nvidia rtx 3060

Is RTX 3060 Good in 2024? Performance Review

Generally, we compare graphics cards against their counterparts from the previous generations. For example, the RTX 3070 is a sizeable improvement over the RTX 2070. The RTX 3080 is so good that it even beats the RTX 2080 Ti at a sweet price point. The RTX 3060 Ti is an excellent improvement over the RTX 2060 Super, a solid card on its own. But the same cannot be said for RTX 3060. It provides a nice bump in performance and is generally comparable to the RTX 2070 (non-Super), but isn’t a lucrative investment. The RTX 2070 Super is a much better deal at this point.

Let’s take a deeper dive.

Is RTX 3060 Good for Gaming?

The RTX 3060 is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to gaming in 2024. It has good 1080p performance, comes with ray tracing and DLSS in under $300, and packs a 12GB VRAM to run AAA titles comfortably. But it lags behind competitors at 1440p and newer cards from Nvidia or even some AMD cards from the RX 6000 series in the same price range beat it right out of the water.

  • 1080p Performance: This card shines at 1080p resolution, delivering smooth frame rates in most modern games at high or even ultra settings. So, if you’re rocking a standard 1080p monitor and don’t mind dialing down a few settings here and there, the RTX 3060 can still hold its own.
  • Ray Tracing & DLSS: It supports both ray tracing and DLSS, two of Nvidia’s flagship technologies. Ray tracing adds realistic lighting effects, while DLSS uses AI to upscale lower-resolution images, boosting performance without sacrificing too much visual quality.
  • 12GB VRAM: While not always necessary, the 12GB VRAM is a nice buffer for future-proofing, especially for more demanding games or those with high-resolution textures.
  • 1440p Performance: The RTX 3060 struggles a bit at 1440p, especially with demanding titles. You might need to lower settings or compromise on visual quality to maintain smooth frame rates.
  • Competition: Newer cards, like the RTX 40-series, offer superior performance and features at similar or even lower prices. The RTX 3060 is starting to show its age in the face of newer competition. And even when compared to older cards, the AMD RX 6750 XT is retaining for the same price now, making that one a much better deal (more on this in the Final Verdict).

The RTX 3060 is still a decent option for budget-conscious gamers who primarily play at 1080p. It can handle most games at high settings, and its ray tracing and DLSS capabilities are a bonus. However, if you’re looking for top-tier performance at higher resolutions or future-proofing, you might want to consider a newer card.

Can an RTX 3060 Run 4K?

Technically, yes, the RTX 3060 can run games at 4K resolution, but don’t expect a mind-blowing experience. You’ll likely need to significantly lower graphical settings and possibly even resolution scaling to achieve playable frame rates. And even then, some demanding games might still be a slideshow.

The RTX 3060 is a 1080p card. If you want good framerates at 4K, this is simply not the card.

While the RTX 3060’s 12GB VRAM is helpful for 4K textures, the card simply doesn’t have the raw horsepower to handle the massive pixel count of a 4K display at high settings. If 4K gaming is your goal, you’ll be much better off with a more powerful card like an RTX 3070 or higher.

What is the RTX 3060 Equivalent To?

The RTX 3060’s performance roughly aligns with the RTX 2070 from the previous generation. It’s a bit faster than the RTX 2060 Super and trades blows with AMD’s RX 5700 XT.

However, it’s important to remember that raw performance isn’t the only factor. The RTX 3060 also boasts newer features like ray tracing, DLSS 2.0, and Resizable BAR, which can give it an edge in certain scenarios.

Real-World Performance & Review Insights

The RTX 3060, once a shining star in the mid-range GPU market, now finds itself in a bit of an awkward position in 2024.

  • As highlighted by KitGuru and LanOC, the RTX 3060 can still deliver smooth 1080p gaming at high settings in most modern titles. If your monitor is 1080p and you’re not chasing ultra-high frame rates, the RTX 3060 can still get the job done.
  • Digital Foundry emphasizes the card’s ray tracing capabilities, which are on par with the RTX 2070 Super. Paired with DLSS, you can even get a decent ray tracing experience at 1080p in many games.
  • While not fully utilized by many games yet,the 12GB VRAM provides a buffer for future titles, as noted by Hot Hardware. This can be especially valuable for content creators who work with high-resolution textures.
  • If you can find the RTX 3060 at or below its original MSRP of $329, it can offer decent value for the performance it provides, as mentioned by Legit Reviews and Hexus.
  • Several reviews, including TechPowerUp and KitGuru, note that the RTX 3060 struggles to consistently hit 60 FPS at 1440p with high settings in demanding games. You’ll likely need to lower settings or rely on DLSS for smooth gameplay.

Overall, the RTX 3060 is a capable card for 1080p gaming, but its value proposition diminishes in 2024 due to newer generation cards and potential pricing fluctuations. If you prioritize 1080p gaming, don’t mind tweaking settings occasionally, and can snag the card at a good price, it can still be a worthwhile option. However, if you’re aiming for 1440p or higher resolutions, future-proofing, or top-tier performance, newer options like the RTX 40-series might be a better investment.

Final Verdict: Is RTX 3060 Still Good in 2024?

Nvidia’s RTX 3060 is a mid-range card. In terms of performance, it’s not a bad card at all. It will easily last you 5-6 years and is idea for 1080p@60 gaming. It can run most AAA games on ultra with upward of 100 FPS (1080p). This is not a 4K card.

I do not recommend the RTX 3060. Here are your much better options:

  • If you’re willing to invest 10-20% more, you can easily get your hands on an RTX 3060 Ti, which is a significantly better deal. That being said, the RTX 3060 is sometimes the only high-quality card in the sub-$300 range.
  • AMD RX 6750 XT is a 1440p card that smokes even the RTX 3060 Ti while costing pretty much the same as the RTX 3060 (like $10-20 more expensive on Amazon at the time of writing). It’s a remarkably better deal for any game.

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