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Nvidia RTX 2070 vs RTX 3060

Old vs new in the RTX world

Updated: Nov 22, 2022 3:04 pm
Nvidia RTX 2070 vs RTX 3060

If you’re considering the current or old generation, we compare the Nvidia RTX 2070 vs 3060. We set side by side to see if you really need to newest option for the best choice. Or if you can save a buck and opt for something a bit older. Capable of more entry-level option performance for 1080p performance potentially pushing to 1440p for the best graphics card spot.

There are some critical differences between the two, with the two being part of two different architectures. As well as releasing at different times of their generation. The RTX 2070 part of the initial lineup came out in October 2018. Whilst the RTX 3060 needed some time to brew and came a few months after its lineup came in January 2021.

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Architecture

The fundamental difference between the two GPU options is the architecture they are created with. It sets the basis of how well the parts work and are optimized to work well on the graphics.

So we have the RTX 2070 is built on the Turing architecture, it is the TU106-400A variant. Created with TSMCs 12 nm process it creates a die 445 mm² in size with 10.8 billion transistors. Whilst the RTX 3060 is created with the Ampere architecture, more specifically the GA106-300 variant. Made with Samsungs 8 nm process it creates a die 276 mm² die with 12 billion transistors.

Specifications

RTX 2070RTX 3060
GPUTU106-400AGA106-300
Shaders2,3043,584
RT cores3628
TMUs144112
Memory8 GB GDDR612 GB GDDR6
Base clock1,410 MHz1,320 MHz
Boost clock1,620 MHz1,777 MHz
Memory clock14 Gbps15 Gbps
Card busPCIe 3.0 x16PCIe 4.0 x16
Memory bandwidth448 GB/s360 GB/s
TDP/TBP175 W170 W

We can also look at the rest of the parts of the cards to compare the two. With more options more comparable across generations than some. So we take a look at some of them.

GPU die cores 

Die cores are what make up the inside of the GPU. Based on the architecture, the different parts work together to create the graphics you see. With the likes of shaders working on shadows and shading. Or RT cores calculating real-time ray tracing, whilst TMUs create 3D objects from bitmaps.

Comparing the RTX 2070 vs 3060 we see a variance between their numbers with varying architecture. The shaders are where the newer 30 series card leads with over 1,000 more reported. Although they may not behave the same or be reported differently. Whilst the 20 series card leads in RT cores and TMUs with a 29% uplift.

RTX3060ti 5 1

VRAM

The video memory of a graphics card is used as a frame buffer and pixel store. This allows for a more seamless experience utilizing the cards. As well as allowing higher resolutions to work better with their large pixel counts. All in all improving gameplay and performance with capacity and speeds.

Both of these GPUs use the same GDDR6 memory. But vary in capacity and speeds, with 2070 using a lower 8 GB compared to the 12 GB of the 3060. However, the Turing card has a bigger 256-bit bus, which is clocked at 14 Gbps and gives a bandwidth of 448 GB/s. Whilst the Ampere GPU has a 192-bit clocked at 15 Gbps offering a bandwidth of 360 GB/s.

Clock speeds

Also known as the clock rate or the frequency it is how often the silicon crystals flip. A count of how quickly the GPU can process instructions and create the graphics you see. Although not the biggest factor for performance, it is a popular candidate for overclocking to get the most out of them.

Looking at the frequencies between the two cards there are some changes in how fast they run. With the like newer card is able to push further than the older choice. The RTX 3060 comes with a base clock of 1,320 MHz and a boost clock of 1,777 MHz. Whilst the RTX 2070 has a base clock of 1,410 MHz and a boost clock of 1,620 MHz.

Thermal design power

The TDP of a card is the total amount of power the card can consume at max utilization. It gives you an idea of how much electricity will be going into running it. As well as an idea of how much heat it will give off to the system. Between the RTX 2070 vs 3060, there is only a five Watt difference. With the Turing option running slightly higher.

ZOTAC3060ti 7

Card bus

The generational difference does also provide a big difference in the PCI express generation. PCIe standard is the interface between your motherboard and graphics card. With different generations offering varying speeds, doubling with each new iteration. So we find it change from Gen 3 to Gen 4 between the 2070 to 3060. This doubles the available throughput from 15.754 GB/s to 31.508 GB/s offering more available performance for the newer card.

RTX 2070 vs RTX 3060 performance

We first compare the RTX 2070 vs 3060 in their 3DMark scores. Gives us an idea of raw performance and price-to-performance metrics for MSRP. It gives us a score of 9,001 for the RTX 2070 with a price-to-performance ratio of 18. Whilst the 3060 achieves a score of 8,766 and a ratio of 26. So although weaker you could get more for your money.

We turn to the TechSpot RTX 3060 review for performance comparisons. There we find how the two fare against each other across 14 different games. At 1080p we see the RTX 3060 achieve an average of 116 whilst the RTX 2070 manages 105. Then at 1440p, we see the same behavior with the 3060 leading at 84 FPS compared to 75. 

There is no comparison for 4k but it is likely the 3060 would begin to lose out at that resolution. From its lower memory bandwidth, it would begin to close together in performance. Although we also have a comparison for the cost per frame when comparing its MSRPs. There we find the 2070 with a value of $6.66, whilst the 3060 offers a much better $3.92.

RTX 2070 vs RTX 3060 price

Price is what we compare next as well, looking at the GPUs launch MSRPs. The Turing card came in with an asking price of $499. Whilst the Ampere card has a launch price of $329. This does show where the large price-to-performance differences come from. Saving you plenty of money without a drop in performance.

In the current market, the pricing may be different. Even though the prices have continued to trend down some are still asking for above MSRP for modern cards. While older options may be harder to find in general. Most 3060s can be found for between $399-$499, so mostly above their MSRP. Whilst the 2070 range from $500 to nearly $2000, with the second-hand market offering something less. Although that comes with its own additional price of wear and tear and deteriorated performance.

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Pros

Solid performance

High quality build

Ray tracing

Cool and quiet

Cons

Few RTX-enabled games to enjoy

Is the 2070 or 3060 better?

Overall for the RTX 2070 vs 3060, there are a lot of factors to consider. However, altogether the 3060 is the better card to pick. With performance higher than the 2070 while costing less. It also offers improved tech, as well as better stock availability, even if it took a while.

Although if you’re thinking of a new card you could hold off for some more choices. With the likes of Intel Arc GPUs expected sometime in the Summer. Whilst Nvidia Ada and AMD RDNA 3 graphics cards are expected in the second half of the year. Giving you plenty more choices but also lowering the prices for current choices.

RTX 2070 vs 3070 FAQs

How much better is the 3060 than 2070?

First, we can compare the graphical performance of the cards in 3DMarks benchmarks. There we see the 3060 achieve a score of 8,766, whilst the 2070 manages 9,001. This does mean that in fact, the 2070 is better than the 3060 by 2.7%.

Although when we look at the gaming performance we do see some change. The 3060 performing 10% better on average at 1080p than the 2070. This is also the case for 1440p with a 12% higher framerate.

How much faster is the 3060 than 2070?

In terms of clock speeds, it depends on which clock you look at. In terms of the base clock, the 2070 is faster by 7%. But then in the boost clock, the 3060 is in fact 10% faster than the 2070. That is also the case in terms of the memory clock. The 3070 is 7% faster, even though it then has a 24% lower bandwidth.

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