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The Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti sprung on to the shelves in time for the holiday season and promising an impressive performance. A surprise but welcome addition to the company’s RTX 3000-series line-up Tom Warren over at TheVerge was keen to give it a whirl.

Priced at $399, it retails for $100 less than the RTX 3070 which was previously ranked as the best compromise between budget and gaming experience for 1440p gaming. With the extra savings it presents and the team at NVIDIA boasting that it trumps the 2080 Super the RTX 3060 Ti could be the affordable graphics card you have been waiting for.

GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
GeForce RTX 3060 Ti has got a 12-pin power connector. Image credit theverge.com

If you’re willing to forfeit some settings, you’ll manage 4K gaming with it. Realistically, the 3060Ti is tailored towards 1440p displays like the RTC 3070. Both cards are an ideal choice if you are looking to move from a 1080p display without spending too much cash. The RTX 3080 casts twice as much and has a significantly higher power draw as well.

Tests were done priorly to the new RTX 3060 Ti’s debut on December 2nd, at both 1440p and 4K. This new card’ll give you plenty of headroom at 1440p or below, just like the RTX 3070, yet it struggles to hit 60fps in some of modern games at 4K. Yet, the results of the RTX 3060 Ti’s performance are impressive, especially since it’s price is $399.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • It’s pretty quiet and cool
  • An awesome option for 1440p gaming
  • DLSS works well for transforming games

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Only 8GB of memory

Buy it at Bast Buy for $399.99

UNDER THE HOOD OF GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

The RTX 3060 Ti and the RTX 3070 looks almost the same: similar size and shape, along with a traditional dual-fan setup. They also both sport a dense compact PCB to improve overall airflow. The right axial fan pushes the air through the card and left works efficiently to cool the GPU cores ensuring the air is expelled. 

Together they do an exceptional job of cooling the system when it is being taxed and keeps it very quiet to boot. You will rarely hear any fan sound even if you hit high temperatures mid-game.

The RTX 3060 is fitted with one of  Nvidia’s newer 12-pin power connectors so you will require an adapter which you will find in the box. One of the 8-pin power connectors has to be adapted and whilst it isn’t bulky it might be an idea to get your hands on a dedicated 12-pin connector for your PSU. 

RTX 3060 Ti
The double-fan setup in RTX 3060 Ti. Image credit: theverge.com

There is also a single HDMI 2.1 port and three DisplayPort 1.4a ports in the RTX 3060 Ti. Similarly to the rest of the RTX 3000 series, Nvidia has dropped the USB-C VirtualLink port found on the RTX 2000 series.

Just as the RTX 3070 has it the RTX 3060 Ti also has the GeForce RTX logo on the side of the card, however it doesn’t light up when your PC is powered on. Colour-wise, the 3060 Ti has a slightly lighter silver coating, which is different from the darker silver found on the rest of the RTX 3000 series cards.

As far as power requirements are  concerned the entire RTX 3000 series needs a little more juice than the previous generation but the 3060 Ti is not as demanding as some of the higher-end of the lineup. The recommended power supply is 600-Watts but the 3060 Ti draws around 200-Watts which is pretty modest comparatively. RTX 2060 Super (was the top-of -the-line previous generation) required 185-Watts and the 2080 Super 150-watts so it’s not a huge bump-up given that NVIDIA says the 3060 Ti matches their performance capabilities.

1440P TESTING

Test machine for 1440p and 4K:

  • Processor: Intel Core i9-10900K 3.7GHz 10-Core
  • CPU Cooler: Corsair H150i PRO RGB
  • Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX Z490-E GAMING
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance Pro 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3200
  • Storage: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2TB M.2 SSD
  • Case: Corsair Crystal 570X
  • PSU: Corsair 850W RMx Series RM850x

The tests for RTX 3060 Ti have been done on a PC with Intel’s latest Core i9-10900K inside. While for 1440p tests, the RTX 3060 Ti was connected to a 27-inch Asus ROG Swift PG279Q monitor. This monitor supports refresh rates up to 165Hz plus G-Sync, so it’s a good 1440p option to test what are the limits of the 3060 Ti. The 4K performance has also been tested and you can find the results below.

During the test, the author played different games including Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Control,  Watch Dogs: Legion and Metro Exodus, and Call of Duty: Warzone, and the results at 1440p were quite impressive. With Shadow of the Tomb Raider the RTX 3060 Ti is able to hold 100fps steady at maximum settings, while the Call of Duty: Warzone manages 119fps even with ray-traced shadows enabled. For the  Control, which is usually more demanding, the RTX 3060 Ti manages to hit well above 60fps.

On the other hand, Watch Dogs: Legion and Metro Exodus were rather exceptions. There were the performance dips that you can easily fix by enabling DLSS in both titles or dropping some of the visual settings. Yet, since Control performs so well it’s not a big deal that Watch Dogs is just barely missing the magical 60fps.

Here you can watch a detailed video comparison of RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070.

1440P COMPARATIVE RESULTS

Benchmark RTX 3060 Ti RTX 3070 RTX 2080
Microsoft Flight Simulator 20fps 40fps 35fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 103fps 111fps 87fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DLSS) 108fps 118fps 97fps
CoD: Warzone 120fps 130fps 97fps
CoD: Warzone (RT) 119fps 126fps 92fps
Fortnite 134fps 139fps 102fps
Fortnite (DLSS quality) 188fps 173fps 138fps
Fortnite (DLSS perf) 219fps 214fps 153fps
Gears 5 123fps 114fps 85fps
Death Stranding 132fps 134fps 114fps
Death Stranding (DLSS quality) 158fps 166fps 141fps
Death Stranding (DLSS perf) 171fps 172fps 184fps
Control 87fps 95fps 78fps
Control (DLSS quality + RT) 91fps 94fps 76fps
Control (RT) 54fps 57fps 46fps
Control (DLSS quality) 131fps 140fps 114fps
Metro Exodus 39fps 44fps 35fps
Metro Exodus (RT) 24fps 28fps 21fps
Metro Exodus (DLSS+RT) 46fps 53fps 42fps
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 63fps 69fps 58fps
Watch Dogs: Legion 59fps 66fps 52fps
Watch Dogs: Legion (RT) 39fps 34fps 28fps

 

Each game tested ran better on the RTX 3060 Ti when results were compared side by side with the RTX 2080. The benefits of the ray tracing and higher refresh rates with the DLSS enabled was especially notable. Games were tested on a monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate but none of the games tested maxed it out. You can see from the chart above that Death Stranding’ came close but at 1440p the RTX 3060 was worth its salt.

The entire RTX 3000 series has been surprising reviewers gamers. The AI assisted boost that Nvidia’s DLSS gives your frame rates is very impressive. Although the effects are noticeable across the entire series the 3060 Ti shines as a cheaper choice. With DLSS enabled frame rates were improved to an FPS average that matches the RTX 3080. 

The new series of graphics cards also run Nvidia’s image reconstruction tech which enables users to lower the quality of the resolution of the game without sacrificing too much. Nvidia’s imaging will upscale it to match the native res. At 1044p it functions really well and looks just as good. This gives your game a better performance and is well worth enabling if you want steady FPS for a heavily rendered or NPC rich game.

TESTING GeForce RTX 3060 Ti AT 4K

While the RTX 3060 Ti handles 1440p with ease, 4K is definitely more of a struggle. During the tests the settings had to be lowered to get playable frame rates, while 60fps was hard to reach regularly in most. For instance, Watch Dogs: Legion falls below 30fps at 4K most of the time with maximum settings, and it barely even runs with ray tracing enabled.

It was quite unexpectable that a $400 card worked well at 4K: it managed to handle games like Fortnite, once the DLSS was on. Even a demanding Control was able to hit 72fps with DLSS enabled, whereas it’s unplayable at times when it dips below its average of 45fps without DLSS.

4K COMPARATIVE RESULTS

Benchmark RTX 3060 Ti RTX 3070 RTX 2080
Microsoft Flight Simulator 19fps 23fps 19fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 52fps 54fps 45fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DLSS) 65fps 69fps 61fps
CoD: Warzone 60fps 74fps 62fps
CoD: Warzone (RT) 59fps 70fps 58fps
Fortnite 66fps 73fps 52fps
Fortnite (DLSS quality) 99fps 105fps 79fps
Fortnite (DLSS perf) 135fps 139fps 107fps
Gears 5 69fps 66fps 46fps
Death Stranding 59fps 72fps 64fps
Death Stranding (DLSS quality) 83fps 104fps 89fps
Death Stranding (DLSS perf) 101fps 158fps 120fps
Control 45fps 48fps 41fps
Control (DLSS quality + RT) 50fps 57fps 49fps
Control (RT) 12fps 12fps 13fps
Control (DLSS quality) 72fps 83fps 60fps
Metro Exodus 14fps 16fps 15fps
Metro Exodus (RT) 8fps 9fps 10fps
Metro Exodus (DLSS+RT) 24fps 37fps 29fps
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 39fps 57fps 49fps
Watch Dogs: Legion 27fps 31fps 30fps
Watch Dogs: Legion (RT) 6fps 12fps 6fps

 

We can’t recommend the RTX 3060 Ti  for 4K gaming and here’s why. 

Based on the tests, it’s not performing well with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and even with max settings it can’t come close to 60 fps. So we can’t expect it to show satisfying results with more demanding games coming in 2021 and beyond.

On the other hand, the RTX 3060 Ti comes with 8GB of video memory, which just doesn’t seem enough for 4K gaming, as a typical game can average between 4GB and 6GB of memory. If you’re looking for 4K gaming, it’s better to go for the RTX 3080 instead.

Having a wide range of RTX 3000 series cards, Nvidia delivers a truly impressive performance. So, for the cost of $399, the RTX 3060 Ti is a good deal, especially given the fact that a few months ago you’d have to pay $699 or more for the same level of performance.

RTX Ti 3060
The RTX Ti 3060 looks the same as RTX 3070. Image credit: theverge.com

For those, building a budget 1440p gaming PC right now the RTX 3060 Ti is definitely a better option. It shows some solid performance at 1440p, support for ray tracing, Nvidia’s DLSS technology, and a range of RTX features that are designed for creators. As an alternative, there’s the $499 RTX 3070, or even AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 for even more performance at 1440p if you’re willing to shell out $579.

Still, for those who’re not in the rush, it might be worth waiting to see how AMD will compete with the $399 pricing here. Especially as its RTX 3070 competitor (the Radeon RX 6800) is priced higher at $579. Odds are, the new models won’t come out earlier than January or February.

In any case, there is a high chance it’ll require some effort to purchase an RTX 3060 Ti even if you want one. Looking at the availability of the RTX 3080, RTX 3070, and even AMD’s latest cards it is incredibly limited with demand outrunning supply. 

Yet, for those aiming to move from 1080p to 1440p there’s more choices with the RTX 3070 making that leap more affordable, and the RTX 3060 Ti pricing at $399.

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