The RTX 3060 has huge shoes to fill. The last-gen RTX 2060 brought Nvidia’s crown gem functions like real-time ray tracing and DLSS to a broadly economical rate point, while the worth of the Pascal-age GTX 1060 suggests that it’s still the most popular graphics card worldwide, according to the Steam Hardware Survey. What’s more, the RTX 3060 likewise needs to separate itself from the recently-released (and well gotten) 3060 Ti, which is itself a cut-down RTX 3070 readily available at a much lower rate point. It’s a dish for frustration for the RTX 3060, however fortunately Nvidia’s brand-new card has some distinct benefits that keep it in contention – consisting of some unexpected specifications, a raft of customized styles and a nerf to cryptomining that might assist retail schedule.

For beginners, let’s talk rate: the 3060 is a $330/£300/€330 graphics card, that makes it $70/£70 more affordable than the RTX 3060 Ti. Ideally, that would imply that we’d see the RTX 3060 provide a little bit more than 80 percent of the efficiency of the RTX 3060 Ti, as we’re paying around 82 percent of the rate. Nvidia guarantees the efficiency of an RTX 2070 at the expense of an RTX 2060, which absolutely seems like a bargain – specifically when you keep in mind that the GTX 1060 debuted at $300, and this card ought to use around double the efficiency for just a couple of currency systems more, inflation regardless of. (Of course, the graphics card market stays definitely risible at the minute, so whether we really see any RTX 3060 cards at their advised list price for longer than a split-second stays to be seen – however we’re doing our finest to assemble where to purchase the RTX 3060 here.)

But for that cash, we do get something rather unique: 12GB of GDDR6 memory, compared to simply 8GB on the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 – and pertain to think about it, that’s much more than the 10GB of GDDR6X memory on the RTX 3080! So what’s going on here? Well, the response is quite unpopular: it relates to the 192-bit memory bus on the 3060. The easy description is that this bus is divided into 32-bit pieces, each of which can access one 1GB or 2GB module of GDDR6. If you divide 192 by 36, you get 6 – so you can either have 6GB of RAM or 12GB of RAM, depending upon whether 1GB or 2GB memory modules are utilized on the card. Nvidia chose 2GB modules for 12GB in overall, so here we are! 12GB still seems like a lot for a card mainly entrusted with 1080p video gaming, however with completing AMD Radeon RX 6700 cards rumoured to sport the exact same quantity, it’s plainly a battle that Nvidia didn’t wish to lose.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 RTX 3060 Ti RTX 3060 RTX 2060 Super RTX 2060 GTX 1060
GPU GA104 GA104 GA106 TU106 TU106 GP106
CUDA cores 5888 4864 3584 2176 1920 1280
Memory Bus 256-bit 256-bit 192-bit 256-bit 192-bit 192-bit
Bandwidth 448GB/s 448GB/s 360GB/s 448GB/s 336GB/s 192GB/s
Base Clock 1500MHz 1410MHz 1320MHz 1470MHz 1365MHz 1506MHz
Boost Clock 1725MHz 1665MHz 1777MHz 1650MHz 1680MHz 1709MHz
TDP 220W 200W 170W 175W 160W 120W
Die Size 392mm2 392mm2 276mm2 445mm2 445mm2 200mm2
Transistors 17.4B 17.4B 13.3B 10.8B 10.8B 4.4B

The remainder of the specifications are quite uncomplicated. The RTX 3060 is the very first card to utilize Nvidia’s GA106 GPU, the smaller sized sibling of the GA104 (utilized in the RTX 3060 Ti and 3070) and the GA102 (utilized by the 3080 and 3090). That suggests, comparing the RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti, we see a decrease in CUDA cores (3584 vs 4864), memory bus width (192-bit vs 256-bit) and memory bandwidth (448GB/s vs 360GB/s). To compensate, clock speeds are raised somewhat (1665MHz vs 1777MHz) and power usage is lowered by 30W (170W vs 200W).

Compared to older styles, the 3060 loads a great deal of efficiency into reasonably little die. At 276mm2, the 3060 is much smaller sized than the RTX 2060 (445mm2) while taking in just a shade more power and providing far better efficiency. Moreover, the 3060 die is comparable in size to that of the GTX 1060 (200mm2), yet it has 3 times as numerous transistors thanks to a shift from 16nm in Pascal to 8nm for Ampere.

As well as enhancements to calculate efficiency, all of the normal functions of Nvidia’s Ampere architecture are present and appropriate, consisting of next-generation ray tracing and tensor cores, so we can anticipate more visible efficiency boosts in RT and AI sped up work. We’ve covered Ampere in higher information in our earlier RTX 30-series evaluations, so let’s move onto the card’s physical style – which looks rather various to the other RTX cards we have actually evaluated, for an extremely apparent factor.

That’s since instead of benchmarking a Founders Edition card for our evaluation, we’re rather evaluating the RTX 3060 Twin Edge from Zotac. In truth, Nvidia isn’t making any Founders Edition cards at all, something that they did provide for the RTX 2060 that this card nominally changes. Instead the card will introduce with roughly 50 styles from the similarity Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, Palit and obviously Zotac. The Twin Edge we’re evaluating is ideal since it’s a more-or-less stock style, running at the exact same clockspeeds as Nvidia’s standard specification, so you must anticipate the exact same or somewhat much better efficiency if you choose an ‘OC’ design.

The Twin Edge is a compact style, determining a couple of centimetres much shorter than the RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition we evaluated on the last episode of Digital Foundry Reviews RTX. There are 2 axial fans installed within a plastic shroud, with 2 huge heat pipelines noticeable below the cooler. The card takes a single 8-pin power input, making it a great option for updating a workplace PC that might include a low-wattage power supply (550W or higher is advised). The I/O is basic for an RTX 30-series card, with a single row consisting of 3 DisplayPort 1.4a outputs and one HDMI 2.1 port sitting below a grid of ventilation cutouts.

As with other RTX 30-series cards, the RTX 3060 is a PCIe 4.0 gadget however operates in PCIe 3.0 motherboards with no loss in efficiency in the huge bulk of video gaming work. Another undetectable function is the AV1 translate assistance, which must permit websites like Twitch and Netflix to up their resolution, bitrate and frame-rate significantly at an offered bandwidth – or reduce bandwidth by approximately 50 percent while keeping these metrics the exact same. AV1 assistance isn’t important now, and is readily available on both AMD and Nvidia’s brand-new cards, however it might be a good cherry on top for anybody picking to update when it strikes the mainstream.

With the specifications and includes out of the method, let’s briefly validate the setup of our screening rig for the video games standards to follow. You’ll see a couple of brand-new elements here if you have actually not had a look at our RTX 30-series evaluates yet, however for those of you that recognize there are not a surprises here. We have a Core i9 10900K is locked to a 5GHz all-core frequency and cooled by a 240mm Alpacool Eisbaer Aurora AiO – which keeps the overclocked system at around 75C under complete load, and substantially cooler than that the remainder of the time.

The 10900K is backed by an Asus Maximus 12 Extreme Z490 motherboard and 2 8GB sticks of G.Skill Trident Z Royal 3600MHz CL16. Our video games are ranged from a capacious 2TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe drive provided by Box. The entire rig is powered by a 850W gold-rated Gamer Storm power supply.

With the intros concluded, let’s get breaking with what we’re all here to see: some video gaming standards.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Analysis

  • Introduction, Hardware and Power Analysis [This Page]
  • Doom Eternal, Control, Borderlands 3, Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Game Benchmarks Part 1
  • Death Stranding, Far Cry 5, Hitman 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Game Benchmarks Part 2
  • Metro Exodus, Dirt Rally 2, Assassin’s Creed Unity – Game Benchmarks Part 3
  • RTX Game Benchmarks – Control, Metro Exodus, Battlefield 5
  • Resizeable BAR Testing – Watch Dogs Legion, Battlefield 5, Metro Exodus
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 – the Digital Foundry decision