GeForce RTX 3060 Vs. 3070: Best Nvidia Graphics Card Under $500?

The GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3070 are two of Nvidia’s most affordable, but still highly capable GPUs, but choosing between the two comes down to what users plan on using them for, with better performance inevitably coming at a higher price. The RTX 3070 comes with all the advantages that the Ampere architecture has to offer, and was even able to beat Nvidia’s previous flagship, all at a lower price. However, Nvidia later announced that it was expanding its budget lineup even more with the launch of the RTX 3060.

That then begs a burning question: Is the RTX 3060 the better option over the RTX 3070 just because it’s the cheaper one? According to Nvidia, the RTX 3060 is equipped with 12GB of GDDR6 memory, which is considerably more than the RTX 3070’s 8GB. The RTX 3060 also has the boost clock advantage at 1.78GHz compared to the RTX 3070’s 1.73GHz. That said, the RTX 3070 does have a monumental difference in the number of its CUDA cores, which amount to 5,888, surpassing the RTX 3060’s 3,584 by a huge margin.

RTX 3060 Vs. RTX 3070: Specs & Benchmarks

Besides the differences mentioned above, the rest of the spec sheets for the RTX 3060 and 3070 are remarkably similar. Both GPUs use Nvidia’s Ampere architecture, work with DirectX 12 Ultimate, and support all of Nvidia’s exclusive features — including DLSS, Nvidia Reflex, and Nvidia Broadcast. Display support is also identical. Both cards support display resolutions up to 7,680 x 4,320, can work with up to four monitors, and have one HDMI port with three DisplayPort outputs.

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While the spec sheets are similar, the RTX 3070 does have the edge in gaming performance. Per Nvidia’s own testing, the RTX 3070 achieves around 90 fps while playing Control in 1440p with the ‘highest’ game settings and RTX enabled. The RTX 3060 achieves more than 140 fps in Control with RTX, but that’s playing at a lower 1080p resolution. It’s a similar situation for Minecraft with RTX enabled. Playing in 1440p, the RTX 3070 kicks out 80 fps. The RTX 3060 goes up to nearly 140 fps, but that’s only possible at 1080p.

RTX 3060 Vs. RTX 3070: Which Nvidia Card Should You Buy?

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070

If you’re OK gaming at 1080p and are trying to watch your spending, the RTX 3060 is a fantastic GPU. It delivers high frame rates, good-looking games, and is a bit easier on the wallet. But if you have a few more dollars to spend and want even faster frames (or to game in 1440p), the RTX 3070 is money well spent.

As is often the case with any GPU, this is all assuming you can find the RTX 3060 and 3070 readily available at retail pricing. The 3060 is supposed to cost $329 and the 3070 should sell for $499. But that’s not always going to be the case, particularly on third-party platforms like Amazon and Best Buy where the cards are available for more or less, depending on a variety of factors.

Nvidia RTX 3070 Vs. RTX 3060 Ti

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

The RTX 3060 Ti is an equally capable GPU that was released in December 2020. There are many similarities with the RTX 3070, including the Ampere architecture and support for DLSS, Nvidia Reflex, and Nvidia Broadcast. The RTX 3060 Ti has 4,864 Cuda cores, higher than the RTX 3060 but significantly fewer than the RTX 3070’s 5,888 cores. Its boost clock is lower at 1.67GHz vs. 1.73GHz, but both feature 8GB GDDR6 RAM. The RTX 3060i is also available in an 8GB GDDR6X version, unlike the RTX 3070.

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As for the display resolution, both support 7,680 x 4,320 and the ability to connect up to four monitors. The ports are also the same, with two HDMI and three DisplayPorts. When it comes to gaming performance, as per Nvidia, the RTX 3060i achieves close to 130fps in Control and 120fps in Minecraft, but at 1080p resolution. The RTX 3070 gets to 90fps in Control and 80fps in Minecraft, but this at a higher 1440p resolution. At the same resolutions, the RTX 3070 consistently outperforms the RTX 3060i, making it the better GPU overall. However, with the RTX 3060i retailing at $399, there’s a $100 price difference between the two, so choosing between the two Nvidia GPUs will ultimately come down to budget.

Source: Nvidia

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