Alright folks, we’re back to reviewing graphics cards. This time, we’re going to look at one of the unobtaniums this side of the year – the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti.
This card needs no introduction really. But for the sake of formality, it is supposed to be one of the upper midrange champions for the Ampere architecture with a price point of $399 USD. This card slots right between the RTX 3060 and the RTX 3070.
Disclosure: NVIDIA Philippines sent this unit as a return sample for the purpose of this review. The company did not ask me to say anything particular about it. All thoughts and opinion are of course my own.
- Product Page: GeForce RTX 3060 Family | NVIDIA
- Price: $399 (MSRP)
- Release Date: Q1 2021
|Model||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060|
|Cores||4864 Cuda, 38 RT, 152 Tensor|
|Memory Bus Width||256-bit|
|Display||3x DisplayPort 1.4a, 1x HDMI 2.1|
|Power||1x 12-pin (1x PCIe 8-Pin via adapter)|
Packaging and Accessories
NVIDIA did a nice job with this card’s packaging and presentation; bringing a similar unboxing experience with the Founders Edition cards of the yesteryears.
Below are the items that you should expect inside the box:
- NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition 8GB
- Quick setup guide
- Support guide
- 12-pin to 8-pin power adapter
Design, Layout and Build Quality
As a product bearing the Founders Edition on its model name, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is definitely not your typical reference design graphics card. This is a follow up to the last generation’s design, focusing more on minimalistic industrial aesthetics and cooling performance.
The backplate area is just as good looking as the card’s facade. Perhaps this is due to the thick plate itself in combination with the grilled perforations for the cooling solution of the graphics card.
TDP is about 200W which is 15W lower compared to the GeForce RTX 2070 Super. It comes with a proprietary 12-pin power connector which is a debatable choice.
Connectivity wise, the RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition comes with triple DisplayPorts and a single HDMI port. All of them are lined up in a single row to maximize cooling performance.
Overall, the Founders Edition RTX 3060 Ti is a beautiful graphics card with the build quality to match. Personally speaking, this is by far my favorite Founders Edition styling.
Test Setup and Methodology
Our test setup relies on the measurements taken from industry standard benchmark tools and real-world applications. It is important to note that we are testing the review sample after burn-in, with at least 24-hours of uptime. This is done so to negate the FOTB (fresh out the box) state of the DUT (device under test), yielding better benchmarking consistency.
|Test System Specifications|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5 3600|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG Strix B550-I Gaming|
|Cooler||Noctua NH-U12S Redux|
|Memory||ADATA Premier 2666MHz 16GB|
|GPU||NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition 8GB|
|Storage||Plextor M9PE NVME 512GB|
|Case||Mechanical Library JXK-K3|
|PSU||Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 650W|
|OS||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit|
Video game titles are tested at the standard resolutions with CapFrameX as our capture and analysis tool. To ensure a more level playing field between GPU manufacturers, we decided to disabled vertical sync, anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion and other brand exclusive features. Otherwise, settings are configured to their maximum.
Temperature, Power and Noise
Temperature is measured in degree Celcius (ºC) at system idle and load. This is done via OCCT and its built-in 3D Stress Test. Readings are taken directly from the GPU Temperature sensor.
Power is measured in Wattage (w) at system idle and load. This is done via OCCT and its built-in 3D Stress Test. Readings are taken with a wattmeter.
Noise level is measured in Decibels (dBA) at system idle and load. This is done via OCCT and its built-in 3D Stress Test. Readings are taken with a sound level meter.
Thermals are pretty decent for this particular Founders Edition model, with a decent power output to boot. What’s surprising is the decibel reading at load which is a far cry from the usually high noise levels of reference style models.
3DMark: Time Spy is an API benchmark developed by UL Benchmark. It runs on an in-house engine, utilizing the DirectX 12 API.
3DMark: Port Royal is a Ray-Tracing benchmark developed by UL Benchmark. It runs on an in-house engine, utilizing the DirectX 12 API.
Excellent scores we got here from the 3DMark benchmarks. Nothing to complain really.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a multi-player FPS developed by Valve. It runs on the Source engine, utilizing the DirectX 9 API. Benchmark is a replay demo from the grand finals match between Astralis and ENCE at IEM Katowice 2019.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is a multi-player FPS developed by Ubisoft. It runs on the AnvilNext 2.0 engine, utilizing the DirectX 11 and the Vulkan API. The built-in benchmark tool is used for this run.
League of Legends (LoL) is a MOBA developed by RIOT Games. It runs on an in-house game engine, utilizing the DirectX 9 API. Benchmark is my own replay demo using the ROFL-Player.
Defense of the Ancients (DOTA 2) is a MOBA developed by Valve. It runs on the Source 2 engine, utilizing a number of APIs. Benchmark is a replay demo from the grand finals match between OG and Liquid at The International 2019.
Assetto Corsa is a multi-player simulation racing game developed by Kunos Simulazioni. It runs on an in-house game engine, utilizing the DirectX 11 API. The built-in benchmark tool is used for this run.
F1 2020 is a multi-player racing game developed by Codemasters. It runs on the Ego Engine 3.0, utilizing the DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 API. The built-in benchmark tool is used for this run.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers is an MMORPG developed by Square Enix. It runs on the Crystal Tools engine, utilizing the DirectX 11 API. The built-in benchmark tool is used for this run.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a single-player adventure developed by Eidos-Montréal. It runs on the Foundation engine, utilizing the DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 API. The built-in benchmark tool is used for this run.
Total War: Warhammer II is a strategy game developed by Creative Assembly. It runs one the WarScape engine, utilizing the DX11 and DX12 API. The built-in benchmark tool is used for this run.
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is a strategy game developed by Firaxis Games. It runs on an in-house game engine, utilizing the DX11 and DX12 API. The built-in benchmark tool is used for this run.
Obviously, no comparisons here yet so we’re sticking with the results from the 1080P, 1440P and 2160P benchmarks. Based on these results alone, this is an excellent graphics card for the majority of games tested. This is technically, based on experience, at the same league with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super.
Software, Lighting and Special Features
The Founders Edition GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is as reference as it gets so no fancy lighting here. Like many RTX 30 family of graphics though, this comes with DLSS 2.0 and Ray-Tracing support. If you want to learn more about DLSS 2.0, we made a small article about it here. This graphics card also supports NVIDIA Studio, Ansel and their very own Broadcast App. You’re pretty much covered with this card.
Another aspect of the Founders Edition that I want to talk about is its cooling solution or rather its design. It is actually a tiny graphics card, PCB wise. With that in mind, NVIDIA took the opportunity to stretch the card’s cooling solution to a decent length. That’s why they could play with the dynamics between thermals and noise levels previously unheard from older generation Founders Edition graphics.
It’s no secret that the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is a great model to play games on at the standard resolutions – even 4K, with DLSS 2.0 in tow. It’s also no secret that in these trying times, you cannot grab any at the designated price point of $399 USD. That said, it’s hard to recommend this graphics card (or its counterparts) even at this exceptional level of performance with the current situation in mind.
Now with that out of the way, if you could actually get one at a really good price then it is a no brainer. This is one of the best graphics card you could get should the stars align.
NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition 8GB
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition is an excellent graphics card for $399 USD. Sadly, you couldn’t get one at its MSRP.