Best CPU for GTX 1060 In 2023 – Top 5 Picks

by Daniel J.

Since its launch in mid-2016, the GTX 1060 had been one of the people’s choice from the inventory of NVIDIA. While they started launching newer and improved versions of this GPU every year, the system requires that can host it for the best kept rising high as well.

By addressing ‘system requirement’, we’re mostly pointing our finger at the processing unit. Hence, it’s a big headache of a GTX 1060 user that, which would be the best CPU for GTX 1060 that would unleash optimal gaming experience for you?

Throughout this post, we’ll be talking about 5 such CPUs from AMD and Intel that would go best with the GTX 1060, and will be within a suitable price. Let’s jump right in-

Image Name Spacs Price
best processor for gtx 1060
#1 AMD Ryzen 5 2600
  • Cores/Threads: 6 / 12
  • Boost Clock: 3.9 GHz
  • Game Cache: 16 MB
See Price
good cpu for gtx 1060   #2 AMD Ryzen 5 1600
  • Cores/Threads: 6 / 12
  • Boost Clock: 3.6 GHz
  • Game Cache: 16 MB
See Price
Intel Pentium Gold G5400   #3 Intel Pentium Gold G5400
  • Cores/Threads: 2 / 4
  • Boost Clock: 3.7 GHz
  • Game Cache: 4 MB
See Price
AMD Ryzen 5 3600   #4 AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • Cores/Threads: 6 / 12
  • Boost Clock: 4.2 GHz
  • Game Cache: 35 MB
See Price
Intel Core i5-8400   #5 Intel Core i5-8400
  • Cores/Threads: 6 / 12
  • Boost Clock: 4.0 GHz
  • Game Cache: 9 MB
See Price

Top 5 Best CPU for GTX 1060

If you are thinking to build your gaming computer with GTX 1060 graphics card and don’t know which CPU will be good, these five selected CPUs can be the best option for you. These processors are not only for gaming, but the price also is under your budget.

#1 Best CPU for Gaming: AMD Ryzen 5 2600

good cpu for gtx 1060

Key Features
  • 6 core, 12 thread CPU unit.
  • Clock speed ranges within 3.4-3.9 GHz.
  • Maximum L3 cache is 16MB.
  • Supports DDR4 RAM of 2933 MHz.
  • Runs on 65W power(95 degrees C).
  • Comes with wraith stealth thermal system.

Without any doubt, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 will get its well-deserving place among the top-tier gaming processors of these days, which can be a superpower once accompanied with GPU like GTX 1060. Hence, it stands out from the rest of the listing and listed as the best processor for GTX 1060. Let’s start with a technical nitty-gritty and jump into the gamer’s point of view later on.

The AMD Ryzen 5 2600 is built on the infamous AM4 socket, which contains X470 and B450 chipset from AMD. The clock speed is as high as 3.9 GHz, where the base speed is 3.4 GHz. It’s a 6 core, 12 thread premium processor with an L3 cache memory of 16MB (which is the standard). About the RAM support, it works the best with any DDR4 RAM of 2933 Mhz.

It runs on 65W of power, turning it’s maximum temperature to 95 degrees C. It’s quite high of a temperature to worry about unless you notice the Wraith Steel internal thermal solution brought to you by AMD. So, no overheating issue will take place even when you’ll be gaming for hours. In addition, It will also do the cooling job quite a silence so that the rotating blades don’t bother your concentration.

Now, the question of the moment- how good of a combo it will be with GTX 1060 for gamers? Well, this is the best part. As per all of the specs go, a combination of AMD Ryzen 5 2600 and GTX 1060 GPU along with sufficient RAM will be handy for a lot of games.

As per the analysis, it will good for these games- Battlefield 5 / V, Call of Duty Black Ops 4 (Blackout), Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite Battle Royale, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Rainbow Six Siege, Counter-Strike Global Offensive, Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, Forza Horizon 4, GTA 5, Hitman 2, Far Cry 5, Overwatch, Monster Hunter World, The Witcher 3 and so on.

Wrapping up, the AMD Ryzen 5 2600 is not only for gaming processor but also you can use in your personal computer. We think it’s one of the best picks to associate the GTX 1060 and unleash a true gaming experience.

#2 Best for Price: AMD Ryzen 5 1600

best processor for gtx 1060

Key Features
  • 6 core, 12 thread CPU.
  • 20-3.6 GHz clock speed.
  • 576KB to 16MB cache memory within L1-L3.
  • Maximum CPU temperature is 95 degrees C.
  • Wraith Stealth cooler- thermal solution.
  • Best budget-friendly CPU for entry-level gaming.

If you want to shift a scale down from the 1st product of our list, and still don’t want to compromise your gaming or streaming performance, combine the AMD Ryzen 5 1600n with the GTX 1600 graphics card and see how charmingly it stays above the par.

Basically, the Ryzen 5 1600 is one of AMD’s budget-friendly models that keep the performance up and comes within about 100 dollars. For entry-level gamers and generic content consumers, a combo of Ryzen 5 1600 and GTX 1060 GPU will be more than perfect.

Nothing fancy, we must say. It’s a 6 core processor with 12 thread count that runs on the wattage of 65 watts. The clock speed is 3.2 GHz as the base-measure, which can be boosted up to 3.6 GHz just in case. The cache memories are like- 576KB at L1, 3M at L2, and 16M at L3. Based on what purpose this is serving, you can customize these options.

Just like the earlier AMD processor, this one also sports the infamous Wraith Stealth Cooler, which keeps the maximum temperature within 95 degrees. For a 6-core processor like this, this is quite some necessity. From where we stand, it’s a pretty good bang for the bucks if you’re an entry-level gamer. The rest of the decision is up to you.

What’s good in it for the gamer? The AMD Ryzen 5 1600 along might not be able to host games that require premium graphics. But assisted with the GTX 1060, you can play games like Battlefield 1 Multiplayer, Far Cry 5, PUBG, Fortnite Battle Royale, GTA 5, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Rainbow Six Siege, Forza Horizon 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider, The Witcher 3, Hitman, Fallout 4, etc.

#3 Best for Personal PC: Intel Pentium Gold G5400

best cpu with gtx 1060

Key Features
  • 2 core 4 thread with 3.70 GHz clock speed.
  • Comes with dedicated 610 UHD graphics.
  • Supports RAM of DDR4-2400 BUS speed.
  • Contains a smart cache of 4M.
  • Perfect for mid-weight gaming and content consumption.

Intel Pentium Gold G5400 was released in 2018, and it’s one of the few processor units that meet both ends of gamers and entertainment enthusiasts. Combined with a GTX 1060 GPU unit, you can unleash the true experience of a premium computing interface.

Let’s get over the technical insight first to see what you’ll be getting with Intel Pentium Gold G5400. It’s a 2 core, 4 thread CPU, with a base clock frequency of 3.70GHz. It supports RAM of DDR4-2400, the size is up to your needs all the way. There is a 4M smart cache memory, along with a 610 UHD graphics (built-in). In terms of wattage, it can suit between 54-58 watts.

Now, what’s good in this processor if accompanied with a graphics card like GTX 1060? Well, the answer can be diverse. Starting from entertainment chores to mid-weight gaming- it can back everything up for you. Its charm starts with letting you enjoy dedicated UHD videos or any other graphical content consumption’s.

But as we’re more concerned about games than anything else, let’s check out what games can be grabbed through this combo of CPU and GTX 1060 processor. As per the Game Test youtube channel is concerned, this combo can go fine for games like PUBG, Far Cry 5, Kingdom Come Deliverance, Grand Theft Auto VBattlefield 1, Need for Speed Payback, The Witcher 3, Project Cars 2, etc.

Lastly, it’s the price point that made it worth buying for gamers and net-surfing enthusiasts. The Intel Pentium Gold G5400 is a very good CPU for GTX 1060 within its price point; one has to say it must! It will save over $100 than AMD Ryzen 5 1600 processor.

#4 AMD Ryzen 5 3600

best cpu to pair with gtx 1060

Key Features
  • A 6 core, 12 thread processor.
  • Built on an AM4 socket.
  • Maxed out clock speed is 4.2 GHz.
  • Precision boost overdrive feature.
  • GameCache memory of 35MB.

Are you looking for the best gaming CPU for 1060 graphics card? AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is another premium processor to power up your gaming experience. If you let go the budget concern of yours, this can be just the perfect CPU along with the GTX 1060 GPU.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is born to be a gamer’s cup of tea, as it comes with a GameCache of 35MB.  It’s a 6 core, 12 thread CPU that’s built in the infamous AM4 socket. The maximum clock speed is 4.2GHz, which is the best score we’ve gone through so far. To take things to the next level, there is a Precision Boost Overdrive in this processor, which unlocks ample overlocking while you want most out of the processor.

For a 12 thread processor like Ryzen 5 3600, eating up all of its capacity by the gameplay processes might sound impossible. But you’ll be still on the safer side as there is the signature cooling tech of AMD, namely the Wraith Stealth Cooler. The temperature will never surpass 95 degrees celsius.

Already said that it has GameCache of 35MB. Because of the massive game cache memory, this CPU is meant to surpass many of its competitors in gaming. But what games can run smoothly in a system with this AMD Ryzen 5 3600 and GTX 1060 GPU?

Seeking for the answer, we got the answer from some Youtube channel. According to them, it can host games like Apex Legends, Fortnite, PUBG, Battlefield 5 / V Multiplayer, Metro Exodus, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Rainbow Six Siege, The Division 2, Sekiro Shadows Die, Twice, GTA 5, Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, Resident Evil 2, Remake, Monster Hunter World, The Witcher 3, Hitman 2, CS GO, Batman Arkham Knight, Overwatch, etc.

Therefore, it’s truly one of the best gaming CPU you can get for your GTX 1060 since you don’t hesitate to go to the premium zone of processors. But if you want to build a more powerful gaming rig for playing modern games, I think you should use RTX 2070 with this CPU.

#5 Intel Core i5-8400

Intel Core i5-8400

Key Features
  • A 6 core, 6 thread processor unit.
  • Maxed clock speed is 4.00 MHz.
  • Compatible with any motherboard above 300 series(Intel).
  • Turbo boost tech from Intel.
  • Eats only 65W of power.
  • 9MB of cache memory.

Although this is just the second entry from the inventory of Intel. But Intel Core i5-8400 is a CPU that deserves it very well. Considering its high price-point, we’ve brought this up a bit late in this list as the best CPU to pair with gtx 1060. But if performance is the only thing you’ve kept your eyes on, this is going to be more than what you extend.

First thing first, the Intel Core i5-8400 is an 8th generation, 6 core, 6 thread CPU, with a  2.80 GHz speed that can be turned on into 4.00 GHz as well. The cache memory is 9MB at best, and it comes with Intel 630 UHD graphics built-in. Technically, it would suit any motherboard that is Intel 300 series or higher.

Among other additional features, there is the Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 from Intel and Optane memory support that you might find useful while gaming.

With all these boosting and performance taking place, how’ll the cooling department like? As reported, if you keep playing games like Fortnite for 3-4 hours at a stretch, the temperature won’t surpass 57-58 degrees. And that will use up to 60-70% of the CPU capacity. So, there is no overheating problem on your computer.

Talking about games, we’ve tried to seek the answer of- what games can be best played with a combo system containing the Intel Core i5-8400 and the GTX 1060 GPU. This combo can go smooth with games like Battlefield, Call of Duty Black Ops, CS: Global Offensive, Star Wars, Battlefront II, Fortnite, Forza Horizon 4, GTA V, Monster Hunter World, PUBG, The Division, etc.

For some of the users, the price point might be a bit disappointing. Because at the same expense, you can move towards a couple of generations if you look at other brands like AMD. But as long as you like it to work with an Intel hardware, and you have the GTX 1060 loaded in your system, you should be fine to go with the Intel Core i5-8400.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What is the best CPU for 1060 3GB & 6GB?

GTX 1060 3GB and 6GB come with almost the same CPU requirements. As per our report, the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 is the best suit for this version, followed by Intel Core i5-8400- the runners up.

Can You Use GTX 1060 with AMD?

Yes. Three of the five processors in this list are from AMD. So, no worries about compatibility.

What CPU will not bottleneck a GTX 1060?

From AMD, any processor from Ryzen 3 series won’t bottleneck the GTX 1060 GPU. From Intel, the Pentium G4560 or the 8th gen i3-8450k will check that box as well.

Is RX 480 Better than GTX 1060?

The RX 480 is better in terms of memory bandwidth. On the other hand, the GTX 1060 is the winner in case of power consumption or clock speed.

Will an i7 8700k bottleneck 1060?

Yes, it will. It has a 32.64% bottleneck once equipped with the GTX 1060.

Final Recommendations:

Alright, we’re about to wrap the whole discussion up. So far, we’ve discussed 3 AMD and 2 Intel processors that suits well with the NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU, as long as the needs of gamers and heavy users are concerned. Hopefully, you’ll be able to pick up the best CPU for GTX 1060, given the list of these 5 processors.

If you are still confused to choose the right CPU for 1060 graphics, I must say that you should go for AMD Ryzen 5 2600. Because it’s excellent and budget CPU for building a gaming PC. By the way, AMD Ryzen 5 1600 is also a good one if you have some budget problem. Happy gaming

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