Nvidia plan to bring ray-tracing to all PC gamers with RTX 3060 GPU

GRAPHICS processor unit (GPU) manufacturer Nvidia have announced an ‘affordable’ Ampere-based ray-tracing PC graphics card, set to launch in late February, as part of their CES 2021 presence.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 will feature 12GB of VRAM, a base clock of 1.32Ghz, a boost clock of 1.78Ghz, and 192-bit memory interface width; it also features the ray-tracing (RTX) and Deep-Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) capabilities of the rest of the RTX 3000 series range.

With an RRP of USD$329 (AUD$425), the card is intended to make ray-tracing, DLSS and Ampere architecture available to all gamers and sits below the recently announced RTX 3060Ti card.

Nvidia say the RTX 3060 card offers “Twice the raster performance and 10x the ray tracing performance of the GeForce GTX 1060”, although the ray-tracing claim is a head-scratcher given the GTX 1060 didn’t have RTX capabilities (That feature was introduced with the RTX 2000 series cards in 2019).

The card will likely be particularly attractive to gamers using a 1080p setup, and according to Nvidia outperforms the RTX 1060 and 2060 cards in pretty much every way.

While the RTX 3060 has 12GB of VRAM in it, compared to the 8GB of the RTX 3070, Nvidia product management director Justin Walker said the 3070 was still the more powerful card.

“Gamers should experience better performance from the 3070 due to the extra horsepower,” he said.

This is largely due to the lower memory interface width on the 3060 – 192 bits, compared to the 256 bits of the 3070 – as well as the lower Cuda Core count of the new card (3584 vs the 5888 in an RTX 3070).

At this stage, there appears to be no Founder’s Edition of the RTX 3060, with units coming from partner manufacturers.

While the card is officially set to launch in late February, there are questions over its practical availability – the RTX 3070, RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 cards remain almost completely impossible to obtain in Australia, despite launching several months ago, and with the RTX 3060 being so attractively and affordably priced, it seems reasonable to expect the same situation with the new card.

At any rate, an affordable RTX-capable card is supremely good news for budget-conscious gamers in Oceania, and we’ll keep you updated with more information as it becomes available.