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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)

Given what we've seen so far, it's a safe bet that the RTX 3060 Ti will be about as good as the RTX 2080 Super when it comes to ray tracing performance. We've tested most DXR-capable GPUs from AMD and Nvidia, omitting only the Titan RTX and the non-Super 20-series GPUs.

We've also tested the RTX 3060 Ti with DLSS enabled on the games that support DLSS. That's seven of the ten DXR games, which makes sense as DXR can prove to be a bit much for most of the GPUs running at native resolution. Note that the composite score for the 3060 Ti DLSS does not include results from the other three tests at all, so it's not fully comparable, but it's an interesting data point regardless.

We'll go with the same format as the extended test suite, so 1080p, 1440p, and 4K results are lumped together in each gallery. Swipe to view the additional charts, and as mentioned earlier, all of these tests were run on the Core i9-9900K PC. Again, since Nvidia was the only ray tracing option until last month, most of the games are Nvidia promoted titles. They're also inherently optimized more for Nvidia's hardware.

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Overall, ray tracing continues to be brutally demanding, particularly when using native rendering. On average, the 3060 Ti just barely breaks 60 fps across the test suite at 1080p. It also beats the RX 6800, illustrating quite clearly how much faster Nvidia's ray tracing hardware is compared to Nvidia's Ray Accelerators. At 1440p, even with DLSS enabled, the 3060 Ti can't average 60 fps, though it's still quite a bit faster than the PS5 and Xbox Series X when it comes to ray tracing workloads. And 4K … well, the less said, the better. With DLSS, 4K averages just over 30 fps — though it does boost performance by over 50 percent. 

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 Our first DXR 'game' is the 3DMark Port Royal test, which definitely isn't a game. It does use multiple ray tracing techniques, including shadows and reflections, and performance is generally a bit lower than our composite score. Interestingly, AMD's RX 6800 does better in 3DMark than in most other DXR games, though that could be due to UL taking a more agnostic approach to specific GPU optimizations. 

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Boundary isn't an actual game, at least not yet, but it does use a bunch of ray tracing effects, and it's extremely demanding. Without DLSS, only the 3080 and 3090 can break 60 fps, even at 1080p. With DLSS Quality mode enabled, the RTX 3060 Ti joins those cards. It also basically ties the RX 6800 XT. Based on what we're seeing right now, the actual game will probably need to have DLSS Balanced or DLSS Performance mode enabled to get smooth framerates. 

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War uses ray tracing effects for shadows, with a higher fidelity (and more demanding) result in the previous Modern Warfare (2019) reboot. The 3060 Ti breaks 60 fps at 1080p native, and DLSS can further improve its performance. At 1440p, DLSS Quality mode still manages a decent 67 fps, and the 3060 Ti continues to lead AMD's options. The 6800 XT does squeak ahead at 4K, probably thanks to its 16GB of memory, but we doubt many people are going to want to play multiplayer Call of Duty at 30 fps. 

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Control remains our favorite example of what ray tracing can add to a game, thanks to the office environment with lots of vertical mirrored windows. Ray tracing is also used for diffuse lighting and ambient occlusion, and the result is once again the 3060 Ti leading AMD's 6800 XT. DLSS Quality meanwhile improves performance by more than 50 percent, so even 1440p is very playable. 

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Crysis Remastered uses some funky hybrid of DirectX 11 code with some hacks to get ray tracing working. Our initial look at the ray tracing setting didn't impress us too much (most of the scenes hardly change when disabling the RT setting). Still, it's extremely demanding, particularly at the 'Can It Run Crysis?' setting. There's no DLSS support, but the 3060 Ti does break 60 fps at 1080p, while 1440p is moderately playable, and 4K generally proves to be too much for today's hardware. 

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We already looked at Dirt 5 with DXR above, but this time we have a few additional GPUs. The game is clearly optimized more for AMD's hardware right now, and the RT effects aren't particularly noteworthy. But then, we could say the same about many of the RT effects. Most people will likely prefer running with higher fps and fewer stutters more than the enhanced visuals. 

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We didn't even max out the ray tracing options in Fortnite, as it's already brutal — we're basically using medium ray tracing. At 1080p with DLSS Quality, the 3060 can break 60 fps, as can the 3090 (without DLSS). And that's about it. DLSS does nearly double the fps for the 3060 Ti at 1080p (and actually does double it at 1440p and 4K), so the 3080 and 3090 might be able to manage a playable result at 1440p with DLSS enabled. Unless you're just kicking around some creative mode worlds, though, you'll probably want to skip the visuals and go with more competitive high fps settings. 

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Metro Exodus is pretty old now, and it only supports DLSS 1.0. There are some weird rules about what GPUs can enable DLSS at various resolutions, and you can see that at 1080p – DLSS isn't enabled. It provides a minor bump in performance at 1440p and a larger improvement at 4K, but if you're hoping to run Metro at maxed-out settings and 4K with ray tracing enabled, you pretty much need the 3080 or 3090. Interestingly, the RX 6800 comes out ahead of the 3060 Ti here, perhaps because RT is only used for global illumination. 

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider is another DLSS 1.0 game, and you can't use DLSS at 1080p on the 3060 Ti. DLSS also results in lower minimum fps at 1440p since it adds to the processing time of the scenes and can create a bit of stutter, but it does better at 4K. With only one RT effect in use (shadows), AMD's GPUs again rank higher than in many of the other more complex ray tracing games. 

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We looked at Watch Dogs Legion in our CPU scaling suite, and here you can see additional GPUs as well as DLSS  on the 3060 Ti. The newcomer basically matches AMD's 6800 XT, with DLSS pushing it into the lead. DLSS is also the only way to get above 60 fps with the 3060 Ti. Like Control, there are quite a few vertical reflective surfaces that actually help make the ray tracing effects more noticeable, but the performance hit is still quite steep. 

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  • 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