Asus Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition Review: Good Performance, Unrealistic Price

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If every little thing had been regular within the desktop GPU world proper now, the launch of the GeForce RTX 3060 would have been met with enthusiasm for bringing ray tracing results to a brand new mass-market value level in addition to the same old generational efficiency positive aspects. However, issues are removed from regular – cryptocurrency miners are as soon as once more inflicting big shortages out there, each AMD and Nvidia are unable to produce sufficient chips into the market, and costs have shot by way of the roof. In India particularly, it is laborious to search out graphics playing cards based mostly on any of Nvidia’s 30-series or AMD’s 6000-series GPUs at wherever close to their official launch costs. Things aren’t anticipated to ease up until not less than the center of 2021.

The GeForce RTX 3060 drops proper into this chaos, and so we do not actually know at this level whether or not there will likely be sufficient inventory out there and whether or not costs will likely be affordable. Judging worth for cash will likely be particularly tough. On high of that, Nvidia is not going to be promoting a Founders Edition graphics card in any respect, so a lot of the choices out there can have larger MRPs than Nvidia’s really useful Rs. 29,500.

You’ll discover a number of fashions based mostly on the identical GPU from all of Nvidia’s associate manufacturers. I’m reviewing Asus’ ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition, which is a premium implementation of this new GPU.

The Asus Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition has three followers on its outsized cooler

 

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 structure and specs

Nvidia has had quite a lot of success with its GeForce GPU architectures for the previous a number of years, whereas competitor AMD has solely only recently managed to catch up. The firm describes its present Ampere GPU structure, which powers all the GeForce RTX 30-series, as its best generational leap ever. That’s saying quite a bit, nevertheless it additionally glosses over the truth that RTX 30-series playing cards are extraordinarily costly, and the premium GPUs which have launched to date are nicely out the attain of most common players.

The goal for the GeForce RTX 3060 is players who’re upgrading from a mid-range card that is two or extra generations outdated, significantly the GeForce GTX 1060 which continues to be so broadly used that it is presently on the high of the Steam global hardware survey over 4 years after it launched. The xx60 tier is often an enormous vendor for Nvidia, and that is the place the majority of the market is concentrated.

According to Nvidia, you possibly can anticipate twice the efficiency of the GeForce GTX 1060 or roughly equal efficiency to that of the GeForce RTX 2070. Of course the brand new structure additionally means higher and extra environment friendly ray tracing, which is actually catching on in trendy video games. The efficiency goal for the GeForce RTX 3060 is over 60fps with ray tracing enabled at 1080p in in the present day’s standard AAA titles. If you are not significantly desirous about ray tracing, you would additionally step as much as larger resolutions and graphics high quality settings at a (theoretically) lower cost than has to date been attainable.

Nvidia has pared down its Ampere design, and so the GeForce RTX 3060 GPU (codenamed GA106) has 3,584 CUDA execution cores, 28 RT cores for ray tracing, and 112 Tensor cores for AI acceleration, all clustered into 28 clusters referred to as Streaming Multiprocessors. The base clock pace is 1.32GHz and the enhance pace is 1.78GHz, not less than for Nvidia’s hypothetical reference design. The chip makes use of an 8nm manufacturing course of and helps PCIe Gen 4.0 pace. You can run as much as 4 displays at a time. Power draw is rated at 170W and not less than a 550W energy provide is really useful.

As with higher-end GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs that we have already reviewed, the Ampere structure doubles throughput for some kinds of floating level operations in addition to ray tracing efficiency, for sensible lighting and shadow results. The AI comes into play primarily for Nvidia’s Deep Learning Supersampling function, or DLSS, which upscales rendered graphics permitting the remainder of the GPU to work at a decrease decision, thus decreasing its workload and bettering pace.

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Asus has gone with two HDMI ports and three DIsplayPort video outputs

 

All GeForce RTX 3060 graphics playing cards, no matter producer or design, can have 12GB of GDDR6 RAM on a 192-bit bus, delivering 360GBps of reminiscence bandwidth. Interestingly, 12GB is way more than the 8GB you may get with the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070, and much more than the 10GB that the premium RTX 3080 is outfitted with. That’s a really unusual anomaly within the lineup, maybe motivated by AMD going with 12GB for its RDNA2-based Radeon RX 6000 sequence. Of course efficiency is not decided by reminiscence capability alone, nevertheless it’s value noting.

Ray tracing is presently supported by 39 video games and one other 16 are on the way in which. Over the previous 12 months, main titles resembling Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion, COD: Black Ops Cold War, Godfall, and even the extra informal Fortnite and Minecraft have been within the information for committing to ray tracing. It’s additionally been introduced as a function being added to Doom Eternal, The Witcher 3, Far Cry 6, and Dirt 5.

There are additionally advantages to the brand new structure past gaming. You can pace up 3D and video content material creation in artistic and manufacturing software program. Nvidia has additionally launched its Broadcast suite with this era, which leverages AI efficiency for noise removing, background alternative and head monitoring whereas livestreaming. AV1 decode help will help cut back CPU utilization when streaming compressed high-res video from companies that use this codec.

Another good thing about all this processing energy is that trendy GPUs are uniquely suited to working the form of repetitive mathematical algorithms which can be used to generate or “mine” cryptocurrency. This is a number one issue within the international scarcity of GPUs in retail channels. Nvidia has nevertheless determined that it is time to promote totally different {hardware} particularly for mining, particularly its new CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor). As such, the GeForce RTX 3060 is the primary to be intentionally designed (or handicapped, as you may even see it) to restrict mining efficiency.

It stays to be seen whether or not it will have an effect on the market in any vital method, nevertheless it does imply that different RTX 30-series playing cards simply acquired extra fascinating to bulk patrons – and due to this fact possible much more tough to purchase. If you are a gamer who likes casually mining on a single GPU to recoup a number of the value of your {hardware} or simply earn a small passive earnings, you may be affected by this.

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You’ll want solely a single 8-pin PCIe energy connector

 

Asus Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition design and options

Asus is certainly one of a number of manufacturers that will likely be promoting graphics playing cards constructed across the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU. The ROG Strix household is fairly excessive up on Asus’ product hierarchy, and is aimed toward players who do not thoughts paying a premium for construct high quality, extra elaborate RGB lighting, and a bit of bit of additional potential stability and overclockability in some circumstances.

Gamers do like to indicate off and Asus has designed this card to be a lot bigger than it most likely must be. The cooler and shroud are very generously proportioned and there are three axial followers. The center one spins in the wrong way to the opposite two, optimising airflow and decreasing turbulence. They additionally spin down utterly when the cardboard is not being harassed. Asus says they’ve smaller hubs and longer fins to additional enhance airflow.

The Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition will take up three slots’ house in your PC cupboard – Asus lists it as a “2.7 slot” design which is successfully the identical factor. It’s practically a foot lengthy at 300mm, which is longer than many enthusiast-class playing cards, and hangs over the sting of a normal ATX motherboard. You would possibly need to verify for clearance and airflow points in your cupboard earlier than shopping for this card.

Predictably, the PCB itself is far smaller than the shroud round it. The backplate has a big gap for airflow to the heatsink fins, and naturally there’s an RGB-illuminated ROG emblem as nicely. You’ll discover a single 8-pin PCIe energy connector close to the tip. There’s additionally a BIOS swap that permits you to toggle between the usual Performance profile and a second Quiet profile with none software program tweaking.

Asus has gone with three ShowPort 1.4a outputs and two HDMI 2.1 ports on the rear. This is pretty beneficiant and may permit for versatile configurations together with straightforward swapping with a VR headset related. It additionally exhibits that not as a lot house is required for vents as on higher-end playing cards. The card comes with plastic mud stoppers for all of the ports and the PCIe connector, that are all the time appreciated.

There’s an enormous RGB LED strip throughout all the high of the shroud, which you’ll customise with varied lighting patterns by way of Asus’ Armory Crate software program. The lights shine by way of the heatsink fins and are seen by way of the fan blades as nicely, making for an fascinating impact not less than on my open-air check rig. There are some angular metallic accents on the entrance of the cardboard which will likely be face-down and hidden in most PC cupboards.

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The RGB LED lighting could be customised utilizing Asus’ Armory Crate software program

 

Asus Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition efficiency

Of course efficiency in video games is what issues most, and it is time now to see how nicely the Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition does in our artificial exams and in handbook gameplay. AMD is anticipated to launch equal Radeon RX 6000-series GPUs quickly, however for now the older Radeon RX 5700 and 5600 XT are the closest matches, price-wise. Asus additionally despatched over a TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 Ti for comparability – this card would not have fairly the identical visible aptitude because the higher-end Strix sequence fashions, however is aimed toward extra price-conscious patrons and it is the GPU at its coronary heart that we’re desirous about evaluating in opposition to.

Both, the Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition and the TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, have been examined on an AMD Ryzen 2700 CPU, ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate motherboard, 2x8GB of G.Skill F4-3400C16D-16GSXW DDR4 RAM, a 1TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD, and a Corsair RM650 energy provide. The monitor was a 4K Asus PB287Q. . I used Nvidia’s pre-release 461.64 driver, and Windows 10 was up to date to model 2H20 with all the most recent patches.

Starting with artificial workloads, the trusty 3DMark now consists of devoted exams that spotlight ray tracing in addition to DLS efficiency. We see a reasonably large gulf in efficiency figures between the GeForce RTX 3060 and its beefier sibling, the RTX 3060 Ti. You can anticipate roughly about 70-75 % the efficiency, however going by Nvidia’s reference costs, you do not save a considerable sum of money.

The new GPU is roughly equal to the older GeForce RTX 2060 Super in legacy exams, and may (once more, theoretically) value much less whereas additionally considerably bettering outcomes with ray tracing. We additionally see the GeForce RTX 3060 buying and selling blows with the Radeon RX 5700 in customary exams. For reference, an MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X graphics card scored 4,273 and three,168 in 3DMark’s Time Spy and Fire Strike Ultra exams when reviewed on the time of its launch.

  Asus Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3070 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super Founders Edition AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
3DMark DLSS Feature Test (off / on) 23.67fps / 58.94fps 32.06fps / 79.31fps 37.54fps / 88fps N/A N/A
3DMark Port Royal 5,105 6,911 8,083 4,998 N/A
3DMark Time Spy 8,485 10,719 11,857 8,771 7,794
3DMark Time Spy Extreme 3,925 5,058 5,912 4,044 3,521
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme 9,851 13,334 15,415 10,049 10,221
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra 5,182 7,304 8,587 4,552 5,355
3DMark Ray Tracing Feature Test 19.8fps 27.2fps N/A N/A N/A
Unigine Superposition (4K Optimised) 6,912 9,587 11,060 N/A N/A

Coming to in-game benchmarks, I fired up Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 4K utilizing the Highest high quality preset. With DLSS enabled, I acquired a really respectable common of 53fps. Adding ray traced shadows at Medium high quality introduced that all the way down to 49fps. Without DLSS or ray traced shadows, the common got here to 44fps and visible high quality wouldn’t be considerably distinguishable to the informal observer. If you need to keep above 60fps, you may should drop the decision to not less than 1440p, even with DLSS.

Far Cry 5 managed 49fps on common at 4K utilizing its Ultra preset. Taking the decision all the way down to 1440p resulted in a a lot smoother run averaging 82fps. Similarly, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey averaged solely 36fps at 4K utilizing its Ultra High preset, however that went as much as 53fps at 1440p and 62fps at 1080p. Middle Earth: Shadow of War is a bit more forgiving, with averages of 48fps at 4K and 77fps at 1440p.

Metro Exodus’ benchmarking device has an RTX preset which allows DLSS, units ray tracing high quality to High and general recreation high quality to Ultra. At 1920×1080, this produced a mean of 53.98fps which isn’t fairly preferrred however nonetheless pretty good. The minimal did drop fairly a bit with one part dipping as little as 28.85fps. These scores take into account the 99th percentile which eliminates essentially the most drastic outliers that would skew averages.

Another recreation that makes use of ray tracing and DLSS is Control. I enabled DLSS with the render decision at 1080p and show decision at 4K. With the standard in addition to ray tracing set to High, I used to be capable of common roughly 45-50fps. As for non-RTX video games, Doom Eternal is all the time enjoyable and runs very nicely even on modest {hardware}. This recreation averaged 75-80fps at 4K utilizing its Ultra Nightmare high quality preset.

One huge benefit of the outsized cooler is that the Asus Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition by no means acquired too sizzling and the followers by no means acquired too loud in use.

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The Asus Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition is thick sufficient to wish three free slots in your PC cupboard

 

Verdict

The GeForce RTX 3060 GPU is an effective mainstream GPU and affords nice efficiency even at excessive settings in barely older video games in addition to the enchantment of ray tracing. However, it would not appear to supply pretty much as good worth because the RTX 3060 Ti, by way of efficiency vs value. The official value of Rs. 29,500 is quite a bit larger than what the GeForce GTX 1060 used to promote for. That’s a outcome of a better base value, unfavourable forex alternate charges, and excessive import taxes.

Of course Nvidia’s official value of Rs. 29,500 is not even really what corporations are charging for his or her playing cards. The Asus Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition has formally been launched for Rs. 48,000 which is sort of frankly a ridiculous quantity. You can decide up a GeForce RTX 3070 Founders’ Edition for lower than that – supplied you luck out with the Indian distributor’s lottery system on any of the uncommon events that it is in inventory. Sadly, present market forces, and the truth that there is not any Founders Edition, imply that outlets don’t have any motive in any respect to promote these playing cards at decrease avenue costs.

If you do assume the GeForce RTX 3060 is correct in your wants, and if playing cards based mostly on it do wind up being broadly accessible, you must nonetheless search for a lower-priced model from Asus’ TUF or Dual lineups, or take into account what different manufacturers are providing. The outsized cooler and RGB LEDs alone don’t warrant such an enormous distinction. This explicit card just isn’t one of the best worth which you can get in your cash, and it’ll take some legwork and luck to discover a affordable deal.

This scenario displays poorly on Nvidia as the corporate behind the GeForce model. It seems to be as if players who’ve very tight budgets must grasp on to their previous-generation playing cards for some time longer.

Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition
Price: 
Rs. 48,000 + taxes

Pros

  • Runs cool and quiet
  • Good efficiency at >1080p in lots of video games
  • Ray tracing and DLSS ship good outcomes collectively 

Cons

  • Extremely costly 
  • Oversized cooler

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Performance: 4
  • Value for Money: 2
  • Overall: 3
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