Nvidia has launched a new card into the RTX 30 desktop stack. The new GeForce RTX 3060 with 12GB GDDR6 was widely leaked ahead of the GeForce RTX: Game On event at CES 2021 but nevertheless it is good to see the official specs, as well as the host of partner designs, pricing and availability details that have become available.
The new RTX 3060 is key to Nvidia's ambition of bringing the "Ampere architecture to millions more PC gamers," and the firm is eagerly making comparisons to the hugely popular Pascal gaming GPU (as per Steam's stats), the GTX 1060. Thus Nvidia has felt comfortable using the RTX 1060 as the main reference point in its PR blurb and performance stats.
Of course the Pascal '60 comparison will be probably very welcome to some but many gamers and enthusiasts would probably like a more modern day reference point while waiting for third party reviews. So, I'm happy to report that Nvidia did provide an AAA gaming performance chart which included an RTX 2060 too.
Click to zoom chart
Since this chart its 1080p only it looks like this GPU is going to be pitched at AAA gaming at 1080p with RT and DLSS (four out of six selected titles use RT and DLSS). A quick guesstimate of the uplift compared to an RTX 2060, using this chart is to expect about a 12 per cent uplift on average. Note that the RTX 2060 Super was about 10-20 per cent faster than the RTX 2060 across a swathe of titles when it was launched.
So, what are the specs of the GeForce RX 3060 12GB? If you go to the official product page you will see that the new GPu is part of the RTX 3060 Family, and thus Nvidia has shared the table below with consumers:
In summary the RTX 3060 has 36 per cent fewer CUDA cores but runs at approx 6 per cent faster clock, however its 12GB GDDR6 memory is on a narrower 192-bit bus. The new GPU's power consumption of 170W is 30W lower than the RTX 3060 Ti.
Nvidia says that its new $329 GPU will become available in late February.
Partner graphics cards from the usual suspects are already being announced. Gigabyte has launched four GeForce RX 3060 12GB models in its first wave, for example. It has triple fan Vision OC and Gaming OC cards, as well as a pair of twin-fan Eagle models in regular/OC clocks that it is showing off already. More to come on these and rival offerings at a later date.
Wrapping up, the RTX 3060 12GB is pretty much as expected but we were hoping for some other cards to join it; like an RTX 3060 6GB version, an RTX 3080 Ti, and even some RTX 3050/Ti graphics cards.Furthermore, Resizable BAR PCI Express technology (like AMD SAM) has been introduced for its potential gaming performance boosts. Meanwhile, a decent range of RTX 30 Mobile GPUs for laptop making partners have been launched, as you will see in the next article.