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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 review

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The arrival of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 makes Nvidia’s Ampere structure in the end to be had withinside the price range market.

At $70 (approximately £50, AU$90) less expensive than the cardboard in our Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti evaluation, this price range GPU is focused on clients who can’t or are unwilling to shell out $four hundred/£four hundred or greater on a pics card. That consists of GTX 1060 customers who’ve been watching for the proper time – and fee – to improve to the contemporary technology.

In our Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 evaluation, we discovered it to be many of the fine pics playing cards for its fee-to-overall performance ratio, and that also holds true – that’s why it is nevertheless the maximum considerable card to be had available in the marketplace to this day, in line with the Steam Hardware Survey.

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This is genuinely Nvidia’s middle target market for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 – even supposing it does include a better fee tag. The GTX 1060 has been available in the marketplace for nearly five years after all, having made its auspicious debut returned in August 2016. And, it has a fragment of the rate of the RTX 3060.

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Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be an clean promote. The GTX 1060 isn’t handiest nevertheless able to tackling masses of the fine PC video games coming out, however it stays to be the less expensive proposition. Meanwhile, the RTX 3060 Ti gives the type of brought overall performance that makes the more fee greater than really well worth it.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060: Price and availability

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 sitting on a espresso desk with its backplate visible

(Image credit: Future)

Cheaper than RTX 3060 Ti, however now no longer as true of a fee

More steeply-priced than the RTX 2060 turned into while RTX 2060 Super released

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 released on February 25, 2021, beginning at $329 (approximately £240, AU$430). The pricing is a bit bit complicated, aleven though. Unlike preceding entries withinside the Nvidia Ampere lineup, Team Green isn’t liberating a Founder’s Edition of the RTX 3060 – similar to what it did with the GTX 1660 Ti returned with the Turing lineup.

So, whilst the EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Black XC we reviewed right here will promote for $329 (approximately £240, AU$430), there can be an entire variety of Nvidia RTX 3060 pics playing cards. There can be a few RTX 3060 playing cards with problematic cooler designs, boasting higher overclocking abilties and can also be overclocked out of the box.

Those playing cards will in all likelihood carry out quicker than the EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Black XC, however handiest through a marginal quantity – and won’t be really well worth the brought expense.

Nvidia is especially aiming the RTX 3060 to game enthusiasts which have caught to the Pascal-primarily based totally GTX 1060 considering that its 2016 release. This makes sense, for the reason that upgrading your pics card with each different technology appears to be common, however costs have modified considerably considering that 2016.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 released for $249 (£238, AU$429) – appreciably much less than the $329 (approximately £240, AU$430) RTX 3060. Even earlier than the GPU shortages which might be ongoing on the time of writing, that’s a quite huge fee bump that a few GTX 1060 customers won’t be capable of justify.

Then, on the opposite facet of it, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is an more $70 (approximately £50, AU$90) at $399 (approximately £299, AU$540). That’s a quite hefty fee leap, however in case you’re already breaking the $300 / £300 / AU$four hundred mark, you may as properly get some thing as a way to provide you with the fine revel in you could get. It’s tough to nail down precisely who to endorse this pics card to, specially considering that we expect Nvidia can be launching price range Ampere playing cards at a few factor – and the whole thing can be offered out for some time nevertheless.

Nvidia is attempting to fight the enchantment to cryptocurrency miners with the RTX 3060, aleven though, with a mixture of hardware and software program to cripple its hash rate. It stays to be visible whether or not or now no longer this can assist preserve the fee of the cardboard low, however we are hoping it does. Once this card begins offevolved seeing its fee upward push towards the RTX 3060 Ti, its fee unexpectedly diminishes.

Value: 3.five / five

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060: Features and chipset

The 8-pin energy enter connection at the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060

(Image credit: Future)

More CUDA cores

Way greater VRAM than it needs

Represents a large leap from GTX 1060

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 key specs

GPU: Nvidia GA106

Stream multiprocessors: 28 (128 CUDA in line with SM)

CUDA Cores: 3,584

Tensor cores: 112

Ray tracing cores: 28

Power Draw (TGP): 130W

Boost clock: 1,777MHz

VRAM: 8GB GDDR6

Memory Speed: 15Gbps

Interface: PCIe 4.zero x16

Power connector: 1 x 8-pin

Like the relaxation of the Nvidia RTX 3000 collection pics playing cards, the GeForce RTX 3060 is primarily based totally on Nvidia’s new Ampere structure. With the flow from Turing to Ampere Nvidia brings greater than only a better product variety to the desk.

The largest extrade in Ampere is withinside the Streaming Multiprocessor’s (SM) datapath. Where preceding generations had separate pipelines for Integer and Floating Point 32 (FP32) workloads, Nvidia has efficaciously doubled the quantity of cores that may deal with widespread FP32 work – which simply occurs to be extraordinarily crucial for gaming overall performance. Because of this, the quantity of CUDA cores in line with SM has doubled to 128, in preference to the sixty four discovered in some thing like card from our Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 evaluation.

This method that whilst the RTX 3060 sincerely has fewer SMs at 28 than the RTX 2060 with 30, CUDA middle be counted number jumps to 3,584 at the RTX 3060 during the last technology’s 1,920. That’s a huge increase, and a primary motive why the RTX 3060 sees such an growth in gaming workloads.

And in case you pass even similarly returned in time to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, the customers of which Nvidia is closely focused on with the 3060, the vintage Pascal-primarily based totally preferred is full of simply 1,280 CUDA cores.

The scaling right here isn’t perfect, however, however way to this huge distinction in the quantity of shaders to be had to the RTX 3060, it could obtain double the overall performance of the GTX 1060 in lots of video games.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 additionally comes geared up with 12GB of GDDR6 VRAM on a 192-bit bus. And, properly, it’s a chunk atypical that this pics card has one of these gargantuan quantity of reminiscence to be had to it.

Putting this a whole lot VRAM right into a pics card that’s supposed for 1080p gaming clearly doesn’t make a whole lot sense, and might be the motive that the pics card is sitting at such a unusual fee factor – at $329, rather than the $299 fee factor that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 offered for as soon as the RTX 2060 Super released in July 2019.

The pics card doesn’t carry out specially properly at 1440p, and at 1080p many video games aren’t going to push into requiring 12GB of VRAM for a long term to come. There are a few titles as a way to make use of greater than 8GB, however you don’t genuinely benefit a sizeable increase in overall performance in case you don’t have that.

Nvidia tells us that it ended up going with 12GB of VRAM due to the fact with the 192-bit reminiscence bus, the GPU might be loaded with 6GB or 12GB of reminiscence, and the organization desired to offer customers with the maximum reminiscence that the GPU should offer. We applaud that choice, however we can’t assist however marvel why that choice turned into made right here and now no longer with the playing cards in our Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 evaluation or Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 evaluation, wherein greater VRAM should truly assist at 4K.

And you genuinely can’t communicate approximately Nvidia Ampere with out speakme approximately ray tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). Both of those technology are supported through the RTX 3060, aleven though the smaller GPU method that there’s much less committed hardware for RT and DLSS workloads.

But, the smaller quantity of RT cores shouldn’t genuinely be a hassle, specially at 1080p. What’s greater crucial than ray tracing right here, aleven though, is the DLSS. For a pics card on this segment, the capacity to squeeze out a bit greater overall performance at 1080p goes to be a win regardless of the way you have a take a observe it. It can honestly imply the distinction among forty five and 60 fps, in spite of ray tracing enabled in lots of video games.

And, with how true the DLSS 2.zero set of rules has become, our recommendation is to show it on every time it’s to be had in the sport you’re playing. We’d even pass to this point as to mention that, DLSS is the unmarried largest motive to select a pics card from Team Green, in preference to going with Radeon, aleven though AMD’s competing FidelityFX Super Resolution is beginning to supply on a number of its promise.

Features: 4.five / five

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060: Design

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060

(Image credit: Future)

Because the EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Black XC is one of the much less steeply-priced variations of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, it’s a quite primary pics card. You won’t locate any flashy RGB lights or custom backplates, however that simplicity works in its favor.

The pics card has  fans, outfitted with the EVGA logo, and are located over a heatsink that extends only a tiny bit over the PCB. It’s the type of pics card layout you’ve visible masses of time, however way to its easy black colorway, it’s a pics card as a way to in shape in any PC construct.

The EVGA RTX 3060 Black XC is likewise notably small. It remains a dual-slot card – unmarried slot pics playing cards in all likelihood won’t be coming returned – however it’s extraordinarily short. At simply 7.ninety four inches (201.8mm) long, you ought to haven’t any hassle becoming this pics card in any PC case. With how huge a number of the RTX 3000 pics playing cards were getting, it’s extraordinarily fresh to look a GPU that you may feasibly in shape in a mini-ITX case with out an excessive amount of effort.

It’s powered through a unmarried 8-pin PCIe connector, this means that you don’t want to fear approximately an ugly 12-pin adapter. Again, every other gain for customers that need to construct in a smaller case. I/O is likewise extraordinarily easy, with 3 DisplayPorts and one HDMI 2.1 port.

There’s nevertheless no USB-C video output right here, and we nevertheless assume it’s a shame. With how crucial GPUs have become to innovative specialists for the whole thing from image modifying to 3-D modeling, it’s a pity that the maximum current Nvidia pics playing cards have dropped aid for USB-C video output.

Design: 4.five / five

Doubles the overall performance of GTX 1060

Great price range PC card (besides for the fee)

Test bench specs

This is the machine we used to check the EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Black XC:

CPU: AMD Ryzen nine 5950X (16-middle, as much as 4.9GHz)

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Masterliquid 360P Silver Edition

RAM: 64GB Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 3,200MHz

Motherboard: ASRock X570 Taichi

SSD: ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro @ 1TB

Power Supply: Corsair AX1000

Case: Praxis Wetbench

With the RTX 3060, Nvidia is hoping to persuade those who were conserving onto their GTX 1060 to in the end make the improve, claiming that the brand new card boasts double the overall performance. And, properly, Nvidia is proper.

Throughout our testing, the RTX 3060 sits someplace among 80-120�ster than the GTX 1060. The handiest recreation wherein it doesn’t see that a whole lot of an development is Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and that recreation doesn’t precisely have the fine GPU scaling.

When the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 released manner returned in 2016, it have become extremely famous as it turned into low-priced and will effortlessly play all of the freshest video games at 1080p with 60 fps. However, over the previous couple of years, that rock-strong overall performance persevered to wane, as video games have become greater graphically intense. And, now, with video games like Watch Dogs Legion, Cyberpunk 2077 and Dirt five genuinely pushing the boundaries, the GTX 1060 is beginning to reveal its age.

The RTX 3060, then, is type of the right replacement. It handles next-technology video games at 1080p without a hassle, in spite of ray tracing enabled, that can supply the RTX 3060 a comparable legacy to the GTX 1060 if that 12GB body buffer offers it a chunk of an extended life. It’s crucial to preserve in mind, however, that the GTX 1060 released for $249 – nearly $a hundred much less than the RTX 3060. That in the end complicates things, and in case you’re a GTX 1060 user, you may need to watch for some thing Nvidia has to observe the GTX 1660 instead, specially in case your price range hasn’t modified.

Generally speaking, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 is ready 30% slower than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, regardless of the a whole lot larger allocation of VRAM at the non-TI card. And, for the reason that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is handiest approximately 21% greater steeply-priced than the RTX 3060 – at the least earlier than we aspect in GPU shortages – that math doesn’t pretty upload up. In a super international wherein you could simply pass on Newegg and purchase a pics card at its meant fee, our recommendation could be to simply store up that more $70 and spring for the RTX 3060 Ti.

In phrases of overall performance, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 is simply type of in a unusual place. This pics card could be remarkable for price range PC developers if it turned into simply a chunk much less steeply-priced, however the fee will increase that got here with Nvidia Turing unluckily appear like they’re right here to live. However, in case you’re available in the marketplace to construct a 1080p gaming PC, it’s nevertheless in all likelihood the fine fee you’re going to get proper now, at the least till both Nvidia or AMD release greater price range-orientated pics playing cards as a way to fill the extensive hole that exists proper now.

Performance: 4 / five

Should you purchase an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060?

Buy it if…

You need first-rate 1080p gaming overall performance

1080p gaming remains extraordinarily famous, and it’s greater low-priced than ever earlier than. If you need to live at that decision whilst nevertheless having the ability to show on all of the ray traced eye candy, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 gets it done.  

You’re trying to construct a small form-aspect gaming PC

Because the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 doesn’t use a number of energy, and doesn’t want a strong cooler, you’re going a good way to locate masses of variations which might be small sufficient to in shape into quite a whole lot any PC case.

You need ray tracing and DLSS however don’t have a number of cash

Outside of the last-technology RTX 2060, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 is the most inexpensive manner to get hold of ray tracing and DLSS technology – the latter of which might be the fine GPU function in years.  

Don’t purchase it if…

You need a GPU on the equal fee because the GTX 1060

If you purchased the GTX 1060 years in the past as it turned into the maximum effective pics card inside your price range, you may need to preserve ready till Nvidia fills out its lineup with greater price range-orientated pics playing cards.  

You need to play video games at 1440p

Despite what the 12GB body buffer would possibly lead you to assume, the RTX 3060 doesn’t precisely excel at 1440p gaming, specially whilst you begin throwing specially heavy video games like Watch Dogs Legion at it. If you need to get into 1440p gaming, the RTX 3060 Ti is the higher purchase – even supposing it’s miles a chunk greater money.

Also Consider

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

The RTX 3060 Ti is effortlessly the fine Nvidia GeForce pics card through fee and its MSRP isn’t that rather more steeply-priced than the RTX 3060, so if you could come up with the money for to spend a bit greater then truly test out the RTX 3060 Ti.

Read our complete Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti evaluation

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AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT

The RX 6650 XT is greater steeply-priced than the beginning MSRP of the RTX 3060, however it’s miles usually greater to be had, so in case you’re suffering to locate an RTX 3060 and also you want to improve, the RX 6650 XT is a great 1080p alternative if all you are doing is gaming. This is not an excellent card for innovative workflows aleven though, and its greater steeply-priced than it ought to be, so handiest keep in mind this if higher alternatives are not to be had.

Read the entire AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT evaluation

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060

Even aleven though it is some years vintage now, the RTX 2060 remains one of the fine 1080p pics playing cards around. It is probably more difficult to locate nowadays, however if you could locate it at MSRP or much less, that is a higher opportunity to the RTX 3060 than the RTX 3050 in phrases of overall performance and fee.

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