NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition Review
NVIDIA Sets The Bar High At 399
This review is going to be pretty short. NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is here, and it helps round out the RTX 30 Series lineup with a card at the ~$400 level (in a world where GPUs are available at any – let alone list – price). And the performance? As you’ll see it’s very good for $399, marking a substantial upgrade over the RTX 2060 Super at the same theoretical price level.
And please understand, as this is a launch review we haven’t seen availability yet. This particular model – the Founders Edition – will be sold exclusively through NVIDIA.com and Microcenter – at the $399 list price. These cards may last seconds, minutes, or possibly even hours. Who knows! We can only judge the card based on a theoretical price level, something recent AMD and NVIDIA cards can not currently be found anywhere near, to the consternation of many.
Please direct your attention to the center of this table:
|RTX 3080||RTX 3070||RTX 3060 Ti||RTX 2080 SUPER||RTX 2080|
|Tensor Cores||272 (2nd Gen)||184 (2nd Gen)||152 (2nd Gen)||384 (1st Gen)||368 (1st Gen)|
|RT Cores||68 (2nd Gen)||46 (2nd Gen)||38 (2nd Gen)||48 (1st Gen)||46 (1st Gen)|
|Base Clock||1440 MHz||1500 MHz||1410 MHz||1650 MHz||1515 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1710 MHz||1725 MHz||1665 MHz||1815 MHz||1710 MHz|
|Memory||10GB GDDR6X||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6|
|Memory Data Rate||19 Gbps||14 Gbps||14 Gbps||15.5 Gbps||14 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||760 GB/s||448 GB/s||448 GB/s||496.1 GB/s||448 GB/s|
|Die Size||628 mm^2||392 mm^2||392 mm^2||545 mm^2||545 mm^2|
|Process Tech||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung||12nm TSMC||12nm TSMC|
Essentially we are looking at a slightly “cut-down” RTX 3070 here, based on the same GA104 GPU. The memory capacity (8GB) and interface (256-bit GDDR6) is the same as the RTX 3070, with clock speeds down slightly and the TGP down by 20W (200W) compared to the 3070.
By the way, the presence of the RTX 2080 Super on the table above is especially important here as NVIDIA targets that card’s performance for this new GPU, indicating that the RTX 3060 Ti is actually faster than a 2080 Super, and not just an RTX 2080.
The RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition
NVIDIA’s design for the RTX 3060 Ti Founders edition card is exactly the same as the RTX 3070 Founders Edition, other than the color and the fact that the logo doesn’t light up. You might notice the lighter aluminum frame, compared to the previous darker hue (silver vs. space grey, basically). That’s it. Everything else is the same right down to that ever-popular 12-pin power connection.
I heartily recommend a glance over our earlier RTX 3070 Founders Edition review for some better photos of what amounts to the same design – with a slightly darker grey finish.
As mentioned in the intro performance with the RTX 3060 Ti is a substantial upgrade over the RTX 2060 Super. In fact it’s faster than an RTX 2080 (and a 2080 Super, according to NVIDIA), making this a no-brainer at $400 in a world where buying new GPUs at theoretical list prices is a possibility. But enough about what will doubtless be another frustrating 2020 tech product launch, and on to the charts!
Note: I focused on performance relative to a 2060 Super when benchmarking, and did not re-test the 2080 Super on the current GPU platform. I have recommended that I be fired immediately for this display of ineptitude.
|PC Perspective GPU Test Platform|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 9 3900X|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII HERO WIFI|
|Memory||HyperX Predator DDR4-3600 CL16 32GB (16GBx2)|
|Storage||Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD|
|Power Supply||CORSAIR RM1000x 1000W|
|Operating System||Windows 10 64-bit (1909)|
|Drivers||GeForce GRD 452.06, 456.16, 456.96 (Legacy Tests)
GeForce GRD 457.40 (Press Driver, RTX 3060 Ti)
Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.8.3
We will look at both 2560×1440 and 3840×2160 results here, both run at the “high” preset using DX12.
At 2560×1440 we have an impressive first showing for the new card; significantly faster than the RTX 2060 Super it effectively replaces at $399, and noticeably faster than the RTX 2080. Add about 5% to those 2080 FPS numbers to estimate a 2080 Super and, yeah, that’s basically the 3060 Ti here.
More excellent performance at 4K follows:
The Division 2
Moving quickly along, we look at another DX12 title, with The Division 2 run using that API at the “high” quality preset. 2560×1440 first:
At 2560×1440 we have another result well above the RTX 2080, and 10 FPS behind the RTX 3070. Considering the $100 difference in price the RTX 3060 Ti is looking like the better buy – at least so far. (Yes, I get it. You actually have to be able to BUY it to have a better buy. Moving on!)
At 4K the performance scales nicely, and we have essentially the same result here relative to the 2080 and 3070.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Another DX12 test, this was also run at both 1440 and 4K, and also at the “high” preset.
No surprises here, with similar gains over the RTX 2080 to those seen from The Division 2.
A decidedly AMD-optimized title, DiRT 5 provides a “worst-case” scenario for NVIDIA cards. This marks the only occasion in which the RTX 3060 Ti did not beat the RTX 2080, instead effectively matching it at 1440:
The RTX 3060 Ti was slightly ahead of the RTX 2080 at 4K, but both results were too close to call between these two cards in DiRT 5.
Far Cry 5
Finally we move to our lone DX11 test with Far Cry 5, run at the highest settings at 4K.
Another test, another result placing the RTX 3060 Ti between the RTX 2080 and RTX 3070. The gains over the RTX 2060 Super are massive, and overall this is a great performer for its price segment.
The RTX 3060 Ti has a TGP of 200W, which is 20W lower than the 3070. Here’s a quick look at observed power draw from our particular test platform:
No surprises here as the RTX 3060 Ti is indeed drawing less power (17W) than the RTX 3070. And while this generation has famously drawn a lot of power at the high end, it’s impressive to see the power draw of this new card relative to the RTX 2080. The 3060 Ti is a more economical choice than a 3070 in both price and power consumption, in theory anyhow.
As promised, this review was pretty short. NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3060 Ti launches tomorrow (December 2) for $399, and considering the performance (better than an RTX 2080) we saw here – which marks quite a substantial upgrade over the RTX 2060 Super it replaces at this price point – the RTX 3060 Ti is a fantastic choice in the fantasy world in which it would be widely available at launch.
Once again, this is a launch review. We haven’t seen availability yet. The Founders Edition we looked at will be sold exclusively through NVIDIA.com and Microcenter here in the USA, which means sales at the $399 list price – when the card is in stock.
So, assuming you can find one, I think it’s easy to recommend this new GPU – particularly as AMD does not currently offer a 6000 Series product to compete at this price level.
This disclosure statement covers the way the product being reviewed was obtained and the relationship between the product's manufacturer and PC Perspective.
How Product Was Obtained
The GPU is on loan from NVIDIA for the purpose of this review.
What Happens To Product After Review
The GPU remains the property of NVIDIA but will be on extended loan to PC Perspective for the purpose of future testing and product comparisons.
NVIDIA provided the product sample and technical brief to PC Perspective but had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
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