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If there's one GPU to sum up Nvidia's RTX 40-series so far, it's the RTX 4060 Ti 16GB. Nvidia knew it wouldn't perform that well and that the extra VRAM was of questionable value. It said as much. But people have been complaining about the lack of VRAM on Nvidia GPUs, and so it attempted to address this by doubling the capacity to 16GB.
The problem, as we've reiterated throughout this review, is that VRAM capacity is only half of the equation. With the same amount of L2 cache and the same 128-bit interface, raw bandwidth remains a concern, and there are only select situations in which the RTX 4060 Ti 16GB can clearly surpass the existing 8GB card. If you happen to need a card specifically for one of those edge cases — for example, you want to run an LLM that requires more than 12GB but less than 16GB of VRAM — it might be worth purchasing. For everyone else, there are plenty of better options.
AMD's RX 6800 and 6800 XT generally win out on performance, especially if you don't intend to enable ray tracing in the games that support it. Even Nvidia's previous generation RTX 3070 basically matches the 4060 Ti 16GB, and it's now on clearance starting at $379 (though we don't expect that to last).
If you're not happy about the level of performance offered by the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB, spending $100 more to get double the VRAM isn't a good move. You'd be much better off moving up to the RTX 4070, as it hits the middle ground with 50% more memory and L2 cache, but also higher memory clocks give it 75% more bandwidth. Then for good measure, you also get a 32% boost in computational performance.
Does that make the 4060 Ti 16GB a horrible card? Not really. It's just overpriced for what you get, much like most of the rest of Nvidia's current RTX 40-series lineup. Decisions were made two or three years ago about what features and specs would deliver the most value — to Nvidia — and this is what we got.
Shift everything down a pricing bracket, and the Ada generation would be much better. RTX 4060 for $249 as a 3050 replacement, 4060 Ti 8GB at $299 to replace the 3060, 4060 Ti 16GB at $349, and so on. But that's not likely to happen, especially not when Nvidia can sell as many H100 GPUs at 1000% profit margins as it can produce. Even a $50 price cut would make this card more worthy of consideration, but it still feels like this should have been the 3060 Ti replacement at $399, rather than having that slot filled by an 8GB card with half the bus width of the previous generation.
Nvidia has put a lot of marketing effort into DLSS 3 and Frame Generation to try to improve the overall story. It's an interesting feature, for sure, from a technical view. But it's not without drawbacks. It needs Reflex to make it at all palatable, but you still get better responsiveness and latency by leaving Reflex enabled and turning Frame Generation off. Even if every game you want to play supports DLSS 3, the experiential benefits are more like 10–20 percent rather than the 40–100 percent increases in FPS that you'll see in Nvidia's performance slides.
The further along we get with the RTX 40-series, the more it feels like a generation that most people can skip if their current GPU isn't too old. The RTX 4090 is a great halo product, but every step down from there has been mediocre compared to the previous generation. With the 4060 Ti, we now get the choice of $399 for slightly better than RTX 3060 Ti performance (not counting DLSS 3), or $499 with double the VRAM but only similar performance to the RTX 3070. About the best thing going for the GPU market right now is that cryptocurrency mining hasn't made a comeback.
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Jarred Walton is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on everything GPU. He has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.
This card is good if you want to edit movies and need more VRAM .Reply
I just want to clarify something here: The score is a result of both pricing as well as performance and features, plus I took a look (again) at our About Page and the scores breakdown. This is most definitely a "Meh" product right now. Some of my previous reviews may have been half a point (star) higher than warranted. I've opted to "correct" my scale and thus this lands at the 2.5-star mark.Reply
I do feel our descriptions of some of the other scores are way too close together. My previous reviews were based more on my past experience and an internal ranking that's perhaps not what the TH text would suggest. Here's how I'd break it down:
5 = Practically perfect
4.5 = Excellent
4 = Good
3.5 = Okay, possibly a bad price
3 = Okay but with serious caveats (pricing, performance, and/or other factors)
2.5 = Meh, niche use cases
The bottom four categories are still basically fine as described. Pretty much the TH text has everything from 3-star to 5-star as a "recommended" and that doesn't really jive with me. 🤷♂️
This would have been great as a 3060 Ti replacement if it had 12GB and a 192-bit bus with a $399 price point. Then the 4060 Ti 8GB could have been a 3060 replacement with 8GB and a 128-bit bus at the $329 price point. And RTX 4060 would have been a 3050 replacement at $249.
Fundamentally, this is a clearly worse value and specs proposition than the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB and the RTX 4070. It's way too close to the former and not close enough to the latter to warrant the $499 price tag.
All of the RTX 40-series cards have generally been a case of "good in theory, priced too high." Everything from the 4080 down to the 4060 so far got a score of 3.5 stars from me. There's definitely wiggle room, and the text is more important than just that one final score. In retrospect, I still waffle on how the various parts actually rank.
Here's an alternate ranking, based on retrospect and the other parts that have come out:
4090: 4.5 star. It's an excellent halo part that gives you basically everything. Expensive, yes, but not really any worse than the previous gen 3090 / 3090 Ti and it's actually justifiable.
4080: 3-star. It's fine on performance, but the generational price increase was just too much. 3080 Ti should have been a $999 (at most) part, and this should be $999 or less.
4070 Ti: 3-star. Basically the same story as the 4080. It's fine performance, priced way too high generationally.
4070: 3.5-star. Still higher price than I'd like, but the overall performance story is much better.
4060 Ti 16GB: 2.5-star. Clearly a problem child, and there's a reason it wasn't sampled by Nvidia or its partners. (The review would have been done a week ago but I had a scheduled vacation.) This is now on the "Jarred's adjusted ranking."
4060 Ti 8GB: 3-star. Okay, still a higher price than we'd like and the 128-bit interface is an issue.
4060: 3.5-star. This isn't an amazing GPU, but it's cheaper than the 3060 launch price and so mostly makes up for the 128-bit interface, 8GB VRAM, and 24MB L2. Generally better as an overall pick than many of the other 40-series GPUs.
AMD's RX 7000-series parts are a similar story. I think at the current prices, the 7900 XTX works as a $949 part and warrants the 4-star score. 7900 XT has dropped to $759 and also warrants the 4-star score, maybe. The 7600 at $259 is still a 3.5-star part. So, like I said, there's wiggle room. I don't think any of the charts or text are fundamentally out of line, and a half-star adjustment is basically easily justifiable on almost any review I've done.
Jarred, thanks for this review. I do wonder if there is more silver lining on this card we might be missing though. Could it act as a good budget 4K card? What happens if users dial back settings slightly at 4K (eg no Ray tracing, no bleeding edge ultra features ) and then make the most of DLSS 3 and the extra 16GB VRAM? I wonder if users might get something visually close to top line experience at a much lower price.Reply
If you do those things, the 4060 Ti 8GB will be just as fast. Basically, dialing back settings to make this run better means dialing back settings so that more than 8GB isn't needed.Lord_Moonub said:Jarred, thanks for this review. I do wonder if there is more silver lining on this card we might be missing though. Could it act as a good budget 4K card? What happens if users dial back settings slightly at 4K (eg no Ray tracing, no bleeding edge ultra features ) and then make the most of DLSS 3 and the extra 16GB VRAM? I wonder if users might get something visually close to top line experience at a much lower price.
Damn, @JarredWaltonGPU went hard! Appreciate the review and the clarification of your scoring system.Reply
More memory doesn't do you much good without the bandwidth to put it to use. The 4060(Ti) needed 192bits to strike the practically perfect balance between capacity and bandwidth. It would have brought the 4060(Ti) launches from steaming garbage to at least being a consistent upgrade over the 3060(Ti).Reply
Jarred, I'm building with the 4090 but love reading your GPU reviews, even the ones that are far below what I would build with because I learn something every time.Reply
I am not a gamer but a GFX Medium Format photographer and have multiple TB of high-res 200MB raw files that I work extensively with in LightRoom and Photoshop. I build every 4 years and update as I go. I build the absolute top-end of the PC arena, which is way overkill, but I do it anyway.
As you know. Lightroom has many new amazing AI masking and noise reduction features that are like magic but so many users (photographers) are now grinding to a halt on their old rigs and laptops. Photographers tend to be behind the gamers on PC / laptop power. It is common knowledge on the photo and Adobe forums that these new AI capabilities eat VRAM like Skittles and extensively use the GPU for the grind. (Adobe LR & PS was always behind on using the GPU with the CPU for its editing and export tasks but now are going at it with gusto.) When I run an AI DeNoise on a big GFX 200MB file, my old rig with the 3080 (I'm building again soon with the 4 090) takes about 12 seconds to grind out the AI DeNoise task. Others rigs photographers use take several minutes or just crash. The Adobe and LightRoom forums are full of howling and gnashing of teeth about this. I tell them to start upgrading, but here is my question.... I can't wait to see what the 4090 will do with these photography-related workflow tasks in LR.
Can you comment on this and tell me if indeed this new Lightroom AI masking and DeNoise (which is a miracle for photographers) is so VRAM intensive that doubling the VRAM on a card like this would really help alot? Isn't it true that NVidea made some decisions 3 years ago that resulted in not having enough (now far cheaper) VRAM in the 40 series? It should be double or triple what it is right? Anything you can teach me about increased GPU power and VRAM in Adobe LR for us photographers?
Good card for the OEM masses. No one else need worry about it.Reply
4060ti should of been closer to a 4070.Reply
the gap between em is huge and the cost is way too high. (doubly so that it requires dlss3 support to not get crippled by the limited bus)
JarredWaltonGPU said:Some of my previous reviews may have been half a point (star) higher than warranted. I've opted to "correct" my scale and thus this lands at the 2.5-star mark.
Thank you for listening Jarred. I was one of those claiming on multiple recent gpu reviews that your scores were about a half star off though not alone in that sentiment either. I was quick to defend you from trolls though as you clearly were not shilling for Nvidia either. This post proves my faith was well placed in you. Thank you for being a straight arrow!