The RTX 3060 Ti, 3070 and the recently announced 3060 video cards target the upper-middle segment of GPUs. This means, in practice, that they deliver excellent performance in the most demanding games at resolutions of 1080p or 1440p, and all in a price range between $ 300 and $ 500 dollars.
In general, the value for money of these cards is quite good and perhaps it could be argued that it is better than in the case of the more expensive 3080 or 3090, which clearly target another segment. Now, the question is: which card to choose? There is a difference of $ 200 between the cheapest and the most expensive of the first three, although in terms of specifications the differences are not so great.
But there are a few different features between the RTX 3060, the 3060 Ti, and the 3070; each of them is focused on a specific type of user. We will explain it to you in more detail below.
Price and availability
Although it was announced in conjunction with the RTX 3080 and 3090 , the RTX 3070 was released shortly after NVIDIA's higher-end cards. For its part, the RTX 3060 Ti was announced and launched on sale in December 2020.
Following on from the previous generation of cards, the 3070 and 3060 Ti have an MSRP of $ 500 and $ 300, respectively. Now, finding stock of these cards is a different story and even more so if you want to pay no more than the suggested price; the normal thing is to find models for $ 50 or $ 100 dollars more. Stores like Newegg, for example, sell them in packages that include other products, such as power supplies or RAM.
The RTX 3060 has not gone on sale yet and will only be available towards the end of February 2021 for $ 330. Most likely, this model will be sold out immediately, as has happened with the rest of NVIDIA cards; in the same way, the price is most likely somewhat higher overall.
On the other hand, the second-hand market is practically non-existent. Used cards like the RTX 3070 or 360 Ti can be found on eBay or the Facebook marketplace , but these are generally speculators and that means prices can even double, at the very least.
Specifications: RTX 3060 with 12GB VRAM?
Between the 3070 and the 3060 Ti there is a gradual reduction in specifications. Both feature 8GB of GDDR6 memory on a 256-bit data bus. The 3060 Ti has around 1,000 fewer CUDA cores than the 3070, as well as a reduced clock in both base and overclock speeds. For its part, the recently announced RTX 3060 comes, surprisingly, with 12 GB of GDDR6 memory.
|RTX 3060||RTX 3060 Ti||RTX 3070|
| CUDA cores||3584||4864||5888|
|Clock speed||1.78 GHz||1.67 GHz||1.73 GHz|
|Memory||12GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6|
| Memory interface||192-bit||256-bit||256-bit|
|TDP||170 w||200 w||220w|
That's 50 percent more memory than the top two models. Going further, the 360 has an extra 2GB of memory than the RTX 3080 (although the 3060 is GDDR6 spec, while the 3060 GDDR6X). The RTX 3060 also has a higher clock speed than the 3060 Ti and 3070.
But the bottleneck comes from another part: the data bus is 192-bit. In simple terms, a reduced data bus means that the amount of information being sent to and from the card each second is less. In other words: while the 3060 has more available memory than higher models, its total bandwidth is lower, with a difference of approximately 100 GBps.
Between the three cards, the difference in power consumption is not very marked. The RTX 3060 consumes only 170 watts, while the 3070 reaches 220 watts. NVIDIA recommends using 550w, 600w, and 650w PSU power supplies for the 3060, 3060 Ti, and 3070, respectively.
When it comes to gaming performance, the 3070 is ahead of the pack (no surprise really). First of all, it should be noted that the NVIDIA 3000 series cards are twice the performance of the previous generation, which means that the 3070 is twice as powerful as the 2080 Ti, which costs around $ 1,200.
And synthetic tests back up the theoretical numbers, as the $ 500 RTX 3070 outperforms the 2080 Ti in most games at 1440p or 4K resolution, putting this model above the RX 5700 XT. from AMD, the RTX 2080 Super and the Radeon VII (AMD).
Instead, and for $ 100 less, the RTX 3060 Ti is super close . Games like Borderlands 3 and Far Cry 5 at 1440p show a performance of just 10 frames per second less than the 3070. And this difference is further reduced if overclocked , putting the 3060 Ti a little lower than the RTX. 2080 Ti and above the RTX 2080 Super. In 1080p resolution, the difference between the 3060 Ti and the 3070 is very small and is only more noticeable when going up to 4K resolution.
Of course, neither of the two models are very prepared for 4K and when reaching that resolution, the games fall below 60 frames per second. At 1440p resolution, the RTX 3070 is a better option, but if they are kept at 1080p, the difference between the two is not very relevant and therefore it is not a bad idea to save $ 100.
The RTX 3060 is the new card in the segment and since it is not yet on sale, it will not be known exactly how far its performance goes in a few months. During its announcement at CES 2021 , NVIDIA did provide information on the 3060 in relation to the difference to the GTX 1060 of two generations ago and while these numbers are far from being a real test, at least they serve to get an idea of the power of a new $ 330 card.
According to NVIDIA, the 3060 can reach 60 frames per second in Cyberpunk 2077 at 1080p resolution. In comparison, the RTX 2060 reaches 48 frames per second in the same game and just 5 frames per second in the 1060, with raytracing and DLSS activated.
Given this information, it is possible to assume that the RTX 3060 will be slightly below the RTX 2080 and above the 2070, although according to the manufacturer, the card could perform similarly to the 2080 Super in other games.
It is always best to wait for third-party benchmarks to appear before drawing conclusions. And that is especially important with the RTX 3060, since its 12 GB of memory is somewhat strange for a card in this range and therefore the comparison with the 3060 Ti and 3070 may not be so straightforward. Normally, its performance is below the last generation RTX 2080, although it is possible that thanks to the amount of memory in some games the performance is higher.
The perfect price
Between $ 330 and $ 500, all three cards in this article target that precise point between price and performance. Each of them delivers very good performance in esports-oriented games such as Fortnite or Apex Legends , while in newer games there should be no problem getting to 1080p or 1440p at 60 frames per second. In general, any of the three models is a very good buy.
Still, some recommendations can be made. If you have a 1440p monitor, the best option is always the RTX 3070. This card reaches 60 frames per second in most new games both today and in the future, even in High or Ultra graphics quality.
The RTX 3060 Ti is also a good option at 1440p, especially if it is overclocked. However, in a few years it would be normal to have to reduce the quality of some games but, even so, this model is ready for the future.
On the other hand, if you intend to play only at 1080p resolution, the 3060 Ti is the best option. Yes, the 3070 is more powerful and that same resolution will give a better frame rate per second, but the benefits in general are not as noticeable. Therefore, the 3060 Ti is the queen of 1080p in relation to the price that it costs, although the 3060 may have something to say in the coming months. But to find out, we will have to wait until it is on sale and the real tests appear.