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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition Review: Ampere for Only $399

The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is affordable and beats the 2080 Super in performance.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti beats last year's RTX 2080 Super and costs $300 less. It's a great option for the $400 GPU market, though once again we expect it will sell out quickly for the next couple of months.

For

  • Great price/performance ratio
  • Attractive pricing (if it stays in stock)
  • Efficient, cool, and decent overclocking
  • DLSS 2.0 makes it even faster

Against

  • 8GB VRAM can be limiting
  • Good luck finding one in stock
  • No LEDs (if you like bling)

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti brings the entry price for Ampere GPUs down to $400, because apparently the GeForce RTX 3070, GeForce RTX 3080, and GeForce RTX 3090 weren't selling out fast enough. Maybe that's not fair, but round four of the Nvidia Ampere architecture seems destined to repeat recent history and sell out within minutes of launch. The fact that this is now the best price to performance ratio in GPU land makes it one of the best graphics cards, and it currently occupies seventh place on our GPU Benchmarks hierarchy, not counting any Titan cards. Maybe if you've been really good (or you're really lucky), you'll be able to procure one this side of 2021. [Update: Yup, the RTX 3060 Ti sold out fast. Here's our advice on how to buy an RTX 3060 Ti (or other new Nvidia GPU).]

Not a whole lot has changed relative to the RTX 3070. Both the RTX 3060 Ti and 3070 use the same GA104 GPU, but the 3060 Ti has fewer functional units enabled. You get the same 8GB of GDDR6 memory, clocked at the same 14Gbps. Meanwhile, the GPU core has 38 SMs enabled, versus 46 SMs on the 3070, making the 3060 Ti theoretically around 17 percent slower. Clock speeds also factor in a bit, as the boost clock on the 3060 Ti is 3.5 percent lower, so in general, the largest performance gap will be about 20 percent — and as we'll see, it's often quite a bit less than that.

GPU Specifications
Graphics CardRTX 3060 TiRTX 3080RTX 3070RTX 2080 SuperRTX 2060 Super
ArchitectureGA104GA102GA104TU104TU106
Process TechnologySamsung 8NSamsung 8NSamsung 8NTSMC 12FFNTSMC 12FFN
Transistors (Billion)17.428.317.413.610.8
Die size (mm^2)392.5628.4392.5545445
TPCs1934232417
SMs3868464834
GPCs56663
GPU Cores48648704588830722176
Tensor Cores152272184384272
RT Cores3868464834
Base Clock (MHz)14101440150016501470
Boost Clock (MHz)16651710172518151650
VRAM Speed (Gbps)14191415.514
VRAM (GB)810888
VRAM Bus Width256320256256256
ROPs8096966464
TMUs152272184192136
TFLOPS FP32 (Boost)16.229.820.311.27.2
Tensor TFLOPS FP16 (Sparsity)65 (130)119 (238)81 (163)8957
RT TFLOPS (approximate)39.758.139.731.623.8
Bandwidth (GBps)448760448496448
TDP (watts)200320220185185
Dimensions242x112x38 mm285x112x38 mm242x112x38 mm267x116x38 mm229x113x38 mm
Weight1031g1355g1034g1278g975g
Launch DateOct-20Sep-20Oct-20Jul-19Jul-19
Launch Price$399 $699 $499 $699 $399

The specs tell the same story relative to the previous generation Nvidia Turing GPUs. The 3060 Ti has quite a bit more theoretical compute performance than the RTX 2080 Super, and more than doubles the compute performance relative to the RTX 2060 Super. We know GPU prices are all kinds of screwed up right now, but it's worth remembering that the 2060 Super had the same official $399 price as the 3060 Ti. Power requirements are slightly higher than the 2060 Super, but lower than the 2080 Super.

Of course, theoretical specs don't always jive with real-world performance. One of the big changes with Ampere is that the INT32 cores can now do FP32 calculations as well. However, there's a decent amount of INT32 work in most games, so a good chunk of the potential FP32 performance is used up elsewhere. Still, with the other architectural changes, we expect the 3060 Ti to perform roughly on par with the 2080 Super, which means it will also be significantly faster than the 2060 Super.

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Meet the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition 

There are no surprises in regards to the design and aesthetics of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition: It's identical to the RTX 3070 FE, except for the small text that now says RTX 3060 Ti. It's a reasonably compact card that will fit in most cases, measuring 9.5 inches long. If you're doing a mini-ITX build, plan accordingly, but most ATX and micro-ATX cases should be fine.

With a reduced TDP of 200W, and considering what we saw from the 3070, cooling and noise shouldn't pose any problem. We'll get to the hard numbers later, but let's just say that the 1665 MHz boost clock is very conservative at stock, and there's a decent bit of overclocking headroom as well.

Connectivity consists of the same triple DisplayPort 1.4a outputs and single HDMI 2.1 port that we've seen on other Ampere Founders Edition models. You can use up to four monitors, and there's some ventilation on the rest of the IO bracket.

Somewhat interesting is that even the RTX 3060 Ti Founder Edition continues to use Nvidia's 12-pin power connector. Again, we're not quite sure what the point is, particularly since it just takes a single 8-pin PEG connector on one end and passes that through to the 12-pin connection. Even better is that Nvidia had concept renderings of the 3070 with an 8-pin connector. It doesn't really matter, as the adapter cable is included in the box, but it's also completely unnecessary. The 3080/3090 at least changed the PCB and have the 12-pin connector mounted in such a way that it uses a bit less area. Not surprisingly, none of the AIB partners seem interested in pushing the 12-pin agenda, so if you really don't like it, there will be plenty of other options.

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

MORE: GPU Benchmarks

MORE: All Graphics Content

  • JarredWaltonGPU
    FYI, the initial 3060 Ti review went up on December 1. It was a single monolithic page, for "reasons" related to our CMS and Google. We are now reposting the content in paginated form and redirecting the original article (https://www.tomshardware.com/news/nvidia-geforce-rtx-3060-ti-founders-edition-review), which means no comments get carried over unfortunately. The text and charts have not changed, on any of the reviews. It's just a change in the presentation. The comments from the first version of the article can be seen here:

    https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/nvidia-geforce-rtx-3060-ti-founders-edition-review-ampere-for-only-399.3667330/
    Reply
  • MihaiPop
    Admin said:
    The RTX 3060 Ti is affordable and beats the 2080 Super in performance.

    Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition Review: Ampere for Only $399 : Read more

    Hi,

    How can I buy this in europe?
    It's everywhere out of stock.
    Reply
  • Andrei2k
    Affordable and relative performance is irrelevant if its unavailable.
    Reply
  • Matt_ogu812
    Andrei2k said:
    Affordable and relative performance is irrelevant if its unavailable.

    Exactly my thoughts just like many other of the 3k series of Nvidia GPU's.
    Reply
  • SyDiko
    Andrei2k said:
    its unavailable.

    You can buy it from eBay for the hefty price of 1 kidney, so in the authors eyes its available.
    Reply
  • Soaptrail
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    FYI, the initial 3060 Ti review went up on December 1. It was a single monolithic page, for "reasons" related to our CMS and Google. We are now reposting the content in paginated form and redirecting the original article (https://www.tomshardware.com/news/nvidia-geforce-rtx-3060-ti-founders-edition-review), which means no comments get carried over unfortunately. The text and charts have not changed, on any of the reviews. It's just a change in the presentation. The comments from the first version of the article can be seen here:

    https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/nvidia-geforce-rtx-3060-ti-founders-edition-review-ampere-for-only-399.3667330/

    Thank you because i was wondering why this new review which seemed like it was not new.
    Reply
  • jeffredo
    To coin an old phrase "vaporware" for all intents and purposes. At least until supply actually allows them to be in stock in numbers enough to bring the price down despite miners.
    Reply
  • Unolocogringo
    jeffredo said:
    To coin an old phrase "vaporware" for all intents and purposes. At least until supply actually allows them to be in stock in numbers enough to bring the price down despite miners.
    There are lots of cards available if you wish to pay scalper prices for them on ebay, etsy, stockx, gov group, craigslist etc....
    All at 50-100% mark up from retail prices.
    Reply
  • Tom Sunday
    Admin said:
    The RTX 3060 Ti is affordable and beats the 2080 Super in performance.

    Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition Review: Ampere for Only $399 : Read more
    1

    Liked the review...after reading your one liner surely nailed it: "8GB VRAM can be limiting."
    Reply