ASUS ROG Strix NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 OC Edition
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Taking a closer look at the market's best RTX 3060's to see how they compare on price, performance, aesthetics, and overall build quality.
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Now that the RTX 3060 has been out a couple of years, and the all-new RTX 4000 series is in full swing, you might look back to the older cards. As it still is a great card to pick up as the best graphics card in its class.
The RTX 3060 is one of the entry-level 30-series GPUs from NVIDIA, offering up great performance to the lower end of the performance/price spectrum. Even with the new generation of GPUs, there is nothing on that level of price to match what might be decent.
It comes equipped with decent specs that would raise the performance of any budget-builders PC. Whilst the debate is still out on whether to go for the entry-level AMD or NVIDIA GPU, one thing is for sure, the best RTX 3060 is a fantastic display of price to performance.
In the following guide, we’ll be scouring the web to try and find only the best RTX 3060 graphics cards on offer. We’ll be comparing performance, cooling, build quality, and price as we go, concluding with which is best for bespoke categories.
We regularly get asked how we actually choose the products we recommend for our best-of guides. Ultimately, it requires hours of product research, performance benchmarking, and user feedback to get anywhere close to a definitive conclusion.
If you aren’t tech-savvy and struggle to put time aside to go through the above requirements, you may end up purchasing a GPU that simply isn’t right for you or your build.
Fear not though, friends! Here at WePC, we like to take the stress of all that research away and transform it into an easy-to-follow, complete buyers guide.
That’s right, our team of PC enthusiasts has done all the hard work, so you don’t have to.
Testing the products we recommend is a huge part of the overall selection process in our best of guides. It’s a way to make sure what we recommend is the absolute best option in its specific category.
To be sure a product is “the best,” it must show excellent performance in our tests and display better qualities than the competition it faces.
Most of the products we recommend here at WePC have gone through a strict testing process that involves everything from price and looks to performance and efficiency.
Each product is pushed to the limit to see how it performs under intense stress to make sure it warrants the top spot.
Doing this enables us to provide you with the most accurate review of how the product performs and, ultimately, whether it’s worth your hard-earned cash.
When it comes to buying one of the best RTX 3060 graphics cards, you must realize that there are certain expectations when it comes to price, performance, and cooling.
For that reason, and as people question this fairly regularly, we’ll be going over all the most realistic expectations you should know when purchasing an RTX 3060.
Let’s start with the retail price – as it’s potentially the most controversial at present. When the RTX 3060 first launched, it was said to be the entry-level 30-series option – equipped with an entry-level (sort of) price tag attached.
However, since the official launch months back, stock levels have been incredibly poor – leaving scalpers to up the price of GPUs exponentially with retailers lacking.
So, the first thing you need to realize is that, if you’re looking to purchase a GPU at present, chances are you’ll probably get stung by some kind of premium.
Having said that, when pricing does being to level out again, the RTX 3060 is easily one of the best value-for-money GPUs on the market.
Cooling is by far one of the most important features to consider when buying any GPU – not just an RTX 3060. Having your GPU run at optimal temperature can not be overlooked – it impacts everything from gaming performance to hardware lifespan.
For that reason, our recommended best RTX 3060 graphics cards all have extremely efficient cooling solutions.
Furthermore, as not all RTX 3060 GPUs have triple-fan cooling solutions, there’s often a big difference in internal temps when comparing different AIBs.
Size is a factor that is often overlooked by rookie PC builders – mainly because they don’t have the experience to know that some GPUs are much bigger than others.
One of the big purchasing factors you need to be aware of when looking for a new GPU is whether your case can physically accommodate the hardware you’re looking at.
Furthermore, even if your PC case can house the GPU, will it have a big knock-on effect on internal airflow. A larger GPU will naturally block some of the internal airflow on smaller micro ATX cases.
This article will list the dimensions of each GPU, allowing you to check whether your case can accommodate them before you dive into a purchase.
The RTX 3060 is built with Nvidia’s GA106-300 GPU chip. Ampere is created with Samsungs 8nm process, this GPU fits 12 billion resistors inside of it.
All in a package 276mm² in size. Which is the lowest variant utilized by the company at the moment in this generation.
In that chip, there are 3,584 CUDA cores, along with 28 RT cores, 112 TMUs, 48 ROPs, and 128 KB of L1 cache per SM. With the clocks all running at certain frequencies.
The base clock for the 3060 is 1,360 MHz. And the boost clock is 1,777 MHz. However, many AIBs will overclock this further to offer even more performance.
VRAM in the 3060 is 12GB of GDDR6 memory. Paired with a 192-bit bus, clocked at 15 Gbps it manages a bandwidth of 360 GB/s. The capacity is surprising given that it increases the 8GB vs 3060 Ti.
Altogether, the components are put together to run at 170W. Allowing the card to utilize smaller cooling solutions than other choices. Especially handy for small factor builds, but you have to be careful with the sizing of AIBs.
One of the best ways to know whether an RTX 3060 Graphics card is right for your needs is to first understand the specifications it comes equipped with.
Understanding the specs not only gives you a better idea of what the GPU provides (in terms of performance) but it’ll help you answer any questions you may have regarding whether or not it’s right for you.
With that in mind, below we’re going to go over some of the baseline specifications that will affect the overall performance of a GPU:
Clock speed, often referred to as clock rate, is a unit of measurement that determines how quickly the microprocessor in a GPU operates.
Whilst it isn’t directly related to overall performance, it does give us a rough indication of how quickly your GPU can render graphics and read instructions.
Each GPU comes with a factory base clock – often used when the PC is in an idle state. However, AIBs can boost additional performance out of the GPU by equipping it with boost clock and Game clock speeds.
These are overclocked speeds that kick in when your PC needs additional performance when under load. One area where many AIBs differ is in these overclocked speeds – so keep your eyes peeled for that.
VRAM is arguably the most common specification you’ll see when looking to purchase a GPU. It’s often branded on the side of the box and used as a marketing technique when compared to other GPUs.
The VRAM has a direct effect on how well your GPU can perform productivity-type tasks. It also dictates how well your PC can render and perform high-resolution formats, with 4K being the most intensive in today’s market.
One of the major differences that we’ve seen over the last couple of years resides in the GPU memory type sector.
Memory type has been evolving for years now, with the latest offering being GDDR6 – Graphics Double Data Rate Type Six.
This type of memory is specifically developed for use in GPUs, utilized in the same way that your system RAM works.
The latest version of this GPU RAM operates on increased bandwidth whilst consuming less power – a normal progression for most RAM modules.
Whilst all AIB RTX 3060 graphics cards offer the same memory type, it’s still worth knowing as other GPUs won’t offer as efficient SDRAM.
1912 MHz Boost Clock (OC), 1882 MHz (Boost Clock)
Axial-tech Triple Fan
The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 3060 is not only the best ASUS 3060, but it’s also the outright best RTX 3060 graphics card the market has to offer. It combines sleek aesthetics, powerful clock speeds, and a strong build that really makes it an efficient operator. Along with its iconic RGB lighting to add some color and personalization.
The ROG STRIX OC Edition is the most powerful RTX 3060 the company offers, boasting high clock speeds of 1912 MHz (OC Boost mode) or 1882 MHz (Game Mode). Alongside impressive clock speeds, this GPU also features 12GB of GDDR6 VRAM, has an incredibly strong internal design, and features a cooling solution that is easily one of the best on the market.
The Axial-tech cooling design has a newly tuned shape alongside a reversed central fan which allows for better airflow and considerably less turbulence. This, in turn, results in a cooler and quieter experience. The heatsink hidden below the fans is a larger version than what we’ve seen in the past, offering better coverage and a greater reduction in overall temps.
The 2.7 slot GPU from ASUS is easily one of the most attractive looking in this guide. Once you pair that with the performance-boosting changes that have been implemented from yesteryear’s RTX 2060, it’s easy to see why this great card gets our top spot.
1852 MHz Boost Clock
Tri FROZR 2
Over the years, MSI has brought to life some of the best GPUs the market has to offer – their Gaming X TRIO RTX 3060 is another fine example of that fantastic quality. And despite MSI coming under criticism in recent history, they’re still one of the best in the game when it comes to GPU manufacturing.
As far as performance goes, the MSI Gaming X TRIO is a careful balance between boosted clock speeds and fantastic cooling. It offers a similar triple-fan solution to that of the ROG STRIX, providing excellent efficiency during usage. The TORX 4.0 fins are bound together to help more accurately direct the air over the heatsink.
An anti-bend bar has been implemented in the design of this GPU for additional rigidity and strength. Alongside this, you can fit the reinforced case bar that comes with the GPU – but it isn’t always necessary.
For inputs, the MSI features 3 x DisplayPort 1.4 and 1 x HDMI 2.1 – providing good versatility for gamers that have multiple devices and require additional bandwidth support.
1882 MHz Boost Clock
Axial-tech Triple Fan
The ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3060 is the budget-tailored option within the RTX 3060 lineup from ASUS. This OC edition ticks all the right boxes if you can’t quite stomach the cost of the more premium ROG STRIX option. Like all RTX cards, it offers NVIDIA ampere streaming multiprocessors, 2nd Gen RT cores, 3rd Gen Tensor cores, and an incredibly well-built design.
The ASUS TUF comes with an understated design that doesn’t show off in any way. The black theme is great for all-black builds and gives your PC a level of sophistication. An all-new metal shroud is what covers the three powerful axial-tech fans, providing a nice aesthetic that is both slick and robust. The fans utilize durable dual ball fan bearings that have been optimized for efficiency and a reduction in turbulence.
Some of the additional features of this card include TUF-tailored components, Auto-Extreme technology, and a reinforced backplate for additional rigidity. Like the ROG card, the fans spin bi-directional for additional airflow and greater contact with the heatsink – allowing the card to sit at optimal levels for longer.
1882 MHz Boost Clock
EVGA is one of the most popular brands when it comes to manufacturing top-tier graphics cards. So, it was absolutely no surprise that the EVGA XC Gaming ranked so highly on our list.
Despite the EVGA only offering a simple dual fan design, it still helps keep the internal temperature of this GPU at decent levels. The dual fans are larger than the triple-fan coolers you’ve seen in this guide, operating at lower levels for good results. The all-metal backplate not only adds rigidity and strength to this GPUs design but also adds a nice sleek styling that is most certainly understated. Furthermore, with EVGA’s air-through PCB design, air can more easily dissipate from this GPU in the heat of battle.
The RTX 3060 XC Gaming GPU also offers 1882 MHz boost clock and an excellent, user-friendly software suite to help customize the GPU to your exact requirements. Granted, this GPU isn’t as flashy as others in this guide, but it still offers a fantastic experience for users that prioritize performance over flamboyant features.
The Palit GeForce 3060 isn’t the best GPU in this article – however, it is the most budget-tailored, bringing great price to performance to the table.
Like many of the RTX 3060s in this guide, the Palit comes equipped with an effective cooling solution that boasts two large 90mm fans. To increase the airflow for the Palit 3060, cut-through holes have been made to allow air to easily pass over the board. Whilst aesthetics aren’t a priority with this GPU, the Palit still offers several RGB zones that do give it some aesthetic appeal.
Sticking with the cooling, Palit has equipped its 3060 with 0-dB tech fans – allowing you to perform less intensive tasks in silence. Like many GPUs in this guide, the fans will boot up again in more demanding scenarios.
You’ll be able to customize the Palit 3060 via the ThunderMaster software application. This easy-to-use software allows you to alter LED and even overclock your GPU for additional performance power.
All this comes at a very affordable price tag – especially when compared to the others in this guide. If you want a budget-tailored GPU then this could be exactly what you’re looking for.
So, there you have it, our comprehensive guide on the best RTX 3060 graphics cards available in 2022. The graphics cards we chose were based on brand premium, historical performance, and overall features and benefits – pairing in value for money for what we consider the best RTX 3060s in today’s market.
Ultimately, whatever GPU you decide to go for in this guide, you’ll be getting a fantastic graphics card that will offer superb performance in both 1080p and 1440p formats. Each offers its own unique set of pros and cons which makes it easy to choose the cards we did.
The RTX 3060 is a great value card. With an MSRP of $329/£300, it offers a cheap entry point into the gaming market. With excellent performance in 1080p and pushing into the 1440p territory.
Along with a strong Nvidia optimization ecosystem. As you can take advantage of well-optimized ray tracing and DLSS in titles that offer it can much improve what it can achieve. As long as you can find stock of the card.
As you may have seen the GPU market has been all over the place a couple of years after the release of the 30 series.
With a shortage from logistics troubles and lockdowns, crypto mining in the boom, and scalpers taking advantage of the situation. This meant getting a new graphics card has been hard.
But now as the cryptos crash, the market has been flooded and oversaturated. So the card pricing has been returning to MSRP.
Although not all of them are equally as more popular choices struggle to get to that point.
The RTX 3060 has an MSRP of $329 USD/£299. Although throughout its lifetime that may not have been the price you have seen.
But now GPU prices have been returning to normal. And so you should be able to find it for its intended price.
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