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MSI gaming GeForce RTX 3060 12GB 15 GBPS GDRR6 192-bit HDMI/DP PCIe 4 review

MSI gaming GeForce RTX 3060 12GB 15 GBPS GDRR6 192-bit HDMI/DP PCIe 4 review

What is the frame rate for gaming inMSI gaming GeForce RTX 3060? I was able to play Control with RTX on at full settings at around 30fps without any slowdowns. While the MSI is a bit on the expensive side when compared to other 3060s, it is decent for its price. Get incredible performance with enhanced Ray Tracing Cores and Tensor Cores, new streaming multiprocessors, and high-speed G6 memory. Get details in MSI gaming GeForce RTX 3060 12GB 15 GBPS GDRR6 192-bit HDMI/DP PCIe 4 review.

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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 12GB offers that little bit of future proofing
  • Strong Ampere feature set
  • A well-balanced design for this class of GPU

Cons

  • The 3060 Ti is a better option – if you can find one
  • Not enough of an upgrade over its RTX 2060 predecessor

Specs – MSI gaming GeForce RTX 3060 12GB 15 GBPS GDRR6 192-bit HDMI/DP PCIe 4

  • GPU: GA106
  • Lithograpy: Samsung 8nm
  • CUDA cores: 3,584
  • SMs: 28
  • RT Cores: 28
  • Tensor Cores: 112
  • GPU Boost clock: 1,837MHz
  • Memory bus: 192-bit
  • Memory capacity: 12GB GDDR6
  • Memory speed: 15Gbps
  • Memory bandwidth: 360GB/s
  • TGP: 170W
  • Power: 1x 8-pin, 1x 6-pin
  • Outputs: 3x Display Port 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.1

Compare MSI gaming GeForce RTX 3060 12GB 15 GBPS GDRR6 192-bit HDMI/DP PCIe 4

 RTX 3060RTX 3060 TiRTX 3070
Fab Process8nm Samsung8nm Samsung8nm Samsung
ArchitectureAmpereAmpereAmpere
GPUGA106GA104GA104
CUDA Cores358448645888
Base Clock1320 MHz1410 MHz1500 MHz
Boost Clock1777 MHz1665 MHz1730 MHz
Memory Size12GB8GB8GB
Memory TypeGDDR6GDDR6GDDR6
Memory Clock15 Gbps14 Gbps16 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth360 GBps448 GBps512 GBps
Memory Interface192-bit256-bit256-bit
Power Connectors8-pin8-pin8-pin
Graphics Card Power170W200W220W
Recommended PSU550W600W650W
Starting at (MSRP)$329$399$499

MSI gaming GeForce RTX 3060 12GB 15 GBPS GDRR6 192-bit HDMI/DP PCIe 4

Design

The card measures 323mm in length, 140mm in width, 56mm in thickness; and weighs around 1.47Kg. It’s a twin fan card that’s well suited to the thermal and power consumption characteristics of the GA106 chip. The RTX 3060 comes with 3,584 active shader units, or CUDA cores. That’s a big drop compared to the 4,864 of the GA104 based Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti.

Ports

When it comes to display connections you’ll find three DisplayPort 1.4a connectors and a single HDMI 2.1 connector. The DisplayPort 1.4a outputs support Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2a. The RTX 3060 uses the 7th Gen NVENC encoding engine and the 5th Gen NVDEC engine. This means that AV1 decode support is offered on this card along with support for MPEG-2, VC-1, H.264, H.265 (HEVC), VP8, and VP9.

Frame rates

That 12GB of VRAM is nice to have though. It’s enough for any game now and for the foreseeable future and its capable of perfectly smooth high detail 1080p gaming. It can happily run at 1440p if you dial back a few settings to keep above the 60fps threshold at all times. Perhaps Nvidia should have called it the RTX 2050 Ti, equipped it with 8GB and priced it at $250.

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Memory

The new GeForce RTX 3060 upgrade over the GeForce GTX 1060 (or even the GeForce GTX 960) not only has more VRAM with 12GB of VRAM — 2GB of VRAM more than the much higher-end, and much more expensive GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card that only ships with 10GB.

Temperature

The cooling solution on this graphics card is simply over the top. It’s like using a Noctua NH-D15 or a 240mm AIO liquid cooler to cool a Core i3 or Ryzen 3 processor. At idle to light load situations, the GPU’s temperature hovers at around ~45° Celsius. The fans do not spin during this state, making the graphics card completely silent.

Cooling

The RTX 3060 Gaming X is equipped with its latest Twin Frozr 8 dual fan cooler, while some manufacturers are promoting mid-range cards with very large triple fan coolers. You might as well just save your money and go for one of these more affordable dual fan versions. A cooler designed for a 350W+ RTX 3090 is overkill with a capital O. 

Power Consumption

The MSI RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio has a power consumption of 170W and requires at least a 550W PSU. It draws power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors. I also took a close-up photo of the capacitors at the back. I know MSI wants to show off the capacitors used on this graphics card. But I’d rather have them covered by the backplate; for protection.

Overclocking

We were able to run the card at a boost clock of between 2050 and 2070 MHz and memory at 17.6Gbps. Using Metro Exodus at 1080p with the Ultra preset as the benchmark, we saw an increase from the stock 67.1 FPS to 71.7 FPS, a decent 6.9% increase. That’s pretty good for a card that’s hard up against power limits.

Ray Tracing & DLSS Testing

The is the second-generation of NVIDIA graphics card that offer real-time ray tracing. Ray tracing was of course introduced with NVIDIA’s 20 Series graphics card. Since NVIDIA first announced ray tracing many games now support it including Fortnite and Minecraft. The 30 series cards feature more RT cores so the performance-hit when turning RTX should not be as significant as what we saw on the 20 series. 

MSI gaming GeForce RTX 3060 12GB 15 GBPS GDRR6 192-bit HDMI/DP PCIe 4 customer review

Great Playstation 6

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By Ferengi at Best Buy

Alternate of MSI gaming GeForce RTX 3060 12GB 15 GBPS GDRR6 192-bit HDMI/DP PCIe 4

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

SPECIFICATIONS

CUDA cores: 4,864Base clock: 1,410MHzBoost clock: 1,665MHzTFLOPs: 16.20Memory: 8GB GDDR6Memory clock: 14GT/sMemory bandwidth: 448GB/s

REASONS TO BUY

+Finally! Something a little more affordable+2080 Super performance+Under $400

REASONS TO AVOID

-Annoying 12-pin power connector-Not quite good enough for 4KAdvertisement

The best value Ampere to date, the RTX 3060 Ti is very closely related to the RTX 3070. Both utilize the same GA104 GPU (the RTX 3060 Ti has fewer SMs enabled), with the same 8GB of GDDR6 memory across a 256-bit bus.

While 17% less capable in core count, the RTX 3060 Ti makes up for it with some judicious GPU Boost frequencies. That partially explains why the RTX 3060 Ti can be within 17% to just single digits off the pace of the RTX 3070, despite operating at a silicon disadvantage. Not bad for a $399 card (if you can find it for that price).

If you haven’t already done the maths: At $399, the RTX 3060 Ti is 20% cheaper than the RTX 3070, so performance per dollar is on the up with the diminutive graphics card. That’s why we love it so; it’s a great GPU for the full stack of resolutions and has decent ray tracing capability to boot, courtesy of second-generation RT Cores.

If the RTX 3080 or RTX 3070 seem out of reach, the RTX 3060 Ti certainly makes for a decent stand-in. Perhaps most impressive of this graphics card is how it stacks up to the 20-series generation: It topples the RTX 2080 Super in nearly every test.

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