Nvidia’s much-rumored GeForce RTX 3060 Ti has been revealed, and for $399 it offers a lot of power for a mainstream price; this should have AMD a little worried.
Sitting below the $499 Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, the RTX 3060 Ti can outperform the GeForce RTX 2080 Super and makes for a graphics card that can handle 1440p resolution gaming at max settings with ray tracing enabled. And it will tear through 1080p gaming.
In terms of specs, the RTX 3060 Ti comes with the same GA104 GPU and 17.4 billion transistors as the RTX 3070. But it has fewer CUDA cores, with 4,864 compared to 5,888, and sports 38 RT cores, used for ray tracing, against the RTX 3070’s 48.
The base clock speed for the RTX 3060 Ti starts at 1,410MHz and ramps up to 1,665MHz, which is only a little slower than the RTX 3070. It comes with the same 8GB of GDDR6 video memory, which runs at 14 Gbps. In short, it’s effectively a slightly less powerful RTX 3070. And that’s not a bad thing, given it’s $100 cheaper than the RTX 3070.
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Our colleagues over at Tom’s Hardware have put the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition to the test and were suitably impressed with the performance the new graphics card offers for its price. That performance sits just below the AMD Radeon RX 6800, a powerful GPU that costs $549, in standard gaming benchmarks, and beats AMD’s card in tests that use ray tracing.
We’re talking about 1440p max settings gaming easily running at over 60 frames per second. And when demanding ray tracing options are enabled, the RTX 3060 Ti still manages to maintain 60 fps or thereabouts in a lot of games; very impressive for a reasonably priced graphics card.
“The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is a relatively small step down from the RTX 3070, with a larger step down in price. That hits the sweet spot in both price and performance — in fact, out of the current and previous-gen GPUs, it’s the best overall card in price to performance ratio (fps per dollar),” explained Tom’s Hardware’s Jarred Walton. “If you’re hoping to upgrade to a new graphics card, the RTX 3060 Ti definitely belongs on your shortlist.”
Over at TechRadar, they were also impressed with the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, praising it as a powerful 1440p GPU and a graphics card that will allow people gaming at 1080p to run titles at maximum settings with ray tracing for years to come.
“Anyone looking for a mid-range graphics card to handle 1440p gaming is going to find a lot to love. At that resolution, you’re easily going to be able to just crank settings up to max and forget about them. That’s not something you’ve really been able to do before now in this price segment,” TechRadar’s Bill Thomas concluded.
“The best part? There’s enough performance headroom here to take a peek at what 4K gaming has to offer – just don’t expect that buttery-smooth 60fps experience that the RTX 3080 can offer.”
All this is very promising for the RTX 3060 Ti, providing Nvidia manages to get enough stock of the graphics card to the market. This is something it’s struggled with with the RTX 3070 and the GeForce RTX 3080, both of which are extremely difficult to find in stock.
Nevertheless, the gauntlet has truly been thrown down to AMD in the mid-range graphics card arena. Currently, Team Red has no next-gen RDNA 2 graphics card below the $500 mark. So with the performance and price the RTX 3060 Ti is offering, Nvidia may have cornered the market for graphics cards suitable for gaming desktops around the $1,000 mark.
We’d expect AMD to come up with a midrange retort in 2021, likely sooner than later. But it will need to deliver a card that offers a lot of bang for the buck if it’s to take on the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti.