The Nvidia RTX 4060 starts at $299, targeting "mainstream gamers" who don't tend to upgrade every generation of GPUs and may not have the latest and greatest hardware. Nvidia and AMD have both talked about this market, highlighting how many people are still using cards like the GTX 1060 and RTX 2060, and noting that the Steam Hardware Survey indicates 64% of surveyed PCs still run a 1080p resolution (though a lot of those are probably laptops as well, which tend to top out at 1080p outside of the more expensive offerings).
Our new test regimen gives us a global view of performance using the geometric mean all 15 games, including both the ray tracing and rasterization test suites. Then we've got separate charts for only the rasterization and ray tracing suites, plus charts for the individual games. If you don't like the "overall performance" chart, the other two are the same view that we've previously presented.
Our test suite is intentionally heavier on ray tracing games than what you might normally encounter. That's largely because ray tracing games tend to be the most demanding options, so if a new card can handle ray tracing reasonably well, it should do just fine with less demanding games. Ray tracing also feels increasingly like something we can expect to run well, when optimized properly, and Nvidia's hardware proves what's possible. We're now two generations on from Nvidia's RTX 20-series, and as we'll see shortly, the new $300 RTX 4060 basically matches the $700–$800 RTX 2080 that launched in mid-2018.
We have two charts, 1080p ultra and 1080p medium. Ultra settings may in some cases push the RTX 4060 a bit too hard, particularly in demanding DXR games, while the medium settings might not push hard enough. You can interpolate between the two to get a reasonable estimate of where 1080p high settings should land, which is arguably the sweet spot for cards like the RTX 4060.
In terms of overall performance, at 1080p medium the RTX 4060 lands right between the RX 6700 XT and RX 6750 XT — and that was already a pretty narrow gap. It's also 16% faster than the newer RX 7600, 22% faster than the RTX 3060, and 51% faster than the two generations old RTX 2060. For 1080p ultra, the RTX 4060 still sits between the 6750 XT and 6700 XT, and is 22% faster than the RTX 3060 and RX 7600, and beats the RTX 2060 by 58%.
Most people aren't going to be thinking about upgrading from the RTX 3060 to the 4060, and that's for the best. Even though performance is higher, you have less VRAM and it's not that big of a performance jump. But if you're still holding on to an RTX 2060 or older GPU, you can get a pretty sizeable upgrade.
While we don't have the GTX 1060 6GB and GTX 1660 Super in these charts (because we're only including GPUs that support the DirectX 12 Ultimate API), we still use our older test suite for the GPU benchmarks hierarchy. Looking just at rasterization performance, the RTX 4060 delivers about 150% higher framerates than the GTX 1060 6GB, and nearly double (95% higher) the performance of the GTX 1660 Super.
You can certainly make the argument that a $300 GPU isn't really intended for native DXR gaming, so here's our look at just the nine rasterization games in our test suite. Overall, the RTX 4060 ends up basically tied with the AMD RX 7600 at 1080p medium, with a 4.4% lead at 1080p ultra. It's not a clear win for either GPU, however.
The RX 7600 takes a clear lead in Borderlands 3 for example, delivering 6% more performance at 1080p medium and 23% higher performance at 1080p ultra. AMD also has a 4% lead in A Plague Tale: Requiem and Flight Simulator, a 7% lead in Watch Dogs Legion, and a 9% lead in Far Cry 6 — but all of those are only at 1080p medium. Performance is basically tied or slightly favors the RTX 4060 at 1080p ultra in those same games.
As for Nvidia, in our rasterization suite, Forza Horizon 5 and Total War: Warhammer 3 both give the RTX 4060 commanding leads. The 4060 is only 4% faster at 1080p high in Forza, but then it's 37% faster at 1080p extreme. Warhammer meanwhile gives the 4060 a 30% lead at 1080p medium and a 23% lead at 1080p ultra.
Looking at other GPUs, the RTX 4060 outperforms the RTX 3060 by 22%, which would be a noticeable upgrade but probably not worth doing on its own. It's around 50% faster than the RTX 2060, a much more worthwhile upgrade. It's also tied with the RX 6700 10GB, but 10–11 percent slower than the RX 6700 XT and RTX 3060 Ti.
In our ray tracing (DXR) test suite, the RTX 4060 does much better against AMD. That's not too surprising, since Nvidia is now on its third generation RT hardware and has been pushing the API far more than AMD. Keep in mind that none of the games we're currently testing utilize the new Ada Lovelace architectural features like SER (Shader Execution Reordering), OMM (Opacity Micro-Maps), or DMM (Displacement Micro-Meshes).
Compared with the RTX 3060, the 4060 improves overall DXR performance by 21–22 percent in our DXR test suite at 1080p medium and ultra settings. The range of improvement varies a bit, from 15% faster in Control to 30% faster in Metro Exodus Enhanced and Bright Memory Infinite Benchmark, but it's a pretty consistent gain. Similarly, it's 56% faster than the RTX 2060 at 1080p medium and 63% faster at 1080p ultra.
It's not all good news, though, as the RTX 3060 Ti still wins by about 10% overall. And let's be clear that a generational 20% improvement from Nvidia really isn't that big. It's a relatively minor step up compared to the previous generation, rather than the 50–75 percent improvement we saw in the prior generations (e.g. GTX 1060 versus GTX 960, or RTX 2060 versus GTX 1060).