If the new Taobao listings (via Twitter user Avery78) are to be trusted, Nvidia's budget GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti might be closer than we think. Until proven otherwise, the pre-orders could be mere placeholders, in which case we suggest you approach the information with plenty of caution.
One Taobao seller listed the GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti for between 1,499 and 2,998 yuan (~$224 and $447). However, another merchant highlighted that the payment does not correspond to the actual price of the graphics card. Instead, it's just a deposit to get dibs on one. Depending on the Ampere-based graphics card's final pricing, the buyer may be refunded or have to pay the difference. In any event, the price range looks at least plausible, considering that the GeForce RTX 3070 is priced at $499.
Both the GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 suffered from low stock. The GeForce RTX 3070 was initially scheduled to go on sale on October 15, but Nvidia pushed it to October 29 so that the GeForce RTX 3070 doesn't endure the same fate as the brethren before it.
According to the Taobao postings, the estimated time of arrival for the GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti is after November, meaning that Nvidia would have to reveal the budget graphics cards sometime during next month.
Neither Taobao sellers shared any significant information about the GeForce RTX 3060 or RTX 3060 Ti, except that the latter could arrive with 8GB of memory. Given that both graphics card would be positioned under the GeForce RTX 3070, we expect them to feature GDDR6 memory. Nvidia equipped the previous-generation GeForce RTX 2060 with 6GB of GDDR6 memory, so adding another 2GB on GeForce RTX 3060 Ti sounds feasible. If that's the case, then the GeForce RTX 3060 might remain at 6 GB like its antecessor.
Believe it or not, the rumor mill for the GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti has mostly been inactive. The rumored specifications put the first around 3,840 CUDA cores, while the latter could check in with 4,864 CUDA cores. Nvidia claims that the GeForce RTX 3070 with its 5,888 CUDA cores performs like a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. We've seen a glimpse of the GeForce RTX 3070's potential in Ashes of the Singularity that lends credence to Nvidia's promise.
As a result, the GeForce RTX 3060 might offer performance along the lines of a GeForce RTX 2070 Super or RTX 2080, while the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti's performance is probably right up the alley with the GeForce RTX 2080 Super.
AMD will reveal the Radeon RX 6000-series of graphics cards on October 28. Nvidia is surely waiting to see what the Radeon team has up its sleeves before making its next move.