- The NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB was the most-used graphics card from 2017 to October 2022, but struggles to keep up with modern games.
- Budget upgrade options include the RX 6600 XT, RTX 3060, and ARC A750, all offering significant performance improvements.
- Mid-range options like the RTX 3060 Ti, RX 6750 XT, and RTX 3080 provide even better performance and future-proofing.
- Premium graphics cards like the RTX 4090 offer top-tier performance at 4K or 8K resolutions.
- Consider upgrading your monitor and exploring the second-hand market for more affordable options.
Your trusty GTX 1060 6GB is chugging along, but maybe you feel like it’s time to upgrade. The NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB held the spot for the most-used graphics card from 2017 to October 2022. It was one of the best mid-range graphics cards at the time.
However, the hardware requirements for video games are steadily increasing, and the GTX 1060 6GB struggles to keep up with most modern games. If you want to play modern games on high settings while also future-proofing your PC for upcoming video games, it’s time to upgrade from an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB to a more capable card.
Keep in mind, if you built or bought your PC components around the time the GTX 1060 6GB launched, it’s likely time to replace the entire build. In other words, you should upgrade all the parts: a new motherboard, RAM, CPU, and storage. If you only upgrade the graphics card, the other components will bottleneck your computer and you’ll be leaving lots of performance on the table.
Let’s check out some upgrade options!
Budget Options for the GTX 1060 6GB
While these mid-range graphics cards won’t deliver any mind-blowing features, they offer good performance for 1080p and even 1440p.
RX 6600 XT
- DirectX ray tracing enhances gaming realism
- High performance with low-noise
- Strong backplate with cooling features
- Solid build quality TORX FAN 4.0 cooling system
- Tailored PCB Design enhances reliability
If you want to go with team red, the RX 6600 XT is one of the best upgrade options for the GTX 1060 6GB.
The RX 6600 XT was released in 2021 and has 8GB of VRAM and a clock speed of 2,359 MHz (up to 2,589 MHz with boost). When paired with a good CPU, this card can run almost every modern game at ultra settings with a steady 60 FPS or higher. It can handle less demanding titles at 1440p too.
When comparing the RX 6600 XT to the GTX 1060 6GB, the RX 6600 scores almost double the frame rate in popular games. To give you a quick example, on high settings, Cyberpunk 2077 gets less than 30 frames per second on the GTX 1060 6GB. Meanwhile, the RX 6600 XT can run Cyberpunk 2077 at 60 frames per second or higher.
The RX 6600 XT also supports ray tracing and Fidelity FX Super Resolution (FSR). If you want another mid-range card that will hold up for the next few years, the RX 6600 XT is a fantastic option.
For more information, read our RX 6600 review here.
Prefer team green? The RTX 3060 was released in 2021 and it features 12GB of VRAM and a clock speed of 1,320 MHz with up to 1,777 MHz when Turbo Boost kicks in.
Better yet, the RTX family of graphics cards includes hardware support for ray tracing and DLSS. These are not supported on the GTX 1060 6GB.
When it comes to performance, the RTX 3060 is a massive improvement over the GTX 1060 6GB and it delivers nearly double the frame rate in popular benchmarking tools. The performance is similar to the RX 6600 XT mentioned earlier, but the AMD product is often slightly cheaper.
While the production for the RTX 3060 has slowed down a bit in favor of NVIDIA’s other products, it’s still a good upgrade option for the GTX 1060 6GB and it has double the VRAM.
Intel is attempting to break into the mid-range GPU market, and one of its first attempts is with the ARC A750 graphics card. If your budget is between $200 and $300, the ARC A750 is worth checking out.
The card was launched in 2022 and it has a clock speed of 2,050 MHz and 8GB of VRAM. When the A750 first launched, it was met with mixed reviews due to inconsistent performance and driver issues.
However, Intel has been working hard to optimize the drivers, and most games run great on the A750. As of today, it delivers a similar performance to the other cards mentioned on this list. The card also supports ray tracing and Intel XeSS Upscaling.
While it can keep up with AMD and NVIDIA in most modern games, it doesn’t work so well with older titles, particularly ones that use Directx9. However, the developers are constantly optimizing ARC drivers for games, so the performance should improve over time.
Nevertheless, it’s an interesting new product by Intel that holds up surprisingly well. If you want to support Intel’s graphics cards and try something new, the A750 is a good choice. It also costs less than equivalent GPUs and performs about the same.
RTX 3060 Ti
- Features 0dB technology for near-silent operation
- Boost clock 1710 MHz
- Comes with 4,864 CUDA cores
- Can do high refresh rate 1440p gaming
The RTX 3060 Ti is a factory-overclocked edition of the RTX 3060. It offers improved performance and puts it in the same category as the RTX 3070.
The RTX 3060 Ti usually costs a bit more than the base model but it offers about a 30% improvement in performance. Today, the RTX 3060 Ti can be found new for around $500 and even lower in second-hand marketplaces.
For a full comparison of the RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti, read our guide here.
RX 6750 XT
- 12GB GDDR6 RAM
- XFX QICK 319 triple fan for better cooling
- Boost clock speed up to 2623MHz
- 3xDP HDMI
AMD’s RX 6750 XT is the equivalent of NVIDIA’s RTX 3070.
The RX 6750 XT has 12GB of VRAM and a clock speed of 2,424 MHz (up to 2,581 MHz). Depending on your region, the RX 6750 XT can often be found for less than the RTX 3070, which makes it a much better deal. It also has significantly more VRAM.
If you’re looking to break into 4K gaming without breaking the bank, the RTX 3080 is what you need.
The RTX 3080 has 12GB of VRAM and a clock speed of 1,667 MHz. It can run practically every modern game at the highest settings at 4K while hitting the 60 FPS target.
At 1080p and 1440p, you can expect to get over 100 frames a second on practically any game. It also has plenty of VRAM so you will future-proof your build for upcoming video games.
Premium Graphics Cards
Looking for the best of the best? If you buy the absolute best, you won’t have to worry about upgrading your computer for a long time.
- Has 16,384 NVIDIA CUDA Cores
- Supports 4K 120Hz HDR, 8K 60Hz HDR
- Up to 2x performance and power efficiency
- Fourth-Gen Tensor Cores that offer 2x AI performance
- Third-Gen RT Cores
- AI-Accelerated Performance: NVIDIA DLSS 3
- NVIDIA Reflex low-latency platform
At the moment, the RTX 4090 is the best graphics card on the market.
It can run practically every game at ultra settings at 4K or even 8K resolution. The card features 24GB of VRAM and a 2,235 MHz clock speed. Of course, the price of the RTX 4090 alone costs about the same as an entire mid-range PC build. The power requirements are steep too.
For a full list of our favorite graphics cards, browse our list here.
Factors to Consider Before Upgrading
Before upgrading your GTX 1060 6GB, there are a few factors to consider. The most important would be your preferred resolution.
To make the most of a new graphics card, it may be time to replace your monitor too. For instance, if you’re using an RTX 4090 with a 1080p 60Hz monitor, you’ll be leaving a massive amount of performance on the table.
We recommend upgrading your monitor too. For gamers, a high-refresh-rate monitor is a must. A monitor with 1440p and 144Hz is the sweet spot for most gamers. The cards on this list will have no problem reaching that limit.
Another factor to consider is whether or not you want to buy a used graphics card. Second-hand graphics cards are generally much cheaper than brand new ones and they deliver pretty much the same performance. If you’re struggling to stay within a budget, consider browsing the used market for a graphics card.
The downside to buying second-hand graphics cards is there’s no way to tell for sure if the card has any issues, and most don’t have a warranty.
|RX 6600 XT
|2,359 MHz (up to 2,589 MHz with boost)
|RTX 3060 Ti
|RX 6750 XT
|2,424 MHz (up to 2,581 MHz)
The image featured at the top of this post is ©darksoul72/Shutterstock.com.