The GeForce RTX 3060 is Nvidia’s newest $330 desktop GPU providing that you just’re unlikely to search out at its recommended retail value. With many issues occurring concurrently: the continuing international pandemic, trade war, and cryptocurrency mining boom, that is the scenario we discover ourselves in in the meanwhile.
The primary batch of critiques of the RTX 3060 went stay about ten days in the past, and whereas we needed to delay ours, on the plus aspect this allowed us to take a extra correct take a look at pricing and post-launch availability. After all, we have now the same old array of benchmarks to go over and we’ll bounce into that in a second.
The RTX 3060 relies on the brand new GA106 die which measures 300mm2 and packs 3584 cores, 112 TMUs and 48 ROPs. That’s 26% fewer cores and TMUs than the 3060 Ti model, however 40% fewer ROPs as a result of downgrade from a 256-bit extensive reminiscence bus to 192-bit. Serving to to attenuate that discount is increased clocked 15 Gbps GDDR6 reminiscence which gives a peak bandwidth of 360 GB/s, so only a 20% discount from the 3060 Ti.
This transformation to the reminiscence subsystem meant that Nvidia couldn’t pair the RTX 3060 with 8GB of VRAM. The choices had been primarily 6GB or 12GB. The previous would have been embarrassing at this value level and with AMD set to launch their mid-range elements with 12GB, Nvidia had little alternative.
It additionally helps them to market the RTX 3060 and justify the $330 asking value which sees it are available in simply 18% cheaper than the 3060 Ti regardless of the numerous discount to the core configuration. On paper, the RTX 3060 doesn’t look like an amazing worth product, assuming all fashions offered on the MSRP, however we’ll in fact conduct a full efficiency analysis after which work out the place it lands when it comes to value per body.
For testing we’re nonetheless utilizing the Ryzen 9 3950X take a look at system as we progress on updating every part to be examined underneath the R9 5950X. Anticipate all that knowledge as soon as we get by way of this newest spherical of product releases. The take a look at system is configured with 32GB of dual-rank, dual-channel DDR4-3200 CL14 reminiscence.
We’ll take a look at the 1080p and 1440p knowledge for half a dozen of the 14 video games examined earlier than we bounce into our regular efficiency breakdown graphs.
Beginning with Watch Canine Legion at 1080p, we see that the RTX 3060 is nice for simply 61 fps on common, making it barely slower than the earlier technology Radeon 5700 XT. A disappointing outcome to see in an Nvidia sponsored title. We’re principally RTX 2070-like efficiency, so $500 GPU efficiency from three years in the past.
The margins are pretty comparable at 1440p, no less than relative to different GeForce GPUs such because the RTX 2070. The RTX 3060 manages to match the 5700 XT right here, in order that’s actually an enchancment over what we noticed at 1080p, nevertheless it’s nonetheless 21% slower than the 3060 Ti.
Murderer’s Creed Valhalla is an AMD sponsored title and right here the 5700 XT is properly forward of the RTX 3060 delivering 22% extra frames. Once more, the 3060 is akin to the RTX 2070 and eight% slower than the 2070 Tremendous. Relative to the 3060 Ti it does properly a 13% deficit right here, although we’re solely at 1080p.
The margin stays a lot the identical at 1440p, the place the 3060 was 14% slower than the 3060 Ti and 15% slower than the 5700 XT. It does match the vanilla RX 5700 and which means it is only a few frames quicker than the RTX 2070.
The RTX 3060 like most fashionable GPUs performs properly in Demise Stranding at 1080p, hitting 129 fps on common to match the GTX 1080 Ti and RX 5700. That stated it is 11% slower than the 5700 XT and 19% slower than the 3060 Ti.
The 1440p knowledge is usually extra of the identical: 10% slower than the 5700 XT and now 20% slower than the 3060 Ti. It matches the RX 5700 once more, so it was 9% quicker than the RTX 2070.
You possibly can play Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 at 1080p maxed out with the RTX 3060, although you might be solely efficiency that’s equal to the RTX 2060 Tremendous, RTX 2070 or RX 5700 with 40 fps on common.
Then at 1440p it roughly matches the 5700 XT and RTX 2070 with 32 fps on common. That is simply playable in our opinion — actually not adequate for a shooter-style sport, however for this simulator it really works.
Shifting on we have now Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Right here the RTX 3060 rendered 123 fps on common at 1080p which sees it match the 5700 XT to come back in 21% slower than the 3060 Ti. When in comparison with the earlier technology base mannequin RTX 2060 which got here in at the same value, the 3060 is 18% quicker.
At 1440p we drop to what’s nonetheless a extremely playable 83 fps. Once more, the RTX 3060 is seen matching the 5700 XT, making it 23% slower than the 3060 Ti.
In Rainbow Six Siege at 1080p, the RTX 3060 is nice for 292 fps, which makes it a bit quicker than the 2070 Tremendous and locations it roughly on par with the RTX 2080 and 5700 XT. It is some 12% quicker than the equally priced RX 5700, although that’s not precisely progress.
We discover that the 1440p knowledge is comparable with the RTX 3060 on par with the 2070 Tremendous and 5700 XT, making it marginally quicker than a vanilla 5700, however 21% slower than the 3060 Ti.
Right here’s a take a look at the 14 sport common knowledge working at 1080p. The RTX 3060 is simply 6% quicker than the RX 5700, which isn’t nice contemplating the MSRP is ~6% decrease. When in comparison with the two-year-old AMD GPU, you’re getting on common 6% extra efficiency for what needs to be a 6% value saving, wonderful stuff.
In comparison with Nvidia’s earlier choices, the RTX 3060 appears a bit extra spectacular, providing 15% extra efficiency than the two-year-old RTX 2060 Tremendous which value 18% much less. After all, Turing was by no means nice worth, however wanting solely at Nvidia merchandise, the 3060 is kind of good.
The 1440p knowledge tells the same story, the place the RTX 3060 is on common 8% quicker than the RX 5700 and 5% slower than the 5700 XT. It is also 17% quicker than the RTX 2060 Tremendous and 22% slower than the 3060 Ti.
Value per Body
Now let’s check out the controversial MSRP-based value per body knowledge. There are RTX 3060 playing cards listed for $330 at a number of retailers together with Newegg, however whether or not or not they’ll ever have inventory for these fashions is difficult to say. They actually don’t proper now and that is hardly stunning. When in comparison with AMD, the scenario does look higher, the RX 6800 for instance has an MSRP of $580, but the most affordable mannequin over on Newegg is $680 with most priced properly over $700 and all out of inventory.
It’s doable that MSRP pricing for out of inventory GeForce playing cards is a ploy to say the MSRP at launch, with card makers promoting base mannequin playing cards that will not get stocked anytime quickly. We won’t say if that principle is appropriate although, given we have heard from individuals who managed to snap up RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 fashions on the MSRP sooner or later. Regardless of the case could also be, provide of these fashions is much more restricted and clearly for the overwhelming majority of buyers the MSRP means nothing.
These studying weeks or months into the long run, when GPUs are again to common pricing, here is how the RTX 3060 stacks up on the claimed MSRP…
For $330, the GeForce RTX 3060 is barely worse than the 3060 Ti when it comes to value per body, coming in at a 6% premium. Given the RTX 3060 Ti is 12% higher worth than the RTX 3070, you’d anticipate the 3060 to value not more than $280, so $50 lower than the precise MSRP. In comparison with previous-gen GPUs such because the Radeon 5700 XT, the RTX 3060 is only a 14% enchancment in value per body.
As of writing, main tech retailers didn’t have a single RTX 3080, 3070, 3060 Ti or 3060 in inventory. Even the bundles the place you need to purchase a motherboard and reminiscence had been out of inventory. Meaning if you wish to purchase a graphics card now, your finest wager is to pay scalper costs over on eBay, one thing we strongly advocate you resist doing.
Within the following graph we’re wanting on the common sale value of accomplished listings for brand spanking new merchandise over the previous week on eBay. We’ve manually gathered this knowledge and any dodgy listings, like a $500 RTX 3090, for instance, had been ignored.
Of this bunch, the most affordable mannequin was the GeForce RTX 2060 for $505 on common, roughly a 45% enhance over the MSRP, leading to a value per body of $8.01 when it needs to be $5.55.
The RTX 3060 is available in at $9.44 per body, and whereas that does make it the most affordable of the GeForce 30 collection, it was solely a p.c cheaper than the RTX 3070.
Admittedly although, this knowledge is meaningless when you think about the common sale value of the RTX 3060 was $793, a staggering 140% markup over the MSRP. Actually nobody ought to pay that for an RTX 3060, however that’s the grim and practical outlook for playing cards which can be extra available.
Ray Tracing and DLSS Efficiency
Earlier than wrapping up, we needed to take a fast take a look at ray tracing and DLSS efficiency together with energy consumption and overclocking. For ray tracing testing, do be aware we’re utilizing the second highest high quality preset for the three video games, so not the minimal in-game high quality settings. We’re additionally testing at 1440p solely (and never 1080p) as that makes higher sense if you’re prioritizing visible high quality over excessive body charges.
In Watch Canine Legion at 1440p, the RTX 3060 was good for simply 62 fps on common on the native decision. Enabling high quality DLSS boosted the body price by 30% to 81 fps, a really good efficiency improve.
With medium high quality ray tracing enabled with DLSS, the body price dropped under 60 fps to 54 fps on common. Not wonderful, however actually nonetheless playable. Then with ultra-quality ray tracing the body price dropped to 49 fps, not nice however the sport remains to be playable relying in your necessities. With out the help of DLSS the sport was unplayable utilizing ray tracing on the RTX 3060 at 1440p as body charges dropped properly under 40 fps.
When in comparison with the RTX 2060, the 3060 was 13% quicker when evaluating native efficiency or DLSS-enabled efficiency. Nonetheless, with ray tracing enabled the RTX 3060 was way more environment friendly, delivering as much as 26% higher efficiency.
This additionally exhibits simply how poorly AMD’s RDNA2 GPUs carry out with ray tracing enabled, no less than in these Nvidia optimized titles. Right here the RX 6800 was 65% quicker than the RTX 3060 with out ray tracing, however with it enabled the Radeon GPU was simply 31% quicker and 16% quicker with the extremely high quality RT setting.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider solely makes use of ray tracing for shadows and DLSS doesn’t work practically as properly on this title, providing nearly no efficiency uplift with out ray tracing enabled. This time the RTX 3060 was 16-20% quicker than the 2060 with ray tracing, whereas it was 11% quicker for straight rasterization efficiency.
The efficiency uplift provided by DLSS in Management is huge. The RTX 3060 was 61% quicker with DLSS enabled, so medium high quality ray tracing with DLSS enabled was capable of match native decision efficiency, although do take into accout we’re solely testing the sport utilizing the medium high quality preset.
The GeForce RTX 3060 was 25% quicker than the RTX 2060 for rasterization efficiency and we noticed comparable margins with ray tracing and DLSS enabled.
The RTX 3060 isn’t significantly spectacular within the energy consumption entrance, utilizing solely barely much less energy than the RTX 3060 Ti, or no less than that was the case for the Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle mannequin we used for testing. When in comparison with the RTX 3060 Ti, we’re a mere 2% discount in complete system energy utilization.
Right here’s a greater take a look at graphics card energy consumption utilizing PCAT. We discover that the RTX 3060 does devour 12% much less energy than the 3060 Ti, however given it was on common 22% slower, that’s not outcome for energy effectivity. It’s a bit extra environment friendly than the 2060 Tremendous, for instance, consuming 6% extra energy for 17% extra efficiency on common, not wonderful nevertheless it’s an enchancment.
A really transient take a look at overclocking has the Gigabyte Eagle RTX 3060 overclocked from the inventory increase frequency of 1777 MHz as much as 1997 MHz, which resulted in a sustained in-game clock pace of two.1 GHz. The reminiscence additionally overclocked from the inventory 15 Gbps switch pace to 17.2 Gbps.
This handbook overclock improved efficiency in Shadow of the Tomb Raider by 10%, taking the common body price from 83 fps as much as 91 fps to match the RTX 2070 Tremendous on this title. That’s a fairly typical Ampere overclock.
What We Realized
Below regular situations, as in you can purchase graphics playing cards across the MSRP, the GeForce RTX 3060 can be a little bit of a flop. It brings nothing new to the desk, it’s technically worse worth than the RTX 3060 Ti, and whereas it does pack extra VRAM, at this value level 8GB is sufficient, no less than for now.
Put the VRAM issue apart and you may see the RTX 3060 has little or no going for it. For RTX 2060 house owners it’s a really small improve, and it’s nearly a aspect grade for 2060 Super house owners, whereas it’s a downgrade for anybody with a 5700 XT.
When you personal a GPU from a previous technology, just like the GTX 1060 and even at GTX 1070, then the RTX 3060 is a good improve when it comes to efficiency, however you’d be higher off spending a bit extra on the Ti model or ready to see what AMD does at this value level.
Which in fact, brings us to the current scenario. In the mean time, Nvidia has no incentive to make the RTX 3060 a killer worth. Nvidia can nonetheless current this value level and promote as many playing cards as they’ll produce, evidenced by the truth that it offered out immediately. Even when the market returned to normalcy later in 2021 — one thing we’re not anticipating — Nvidia might merely refresh the 3060 collection with a Tremendous variant and regulate pricing to no matter is suitable then.
Backside line, the GeForce RTX 3060 isn’t a foul product, it’s technically excellent, however pricing is solely not enticing to make it a compelling improve — however wait — all of that will not matter proper now as avid gamers and miners struggle over any GPU inventory out there. Till issues enhance, we don’t anticipate Nvidia or AMD to launch any good worth GPUs whereas demand stays exceedingly excessive.