At the beginning of 2021, Nvidia announced its brand new GeForce RTX 3060. This time around, no Founders Edition on the horizon. It was Nvidia’s partners who built custom designs to accommodate the Ampere chip. While waiting for our test, we offer you a press review of the first tests published on the web.
Nvidia today released a new graphics card for desktop PCs with the latest Ampere architecture. The GeForce RTX 3060 , GA106 being the name of its GPU, has just been released starting at 335 euros .
Note the nuance, “ From “, this base price may soar depending on models and traders. Like other GeForce RTX 30 models, demand far exceeds supply, leading to severe shortages. Prices will therefore naturally soar well beyond the MSRP rate (in French, MSRP for manufacturer’s suggested retail price).
Without Founders Edition, it’s not just the prices that fluctuate: the performance of the card obviously depends on its chassis, its cooling system, the presence of overcloking (OC) functions and so on. after. Among the tests published for the launch of the RTX 3060, we therefore find Zotac, MSI, Asus, EVGA, KFA, Inno3D, Gigabyte, Gainward, Palit… In short, many models.
What is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060?
This is the new entry-level GeForce RTX 30 card: it comes just behind the RTX 3060 Ti . It uses the same Ampere architecture with all the features that make the specificity of Nvidia: RTX, Reflex, DLSS, Reflex, Broadcast … However, the GeForce RTX 3060 is not built around the same GA102 GPU as the high-end GeForce RTX 3080 or RTX 3090. It doesn’t even use the GA104 GPU of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. It features a version of the GPU GA106 , which is also used for mobile versions of the GeForce RTX 3060 .
The GA106 is manufactured using Samsung’s 8nm process and is made up of approximately 12 billion transistors. There are 128 CUDA cores per SM, for a total of 3,584, four Third Generation Tensor cores per SM (112 total), and 28 Second Generation RT cores. The base frequency is 1320 MHz, the boosted clock frequency goes up to 1777 MHz and even more depending on overclocking.
Finally, the RTX 3060 has 12 GB of GDDR6 RAM . Which is much more than the RTX 3060 Ti (8 GB) but also the RTX 3070 (8 GB) and the RTX 3080 (10 GB) . Finally, only the RTX 3090 has more. This is a good thing, as it will allow the RTX 3060 to better handle future heavy gaming games, especially when ray tracing is enabled. These cards are all compatible with the PCIe 4.0 interface and offer HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4a connectors.
Finally, most RTX 3060 cards have a TDP of 170 Watts . You will therefore need a power supply of 500 to 600 Watts depending on your CPU and many other variables related to the configuration of your PC.
The first benchmarks are launched…
We have not read all of the reviews of RTX 3060 . There are already more than 50 online, the VideoCardz site lists almost all of them. We have selected synthetic tests on different RTX 3060 models to get an idea of the overall performance of this card.
Most specialized media have tested the RTX 3060 in a configuration with a Full HD display. The QHD definition is also present, but it is generally less the case.
According to Computer Base, the GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB offers a resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels 5% more average FPS than the GeForce RTX 2060 Super (8 GB). This is 23% more performance than the previous generation GeForce RTX 2060 .
Average 60 fps in Full HD are achieved on most games when ray tracing (RT) and DLSS are disabled:
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: ≈ 63 fps
- Borderlands 3: ≈ 83 fps
- Cyberpunk 2077: ≈ 53 fps
- Red Dead Redemption 2: ≈ 58 fps
- Watch Dogs Legion: ≈ 52 fps
This gives superior performance to the AMD Radeon RX 5700 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 , and a bit worse than the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT [19459006 ]. Again, it depends on the games and test conditions.
Indeed, once ray tracing (RT) is activated, overall performance decreases, but the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 seems to widen the gap with the GeForce RTX 20.
DLSS brings, once again, a big leap in performance . It is this technology that saves the performance of the RTX 3060 in some QHD 1440p definition games. This is the case for Cyberpunk 2007 with ray tracing enabled, but also for Metro Exodus and Watch Dogs Legion. So you can play in QHD definition with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 but it is not ideal if you have a 1440p screen with a refresh rate above 60 Hz. The Verge strongly advise against this graphics card if you play in 1440p definition.
Cowcotland has pushed games to 4K definition, such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. It remains playable in 4K with performance worthy of game consoles. So count around 30 fps on average depending on the games.
Another strong point of the RTX 3060 is its reasonable consumption . Cowcotland , one of the rare French media to have got its hands on a model, measured an average of 9 Watts in standby and 175 Watts in peak. This is also felt on the temperature side, they got around 42 degrees on standby and never more than 61 degrees on peak. This is the lowest temperature observed on this generation of GeForce RTX 30. Same observation for Hexus , we always find low temperatures and low consumption, regardless of the RTX 3060 model. [19459002 ]
Twice as powerful as a GTX 1060
In the end, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 seems to be relevant if you still have a GTX graphics card in your case. The RTX 3060 is approximately twice as powerful as a GTX 1060. As summarized in Computer Base n this new graphics card is ahead of the GeForce RTX 2070, the GeForce RTX 2070 Super and the Radeon RX 5700 XT. It seems built for Full HD definition and does well in QHD definition.
If the GeForce RTX 3060 can be bought at MSRP price of 335 euros, it is certainly a very good product. Unfortunately, the current situation with the various variables that come into play (cryptos, Covid-19, global demand…) creates a context of scarcity where prices rise considerably. So be careful not to overpay for a GeForce RTX 3060.
We have also planned a test which will be published in March 2021.