NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 test – keep scrolling miner, this is not the card for you!

We test the Palit GeForce RTX 3060 Dual OC graphics card, which could become the successor to the popular GTX 1060. How does it perform in games and? Will it be available in stores at normal prices?

About what is the situation in the graphics card market I will not write, because I do not want to irritate readers. The massive buyout of cards for cryptocurrency mines has made the market a deficit of graphics cards, and the few copies in stores are available at crazy prices.

NVIDIA decided to do something about it, and in addition to announcing the production of graphics cards designed exclusively for miners, it also restricted cryptocurrency mining on its latest baby, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 – which just had its world premiere.

This is a mid-range card and at the moment the least powerful model in the NVIDIA Ampere family. It’s still an RTX model, so it has hardware support for ray-tracing and DLSS technology.


 

Palit GeForce RTX 3060 Dual OC – we test the successor to the GTX 1060

The younger brother of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti tested in our pages (tests of this card are still made using the old test procedure) has two powerful advantages. Firstly, it is a cheaper model, and secondly, it is equipped with 12 GB of VRAM. This is more not only than the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070, which came with 8 GB VRAM but also than the RTX 3080, which had 10 GB VRAM on board. Add to that this restriction on cryptocurrency mining and with any luck, we get a very good mid-range card that will be completely unattractive to miners. Unless they quickly find a way to get around this limitation…

According to NVIDIA the new card is about 30% faster than the GeForce RTX 2060 and should have a similar performance to the RTX 2070. We’ll check it out in just a moment…


 

Palit GeForce RTX 3060 Dual OC performance tests

As we mentioned earlier, our test rig based on Intel Core i9 9900K has retired for a well-deserved retirement. We also replaced the test procedure – it included four new games. Give the lack in the results of some cards (we are working on the supplement). But already RTX 2060 Super after overclocking was really close to RTX 2070, so the results are easy to estimate.

Our current test platform is as follows:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (settings: automatic PBO)
RAM: 2 x 16 GB 3800 MHz (settings: synchronous)
Motherboard: MSI X570 Godlike (AMD AM4 AGESA V2 PI 1.2.0.0)
PCIe 4.0 SSD: Corsair MP400
However, let’s move on to the card itself. What about the possibilities of (further) OC? From the card, you can squeeze 1984 MHz on the core (in fact, the card in games boosted to 2100 MHz) and accelerated the VRAM almost to 2000 MHz. 

We tested the card at three settings:

-Default settings – 1320/1837/1875 MHz (Base/Boost/VRAM)
-Default settings with SAM / Resize BAR technology
-Manually overclock GPU to 1984 MHz (Boost) and VRAM to 1980 MHz with SAM / Resize BAR technology

3D Mark – Time Spy (DX12) – Overall Score

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 16922
ASUS ROG RX 6800 OC 14974
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 14412
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 13589
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super 11925
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 11887
Gigabyte Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming OC 9814
OC] GeForce RTX 3060 9801
Palit GeForce RTX 3060 Dual OC 9342
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super 9304
ASUS Radeon TUF RX 5700 OC 8836
ASUS Radeon RX 5500 XT 8 GB 5422
AMD Radeon RX 580 4770

3D Mark – Time Spy (DX12) Graphics Score

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 17510
ASUS ROG RX 6800 OC 15104
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 14430
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 13487
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super 11584
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 11550
Gigabyte Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming OC 9308
OC] GeForce RTX 3060 9300
Palit GeForce RTX 3060 Dual OC 8800
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8773
ASUS Radeon TUF RX 5700 OC 8271
ASUS Radeon RX 5500 XT 8 GB 4885
AMD Radeon RX 580 4272

3D Mark – Port Royale (hybrid ray-tracing)

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 11324
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 8845
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8120
ASUS ROG RX 6800 OC 7696
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super 7044
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 6773
OC] GeForce RTX 3060 5416
Palit GeForce RTX 3060 Dual OC 5105
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super 5062

3D Mark – DXR Ray-tracing feature test

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 48.24
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 32.91
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 30.29
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 26.82
ASUS ROG RX 6800 OC 22.95
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super 22.18
OC] GeForce RTX 3060 21.19
Palit GeForce RTX 3060 Dual OC 19.81
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super 15.38

Compared to the 3060 Ti, the card has almost 1300 fewer shader units, as well as less VRAM bandwidth. Let’s add that SAM/Resize BAR technology does not currently have any impact on 3D Mark results.


 

Power consumption and temperatures

The manufacturer recommends using a power supply of at least 450 watts. Palit’s card requires a single 8-pin power plug.

Power consumption of the platform with AMD Ryzen 9 5900X processor (Watts)

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 498
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 411
ASUS ROG RX 6800 OC 385
Gigabyte Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming OC 383
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 369
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super 368
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 343
ASUS Radeon TUF RX 5700 OC 342
AMD Radeon RX 580 327
OC+SAM] GeForce RTX 3060 317
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super 311
Palit GeForce RTX 3060 Dual OC 302
ASUS Radeon RX 5500 XT 8 GB 242

After manual OC, average temperatures on the core were over 70 degrees. BUT – GPU-Z got richer by showing also the hottest spot on the chip (which was previously available for Radeon cards – worse, Windows task manager showed just this temperature). The highest recorded temperature (hot spot) on the Palit model (after OC) was 84 degrees.


 

Palit GeForce RTX 3060 Dual OC – is it worth buying?

By design, this is a mid-range card with an affordable price tag (like the GTX 1060 or RTX 2060 before it). According to our tests, the card’s performance (depending on the game) varies between RTX 2060 Super and RTX 2070 Super – so exactly as NVIDIA claims, its average performance should be at the level of RTX 2070. It’s a good move to equip it with 12GB of VRAM, although let’s be honest, in this performance segment it doesn’t really matter. It certainly makes the card more future-proof, though.

Key Features of NVIDIA Ampere Graphics Cards (GeForce RTX 30xx)

  • Solid performance jump – RTX 3060 as powerful as RTX 2070
  • GDDR6 memory – this model has 12GB, which is more than the RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, and RTX 3080
  • Along with the RTX 3060, NVIDIA provides SAM / Resize BAR technology, which gives access to the entire card memory simultaneously
  • Second generation RT ray-tracing cores (doubling performance)
  • Third generation Tensor cores (up to 2x performance increase)
  • NVIDIA Reflex technology (reduced lag and input lag in games)
  • RTX IO technology (faster game loading by loading data directly into card memory and reducing CPU overhead – unfortunately, still no support)
  • NVIDIA Broadcast – support for streamers with AI-based audio and video effects – background noise removal (virtual green screen), or head tracking (virtual cameraman)

As it is in the case of equipment from the middle segment, everything boils down to the price, and this … (in theory, the card should cost 400-450 pounds and we know that selected stores will have it in stock at a low price – but we do not know how much).

A lot depends on whether the miners manage to unlock this model and the number of cards that manufacturers will throw on the market. This could be the beginning of a price correction for graphics cards, but in our opinion, we will have to wait a bit longer for a real correction…

As for the design of Palit itself we do not have any reservations – it is known that it should be one of the cheaper cards, but it is factory overclocked, has a backplate, and we cannot complain about the volume of the cooling system either.

This is the first gamer card on the market to be limited in cryptocurrency mining performance. Overall… I’m against any manufacturer’s limitation of the hardware. On the other hand, I perfectly understand NVIDIA’s move – the dramatic situation on the market requires non-standard actions. So what if the cards are sold like hotcakes if they do not reach the computers of players and do not win the market? Will this discourage miners from buying out this model and gamers will be able to safely buy it at a normal price? Will miners succeed in circumventing the card’s security features? Many questions that we will know the answers to soon.

This is also the first NVIDIA card with Smart Access Memory / Resize BAR support, which was introduced earlier in Radeon RX 6xxx. In my opinion, this is one of the more interesting technologies to reduce the impact of the CPU and increase the performance of the graphics card.

Check if the manufacturer of your motherboard has already released the appropriate BIOS and go ahead and enable it (if the feature actually works you can check in the NVIDIA Control Panel – and don’t forget to install the latest GameReady driver). In selected titles, you will gain some performance completely for free. Here comes the good news, because this feature will work on (provided that the appropriate BIOS update is provided by the board manufacturer):

  • Ryzen 5xxx (Vermeer) processors and 5xx and 4xx series boards
  • Intel 10th gen (Comet Lake) processors on select Z490, H470, B460, and H410 chipset boards
  • Intel 11th gen (Rocket Lake) processors

Theoretically, NVIDIA should make this technology available for all Ampere cards, but we don’t know if it will work everywhere with today’s driver release (or just for RTX 3060).

ln, a month AMD will present its competitors of RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti models, namely RX 6700 and 6700 XT cards, so the situation should get even more interesting. We assume that together with the release of these cards will also appear AMD’s answer to the DLSS technology.

Palit GeForce RTX 3060 Dual OC – rating

-Average performance at the level of GeForce RTX 2070 (FE)
-12 GB of GDDR6 memory
-Smart Access Memory (Resizable BAR) support on AMD and Intel processors
-8-nanometer GPU lithography and PCI Express 4.0
-Hardware support for ray-tracing and DLSS technology
-NVIDIA Reflex and Broadcast technology support
-good OC potential
-HDMI 2.1 and 3 x DP 1.4a
-energy-efficient
-No miracle in ray-tracing performance

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