NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8 GB Graphics Card Review Ft. MSI Video Gaming X Trio

Keeping their tradition alive of launching a new GeForce graphics architecture every two years, this year, NVIDIA introduces its Ampere GPU. The Ampere GPU is built upon the foundation set by Turing. Termed as its biggest generational leap, the NVIDIA Ampere GPUs excel previous generations at everything.

The Ampere GPU architecture has a lot to be talked about in this review, but so does the new RTX lineup. The Ampere lineup offers faster shader performance, faster ray tracing performance, and faster AI performance. Built on a brand new process node and featuring an architecture designed from the ground up, Ampere is a killer product with lots of numbers to talk about.

The fundamental of Ampere was to take everything NVIDIA learned with its Turing architecture and not only refine it but to use its DNA to form a product in a completely new performance category. Tall claims were made by NVIDIA when they introduced its Ampere lineup earlier this month & we will be finding out whether NVIDIA hit all the ticks with its Ampere architecture as this review will be your guiding path to see what makes Ampere and how it performs against its predecessors.

Today, we will be taking a look at two custom NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards, the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio and the GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX. Both of the cards were provided by the respective manufacturers for the sole purpose of this review & we will be taking a look at their technology, design, and performance metrics in detail. The MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio features an MSRP of $469.99 US which is a $69.99 US premium over the reference MSRP while the GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX features a $429.99 US price tag which is a $29.99 US premium over the reference MSRP.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Gaming Graphics Cards – The Biggest GPU Performance Leap in Recent History

Turing wasn’t just any graphics core, it was the graphics core that was to become the foundation of future GPUs. The future is realized now with next-generation consoles going deep in talks about ray tracing and AI-assisted super-sampling techniques. NVIDIA had a head start with Turing and its Ampere generation will only do things infinitely times better.

The Ampere GPU does many traditional things that we would expect from a GPU, but at the same time, also breaks the barrier when it comes to untraditional GPU operations. Just to sum up some features:

New Streaming Multiprocessor (SM)New Turing Tensor CoresNew Real-Time Ray Tracing AccelerationNew Shading EnhancementsNew Deep Learning Features For Graphics & InferenceNew GDDR6X High-Performance Memory SubsystemNew 2nd Generation NVLINK InterconnectNew HDMI 2.1 Display Engine & Next-Gen NVENC/NVDEC

The technologies mentioned above are some of the main building blocks of the Ampere GPU, but there’s more within the graphics core itself which we will talk about in detail so let’s get started.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Pricing Per Segment

NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 30 series is made up of a diverse portfolio of graphics cards. With the launch of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, the GeForce RTX 30series now starts at $399 US followed by $499US for the GeForce RTX 3070, $699 US for the GeForce RTX 3080, and $1499 US for the GeForce RTX 3090.

The RTX 3080 & RTX 3070 are both priced well and in-line with their predecessors but the GeForce RTX 3090 goes all out with a price of $1499 US. NVIDIA calls the GeForce RTX 3090 the “BFGPU” and as per the terminology, it seems like this is a new marketing name for the Titan graphics card. It is likely that we could see a Titan based card under the Quadro branding with faster specs out of the box but the GeForce RTX 3090 is purely a gaming graphics card first with all the horsepower for intense professional and workstation workloads.

With that said, the GeForce RTX 3080 replaces the RTX 2080 SUPER at the same price point, the GeForce RTX 3070 replaces the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER at the same price point while the RTX 3060 Ti replaces the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER at the same price point. Given this trend, we might see the more mainstream variants cost just as much as their RTX 20 SUPER series cards but with a higher performance out of the box.

NVIDIA GeForce GPU Segment/Tier Prices

Graphics Segment2014-20162016-20172017-20182018-20192019-20202020-2021Titan TierTitan X (Maxwell)Titan X (Pascal)Titan Xp (Pascal)Titan V (Volta)Titan RTX (Turing)TBAPrice$999 US$1199 US$1199 US$2999 US$2499 USTBAUltra Enthusiast TierGeForce GTX 980 TiGeForce GTX 980 TiGeForce GTX 1080 TiGeForce RTX 2080 TiGeForce RTX 2080 TiGeForce RTX 3090Price$649 US$649 US$699 US$999 US$999 US$1499 USEnthusiast TierGeForce GTX 980GeForce GTX 1080GeForce GTX 1080GeForce RTX 2080GeForce RTX 2080 SUPERGeForce RTX 3080Price$549 US$549 US$549 US$699 US$699 US$699 USHigh-End TierGeForce GTX 970GeForce GTX 1070GeForce GTX 1070GeForce RTX 2070GeForce RTX 2070 SUPERGeForce RTX 3070Price$329 US$379 US$379 US$499 US$499 US$499Mainstream TierGeForce GTX 960GeForce GTX 1060GeForce GTX 1060GeForce GTX 1060GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER

GeForce RTX 2060

GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER

GeForce GTX 1660GeForce RTX 3060 TiPrice$199 US$249 US$249 US$249 US$399 US

$349 US

$279 US

$229 US

$219 US$399 USEntry TierGTX 750 Ti

GTX 750GTX 950GTX 1050 Ti

GTX 1050GTX 1050 Ti

GTX 1050GTX 1650 SUPER

GTX 1650TBAPrice$149 US

$119 US$149 US$139 US

$109 US$139 US

$109 US$159 US

$149 USTBA

In addition to the specs/price update, NVIDIA’s RTX technologies are being widely adopted major game engines and APIs such as Microsft DirectX (DXR), Vulkan, Unreal Engine, Unity, and Frostbite. While there were only three RTX titles around the launch of the RTX 20 series cards, NVIDIA now has at least 28 titles that utilize their RTX feature set to offer real-time ray tracing with more coming soon.

In addition to that, with the upcoming consoles confirmed to feature ray tracing, developers can also make use of the RTX technology to fine-tune future games for the GeForce RTX hardware. Currently, NVIDIA has 13 game engines that are leveraging their RTX technologies for use in their upcoming and existing games while both Vulkan and DirectX 12 Ultimate APIs are part of the RTX ecosystem on the PC platform.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Graphics Card

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is going to be a brand new entry in the RTX 30 series lineup. It is aimed at the mainstream segment of around $400 US and will deliver performance close to the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER while coming close to the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti with RTX & DLSS options enabled.

NVIDIA designed the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, not just for any gamer but all gamers who want to have the best graphics performance at hand to power the next-generation of AAA gaming titles with superb visuals and insane fluidity at 1080p and 1440p resolutions. It’s not just the FPS that matters these days, it’s visuals, and a smoother frame rate too and this is exactly what the GeForce RTX 30 series is made to excel at.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Graphics Card Specifications – GA104 GPU & 8 GB GDDR6 Memory

At the heart of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti graphics card lies the GA104 GPU. The GA104 is one of the many Ampere GPUs that we will be getting on the gaming segment. The GA104 GPU is the second-fastest gaming GPU that NVIDIA has produced.

The GPU is based on Samsung’s 8nm custom process node designed specifically for NVIDIA and features a total of 17.4 Billion transistors. It measures at 395mm2 which makes it the 2nd biggest gaming GPU ever produced right below the Turing TU102 GPU.

The new shader core on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture is 2.7x faster, the new RT cores are 1.7x faster while the new Tensor cores are up to 2.7x faster than the previous generation Turing GPUs. The 2nd Generation RT core delivers dedicated hardware-accelerated ray-tracing performance & features twice the ray/triangles intersection with concurrent RT graphics and compute operations.

For the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, NVIDIA has enabled a total of 38 SM units on its flagship which results in a total of 4864 CUDA cores. In addition to the CUDA cores, NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3060 Ti also comes packed with next-generation RT (Ray-Tracing) cores, Tensor cores, and brand new SM or streaming multi-processor units. The GPU runs at a base clock speed of 1410 MHz and a boost clock speed of 1665 MHz. The card has a TDP of 180W.

In terms of memory, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti comes packed with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory. The memory runs across a 256-bit bus wide interface and features an effective clock speed of 14.00 Gbps which delivers a cumulative bandwidth of 448 GB/s, the same as the GeForce RTX 3070.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series ‘Ampere’ Graphics Card Specifications:

Graphics Card NameNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 TiNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090GPU NameAmpere GA104-200Ampere GA104-300Ampere GA102-200Ampere GA102-300Process NodeSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nmDie Size395.2mm2395.2mm2628.4mm2628.4mm2Transistors17.4 Billion17.4 Billion28 Billion28 BillionCUDA Cores48645888870410496TMUs / ROPs152 / 80184 / 96272 / 96328 / 112Tensor / RT Cores152 / 38184 / 46272 / 68328 / 82Base Clock1410 MHz1500 MHz1440 MHz1400 MHzBoost Clock1665 MHz1730 MHz1710 MHz1700 MHzFP32 Compute16 TFLOPs20 TFLOPs30 TFLOPs36 TFLOPsRT TFLOPs32 TFLOPs40 TFLOPs58 TFLOPs69 TFLOPsTensor-TOPs192 TOPs163 TOPs238 TOPs285 TOPsMemory Capacity8 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR610 GB GDDR6X24 GB GDDR6XMemory Bus256-bit256-bit320-bit384-bitMemory Speed14 Gbps14 Gbps19 Gbps19.5 GbpsBandwidth448 Gbps448 Gbps760 Gbps936 GbpsTGP175W220W320W350WPrice (MSRP / FE)$399 US$499 US$699 US$1499 USLaunch (Availability)2nd December 202029th October 202017th September 202024th September 2020

In case you want to read our full NVIDIA Ampere GPU architecture deep dive and GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition review, head over to this link.

The MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio is the flagship variant in the MSI RTX 3060 Ti family. It is a powerful graphics card, rocking the 2nd generation Tri-Frozr cooling for MSI’s Gaming graphics cards. In overall size and weight, this thing is just tons of massive performance packed in a 2.5 slot form factor.

In addition to the custom design, the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio comes with a non-reference PCB, featuring a 13+3 phase design that features higher quality components than the reference variant which is already a really good design by itself. In terms of clock speeds, the graphics card features the same base frequency of 1410 MHz but the boost clock is rated at 1830 MHz over the Founders boost of 1665 MHz.

Following are some of the features of the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio before we go into detail:

Boost Clock / Memory Speed

1830 MHz / 14 Gbps8 GB GDDR6XDisplayPort x 3 (v1.4a) / HDMI 2.1 x 1

TRI FROZR 2 Thermal Design

TORX Fan 4.0: A masterpiece of teamwork, fan blades work in pairs to create unprecedented levels of focused air pressure.Core Pipe: Precision-crafted heat pipes ensure max contact to the GPU and spread heat along the full length of the heatsink.Airflow Control: Don’t sweat it, Airflow Control guides the air to exactly where it needs to be for maximum cooling.

RGB Mystic Light

Mystic Light gives you complete control of the RGB lighting for MSI devices and compatible RGB products.

Dragon Center

MSI’s exclusive Dragon Center software lets you monitor, tweak, and optimize MSI products in real-time.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Graphics Card Gallery:

The MSI Gaming X Trio Graphics Cards With 2nd Tri-Frozr Cooling

With the differences out of the way, now let’s talk about the similarities and the main highlights of the Gaming X Trio design. The Gaming X Trio is a toned-down variant of the much higher-end card, the MSI Lightning. Both cards use advanced Tri-Frozr coolers which are the replacement of the MSI Twin Frozr series which have been widely used in current and last generation graphics cards from MSI.

The latest iteration of MSI’s iconic GAMING series once again brings performance, low-noise efficiency, and aesthetics that hardcore gamers have come to recognize and trust. Now you too can enjoy all your favorite games with a powerful graphics card that stays cool and silent. Just the way you like it.

MSI has incorporated and refined a couple of things in the new Tri-Frozr design for Gaming X Trio graphics cards. First is the TORX fan 4.0 which uses a ring design that connects two fan-blades with each other to increase airflow towards the internal heatsink assembly. These fans are made up of a double ball bearing design which ensures silent functionality in heavy loads.

The fans are fully compliant with the Zero Frozr Technology and are actually comprised of three areas. All of these would stay at 0 RPM (idle state) if the temperatures don’t exceed 60C. When it does exceed 60C, all fans would start spinning. You can change that through the MSI configuration panel if you want more cooling performance over noise load but it’s a nifty feature that I do like.

In addition to the cooling fans, the heatsink has been designed to be denser by using the brand new wave curved 2.0 fin design. The new heatsink makes use of deflectors to allow more air to pass through the fins smoothly, without causing any turbulence that would result in unwanted noise. MSI estimates a 2 degrees (C) drop in temperatures with the updated design versus the previous generation cooling system.

Talking about the heatsink, the massive block is comprised of seven copper squared shaped heat pipes with a more concentrated design to transfer heat from the copper base to the heatsink more effectively. The base itself is a solid nickel-plated base plate, transferring heat to the heat pipes in a very effective manner. To top it all off, MSI uses their exclusive Thermal Compound X which is said to offer higher thermal interface and heat transfer compared to traditional TIM applications.

Rocking a classy brushed look, the backplate on the GAMING TRIO series provides a nice visual finish to the card. It also strengthens the card and thanks to some cleverly placed thermal pads even helps to keep temperatures low.

The MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio graphics card comes inside a standard cardboard box. The front of both packages has a large “GeForce RTX” brand logo along with the “MSI” logo on the top left corner and the “Gaming X Trio” series branding on the lower-left corner. A large picture of the graphics card itself is depicted on the front which gives a nice preview of the Gaming X Trio design.

The packaging has put a large emphasis on the RTX side of things as the first feature enlisted by AIBs will be NVIDIA Ampere architecture, Ray Tracing & DLSS support. NVIDIA has bet the future of their gaming GPUs on Ray Tracing support as these are the first cards to offer support for the new feature.

The back of the box is very typical, highlighting the main features and specifications of the cards. The three key aspects of MSI’s top-tier custom cards are its blazing performance which is achieved by fully custom design, the new Tri-Frozr cooling system, and a new wave-curved 2.0 heatsink which will offer better cooling performance compared to the traditional flat-surfaced fin heatsinks.

There’s also a focus towards GeForce.com on each AIB card through which users can download the latest drivers and GeForce Experience application which are a must for gamers to access all feature sets of the new cards.

The sides of the box once again greet us with the large GeForce RTX branding. There’s also the mention of 8 GB GDDR6 (RTX 3060 Ti ) memory available on the card.

Outside of the box, the graphics card and the accessory package are held firmly by foam packaging. The graphics card comes with a few accessories and manuals which might not be of much use for hardcore enthusiasts but can be useful for the mainstream gaming audience.

The card is nicely wrapped within an anti-static cover which is useful to prevent any unwanted static discharges on various surfaces that might harm the graphics card. The card accessories include a Molex power connector which isn’t of much use in high-end systems since the PSUs already have the required cables.

The most interesting accessory that I found in the package was a graphics card support bracket. This bracket connects the graphics card to the casing, offering better durability and prevents any sort of bending that may occur due to the heavyweight of the Gaming X Trio series graphics cards.

Useful manuals and installation guides are packed within an MSI labeled letter case. There is an MSI Quick Users Guide, a Support bracket installation guide, a sticker letter, the MSI DIY comic, and a single driver’s disk. It’s best to ignore the driver disk and install the latest software and graphics drivers directly from the NVIDIA and MSI official web pages as the ones shipped in the disks could be older versions and not deliver optimal performance for your graphics cards.

After the package is taken care of, I can finally start talking about the card itself. This thing is a beast and I can’t wait to test it out to find what kind of performance improvement I get over current-gen cards.

MSI’s Tri Frozr heat sinks are some of the biggest heatsink cooling solutions that I have ever tested. I first tested the Gaming X Trio when MSI released the 1080 Ti variant back in 2017 and that was a very aggressive design in its own right. With the RTX 30 series cards, MSI has further refined the Gaming X Trio design. The card measures the same at 323 x 140 x 56 mm and weighs in at 1565 grams. The card is also slightly taller at 2.7 slots height compared to the 2.5 slots height of the previous model.

You would have to keep in mind the height when going for a dual card solution as your case or motherboard PCIe slot combination may not allow such a setup. The cooling shroud extends all the way to the back of the PCB and it requires a casing with good interior space for proper installation.

The back of the card features a solid backplate which looks stunning. The backplate offers a lot more functionality than just looks which I will get back to in a bit.

In terms of design, we are looking at an updated version of the Tri Frozr heatsink which is now in its sixth variation while for the Gaming X series, this is the 2nd iteration. The first variation started off with the GTX 780 Ti Lightning, the second was the 980 Ti Lightning, then came the 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio, the 1080 Ti Lightning, and then the RTX 20 and RTX SUPER Gaming X Trio graphics cards.

The new heatsink looks like a beefed-up version of the Gaming X Trio with the main changes being the shroud and heatsink design that feature an aggressive shroud design on the front, absorbing the black and silver color platelets while featuring the RGB emitting acrylic cutouts at the front. The sides also come with a large RGB accent bar which lights up when the card is powered on.

Coming to the fans, the card actually features two different fan designs based on the Torx 4.0 system. All three fans feature a ring-based design to allow for higher airflow to be channeled within the main heatsink. All fans deploy a double ball bearing design and can last a long time while operating silently.

MSI also features their Zero Frozr technology on the Tri Frozr heatsink. This feature won’t spin the fans on the card unless they reach a certain threshold.

In the case of the Tri Frozr heatsink, that limit is set to 60C. If the card is operating under 60C, the fans won’t spin which means no extra noise would be generated.

I am back at talking about the full-coverage, full metal-based backplate which the card uses. The whole plate is made of solid metal with rounded edges that add to the durability of this card. The brushed matte-black finish on the backplate gives a unique aesthetic.

There are cutouts in screw placements to easily reach the points on the graphics card. We can also see the MSI Dragon logo on the back which looks stunning. MSI is also using heat pads beneath the backplate which offer more cooling to the electrical circuitry on the PCB.

The most interesting thing to spot on the back aside from the backplate is the large retention metal bracket which adds more mounting pressure to effectively disperse heat from the GPU to the heatsink. The exhaust vents on the back also help push air out for increased heat dissipation which leads to better cooling performance.

With the outsides of the card done, I will now start taking a glance at what’s beneath the hood of these monster graphics cards. The first thing to catch my eye is the humungous fin stack that’s part of the beefy heatsink which the cards utilize.

The large fin stack runs all the way from the front and to the back of the PCB and is so thick that you can barely see through it. It also comes with the wave-curved 2.0 fin stack design which I want to shed some light on as it is a turn away from traditional fin design.

The heatsink has been designed to be denser by using a wave curved fin design. It allows more air to pass through the fins smoothly, without causing any turbulence that would result in unwanted noise. Airflow Control Technology guides the airflow directly onto the heat pipes, while simultaneously creating more surface area for the air to absorb more heat before leaving the heatsink.

Talking about the heatsink, the massive block is comprised of six copper squared shaped heat pipes with a more concentrated design to transfer heat from the copper base to the heatsink more effectively. The heat pipes make direct contact with the GPU which is different than the nickel-plated copper base featured on the higher-end models.

To top it all off, MSI uses their exclusive Thermal Compound X which is said to offer higher thermal interface and heat transfer compared to traditional TIM applications.

MSI adds extra protection to its impressive PCB by including a rugged anti-bending plate. This also acts as a memory and MOSFET cooling plate while the PWM heatsink with micro fins keeps the VRM cool under stressful conditions.

I/O on the graphics card sticks with the reference scheme which includes three Display Port 1.4a & a single HDMI 2.1 port.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Teardown:

MSI makes use of a 6+2+2 phase PWM design that includes its Military Class components such as Hi-C Caps, Super Ferrite Chokes, and Japanese Solid Caps.

The card also uses the GDDR6 memory from Micron that operates at 14 Gbps alongside a 256-bit wide memory interface.

The MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio is more power-hungry than the reference graphics card as showcased by its custom design. Being so, it uses a very power-intensive connector configuration which comprises dual 8 pin connectors. The card is rated at a TDP of 200W officially by MSI.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Series RGB Lighting Gallery:

MSI Gaming X Trio series cards utilize their Mystic Light RGB technology to offer you a visually pleasing lighting experience on your graphics cards. There are a total of 8 different RGB effects which you can choose from and the cards have 3 RGB accent points, 2 on the front, and one lightbar surrounding the side of the card which looks really good. You can fully customize the RGB lights to your preference using the MSI Mystic Light application from MSI’s web page.

Following is what the graphics card looks like when lit up.

The GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX is one of the many variants in GALAX’s RTX 3060 Ti family. The card is positioned close to the Founders Edition model, featuring a triple-fan cooler design within a 2.5 slot form factor. GALAX’s Serious Gaming series will rock a black color design and uses their RGB effects which looks great.

In addition to the custom design, the RTX 3060 Ti EX comes with a non-reference PCB, featuring a 6+2 phase design that features higher quality components than the reference variant which is already a really good design by itself. In terms of clock speeds, the graphics card features the same base frequency of 1410 MHz but the boost clock is rated at 1710 MHz which is 45 MHz higher than the Founders Edition variant but with the Xtreme Tuner application, the speeds can be pushed to 1725 MHz.

Following are some of the features of the GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX graphics card before we go in detail:

GPU Engine Specs:

CUDA Cores 4864Boost Clock (MHz) 17251-Click OC Clock (MHz) 1740 (by installing Xtreme Tuner Plus Software and using 1-Click OC)

Memory Specs:

Memory Speed 14 GbpsStandard Memory Config 8GBMemory Interface Width 256-bit GDDR6Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 448

Feature Support:

PCI-E 4.0Windows 10 64-bit, Linux 64-bit

Fan Feature:

2*92mmFan stop @ Idle (All Fan)

Display Support:

DisplayPort 1.4a x 3, HDMI 2.1

GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX Graphics Card Gallery:

GALAX GeForce RTX 30 Graphics Cards Make Ampere Serious For Gamers!

The GALAX GeForce RTX 30 EX series of graphics cards rock an aggressive shroud design which is made out of plastic material and covers a large aluminum heatsink that sits beneath it. The RTX 30 EX series has seen a huge uplift in looks and design from the previous generation which featured a standard RGB display & mostly relied on the reference PCB and clock specifications.

GALAX’s RTX 30 EX series makes use of a dual-fan “WINGS” cooling design which includes 92mm fans that are embedded on the front shroud. Each fan comes with 11 fan blades with an acrylic design that not only looks great but also said to provide higher airflow & air pressure at minimum noise levels.

The fans are fully compliant with GALAX’s new fan-stop technology known as Silent Extreme which monitors both GPU and memory temperatures and turns the fans on/off for a balanced noise and performance level.

Do note that since the card comes with a compact PCB design, the shroud and heatsink extend far beyond the PCB, hence GALAX has left cut-outs in place to direct airflow outwards.

One of the key features that GALAX has stated for its GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards is the Xtreme Tuner application which is now available on mobile. This application is the only way by which you are getting that extra 15 MHz clock speed out of the graphics card and don’t worry, since the desktop application is still available. The mobile application now allows for various range of utilities such as:

Don’t need to exit the game to tune you GPUUser-Friendly interface, 1-click to boost your GPUConvenience functions to tune your RGB, OC, Fan, etc

You can learn more about the GALAX Xtreme Tuner Plus application over here!

The GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX graphics card comes inside a standard cardboard box. The front of both packages has a large “GeForce RTX” brand logo along with the “GALAX” logo on the top left corner and the card branding on the lower-left corner. The box features a whole hooded gamer vibe that GALAX has been using to market their gaming cards for a while now.

The packaging has put a large emphasis on the RTX side of things as the first feature enlisted by AIBs will be NVIDIA Ampere architecture, Ray Tracing & DLSS support. NVIDIA has bet the future of their gaming GPUs on Ray Tracing support as these are the first cards to offer support for the new feature.

The back of the box is very typical, highlighting the main features and specifications of the cards.  There’s also a focus towards GeForce.com on each AIB card through which users can download the latest drivers and GeForce Experience application which are a must for gamers to access all feature sets of the new cards.

The sides of the box once again greet us with the large GeForce RTX branding. There’s also the mention of 8 GB GDDR6 (RTX 3060 Ti) memory available on the card.

Outside of the box, the graphics card and the accessory package are held firmly by foam packaging. The graphics card comes with a few accessories and manuals which might not be of much use for hardcore enthusiasts but can be useful for the mainstream gaming audience.

The card is nicely wrapped within an anti-static cover which is useful to prevent any unwanted static discharges on various surfaces that might harm the graphics card. The card accessories include a single ARGB header and the manuals.

After the package is taken care of, I can finally start talking about the card itself. The card comes in a standard width but feels really long due to its extended shroud design.

The graphics card is really big but not the biggest from the ones I have tested. The card measures 329 x 130 x 61 mm and takes up 2.5 slots worth of space for installation. You would have to keep in mind the height when going for a dual card solution as your case or motherboard PCIe slot combination may not allow such a setup. The cooling shroud extends all the way to the back of the PCB and it requires a casing with good interior space for proper installation.

You would have to keep in mind the height when going for a dual card solution as your case or motherboard PCIe slot combination may not allow such setup. The cooling shroud extends all the way to the back of the PCB and it requires a casing with good interior space for proper installation.

The back of the card features a solid backplate which looks stunning. The backplate offers a lot more functionality than just looks which I will get back to in a bit.

In terms of design, the graphics card rocks a singular color scheme which is matte black and along with some white and silver linings on the front, sides, and back. The EX series is an entry-level line when compared to the higher-end Gamer, Work The Frames, and HOF series from GALAX.

GALAX is going fully on-board the RGB bandwagon with their EX series, offering multiple light zones on the front and sides of the card. The shroud itself extends beyond the PCB.

Coming to the fans, the card rocks dual 92mm fans. Each fan is comprised of 11 blades which have a very angular shape that is made to disperse hot air out of the card faster than standard designs.

While both fans have an acrylic finish to really shine with all the embedded RGB LEDs offering an even more glorious display of this card’s RGB capabilities.

GALAX also features a 0db fan technology on the fans which isn’t explicitly mentioned. This feature won’t spin the fans on the card unless they reach a certain threshold. In the case of the GALAX heatsink, that limit is set to 60C. If the card is operating under 60C, the fans won’t spin which means no extra noise would be generated.

I am back at talking about the full-coverage, full metal-based backplate which the card uses. The whole plate is made of solid metal that adds to the durability of this card. The brushed matte-black finish on the backplate gives a unique aesthetic. The graphics card also comes with a compact PCB design which means that the shroud, heatsink, and backplate are all extended beyond the PCB. The third fan blows air through the heatsink and blows it out from the cutouts that are situated at the very end of the backplate.

With the outsides of the card done, I will now start taking a glance at what’s beneath the hood of these monster graphics cards. The first thing to catch my eye is the humungous fin stack that’s part of the beefy heatsink which the cards utilize.

The large fin stack runs all the way from the front and to the back of the PCB and is so thick that you can barely see through it.

Talking about the heatsink, there are two blocks of aluminum fins which are interconnected by five heat pipes running through the copper base plate and heading out towards the dual heatsink blocks. The heatsink is a slightly updated version of the one used on the RTX 2080 WTF with an increased surface area for additional heat transfer.

There are several heat pads included for the VRMs and memory chips. They are full-sized, making full contact with the components to offer stable and efficient heat transfer.

The very front of the PCB has a third heatsink that goes right over the VRMs and is equipped is screwed to the I/O bracket.

I/O on the graphics card sticks with the reference scheme which includes three Display Port 1.4a & a single HDMI 2.1 port.

GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX Teardown:

GALAX makes use of a 6+2 phase PWM design that includes high-quality components. The GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX graphics card also uses the GDDR6 memory from Micron that operates at 14 Gbps alongside a 256-bit wide memory interface.

Power to the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX is provided through a single 8-pin connector which sticks to the 180W reference configuration of the Founders Edition variant. Surprisingly, the EX graphics card comes with a solid metal shielded power connector which is the first time I am looking at on a graphics card.

We used the following test system for comparison between the different graphics cards. The latest drivers that were available at the time of testing were used from AMD and NVIDIA on an updated version of Windows 10. All games that were tested were patched to the latest version for better performance optimization for NVIDIA and AMD GPUs.

MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio Test Setup:

CPUIntel Core i9-9900K @ 4.70 GHz
MotherboardAORUS Z390 MasterVideo CardsMSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio

MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio

MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z

MSI GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER Gaming X Trio

MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio

MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Lightning XMemoryG.SKILL Trident Z RGB Series 32GB (4 X 8GB) CL16 3600 MHzStorageSamsung SSD 960 EVO M.2 (512 GB)Power SupplyASUS ROG THOR 1200W PSUOSWindows 10 64-bitDriversAMD Radeon Adrenalin Edition 20.7.2

NVIDIA GeForce 456.38 WHQLAll games were tested on 2560×1440 (2K) and 3840×2160 (4K) resolutions.Image Quality and graphics configurations have been provided in the screenshots below.The “reference” cards are the stock configs while the “overclock” cards are factory overclocked configs provided to us by various AIB partners.

.

Doom Eternal

DOOM Eternal brings hell to earth with the Vulkan powered idTech 7.  We test this game using the Ultra Nightmare Preset and follow our in-game benchmarking to stay as consistent as possible.

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Red Dead Redemption 2

Developed by Rockstar San Diego, Red Dead Redemption II is one of the most visually stunning open-world games I’ve played to date that is backed up by a rich story set around the protagonist, Arthur Morgan. The game is based on the RAGE engine which features an insane amount of graphics fidelity but also requires a lot of power to run maxed out. For the purpose of this test, we set the graphics settings to Ultra with AA turned disabled.

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Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Wolfenstein is back in The New Colossus and features the most fast-paced, gory, and brutal FPS action ever! The game once again puts us back in the Nazi-controlled world as BJ Blazkowicz. Set during an alternate future where Nazis won the World War, the game shows that it can be fun and can be brutal to the player and to the enemy too. Powering the new title is once again, id Tech 6 which is much acclaimed after the success that DOOM has become. In a way, ID has regained their glorious FPS roots and are slaying with every new title.

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.

shes of The Singularity: Escalation

NVIDIA and AMD have been tweaking the performance of their cards for Ashes of the Singularity since the title released. It was the first to make use of the DirectX 12 API and the first to leverage from the new Async compute technology that makes use of the DX12 renderer to improve performance.

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Battlefield V

Battlefield V brings back the action of the World War 2 shooter genre. Using the latest Frostbite tech, the game does a good job of looking gorgeous in all ways possible. From the open-world environments to the intense and gun-blazing action, this multiplayer and single-player FPS title is one of the best looking Battlefields to date.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Humanity is at war with itself and divided into factions. On one end, we have the pure and on the other, we have the augmented. That is the world where Adam Jensen lives in and this is the world of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The game uses the next generation Dawn Engine that was made by IO interactive on the foundation of their Glacier 2 engine. The game features the support of DirectX 12 API and is one of the most visually intensive titles that taxes the GPU really hard.

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Death Stranding

Sam Porter Bridges has delivered one of PS4’s most anticipated games to the PC community and opened a whole new world of possibilities. This was the first game to feature the Decima Engine on PC and unarguably did it the best. Death Stranding may not feature ray tracing effects but it does showcase that DLSS can be used effectively even when RT isn’t around. We tested this one just like we did in our launch coverage with DLSS enabled.

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Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4 carries on the open-world racing tradition of the Horizon series.  The latest DX12 powered entry is beautifully crafted and amazingly well executed and is a great showcase of DX12 games.  We use the benchmark run while having all of the settings set to non-dynamic with an uncapped framerate to gather these results.

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Hitman 2 (DX12 Highest Settings)

Hitman 2 is the highly acclaimed sequel to 2016 Hitman which was a redesign and reimaging of the game from the ground up. With a focus on stealth gameplay through various missions, the game once again lets you play as Agent 47 who embarks on a mission to hunt down the mysterious Shadow Client. The game runs on IO’s Interactive’s Glacier 2 engine which has been updated to deliver amazing visuals and environments on each level while making use of DirectX 12 API.

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Shadow of The Tomb Raider

Sequel to The Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of The Tomb Raider is visually enhanced with an updated Foundation Engine that delivers realistic facial animations and the most gorgeous environments ever seen in a Tomb Raider Game. The game is a technical marvel and really shows the power of its graphics engine in the latest title.

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Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus continues the journey of Artyom through the nuclear wasteland of Russia and its surroundings. This time, you are set over the Metro, going through various regions and different environments. The game is one of the premier titles to feature NVIDIA’s RTX technology and does well in showcasing the ray-tracing effects in all corners.

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ssassins Creed: Origins

Assassins Creed Origins is built by the same team that made Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag. They are known for reinventing the design and game philosophy of the Assassins Creed saga and their latest title shows that. Based in Egypt, the open-world action RPG shows its graphics strength in all corners. It uses the AnvilNext 2.0 engine which boosts the draw distance range and delivers a very impressive graphics display.

We tested the game at maxed settings with TAA enabled and 16x AF. Do note that the game is one of the most demanding titles out in the market and as such tweaks and performance issues are being patched out.

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Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 has made its way into the test lineup thanks to strong demand by gamers and simply delivering MORE Borderlands. The game was tested with max settings under the DX11 preset since the DX12 preset doesn’t deliver any visible improvement in either frame rate or graphics at the moment.

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Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5 is a standalone successor to its predecessor and takes place in Hope County, a fictional region of Montana. The main story revolves around doomsday cult the Project at Eden’s Gate and its charismatic leader Joseph Seed. It uses a beefed-up Dunia Engine which itself is a modified version of CryEngine from Crytek.

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Final Fantasy XV

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Grand Theft Auto V

GTA V is the most optimized gaming title that has been made for the PC. It’s so optimized, it even runs on my crap GT 840M based laptop with a smooth FPS on a mix of medium/low settings. I mean what???

Aside from being optimized, GTA V is a great game. It was the Game of The Year for 2013. At 1440p Ultra quality, the game gave us smooth frames on all cards tested.

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No graphics card review is complete without evaluating its temperatures and thermal load. The MSI Gaming X Trio graphics card comes with a triple-fan cooler with 0db fan technology, a massive heatsink that is composed of several aluminum fins and heat pipes, and an extended backplate that covers the entire PCB. The GALAX EX series on the other hand makes use of a premium dual-fan cooling system which also incorporates 0db fans and has a large aluminum heatsink.

.

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Note – We tested load with Kombuster which is known as a ‘power virus’ and can permanently damage the hardware. Use such software at your own risk!

I compiled the power consumption results by testing each card under idle and full stress when the card was running games. Each graphics card manufacturer sets a default TDP for the card which can vary from vendor to vendor depending on the extra clocks or board features they plugin on their custom cards. Default TDP for the RTX 3060 Ti is set at 175W while the custom models come with a 200W (MSI) and a 190W (GALAX) TDP, respectively.

Also, it’s worth noting that the 8nm process from Samsung increases the density by around 2x versus the previous generation. NVIDIA is cramping even larger amounts of transistors and more cores than their previous cards, making it one of the densest chips built to date. It’s likely to consume a lot of power and the results are reflective of that.

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The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 TI is finally here and within my tests, the car turned out to be faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER by 5% on average. This may not be a big deal in performance but we have to take into account the pricing of $699 US for the SUPER variant whereas the RTX 3060 Ti is going to sell for around $399-$479 US, depending on the variants you choose. For this review, the custom models I testes were priced at $430 (GALAX EX) and $480 (MSI). That is a $30 and $80 US premium, respectively.

Both cards performed exceptionally well at 1440p and even 2160p resolutions. The addition of 8 GB memory to a 3060 Ti class graphics card seems to have paid off since NVIDIA learned this from the RTX 2060 SUPER. The GALAX EX variant, despite its lower factory overclock, still managed to come neck-on-neck with the higher overclocked Gaming X Trio variant. The main benefits of the  GALAX variant are its lower power draw, reliance on a single 8-pin connector instead of the dual 8-pin configuration on the Gaming X Trio, and a more compact design which should fit in all cases.

With that said, the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio is a complete beast with a powerful PCB, more power drawing towards the GPU for higher overclock and respective gains which you can see below, and lower temperatures thanks to the triple-fan cooling system. The Gaming X Trio is a huge card just like its RTX 3070 and higher-end brethren and as such will require some room installation within your setup.

Overclocking The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Graphics Cards

Both GeForce RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards allowed for some hefty overclocking and the respective gains were just too big to not mention them. Both cards easily hit +85 MHz on the GPU core and +1000 MHz on the memory which resulted in some huge gains. We are talking about 7.5% to 10% performance gains depending on the title which is a signifcant bump for any Ampere card in this generation and the performance just lands super close to the RTX 3070.

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MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Graphics Card

ProsConsFaster Than RTX 2080 SUPER Under $500 US

Great for 1440p & 1080p gaming

Insane Productivity Performance at its price

Factory Overclocked out of the box

Great overclocking potential and performance

Tri Frozr heatsink cooling performance is great

Refreshing new MSI Gaming design

ZeroFrozr Technology Included on Torx 4.0 fans

The backplate includes heat pads for increased heat dissipation

RGB Lighting support on the shroud and sides are a plus

Support for real-time ray tracing and DLSS features in next-generation gaming titles

Good driver support for GeForce products, compatibility with DX11, DX12, Vulkan, OpenGL titles

Good increase in performance per watt vs Turing

First GPU to feature HDMI 2.1 support + AV1 DecoderVery High Premium ($480 US)

Slower 14 Gbps memory dies

Very tall and huge graphics card

Poor power limit, could’ve gone higher given the fully custom PCB design

As for the cooling solution, the new Gaming X Trio design is built for the power-hungry Ampere chips and does a pretty good job keeping the card under well under 60C even in stress tests. For gaming, the average temperatures were around 52-55C. The card isn’t that bulky and should fit inside most cases with relative ease and the triple-fan solution comes with 0db fan technology which unless or until you’re touching 60C won’t spin at all. This allows lower noise levels when you’re not doing any graphics-intensive tasks.

GALAX incorporates a much compact dual-fan cooling system which does end up with slightly higher temperatures of around 56-58C but overall, the installation should be fine and the 0db technology is another bonus that is expected from a premium custom model these days.

Both cards have their own looks and aesthetics with MSI offering a more premium look while the GALAX EX comes with a more standard facelift. The RGB is not overdone and the Mystic Light cuts on the front and sides provide really good aesthetics of the card itself. The GALAX EX on the other hand has RGB LEDs embedded within the fans and does look nice but barely noticeable inside the PC chassis.

GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX Graphics Card

ProsConsFaster Than RTX 2080 SUPER Under $500 US

Great for 1440p & 1080p gaming

Insane Productivity Performance at its price

Factory Overclocked out of the box

Great overclocking potential and performance

Dual-Fan cooling with great aesthetics

0db Silent Extreme Fans with RGB

Single 8-pin connector required

The backplate includes heat pads for increased heat dissipation

RGB Lighting support within the shroud is a plus

Support for real-time ray tracing and DLSS features in next-generation gaming titles

Good driver support for GeForce products, compatibility with DX11, DX12, Vulkan, OpenGL titles

Good increase in performance per watt vs Turing

First GPU to feature HDMI 2.1 support + AV1 DecoderSlower 14 Gbps memory dies

Price close the RTX 3070 FE

MSI is charging a hefty $80 US premium for its GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio graphics card. The pricing is much higher than the $399 US MSRP of the Founders Edition and the $430 US price premium of the GALAX EX variant. It also lands in the same territory as the RTX 3070 which has an MSRP of $499 US (if you can find one at that price). With that said, the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is a stunning graphics card within the sub $500 US category and if you’re in for a nice looking graphics card which offers great 1440p performance out of the box with several titles hitting 100+ FPS and one of the best cooling solutions in the market, then the Gaming X Trio is totally worth the huge premium.

But if you want to save some bucks, then the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX from GALAX is a great option, offering similar performance with lower power draw and a standard aesthetic at a much lower price point. It will be interesting to see how the custom models fair against the Founders Edition variant since it seems like the overall purchase choice given its fantastic price to performance proposition over the custom models giving AIBs a hard time in the retail segment. You can also read our full RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition review over here!

The post NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8 GB Graphics Card Review Ft. MSI Gaming X Trio & GALAX EX by Hassan Mujtaba appeared first on Wccftech.

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