Let the battle of the Nvidia GPU siblings commence! The GeForce
RTX 3060 versus the RTX 3060 Ti. First, we'll cover the pricing and
availability of these popular options with current market
conditions. More importantly, we will clear up the confusion as to
which of the two GPUs is the best graphics card for you. Is it
the 12GB of VRAM RTX 3060? Or perhaps the 3060 Ti will edge out a
win, even with its 8GB of VRAM? We'll crown the victor after the
GeForce RTX 3060 vs. RTX 3060 Ti: Price and availability
Let's get the fabled MSRP pricing out of the way; you'll be
unlikely to pay either the US$329 asking price for the RTX 3060, nor
will you have any luck with the US$399 RTX 3060 Ti. The reason for
this is continued GPU shortages coupled with insane demand from
gamers and crypto miners.
How much should you expect to pay on the secondhand market, such
as on eBay? You'll likely be in the low $700s range for the 3060.
The 3060 Ti will up your spend to nearly the mid $800s. Certainly
not ideal, and very far from reasonable in today's current market.
If you can wait for better prices, that's the ace move. Keep in
mind, these prices can change drastically from week-to-week.
A custom EVGA GeForce RTX 3060
How has crypto mining affected availability? Nvidia has placed
hash-rate limitations on both GPUs (read more on LHR) in order to make them less
useful to miners and free up inventory for gamers. This has only
been slightly effective; crypto miners quickly find workarounds, or
mine with less efficiency during recent peak profitability. Coupled
with their lower entry price for gamers, you'll be more likely to
find an RTX 3090 in stock before you find either of these.
RTX 3060 vs. RTX 3060
Let's clear up some confusion: What's up with the cheaper RTX
3060 having 12GB of VRAM versus the paltry 8GB on the RTX 3060 Ti?
It's likely a potential Nvidia marketing move to better compete
with AMD's higher VRAM offerings. In terms of brute gaming
performance, the 3060 Ti is generally the superior GPU even with
The use cases where the 12GB of VRAM on the RTX 3060 would be
better are rare. The RTX 3060 Ti's 8GB of VRAM is sufficient for
the target audience—1440p gamers. Ironically, 4K and above is where
12GB of VRAM would be useful, but not with the hardware that's in
the RTX 3060. (You better step up to a RTX 3080 for better 4K
Read Brad Chaco's excellent review of the RTX 3060 to get a more in depth analysis of the
performance of these two GPUs. In a game such as Horizon Zero
Dawn, you'll find the RTX 3060 Ti is often closer to the RTX
3070 in performance, rather than the RTX 3060. This puts it in a
higher class of GPU, regardless of VRAM size. Remember, the RTX
3070 only has 8GB of VRAM too, and it does just fine in most gaming
In Metro Exodus, with effects such ray tracing and
hairworks on, the RTX 3060 Ti maintains a lead in performance
versus its little brother, the RTX 3060.
3060 vs. RTX 3060 Ti: Power and other things to know
The 200W TDP RTX 3060 Ti will typically draw more power versus
the 170W TDP RTX 3060, as its higher performance would indicate.
You can generally expect around 15 percent in many cases on
average, but thermals are often similar.
The RTX 3060 was also Nvidia's first attempt to limit the hash
rate on the RTX 3000 GPUs, but there quickly were workarounds that
unlocked it. The 3060 Ti will be among the LHR, or Lite Hash Rate,
GPUs that are harder to fully unlock. (The Founders Edition RTX
3060 Ti is unaffected by LHR, however.)
And the champion is…
The RTX 3060 Ti is the winner and superior GPU. The VRAM
advantage of the RTX 3060 is inconsequential at the resolution
these GPUs are aimed at, 1080p and 1440p. It's obvious that the
more potent hardware on the RTX 3060 Ti makes it superior in
gaming, and much closer to the RTX 3070.
Should you buy them at inflated prices? That's complicated and
will depend on your needs right now. They continue to be among the
most popular GPUs due to their performance and lower barrier of
entry, and that isn't going to change any time soon. If you can
find one at MSRP, they're a great value; especially the RTX 3060
Ti. We would advise not paying the outrageous prices these can
often go for, however. If prices eventually come down in the
future, you'll be able to get a higher-class GPU for similar