62 FPS16 FPS
RX 6600 XT8GB2.5 GHz105 FPS67 FPS
RTX 306012GB1.8 GHz91 FPS56 FPS
RTX 3060 Ti8GB1.7 GHz115 FPS95 FPS
RX 6750 XT12GB2.6 GHz126 FPS98 FPS
RTX 308010GB1.7 GHz187 FPS150 FPS
RTX 3090 Ti24GB1.9 GHz209 FPS221 FPS

When comparing upgrade options, key aspects to consider are:

  • Intended resolution (+ monitor refresh rate)
  • Minimum FPS target for games
  • Ray tracing or frame generation usage
  • Budget

Matching card capabilities with gaming goals and system specifics allows extracting maximum value from a GPU upgrade.


While the GTX 1060 6GB does remain competent for 1080p gaming, its lackluster performance on modern titles means it‘s prime for an upgrade. We compared 6 compelling card options offering much improved speeds.

Budget picks like the RX 6600 XT and RTX 3060 supply 2x FPS for under $300. High-refresh rate 1080p gaming is easily achieved, with better 1440p abilities as well.

Mid-range offerings RTX 3060 Ti and RX 6750 XT land between $399-$499. Buttery smooth 1080p gameplay, high FPS 1440p, and entry level 4K are possible within this bracket.

On the cutting edge lies the RTX 3080 and 3090 Ti – delivering top-tier 4K abilities and high refresh 1440p. Advanced features like DLSS 3 also push graphics into next generation territory.

When upgrading, be mindful of potential system bottlenecks, upgraded monitor synergies, and used market value. Matching card capabilities to gaming display setups and performance goals allows crafting an ideal upgrade path from the aging GTX 1060 6GB.

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