Déjà vu: Once again, a GeForce RTX 3060 with modified specifications is doing the rounds, which promises more performance than the original, which was released in February 2021, with the full AD106 GPU and higher clock rates RTX 3060 (Review). But it's not a new release – and there's a catch anyway.
Another GeForce RTX 3060?!
< p class="p text-width">First, @T4CFantasy on Twitter drew attention to the GeForce RTX 3060 3840SP Edition graphics card that was added to TechPowerUp's GPU database. The model is again based on the GA103 graphics chip; In contrast to the original GeForce RTX 3060, however, the full configuration is used, which offers 30 instead of 28 streaming multiprocessors. As a result, the number of active FP32 execution units increases from 3,584 to 3,840 CUDA cores – and in this respect the GPU corresponds exactly to the mobile variants of the GeForce RTX 3060, i.e. the RTX 3060 Mobile and the RTX 3060 Max-Q.
However, because the clock rates have not been reduced from the original desktop model, but on the contrary have increased, the GeForce RTX 3060 3840SP offers around 12 percent more performance on paper than conventional RTX 3060 graphics cards and is therefore roughly at the level of one GeForce RTX 2070 Super (test), Radeon RX 6600 XT (test) or even Radeon RX 6650 XT (test), as a look at the editors' performance rating shows.
The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti (test), on the other hand, offers a total of 4,864 FP32-ALUs with 38 streaming multiprocessors and is around 15 percent ahead. In return, the power consumption of the Ti model is around 200 watts TDP, whereas the GeForce RTX 3060 3840SP is specified with the 170 watts TDP usual for the RTX 3060 – despite the wider chip and higher clock.
A possible cause can be found in the memory expansion: The GeForce RTX 3060 3840SP does not come with 12 GB GDDR6 graphics memory, but – like the mobile variants – only has half the amount of 6 GB GDDR6, which also has a lower speed of only 14 Gbps instead of 15 Gbps. Since it again stays with a 192-bit memory interface, the bandwidth only falls marginally from 360 GB/s to 336 GB/s and not, as with the GeForce RTX 3060 8 GB with a 128-bit interface, to a very low 240 GB /s.
OEM model camouflages itself as conventional RTX 3060
And now, of course, the question arises: What does Nvidia want to achieve with such an ambivalently mutated GeForce RTX 3060? In fact, it is – at least for now – not a separately sold graphics card, but an exclusive solution for OEM partners. The GeForce RTX 3060 3840SP has apparently been built into finished PCs for a long time, but is only recognized as an ordinary GeForce RTX 3060 in the graphics driver, according to TechPowerUp. However, why Nvidia is launching a faster version with half the memory for complete systems remains unanswered.
In any case, new editions and specialized models based on the GeForce RTX 3060 platform are Nvidia's particular passion. Most recently, the aforementioned GeForce RTX 3060 with a limited memory expansion and a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti with GDDR6X graphics memory were released in October 2022, which is up to 10 percent faster in 3DMark benchmarks thanks to the higher bandwidth. Special features are also the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti with a trimmed GA103 chip, which was previously used for the RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU (test) or the GeForce RTX 3060 with a partially deactivated GA104 GPU, on which the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is also based . The editors have compiled the specifications of all graphics cards in circulation based on the RTX 3060 platform in the table below.
The most popular ampere graphics cards live on
The GeForce RTX 3060 and GeForce RTX 3060 Ti are the two best-selling graphics cards of the Ampere generation, which at the beginning of 2023 still serve the mid-range segment that Nvidia has not yet occupied with GeForce RTX 4000: graphics cards based on Nvidia Ada Lovelace or AMD RDNA 3 are currently only an addition to the top, both in terms of price and performance. Although the GeForce RTX 4070 and GeForce RTX 4060 Ti will be coming soon, these graphics cards will also be positioned above the 3060 platform – and this is probably far from the end.