Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 is a $329 graphics card AMD can’t beat

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
(Image credit: Nvidia)

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti made its debut just a month ago, but Nvidia’s not finished with graphics cards. At CES 2021, Nvidia announced its new $329 GeForce RTX 3060 GPU.

Nvidia is banking on this new card to appeal to anyone waiting to upgrade their cards without having to spend big. This graphics card is $70 cheaper than the RTX 3060 Ti and over $150 less than the GeForce RTX 3070, yet still promises serious gaming performance.   

The GeForce RTX 3060, which appears to be a viable substitute for older GTX 1060 Pascal cards, features specs even PC users with enviable setups might find themselves green with envy over. The card will offer 12GB of GDDR6 memory, and is said to deliver a dramatic improvement with both ray tracing and raster performance. 

Compared to the GTX 1060, the RTX 3060 has twice the raster performance and 10x the ray-tracing performance. And Nvidia touted it as 1.3x as powerful as a PS5

It will include support for all of Nvidia's ray tracing and DLSS features, the latter of which allows users to harness the power of neural networks to help sharpen games that run at lower resolutions. That way, you could be looking at much crisper games thanks to image reconstruction that offers native 4K in some situations, or better. 

Additionally, you can expect 13 shader-TFLOPs, 25 RT-TFLOPs for ray tracing, 101 tensor-TFLOPs (for Nvidia's DLSS abilities), and a 194-bit memory interface. 

Though there aren't currently any benchmarks to test the RTX 3060's specs against the other cards in the latest Nvidia line, it's safe to say this particular model is a tempting one. 

And that’ll be a danger to AMD, which currently doesn’t have an RDNA 2 - its latest GPU architecture - graphics card priced below the $500 mark. That leaves the mainstream PC gaming arena pretty much open to Nvidia. We’d expect AMD to retort with new, more budget-oriented Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards before too long; we predict around spring time. 

Nvidia also confirmed a variety of PC makers are on board to feature the RTX 3060 in their systems, including ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, PNY, and Zotac. With multiple companies lined up for the graphics card, one might assume there won't be supply issues as bad as the ones prospective buyers have experienced over the last few months with Nvidia's other models. 

If you're looking to beat the scalpers that will almost undoubtedly plague the RTX 3060's launch, however, Nvidia plans to release the card in late February. We’ll look to keep you abreast of stock levels and where to buy the RTX 3060 closer to the release date. And we’d not be surprised to see machines sporting the GeForce RTX 3060 pop up in our best gaming PCs list before too long.  

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.