The Nvidia RTX 3060 released last week as the cheapest Ampere card so far, although there are some disappointingly inflated price tags out there with supply going the same way as all GPU releases over the past year – try as Nvidia might by nerfing the card against Ethereum mining. With Nvidia making the decision not to release RTX 3060 Founders Edition cards, reviewers have got their hands on aftermarket models – some of which are factory overclocked, leading to better performance in some cases.
Once stock issues with graphics cards are eventually sorted and they become readily available near their £299 / $329 MSRP, the 3060 could be the best graphics card if you’re looking to build the best cheap gaming PC. If the reviews are anything to go by, it looks like this card could be a solid contender for 1080p gaming, even in demanding titles like Watch Dogs Legion and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
It might not be a big enough leap in performance to entice RTX 20 series users to swap out for something newer, but if you’re running an older Pascal GPU such as the GTX 1060, the RTX 3060 could be the perfect upgrade. Here’s our roundup of the critics.
Remember that results may vary, as reviewers are not using identical graphics cards – some will inevitably have better cooling solutions, or higher clocks which could influence results.
- Rock Paper Shotgun – At least 60fps at 1080p in all the latest titles / 1440p also possible
- Eurogamer – Double the frame rates of the GTX 1070 / Outperforms RTX 2070
- PCGamer – RTX 3060 Ti offers better price-performance ratio / 12GB of VRAM gives futureproofing
- TechPowerUp – Good overclocking potential / Gains over Turing less than other RTX 30 cards
So, if you’re still rocking a GTX 10 series GPU or something older, the RTX 3060 is a great way to join the ray tracing and DLSS world, provided you can find one for a good price. But if you’re coming from a previous generation RTX 20 series card, the gains are a little smaller and stretching for at least an RTX 3060 Ti may be a better decision.