NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8 GB Graphics Card Review Ft. MSI Gaming X Trio & GALAX EX

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PRODUCT INFO

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio / GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX

December, 2020
Type Graphics Cards
Price $479.99 US / $429.99 US

Keeping their tradition alive of launching a new GeForce graphics architecture every two years, this year, NVIDIA introduces its Ampere GPU. The Ampere GPU is built upon the foundation set by Turing. Termed as its biggest generational leap, the NVIDIA Ampere GPUs excel previous generations at everything.

The Ampere GPU architecture has a lot to be talked about in this review, but so does the new RTX lineup. The Ampere lineup offers faster shader performance, faster ray tracing performance, and faster AI performance. Built on a brand new process node and featuring an architecture designed from the ground up, Ampere is a killer product with lots of numbers to talk about.

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The fundamental of Ampere was to take everything NVIDIA learned with its Turing architecture and not only refine it but to use its DNA to form a product in a completely new performance category. Tall claims were made by NVIDIA when they introduced its Ampere lineup earlier this month & we will be finding out whether NVIDIA hit all the ticks with its Ampere architecture as this review will be your guiding path to see what makes Ampere and how it performs against its predecessors.

Today, we will be taking a look at two custom NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards, the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio and the GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX. Both of the cards were provided by the respective manufacturers for the sole purpose of this review & we will be taking a look at their technology, design, and performance metrics in detail. The MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio features an MSRP of $469.99 US which is a $69.99 US premium over the reference MSRP while the GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX features a $429.99 US price tag which is a $29.99 US premium over the reference MSRP.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Gaming Graphics Cards - The Biggest GPU Performance Leap in Recent History

Turing wasn't just any graphics core, it was the graphics core that was to become the foundation of future GPUs. The future is realized now with next-generation consoles going deep in talks about ray tracing and AI-assisted super-sampling techniques. NVIDIA had a head start with Turing and its Ampere generation will only do things infinitely times better.

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The Ampere GPU does many traditional things that we would expect from a GPU, but at the same time, also breaks the barrier when it comes to untraditional GPU operations. Just to sum up some features:

  • New Streaming Multiprocessor (SM)
  • New Turing Tensor Cores
  • New Real-Time Ray Tracing Acceleration
  • New Shading Enhancements
  • New Deep Learning Features For Graphics & Inference
  • New GDDR6X High-Performance Memory Subsystem
  • New 2nd Generation NVLINK Interconnect
  • New HDMI 2.1 Display Engine & Next-Gen NVENC/NVDEC

The technologies mentioned above are some of the main building blocks of the Ampere GPU, but there's more within the graphics core itself which we will talk about in detail so let's get started.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Pricing Per Segment

NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 30 series is made up of a diverse portfolio of graphics cards. With the launch of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, the GeForce RTX 30series now starts at $399 US followed by $499US for the GeForce RTX 3070, $699 US for the GeForce RTX 3080, and $1499 US for the GeForce RTX 3090.

The RTX 3080 & RTX 3070 are both priced well and in-line with their predecessors but the GeForce RTX 3090 goes all out with a price of $1499 US. NVIDIA calls the GeForce RTX 3090 the "BFGPU" and as per the terminology, it seems like this is a new marketing name for the Titan graphics card. It is likely that we could see a Titan based card under the Quadro branding with faster specs out of the box but the GeForce RTX 3090 is purely a gaming graphics card first with all the horsepower for intense professional and workstation workloads.

With that said, the GeForce RTX 3080 replaces the RTX 2080 SUPER at the same price point, the GeForce RTX 3070 replaces the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER at the same price point while the RTX 3060 Ti replaces the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER at the same price point. Given this trend, we might see the more mainstream variants cost just as much as their RTX 20 SUPER series cards but with a higher performance out of the box.

NVIDIA GeForce GPU Segment/Tier Prices

Graphics Segment2014-20162016-20172017-20182018-20192019-20202020-2021
Titan TierTitan X (Maxwell)Titan X (Pascal)Titan Xp (Pascal)Titan V (Volta)Titan RTX (Turing)GeForce RTX 3090
Price$999 US$1199 US$1199 US$2999 US$2499 US$1499 US
Ultra Enthusiast TierGeForce GTX 980 TiGeForce GTX 980 TiGeForce GTX 1080 TiGeForce RTX 2080 TiGeForce RTX 2080 TiGeForce RTX 3080 Ti
Price$649 US$649 US$699 US$999 US$999 US$1199 US
Enthusiast TierGeForce GTX 980GeForce GTX 1080GeForce GTX 1080GeForce RTX 2080GeForce RTX 2080 SUPERGeForce RTX 3080
Price$549 US$549 US$549 US$699 US$699 US$699 US
High-End TierGeForce GTX 970GeForce GTX 1070GeForce GTX 1070GeForce RTX 2070GeForce RTX 2070 SUPERGeForce RTX 3070 Ti
GeForce RTX 3070
Price$329 US$379 US$379 US$499 US$499 US$599
$499
Mainstream TierGeForce GTX 960GeForce GTX 1060GeForce GTX 1060GeForce GTX 1060GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER
GeForce RTX 2060
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER
GeForce GTX 1660
GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB
Price$199 US$249 US$249 US$249 US$399 US
$349 US
$279 US
$229 US
$219 US
$399 US
$329 US
Entry TierGTX 750 Ti
GTX 750
GTX 950GTX 1050 Ti
GTX 1050
GTX 1050 Ti
GTX 1050
GTX 1650 SUPER
GTX 1650
TBA
Price$149 US
$119 US
$149 US$139 US
$109 US
$139 US
$109 US
$159 US
$149 US
TBA

In addition to the specs/price update, NVIDIA's RTX technologies are being widely adopted major game engines and APIs such as Microsft DirectX (DXR), Vulkan, Unreal Engine, Unity, and Frostbite. While there were only three RTX titles around the launch of the RTX 20 series cards, NVIDIA now has at least 28 titles that utilize their RTX feature set to offer real-time ray tracing with more coming soon.

In addition to that, with the upcoming consoles confirmed to feature ray tracing, developers can also make use of the RTX technology to fine-tune future games for the GeForce RTX hardware. Currently, NVIDIA has 13 game engines that are leveraging their RTX technologies for use in their upcoming and existing games while both Vulkan and DirectX 12 Ultimate APIs are part of the RTX ecosystem on the PC platform.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Graphics Card

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is going to be a brand new entry in the RTX 30 series lineup. It is aimed at the mainstream segment of around $400 US and will deliver performance close to the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER while coming close to the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti with RTX & DLSS options enabled.

NVIDIA designed the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, not just for any gamer but all gamers who want to have the best graphics performance at hand to power the next-generation of AAA gaming titles with superb visuals and insane fluidity at 1080p and 1440p resolutions. It's not just the FPS that matters these days, it's visuals, and a smoother frame rate too and this is exactly what the GeForce RTX 30 series is made to excel at.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Graphics Card Specifications - GA104 GPU & 8 GB GDDR6 Memory

At the heart of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti graphics card lies the GA104 GPU. The GA104 is one of the many Ampere GPUs that we will be getting on the gaming segment. The GA104 GPU is the second-fastest gaming GPU that NVIDIA has produced.

The GPU is based on Samsung's 8nm custom process node designed specifically for NVIDIA and features a total of 17.4 Billion transistors. It measures at 395mm2 which makes it the 2nd biggest gaming GPU ever produced right below the Turing TU102 GPU.

The new shader core on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture is 2.7x faster, the new RT cores are 1.7x faster while the new Tensor cores are up to 2.7x faster than the previous generation Turing GPUs. The 2nd Generation RT core delivers dedicated hardware-accelerated ray-tracing performance & features twice the ray/triangles intersection with concurrent RT graphics and compute operations.

For the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, NVIDIA has enabled a total of 38 SM units on its flagship which results in a total of 4864 CUDA cores. In addition to the CUDA cores, NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3060 Ti also comes packed with next-generation RT (Ray-Tracing) cores, Tensor cores, and brand new SM or streaming multi-processor units. The GPU runs at a base clock speed of 1410 MHz and a boost clock speed of 1665 MHz. The card has a TDP of 180W.

In terms of memory, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti comes packed with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory. The memory runs across a 256-bit bus wide interface and features an effective clock speed of 14.00 Gbps which delivers a cumulative bandwidth of 448 GB/s, the same as the GeForce RTX 3070.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series 'Ampere' Graphics Card Specifications:

Graphics Card NameNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 TiNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090
GPU NameAmpere GA106-300Ampere GA104-200Ampere GA104-300Ampere GA102-200Ampere GA102-300
Process NodeSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nm
Die SizeTBC395.2mm2395.2mm2628.4mm2628.4mm2
TransistorsTBC17.4 Billion17.4 Billion28 Billion28 Billion
CUDA Cores358448645888870410496
TMUs / ROPs112 / 64152 / 80184 / 96272 / 96328 / 112
Tensor / RT Cores112 / 28152 / 38184 / 46272 / 68328 / 82
Base Clock1320 MHz1410 MHz1500 MHz1440 MHz1400 MHz
Boost Clock1780 MHz1665 MHz1730 MHz1710 MHz1700 MHz
FP32 Compute13 TFLOPs16 TFLOPs20 TFLOPs30 TFLOPs36 TFLOPs
RT TFLOPs25 TFLOPs32 TFLOPs40 TFLOPs58 TFLOPs69 TFLOPs
Tensor-TOPs101 TOPs192 TOPs163 TOPs238 TOPs285 TOPs
Memory Capacity12 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR610 GB GDDR6X24 GB GDDR6X
Memory Bus192-bit256-bit256-bit320-bit384-bit
Memory Speed16 Gbps14 Gbps14 Gbps19 Gbps19.5 Gbps
Bandwidth384 Gbps448 Gbps448 Gbps760 Gbps936 Gbps
TGP170W175W220W320W350W
Price (MSRP / FE)$329 US$399 US$499 US$699 US$1499 US
Launch (Availability)25th February 20212nd December 202029th October 202017th September 202024th September 2020

In case you want to read our full NVIDIA Ampere GPU architecture deep dive and GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition review, head over to this link.

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