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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (12GB) Specifications

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 — that's the 12GB version, now that there's a crappy 8GB model — is easily the most popular option from the Ampere generation of GPUs. That's no surprise, since the GTX 1060 has been legendary in the Steam Hardware Survey and still takes the top spot, though do note that the 1060 includes both 3GB and 6GB variants as well as the mobile models all clumped under one name. RTX 2060 comes in second, then the GTX 1650, but the desktop RTX 3060 sits in fourth place overall. Our GPU performance hierarchy shows how the 3060 stacks up against the competition, and at the official $329 MSRP there should be plenty to like.

Except the RTX 3060 has basically never sold at MSRP in large quantities, and even now the RTX 3060 starts at around $359. That's a 20 month old card, where the base price remains about 10% higher than it "should" be, and plenty of cards are still selling for close to $400. Throughout 2021, the RTX 3060 tended to sell for $600 or more thanks to cryptocurrency mining.

The online prices put the RTX 3060 into direct competition with AMD's RX 6700 10GB (the non-XT card) as well as Intel's Arc A770 16GB. News flash: It loses both of those matchups in a lot of games. It's only with ray tracing and DLSS that you can sort of make a good argument for the 3060.

With the RTX 4090 here, RTX 4080 coming in a couple of weeks, and RTX 4070 likely landing in January, there's also the question of when the RTX 4060 will arrive — and how much it will cost. We'd peg the card for a spring launch, though it might come a bit earlier if Nvidia can manage to clear its warehouses of all the existing RTX 3060, RTX 3060 Ti, and RTX 3070 cards.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Specifications
Process TechnologySamsung 8N
Transistors (Billion)12
Die size (mm^2)276
Streaming Multiprocessors28
GPU Cores (Shaders)3584
Tensor Cores112
RT Cores28
Boost Clock (MHz)1777
VRAM Speed (Gbps)15
VRAM Bus Width192
L2 Cache3
Render Outputs48
Texture Mapping Units112
FP32 TFLOPS (Single-Precision)12.7
FP16 TFLOPS (Sparsity)51 (102)
Bandwidth (GB/s)360
Total Board Power (Watts)170
Launch DateFebruary 25, 2021
Launch Price$329

The RTX 3060 bumps the price a bit relatively to the later $299 MSRP on the RTX 2060, as well as the GTX 1060 6GB. If we could have purchased cards at that price last year, though, we would have been ecstatic. Today? We're not quite so thrilled.

The best part about the RTX 3060 is that it comes with 12GB VRAM on a 192-bit interface. That's more than the 3060 Ti through 3080 10GB, though with less raw bandwidth. The memory even comes with a higher 15 Gbps clock to help increase the bandwidth. Interestingly, the next-generation Ada Lovelace replacement might drop down to a narrower interface, taking the AMD route and increasing effective bandwidth with lots of L2 cache. The thing is, after the 3060 shipped with 12GB standard, Nvidia will have a hard time convincing anyone that less than 12GB is sufficient for a midrange or higher GPU.

TBP sits at a reasonable 170W, and with a boost clock of 1,777 MHz the 3060 delivers up to 12.7 teraflops of FP32 compute — and 102 teraflops via the Tensor cores. In our actual gaming tests, we saw average clocks of around 1,875 MHz, meaning the real-world teraflops is 13,4. The RX 6700 by comparison sits at 11.3 teraflops, though AMD doesn't have the split FP32 and FP32+INT32 to contend with, meaning the performance per teraflops tends to be a bit better than on Ampere.

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