A Low mid-range AIB for economy gaming and it’s available… so far

Robert Dow

Nvidia has added to their product line with a new GPU and made it available to their AIB partners. We received an EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 for review and found that it brings solid performance and many new features to the mid-range segment.

The AIB is marketed as providing players with 1080p and 1440p gaming with features including Nvidia’s RTX ray tracing capability. The AIB is based on Nvidia’s GA106-300 Ampere architecture with RT cores, TensorCores, and 12GB of GDDR6 memory. Featuring EVGA’s famous next generation of design, cooling, and overclocking utilizing EVGA Precision X1 software, the EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Series is good for gaming and productivity.

Display outputs include one HDMI and three DisplayPort. The AIB uses only an 8-pin power connector.

Key specifications compared to the RTX 3060 are:

RTX 3060 RTX 3060 Ti Difference 
GPU GA106-300 GA104
Boost Clock (MHz) 1777 1665 6.7%
Memory Clock (MHz) 15000 17500 -14.3%
CUDA Cores 3584 4864 -26.3%
TMU 112 152 -26.3%
Texture Rate (GT/s) 199 253 -22.2%
Memory MB GDDR6 12288 8192 50.0%
Memory Bit Width 192-bit 256-bit -25.0%
Memory Bandwidth (GB/s) 360 448 -19.6%
Power Connection 8-pin 12-pin -33.3%
Performance (TFLOPS) 12.7 16.2 -21.6%
Power (Watts) 170 200 -15.0%
Price $329 $388 -15.2%
Comparison of RTX 3060 and RTX 3060Ti AIBs

EVGA believes that the GeForce RTX 3060 is the ultimate upgrade for GTX 1060 gamers. The GTX 1060 is now coming up on its 4th birthday, released in May of 2016, and has been the dominant card for mid-range gamers, the GTX 1060 powered new games at 1080p/60 fps, the RTX 3060 brings not only 1080p gaming to users but also ray tracing, at 10x the performance of the GTX 1060, as well as AI performance-enhancing DLSS. And the 12GB of GDDR6 memory will be appreciated by gamers. The RTX 3060 also provides quality framerates at higher resolutions such as 2560 × 1440.

There are features like Nvidia Reflex and Broadcast that enable gamers to broadcast more seamlessly and to create content more effortlessly. Reflex as the name suggests enhances gameplay by reducing latency. The RTX 3060 has Nvidia’s second-generation RTX architecture and the company claims it can deliver 12.7 shader TFLOPs, 24.9 RT TFLOPs, and 102 Tensor TFLOPs (using the new sparsity feature) of computational horsepower. It makes games more beautiful and true-to-life. Ray tracing, DLSS, ultra-low latency, new AI-enhanced Nvidia Broadcast streaming, accelerated digital content creation—the RTX 3060 runs it all.

Across a variety of ray-traced and rasterized DirectX and Vulkan titles, the GeForce RTX 3060 delivers 30% faster performance than the GeForce RTX 2060 Super, and roughly the same performance as the RTX 2070.

Just looking at specification differences, the RTX 3060 is 15.2% less expensive, but 21.6% less powerful (in terms of TFLOPS). However, it has 50% more GDDR. A Pmark comparison shows the RTX 3060 very favorably.

The Pmark based on TFLOPS 

Based on TFLOPS the RTX 3060 is better than an RTX 3060 TI by 8.8% and better than the RTX 2060 Super by 121%.

In all cases, the RTX 3060 got the best Pmark.

We also ran tests on the new AIB to see how it performed relative to the Pmark for two other AIBs, the RTX 3060 TI, and the RTX 2060 Super. We ran 30 tests for FPS, and four for scores in a combination of games and synthetic benchmarks.

Processor Intel Core I9 10900K 3.7 GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte Technology Z490 AORUS Master
RAM G.Skill Sniper X 16 GB
Display BenQ EL2870U 4K

The Pmark based on FPS

The RTX 3060 Pmark FPS score was 37% better than the RTX 3060 TI, and 27.4% better than the RTX 2060.

The Pmark based on benchmark scores

The RTX 3060 Pmark score was 11% better than the RTX 3060 TI, and 121% better than the RTX 2060 Super.

Synthetic benchmark Game benchmark
3DMark DLSS Test 1440p Performance Assassins Creed: Valhalla 1440p Very High
3DMark RayTracing Test Assassins Creed: Valhalla 4K
Bright Memory Infinite Metro Exodus 1440p DLSS Off RTX Ultra
Mesh Shader Feature Test Metro Exodus 1440p DLSS RTX Ultra
Neon Noir Metro Exodus 4k DLSS off Ultra
Port Royal Metro Exodus 4k DLSS Ultra
Time Spy Watchdogs Legion 1440p Very High
Time Spy Extreme Watchdogs Legion 4K Very High RT-High DLSS Quality
Watchdogs Legion 4K Vey High
Wolfenstein Youngblood High 2560×1440 FXAA
Tests run in analysis

The RTX 3060 looks like a like value but not if the price gets jacked up by speculators.

What do we think?

Even before the RTX 3060 was released, the price started climbing from the SRP of $329. Corteks found the prices for RTX 3060 AIB partner models at select (but undeclared) retail stores. The average, price for RTX 3060 AIBs has become inflated by 50% already,

RTX 3060 Model Price
MSI Gaming X Trio $514.99
MSI Ventus X2 $484.99
Zotac Gaming $499.99
Asus Strix $499.99
Asus TUF $489.99

Retail pricing for Select RTX 3060 AIB partner cards (Source: Corteks)

As eminent benchmarketer Mark Poppin calls it, the Crypto Pandemic has made the cost of gaming AIBs go crazy.

However, we were unable to confirm the prices Corteks published. The announcement of the new CMP by Nvidia (See: Nvidia takes steps to protect gaming business), we hope, will protect the price integrity of gaming AIBs in the future.

Gaming at 5k