Product: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 EAGLE 12GB

Type: Graphics Card

Price: $799 AUD (Currently)

Availability: Now

According to Steam’s most recent hardware survey, the most popular GPU currently in use is NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060 — the card found inside 9.38% of all rigs currently playing Valheim. When you begin to factor in other mainstream or more budget conscious graphics cards like the GTX 1050 Ti, the 1660 Ti, and the RTX 2060, it all paints a clear picture of not only what’s out there – but the budgets most PC gamers are, for the lack of a better word, playing with.

As great as it is to game with a flagship GPU like the NVIDIA Geforce RTX 3080, and it is great, the value-add story becomes more interesting the more affordable you go. With the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 — this review covers the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 EAGLE 12GB — you’re essentially getting mainstream Ampere. A card that offers up high-end 1080p performance that leverages NVIDIA’s impressive second-generation ray-tracing and third-generation AI cores.

In the case of the RTX 3060 the outcome is immediately visible when firing up one of the biggest AAA releases in recent months – Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. With ray-tracing details set to ‘Ultra’ and DLSS enabled you get a smooth 100-fps. Which is incredible really. Compared to the GeForce GTX 1060 it’s the sort of performance you can’t even compare. On the account of DLSS and ray-tracing not really being a thing when it comes to the 10 series.

The generational leap that arrived first with the GeForce RTX 3080 applies to the entire range, and for those looking for an overall picture the new RTX 3060 performs on par with the Turing generation’s popular RTX 2070.

And really, this should be the point where we begin telling the Cinderella story that is the RTX 3060 and how it presents the best entry-level or mainstream option for new builds and GTX 1060 upgrades alike. The problem? Well… the current climate. That price you see above is the direct result of insane demand and it’s a lot higher than what the RTX 3060 should be priced at. With that in mind we’ll be setting aside shortages and crypto mining booms and temporary price increases across PC hardware in all forms to take a deep dive into the new GeForce RTX 3060 as a piece of next-gen gaming tech.

And see how mainstream Ampere performs across our 20+ benchmark tests.

An Ampere Primer


The below is a summary of the RTX 30 Series technology, applicable to all RTX 3060 models. An Ampere primer if you will.

The next generation of games across PC and consoles, in terms of AAA high-end titles, will be driven by resolution, frame-rate, and cutting-edge effects like real-time ray-tracing. The latter is well and truly here thanks to NVIDIA’s Turing and now Ampere line of graphics cards. First brought to the scene in 2018 with the GeForce RTX 2080 and GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, the original ‘RTX On’ made that tech-dream of real-time ray-tracing a reality.

With the arrival of the RTX 30 series though, AMD’s latest Radeon RX line, and the one-two console combo that is the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X — we’re seeing more and more real-time ray-tracing and cutting edge visuals as the months roll by.


The generational leap that arrived first with the GeForce RTX 3080 applies to the entire range, and for those looking for an overall picture the new RTX 3060 performs on par with the Turing generation’s popular RTX 2070.


From NVIDIA’s side, being first to implement ray-tracing also meant being on the cutting edge from the get-go, and at the forefront of actual in-game performance. Additional hardware in the form of RT Cores were brought into the picture to take some of the taxing computation off of GPU processors. To ensure that games ran at the coveted 60-fps, Tensor Cores were added into the mix — building on NVIDIA’s expertise in the field of AI to drive rendering with DLSS.

Control, Cyberpunk 2077, Death Stranding, Fortnite, the aforementioned Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and more — DLSS is without a doubt one of the most impressive visual feats we’ve seen in a long time. With or without ray-tracing, it allows for a generation leap in performance without sacrificing visual quality. Ampere features second generation RT Cores (NVIDIA’s dedicated ray-tracing hardware) and third-generation Tensor Cores (the AI stuff that makes DLSS the perfect match for hardware intensive ray-tracing in addition to simply boosting performance).

There’s also the new custom Samsung 8nm process and a chipset that radically re-designs the Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) to effectively double the concurrent calculations and what have you. To get technical we’re talking about FP32 and INT32 operations, two things that are, err, things.

In the end Ampere is all about the future — resolution, frame-rate, AI-rendering, and cutting-edge effects like real-time ray-tracing using smart design that features forward thinking innovations. It’s the stuff that powers the GeForce RTX 3060, making it as much ‘next-gen’ as it is ‘mainstream’.

Of Numbers and Heat Sinks


From a hardware standpoint the GeForce RTX 3060 is the successor to both the RTX 2060 and the GeForce GTX 1060 before it — and as such its potential to become a mainstay in the PC space is huge. This is something NVIDIA are aware of, and one of the reasons it features 12GB of GDDR6 as opposed to the expected 6GB is a bold step to ensure that even at 1080p the RTX 3060 is able to max-out detail settings on just about any release.


Opting for more VRAM is a great move on NVIDIA’s part, future proofing a card that has the potential to become one of the most common GPUs in the future.


As for the reason why the RTX 3060’s 12GB is more than the 8GB of the RTX 3060 Ti (reviewed here) and the RTX 3070? Well, this comes down to the memory interface and bandwidth – which results in the incremental step of going from 6GB to 12GB. Either way, opting for more VRAM is a great move on NVIDIA’s part, future proofing a card that has the potential to become one of the most common GPUs in the future.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060

  • Architecture (GPU): Ampere
  • CUDA Cores: 3584
  • RT Cores: 28
  • Tensor Cores: 112
  • GPU Boost Clock: 1777 MHz
  • Memory Capacity: 12GB GDDR6
  • Memory Interface/Clock: 192-bit/7501 MHz
  • Memory Bandwidth: 360 GB/s
  • TDP: 170W

Outside the increased memory capacity (and also increased boost clock speeds), there are fundamental differences between the new RTX 3060 and the recently released RTX 3060 Ti — a card that sits closer to the RTX 3070, performance-wise, than it does this baseline model.

That said the RTX 3060 still has more than enough grunt to run Horizon Zero Dawn at 1440p at over 70-fps, or DOOM Eternal at 1440p in triple-digits — NVIDIA’s Ampere line-up is great no matter the version. But, the chip inside the RTX 3060 features fewer CUDA Cores, RT Cores, and Tensor Cores than its older siblings — 3060 Ti included. Which is to be expected though the end result sees a bigger dip in performance once you venture into pure 1440p gaming territory without sacrificing visual settings to maintain that smooth 60-fps.

More Than a Number


One of the big draws that comes from NVIDIA’s latest GPU range sits beyond raw performance, it’s the stuff that is either here right now — like DLSS and ray-tracing — or things on the horizon. Sometime in the future RTX IO, which builds on Microsoft’s DirectStorage tech found inside the Xbox Series X, will open the door to using an RTX GPU like the RTX 3060 to improve loading times and performance.

Resizable BAR support, as seen in the RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, will impact the RTX 3060 by improving 1080p and higher performance by better utilising PCIe express lanes across AMD and Intel-based CPUs.


That said the RTX 3060 still has more than enough grunt to run Horizon Zero Dawn at 1440p at over 70-fps, or DOOM Eternal at 1440p in triple-digits — NVIDIA’s Ampere line-up is great no matter the version.


In terms of competitive games and esports, NVIDIA Reflex is something of a game changer in its own right, lowering system latency across a wide range of titles (that is reducing the time between input and the action you actually see being carried out on screen) like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Paired with NVIDIA’s own G-Sync it’s another value-add and forward thinking bit of tech that goes beyond simply looking at fps.

For content creators RTX Broadcast turns any space into a streaming setup with AI powered voice controls (that can go so far as to remove the background noise of a hair-dryer or lawn-mower) and green-screen-free green-screen effects.

All of these cool things are the direct result of hardware, software, and AI coming together – a testament to a future where raw power only represents part of the story. That said, we’re now at that part of the story.

Game Performance


The fastest possible frame-rate, detail settings cranked all the way up, ray-tracing enabled — it all plays a part in creating that level of immersion that only games can deliver. So without further ado, here’s how the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 EAGLE 12GB performs at both 1080p and 1440p on the following hardware.

  • GPU: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 EAGLE 12GB
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
  • Motherboard: MSI MEG X570 UNIFY
  • Memory: HyperX FURY DDR4 RGB (32GB at 3600 MHz)

NVIDIA’s latest GeForce Experience offers a simple one-button ‘autotune’ overclocking function — which improves performance based on a variety of factors. The following figures are based on stock settings.

Right off the bat, the proposition that the new Geforce RTX 3060 puts forth rings true — uncompromised 1080p performance. The incredibly demanding Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (using Ultra High settings) maintains a steady frame-rate in the 60-region, with the also demanding Borderlands 3 sitting at over 70-fps. On the other end of the performance spectrum DOOM Eternal basically asks the question “What’s the refresh rate on your monitor bro, cause I’m hitting like 170fps here”. DOOM Eternal is a great example where the 12GB of VRAM comes into play, as that game’s Ultra Nightmare detail settings require around 8GB at a minimum.


Right off the bat, the proposition that the new Geforce RTX 3060 puts forth rings true — uncompromised 1080p performance.


Compared to the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti the RTX 3060 performs about 14% slower when looking at 1080p gaming and closer to 20% when making the jump to 1440p — it’s a gap that honestly is a little bigger than we were expecting. On the 1080p side this drop-off isn’t that big of a deal considering the RTX 3060 Ti’s overall performance, but making the jump to 1440p it’s clear that this is where the RTX 3060 begins to falter when looking at the most demanding titles currently out there.

That’s not to say 1440p is out of the question, as games like Gears 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, The Division 2, and others all look and play great at this higher resolution. In fact, the RTX 3060 is a pretty decent 1440p card when it’s all said and done — especially when you can add a little bit of that DLSS magic.

Ray Tracing and DLSS


DLSS is something of a magic trick, it presents a generational-style 30% or more leap in performance without sacrificing visual fidelity. It’s the reason why games as visually impressive as Call of Duty or Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding can hit and maintain triple-digits when played on the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 EAGLE.

It’s the secret weapon when you bring real-time ray-tracing into the picture — as seen in the figures below.

In fact titles with DLSS and RTX enabled, titles like Control, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and Minecraft perform better at 1440p on the GeForce RTX 3060 than they do AMD’s own flagship Radeon RX 6800 XT. This is not to make a direct comparison between the two cards or to say that the RTX 3060 is the more powerful of the two (DLSS is not the same as native rendering) — but to highlight that real-time ray-tracing has a massive impact on performance when you don’t have dedicated hardware like Ampere’s RT and Tensor Cores.

In fact, compared to the GeForce GTX 1060 the ray-tracing performance increase is something like 10-times. What this means is that if you were to take a GPU like the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 and think that you’d need something like the RTX 3070 or RTX 3080 to get the most out of things like ray-tracing the answer to that is a simple “nope”.

Mainstream RTX is Here


The GeForce RTX 3060 is mainstream Ampere in every sense of the term, across competitive titles like Rainbow Six Siege churning out super high frames at 1080p through to cutting-edge effects like ray-tracing adding incredible levels of detail when paired with DLSS rendering.

The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 EAGLE is a brilliant choice too, offering up a lightweight form-factor, whisper quiet performance (basically silent), and low temps (we’re talking in the 60-degree range) that still leaves room for overclocking clock speeds or memory to add an additional 5% or so performance without breaking a sweat. Build quality is excellent too with a sturdy back-plate and Gigabyte’s own impressive Windforce cooling.


DLSS is something of a magic trick, it presents a generational-style 30% or more leap in performance without sacrificing visual fidelity. It’s the reason why games as visually impressive as Call of Duty or Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding can hit and maintain triple-digits when played on the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 EAGLE.


The GeForce RTX 3060 EAGLE is small too, a lot smaller than basically every RTX 3070 or RTX 3080 out there, so it’ll leave plenty of room for airflow even in smaller cases. As a 1080p offering it’s hard to look past the RTX 3060, and if you’re one of the 15% or so of PC gamers rocking a GeForce GTX 1060 or something like it, well, there’s no better time to upgrade. That is if current stock issues weren’t causing all sorts of madness when it comes to pricing and availability.



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