Nvidia RTX 3060 breakdown: for the budget PC gamer

If you’re looking to build a powerful gaming PC at a modest price, the Nvidia RTX 3060 might be for you.

After much speculation, Nvidia officially revealed the RTX 3060 during CES 2021. At a price of $329, it’s the cheapest card in Nvidia’s powerful new 30 series. That makes it the most budget-friendly option for anyone planning a new rig that won’t break the bank.

Credit: Nvidia

And the savings are significant. The RTX 3070 (the midline of the 30 series) is $499 while the behemoth RTX 3090 costs $1,499 — that’s triple the price of a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X.

Essentially, the RTX 3060 is a lighter version of the RTX 3060 Ti ($399), which came out earlier this year. Or at least, that’s what the name suggests. In reality, despite being bundled with the 30 series, the RTX 3060 doesn’t share the same architecture with the RTX 3060 Ti. The RTX 3060 runs on the weaker GA160 GPU whereas the RTX 3060 Ti uses the GA104 (thanks, PC Gamer).

Analysts described the RTX 3060 as an affordable Ampere card comparable to the RTX 2060, which can still run the newest games with ease. But the preliminary benchmarks indicate that it’s a little too comparable. You might be better off spending up to an extra $70 to grab the much more powerful RTX 3060 Ti.

However, that’s also assuming you can get any of the video cards in the first place. High-end electronics are in sparse supply right now. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X haven’t been able to keep up with the massive demand for a simple reason: Sony and Microsoft simply can’t make more consoles.

Similarly, Nvidia hasn’t been able to pump out enough cards. After the initial RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 cards were sold out within minutes, the company delayed the RTX 3070 in anticipation of shortages.

It didn’t help. Scalpers and bots bought out the inventory within seconds.

We won’t know how good the RTX 3060 is for sure until it launches in February, but one thing is for certain — it’s going to sell out fast. Godspeed, gamers.

If you liked this story, check out our guide on how to buy a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X during the Great Console Shortage of 2020-2021.

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