The RTX 3060 is currently the cheapest graphics card in the Ampere family. The Ampere family introduced the 2nd generation of Ray-Tracing graphics card and impressive rasterization performance. But according to reports, most of the gamers have the older GTX 1060. When the RTX 2000 series card released, not everyone was convinced to jump to the new card. But will the RTX 3060 convince the users to upgrade from the now older GTX 1060?
It is not a healthy talk involving the RTX 3060 and the GTX 1060. After all the RTX 3060 is way ahead of the curve with up-to-date features, better performance, and many more. But after 2 years of avoiding the RTX 2060 graphics card, is it safe to upgrade directly to an RTX 3060? Let’s look at these cards and compare.
RTX 3060 and GTX 1060: Specification
The RTX 3060 comes with a massive 12 GB of DDR6 VRAM sitting on the 192-bit bus. The GA106 packs in 3584 CUDA cores, 112 TMUs, 48 ROPs across 28 SM count. The GPU comes with the latest 112 tensor cores and 28 raytracing acceleration cores. The RTX 3060 is a huge step up considering its newer AI tensor cores and raytracing cores. These new additional architectural cores offer better performance with an impressive fps gain in new titles.
As for the GTX 1060, it comes with 1280 CUDA cores, 80 TMUs, 48 ROPs, and 10 SM counts. The GP104 GPU uses the older Pascal architecture a hot commodity at the time. It sits on the 192-bit bus width using the older GDDR5 memory type.
The GTX 1060 has a base clock of 1506 MHz and boosts up to 1708 MHz. The GDDR5 memory reaches a maximum clock speed of 2002 MHz with 8Gbps effective speeds. The card uses the PCIe 3.0 interface drawing over 130W at peak.
The RTX 3060 has a base clock of 1320 MHz and boosts up to 1777 Mhz. The superior GDDR6 memory clocks out at 1875 MHz and has a 15 Gbps effective speed. Since it sits on the PCIe Gen 4.0 interface, but it doesn’t fully saturate the interface’s speed. Plus the card draws 170W at the peak, so you may need to upgrade your system’s power supply.
Looking at the specification of the RTX 3060 is the superior card. It has more shader and updated AI features inside it. It comes with Nvidia’s latest NVENC encoder support, NVIDIA reflex, and resizable BAR. So yeah the RTX 3060 is a great choice.
MSRP and Price:
As for the price, the RTX 3060 starts at around $329 with the custom variants peaking at $500. The Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB version comes with a $299 MSRP. If you can get the RTX 3060 for under $500 it is already a great value. It comes with 12 GB of VRAM is a banger upgrade considering the GTX 1060’s 6GB VRAM.
Nvidia has already stopped manufacturing the GTX 1060. There are a handful of new cards in the market, but the gouged prices make it a no-brainer choice. But the RTX 3060 is also facing The cards are already sold out and the second asking price of the RTX 3060 starts from around $1000.
Plus a word of advice if you are upgrading from the RTX 2060 or RTX 2060 Super, please wait as the performance metric has much more to show.
Performance: RTX 3060 vs GTX 1060
As the specification benchmarks showed the RTX 3060 is much superior to the existing GTX 1060 GPU. Currently looking at the specification, the 3GB variant of the GTX 1060 is worthless and the GTX 1060 6GB is leagues behind the newer Ampere card.
The RTX 3060 destroys the GTX 1060 in all turfs. In the gaming performance, the RTX 3060 beats the GTX 1060 in 1080p gaming. To sum it up easily, there is a performance difference of 60% (not in all games) between the Ampere and Pascal cards. On newer titles like Red Dead Redemption, WatchDogs Legion, the RTX 3060 pulls of better performance with a lead of 75%. Even in the older title the RTX 3060 still beats it by 72%.
Comparing the GTX 1060 with the RTX 3060, there is finally a huge gap. But we have to consider the RTX 2060 as well. The RTX 2060 is quite a dealbreaker for the RTX 3060. The 2060 and 2060S come with 6 GB and 8 GB VRAM respectively. It performs on par with the RTX 3060 with only a 6 to 9% difference in average FPS.
Considering a generational leap we expect the performance to be greater around 12 – 18%, but we are not seeing much of a difference. The RTX 3060 is quite similar to the RTX 2060 Super difference being the extra 4GB VRAM. So if you already own an RTX 2060 GPU, you don’t have to upgrade to an RTX 3060.
So is it the right time to upgrade?
Yes and No. We currently have a mixed reaction to the RTX 3060. Yes, it is a fantastic card with 12 GB of VRAM and performs on par with the RTX 2060 Super but for cheaper. But the global pandemic has already crippled the production of the GPUs. Adding the problem of cryptocurrency miners and scalpers, the RTX 3060 is impossible to get as of right now.
According to the Steam Hardware survey, most gamers utilize the GeForce RTX 1060. Steam records 9.38% of steam users using the GTX 1060 but the consensus does include LAN cafes as well. Newer titles like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Cyberpunk uses higher textures that are bigger to render. The GTX 1060 suffers in the latest titles. So If you are upgrading from the GTX 1060, then the RTX 3060 is a clear choice.
But hold your horses, the GTX 1060 does perform well in esports titles like CSGO, DOTA 2, R6S, and many more. Plus currently, the RTX 3060 has limited stock and the second-hand market shows inflated prices. So keep the GTX 1060 for 4-5 months and wait for the prices to settle down. We don’t want your system to be deprived of a graphics card as you wait to find a suitable RTX 3060. So keep a constant eye on the graphics card market so that you can get your hands on the RTX 3060.