Manli has introduced the industry's first Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card with only 8GB of memory. The new board has the same compute performance as fully-fledged GeForce RTX 3060 12GB product, but it cuts down the memory capacity and bus width, which in turn reduces memory bandwidth. All of those changes should have a tangible effect on performance.
Manli's GeForce RTX 3060 8GB GDDR6 graphics card (via VideoCardz (opens in new tab)) presumably uses the same GA106 graphics processing unit as the 12GB card. It comes with 3584 CUDA cores with a 1777 MHz boost clock, the same clocks as the reference RTX 3060 12GB.
Unlike the typical GeForce RTX 3060 12GB board that features a 192-bit memory bus with 360 GB/s peak memory bandwidth, the GeForce RTX 3060 8GB only features a 128-bit memory interface. That likewise cuts the peak memory by 33%, down to just 240 GB/s. In cases where memory bandwidth matters, the new board will end up being significantly slower than the existing GeForce RTX 3060 with 12GB of GDDR6 memory.
Other than the narrower memory bus, the GeForce RTX 3060 8GB has the same specs as the 12GB card. It comes with a 170W TBP (Total Board Power) rating, a dual-slot cooling system, and four display outputs (three DisplayPort 1.4, one HDMI 2.0).
Neither Manli nor Nvidia have given an MSRP on the new RTX 3060 8GB model, though since it should land between the GeForce RTX 3050 8GB ($249) and GeForce RTX 3060 12GB ($329), it will likely be priced accordingly. We expect other graphics card vendors will follow Manli shortly with their own variants of the RTX 3060 8GB.
The impetus behind the card appears to be a desire to offer something between the rather anemic GeForce RTX 3050 and the existing RTX 3060 12GB. The 3050 gets pummeled by AMD's RX 6600 as well as Intel's Arc A750, both in price as well as performance. However, while trimming the memory capacity may reduce the price relative to the 12GB card, it will also drop performance.
Our best guess is that Nvidia probably has loads of GA106 graphics processors, some of which may not have three fully functional 64-bit GDDR6 controllers but which still have nearly all of the potential 30 Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs) available. This looks like a way to try and bump up the price relative to the 3050 while providing a modest boost to performance.
Nvidia's goal will be to use any and all opportunities to sell off as many Ampere GPUs as it can in the next several months in a bid to clear the road for its next-generation GPUs based on the Ada Lovelace architecture. We can't help but think it would find more success if it cut prices, rather than trying to fill the gap between the existing 3050 8GB and 3060 12GB cards.