Wednesday, December 1

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 review: our full review – graphics cards

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Introduction

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 is the new benchmark for mid-range graphics cards. On paper, it seems ideal for Full HD and QHD displays. We tested it all.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 test

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 test

Despite the serious shortage problems affecting graphics cards, and the entire industry at large, Nvidia continues to decline its new generation RTX 3000, as AMD is also doing. After the RTX 3060 Ti, a 3070 that did not speak its name, we were able to test the RTX 3060.

Design and features

The GeForce RTX 3060 used for the test was loaned by Nvidia

As Nvidia does not offer a Founders Edition for this GPU, the brand sent us a graphics card from one of its partners. So we tested the Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 Twin Edge.

It takes exactly the characteristics recommended by Nvidia with 3584 CUDA cores clocked at 1320 MHz and up to 1777 MHz in Boost. We also have 12 GB of GDDR6 video memory with a 192-bit interface.

The design chosen by Zotac is quite classic for a mid-range product, we have a large radiator covering the card and overhung by two fans.

On the connectivity side, we can applaud the effort to provide what is currently best: an HDMI 2.1 port (allowing 4K at 120 Hz) and three DisplayPort 1.4 ports.

Our test setup

Frandroid is also affected by the shortage of components. We were unable to update our test configuration at this time. We use the same configuration as for our previous tests:

  • Motherboard : MSI X299 GAMING M7 ACK
  • Processor : Intel Core i9-7940X
  • Memory : 4 x 8 Go de RAM DDR4 2666 MHz (deux kit Corsair Vengeance CMK16GX4M2Z2666C16)
  • SSD : Samsung 970 1 To NVMe
  • Food : Corsair RM1000X
  • Box: In Win 303
  • Software: Windows 10 20H2 (with Nvidia Game Ready drivers version 461.72)

Performance and results of our benchmarks

This card is primarily intended for gamers on Full HD (1920 x 1080) and QHD (2560 x 1080) screens. We therefore wanted above all to measure the performance on these two display definitions.

3DMark

We start with our benchmark test, 3DMark Time Spy Extreme.

On this test, which puts a strain on graphics cards with a DirectX 12 3D scene in 4K, the RTX 3060 obtains a score of 4,208.

This is necessarily much less than the 5828 and 6751 obtained by the RTX 3060 Ti and 3070, but we can still note the progress made on the change of generation. Indeed, the RTX 2070 obtains a score of around 4000 points depending on the model.

En ray tracing

We also took 3DMark’s DirectX ray tracing test, with the rather self-explanatory name.

On this test, the RTX 3060 runs at 19 frames per second, which is significantly less than the 26.3 and 31.7 frames per second obtained on the RTX 3060 Ti or the RTX 3070.

At first glance, this means that the RTX 3060 should quickly show its limits by activating ray tracing. Fortunately, DLSS should help him, especially if we keep a display definition in Full HD or QHD.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Let’s test our map more concretely in popular games. First Red Dead Redemption 2 which we ran in Full HD, QHD and 4K with the details set to the maximum, but without the vertical synchronization.

Under these conditions, the game’s integrated benchmark shows us an average of 65 frames per second in Full HD, and drops to 33 frames per second in 4K.

This means very concretely that even a mid-range graphics card can now run the game in native 4K, at 30 FPS with maximum quality settings. Obviously we do not recommend an RTX 3060 to play in such a definition, but it gives a better idea of ​​the limits of the card.

Dirt 5

Developed in technical partnership with AMD, Dirt 5 is Codemasters’ latest racing game. We ran it at maximum graphics quality, turning off the definition scaling options.

As we can see, the RTX 3060 is capable of running the game at 80 fps in Full HD on average, and over 60 fps in QHD.

Watch Dogs Legion

Watch Dogs Legion is interesting. This Ubisoft title combines an open world that is rather resource intensive with ray tracing effects and DLSS support.

If during our previous tests we ran the game in 4K UHD. This time, we have favored the QHD 2560 x 1440 pixel definition, which is more appropriate for this card. The overall picture quality setting is “very high”.

We ran the benchmark without ray tracing or DLSS, then with the high ray tracing option, then with ray tracing and DLSS in Performance mode.

Very unlike the game can run at 60 frames per second, but drops to 30 FPS by activating ray tracing. Using DLSS allows you to go back to 65 FPS with a minor loss in display quality.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 had some issues when it was released, to say the least, but the game has now received several bug fixes and performance enhancements.

We ran the game at 2560 x 1440 with the presets at maximum, enabling DLSS in performance mode.

With these settings, the game averages 55 FPS, but can easily drop to 40 FPS in complex scenes. However, the game remains very pleasant to play, and rather beautiful in these conditions.

Consumption and cooling

Consumption

We noted a maximum consumption of 170W for the graphics card. As a reminder, the RTX 2070 could reach 230W peak. We therefore have a good economy of consumption for a rather similar power.

Cooling and noise

As a mid-range graphics card, the RTX 3060 does not have the same cooling needs as faster cards. When pushed to full throttle, it is slightly heard, but we are far from the wind tunnels that we can sometimes hear on poorly cooled cards.

The average temperature recorded in operation is 56 degrees, but it can climb up to 70 degrees under load.

Price and (non) availability of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060

Officially the GeForce RTX 3060 is marketed at the recommended price of 335 euros. In practice, given the shortage, it can be found (when it is in stock) over 700 euros, more than twice its price!

Obviously we do not recommend the card at all at this completely prohibitive price, which takes advantage of the shortage.

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