The first Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 benchmark results are trickling in ahead of its February 25 launch. And while the mid-range graphics card impresses in some tests, its performance in others suggests you might be better off saving for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti instead.
VideoCardz first posted results from the famously GPU-stressing Ashes of the Singularity (AotS) benchmark test, in which the $329 GeForce RTX 3060 edged past the RTX 2070: a high-end card from Nvidia’s previous generation. However, VideoCardz also posted a set of synthetic benchmark tests that showed the new GPU only keeping pace with the old GeForce RTX 2060 Super, with the RTX 2070 ahead and other RTX 30-series cards well in front.
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To an extent this isn’t surprising: the RTX 3060 will be the cheapest and least powerful of the RTX 30-series when it goes on sale tomorrow. And its apparent performance in AotS should be encouraging to anyone hoping to upgrade from an older graphics card.
The $399 RTX 3060 Ti does markedly better, averaging 84 frames per second to the RTX 3060’s 69 fps. But the latter is still a step up from the RTX 2070, which averaged 63 fps in the same test.
By contrast, the synthetic benchmarks, which include common GPU benchmarking tests like Fire Strike Extreme and Superposition, show the RTX 3060 struggling somewhat. Its average performance across all six tests is 1% lower than the RTX 2060 Super, a card it arguably replaces, and it’s 3% lower than the old RTX 2070. The RTX 3060 Ti also beats its cheaper sibling by 39% on average.
If you’re angling for a GPU upgrade, you might as well wait another day or two for more independent benchmark results to come out. Especially for the actual games you want to play, as opposed to synthetic benchmarks. Even so, it’s a mixed showing for the RTX 3060 so far.
However, new graphics cards tend to get a performance boost after their release with new driver support and software optimizations. So it's worth taking these benchmarks with a pinch of salt as they could be based on early RTX 3060 samples without the latest drivers.
Of course, benchmark comparisons mean little if you can’t buy the cards themselves. As anyone who’s tried to find where to buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti will know, there’s a major GPU stock shortage going on, and it’s been affecting the entire RTX 30-series for months.
The RTX 3060 might at least face lower demand from digital currency miners, as Nvidia has intentionally limited the GPU’s mining effectiveness in a bid to get more stock into the hands of regular gamers. But the card is already falling victim to profiteering resellers, including one who’s been selling three RTX 3060 cards for around $1,080 each.
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James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.