NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB Graphics Card Review Ft. MSI Gaming X Trio & GALAX EX
MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio / GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 EX25/02/2021
GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 EX Closer Look + Teardown
The graphics card is really big but not the biggest of the ones I have tested. The card measures 329 x 130 x 61 mm and takes up 2.5 slots worth of space for installation. You would have to keep in mind the height when going for a dual card solution as your case or motherboard PCIe slot combination may not allow such a setup. The cooling shroud extends all the way to the back of the PCB and it requires a casing with good interior space for proper installation.
You would have to keep in mind the height when going for a dual card solution as your case or motherboard PCIe slot combination may not allow such setup. The cooling shroud extends all the way to the back of the PCB and it requires a casing with good interior space for proper installation.
The back of the card features a solid backplate that looks stunning. The backplate offers a lot more functionality than just looks which I will get back to in a bit.
In terms of design, the graphics card rocks a singular color scheme which is matte black and along with some white and silver linings on the front, sides, and back. The EX series is an entry-level line when compared to the higher-end Gamer, Work The Frames, and HOF series from GALAX.
GALAX is going fully on-board the RGB bandwagon with their EX series, offering multiple light zones on the front and sides of the card. The shroud itself extends beyond the PCB.
Coming to the fans, the card rocks dual 92mm fans. Each fan is comprised of 11 blades which have a very angular shape that is made to disperse hot air out of the card faster than standard designs.
While both fans have an acrylic finish to really shine with all the embedded RGB LEDs offering an even more glorious display of this card's RGB capabilities.
GALAX also features a 0db fan technology on the fans which isn't explicitly mentioned. This feature won’t spin the fans on the card unless they reach a certain threshold. In the case of the GALAX heatsink, that limit is set to 60C. If the card is operating under 60C, the fans won’t spin which means no extra noise would be generated.
I am back at talking about the full-coverage, full metal-based backplate which the card uses. The whole plate is made of solid metal that adds to the durability of this card. The brushed matte-black finish on the backplate gives a unique aesthetic. The graphics card also comes with a compact PCB design which means that the shroud, heatsink, and backplate are all extended beyond the PCB. The third fan blows air through the heatsink and blows it out from the cutouts that are situated at the very end of the backplate.
With the outsides of the card done, I will now start taking a glance at what's beneath the hood of these monster graphics cards. The first thing to catch my eye is the humungous fin stack that's part of the beefy heatsink which the cards utilize.
The large fin stack runs all the way from the front and to the back of the PCB and is so thick that you can barely see through it.
Talking about the heatsink, there are two blocks of aluminum fins which are interconnected by five heat pipes running through the copper base plate and heading out towards the dual heatsink blocks. The heatsink is a slightly updated version of the one used on the RTX 2080 WTF with an increased surface area for additional heat transfer.
There are several heat pads included for the VRMs and memory chips. They are full-sized, making full contact with the components to offer stable and efficient heat transfer.
The very front of the PCB has a third heatsink that goes right over the VRMs and is equipped is screwed to the I/O bracket.
I/O on the graphics card sticks with the reference scheme which includes three Display Port 1.4a & a single HDMI 2.1 port.
GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 EX Teardown:
GALAX makes use of a 5+2 phase PWM design that includes high-quality components. The GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 EX graphics card also uses the GDDR6 memory from Micron that operates at 15 Gbps alongside a 192-bit wide memory interface.
Power to the GeForce RTX 3060 EX is provided through a single 8-pin connector which sticks to the 180W reference configuration of the Founders Edition variant. Surprisingly, the EX graphics card comes with a solid metal shielded power connector which is the first time I am looking at it on a graphics card.