Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 review
All You Need To Know About Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 review — A detailed article for those who want to see the graphics card from the inside out.
Those who are looking for a powerful gaming graphics card will definitely like what Nvidia has to offer. It’s a new and reliable piece of technology that will run any AAA game. No doubt advantages rock. But one shouldn’t forget about drawbacks as well. We’ll honestly cover the most important things in this article.
- Cool design and reliable construction to protect the insides from any external damage
- 12 GB of memory to make users forget about what space shortage is
- Efficient cooling system to make sure that the device doesn’t get overheated in AAA games
- High price that got even higher a few months after the release
- Most features are weaker than in its alternative RTX 3060 TI
- Restrictions for Ethereum miners
RTX 3060 is a powerful graphics card released by Nvidia in February 2021. This version was considered to be closer to people thanks to its price, opportunities, and availability. At least than any other model of the 30th series. 3060 was manufactured by Nvidia’s partner Palit. This time, there are no Founders Edition options.
Previously, some versions were 100% assembled by Nvidia itself. It cost more thanks to extra perks, top-notch materials, etc. Unfortunately, these policies were not extended to RTX 3060.
This model is going to replace earlier devices, such as RTX 2060 and GTX 1060. Some people chose to skip the 20th series because it was too expensive. Now they can upgrade their gear and jump from the 10th to the 30th.
RTX 3060 has 2 fans and was considered to be one of the budget-oriented versions. At the same time, the manufacturers added 12 GB of video memory. It’s usually done with more expensive gear. Some people take it as a gift from the company. Others try to figure out what for so much space was implemented in this version. 3060 can also boast about supporting HDMI 2.1 which enables 4K at 120 Hz.
When the model was first released and tested, people came across some errors when using the card. It’s a normal process: they’re all easily fixed with drivers. In 2022, all known problems have already been dealt with. If you buy it, you won’t have any issues with its functionality.
However, one should get all the necessary information before purchasing the device. We’ve watched and read lots of reviews to make it easier for you. It’ll be more understandable if we compare this version with its alternative. We’ve opted for RTX 3060 TI, so we’ll refer to it throughout the article. It’ll help you better understand the opportunities our key model has to offer. Everything is collected in one place, so scroll down and get primed for an interesting journey. It’ll be packed with tech-related details.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card design
The card has 2 fans and special fins on the back panel. They’re used to get rid of the heat generated while the system is under load. It’s 242 mm long and 112 mm wide. Each blade is about 100 mm. The fan hubs are small, but they’re big enough to house 100 mm blades. There is also a special barrier ring that makes downward air pressure more intense.
The construction is well-protected thanks to durable materials and stainless steel brackets. Stylish design and dark coloring make it an impressive and pleasant-looking piece of technology.
If we compare dual 3060 and 3060 TI, the only difference is the backlighting. It’s present in the second model. This element looks like a plastic-made line on the side of the gear. Other features concerning their outlook are identical. They’re efficient, compact, and compatible with a wide range of PC sizes.
The back panel of the system is made of plastic, but it looks like metal. So it’s definitely stylish. It has 2 seals. But they’re easily removed without damaging the device if you want to peek in. The plate itself is compact: the sizes are the same as in 3060 TI.
There are fewer GPU power lines in the 3060 version. The upper and lower arm transistor assemblies and the driver also differ. They come from a semiconductor and are designed for a mid-current of 45A. The GDDR6 memory features noticeable changes. 3060 TI has 8 GB (8 modules of 1 GB each). And 3060 has 12 GB (6 modules of 2 GB each). Although the volume is bigger, the bus-line is narrower — 192 bits.
This version produced by Palit has a faster memory than its brother 3060 TI. There are 16 Gb per contact. But the bandwidth is still lower. The chipset is 106300 A1 in 3060. Everyone was expecting a different one because of the leaked photos of engineering prototypes. There are fewer SM blocks than in the chip installed in the TI version (called 104200).
In general, this gear has fewer components, approximately 26%. There are 28 ray tracing, 112 tensor, 3584 Cude cores, etc. But the manufacturers promise that frequencies in the boost mode will be impressive. And it will be higher than in 3060 TI (1777 vs 1665 MHz). The base clock frequency is about 1410 MHz in TI and 1320 MHz in pure 3060.
The cooling system almost doesn’t have any differences. It’s made of a nickel-plated copper heat pad, 3 heat pipes, and dual fans. Even the thermal pads are placed here like in 3060 TI, although one is extra. Nvidia made financial calculations to understand that introducing changes would be too expensive. It was cheaper to leave it as it is than remove it from the assembly line. So they took the ready-made technology and saved resources.
Power Of The Technologies
Before we start describing the RTX 3060 model, it’s worth naming 3 cool technologies. Nvidia offers them for all versions of the 30th series.
Nvidia Reflex is a special feature that makes the pause between input and output shorter. It means that if you click your mouse, you’ll see the result on your screen faster. Cards of the 30th series have a smart graphics processor. It can give instructions skipping other processors and short-term memory. This is why the lag gets shorter. The feature neutralizes the gap in performance that occurs when the ray tracing is on.
Nvidia Broadcast is a special program that can delete and add backgrounds to a video. But its main purpose is to get rid of external noises, and it’s pretty powerful. For example, if you turn on the vacuum cleaner, the software will completely mute it. It’s a very useful opportunity for streamers. Besides, it’s a free program, available on all RTX models.
Nvidia DLSS 2.0 is a new generation feature used to enhance the picture. It shows better details, thought-through shadows, etc. But the coolest thing is that it’s powered by the deep neural network method. A real self-learning technology! The process itself will happen on the tensor cores, and it’ll be unique in different games.
RTX 3060 Key Specifications
- Legendary Ampere architecture
- 12 GB of memory
- GDDR6 memory type that works at the frequency of 15000 MHz
- 192-bit bus-line
- 28 ray tracing cores of the second generation
- 112 tensor cores of the third generation
The card performs great in video games. Let’s take a top-notch title Watch: Legion and see how the device deals with different settings. In 4K graphics card, 3060 shows 36 frames per second, about 27% less than in 3060 TI. With DLSS on (without RT), the 3060’s performance goes up by 44%. But it’s still less than in TI by about 26%.
With RT and DLSS on at the same time, the performance goes down, even lower than a comfortable level. It’s better to play Watch Dogs in 4K without RT. Otherwise, the picture will have soap-like effects.
With the QHD mode, the TI model shows the best results. It is more suitable for games with this resolution. But when the pure 3060 is baked by a DLSS feature, it’s way better. It allows the device to reach the TI’s DLSS-off level (78 FPS vs 61 FPS).
And the most difficult task: QHD, RT, and DLSS altogether. The frequency of frames became worse, but not that much. In any case, this is a bit more challenging to deal with for 3060.
Let’s have a look at the card in the overclocking mode. Moderate load shows 2145 MHz on the core and 8500 on the memory. The increase in performance in the program benchmark Superposition is normal. It amounts to about 9% at the average rate (in full HD and high settings). But still, overclocked 3060 is 25% less efficient than TI.
3Ds MAX with a VR visualizer also gives points to the IT version. IT is 30% more productive. But it’s worth noting that the pure 3060 overcomes more efficient versions from the 20th series. In the final rendering report, it is active 86% of all time.
OctaneBench proves the tendency of TI to be more powerful. It shows 387 frames per minute vs 294 frames in the pure 3060. An increase in performance of the models of the 30th series is most obvious in 3d rendering. And less so in programs for video editing.
Heat And Noise
The construction generates a moderate level of noise. It’s about 42 decibels in the auto mode, with the fans rotating 1823 times per minute. These numbers go up at their maximum: about 51 decibels of noise and 3100 rotations per minute. These are good indicators for a device of such size and structure.
The temperatures almost don’t have any difference. About 71 degrees on the chip on auto and 62 degrees on maximum. 30 minutes of gaming will heat the components to:
- 86 degrees on the power circuit zone
- 61 degrees in the memory area
The construction also has a very heated point — a shunt resistor, which is about 74 degrees. But this element can have even higher temperatures and feel great. The manufacturers claim that up to 170 degrees in this zone won’t disrupt the gear’s functioning.
After you turn on the cooling system to its maximum, the temperature falls. It is about 73 degrees in the VRAM zone and 51 in the memory area.