We got another RTX 3060 Ti graphics card to review, in the form of the GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX. Unlike the Zotac RTX 3060 Ti, GALAX’s EX version features a much larger heatsink and a custom PCB. It also has a faster boost clock speed out of the box. NVIDIA also claims that the RTX 3060 Ti is faster than the RTX 2080 Super. Let’s find out how much faster a custom RTX 3060 Ti is than the RTX 2080 Super. Also, stick around if you (still) game at 1080p resolution. Please continue reading our GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX review below.
- GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX Graphics Card Review
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Reference Specs
- Packaging and Closer Look
- GALAX RTX 3060 Ti Test Setup
- GALAX RTX 3060 Ti EX Noise and Temperature
- GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX Synthetic Benchmarks
- GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 1080p Game Benchmark Results
- GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 1440p Game Benchmark Results
- GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 4K UHD Game Benchmark Results
- Pricing and Availability
- GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX Review Conclusion
GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX Graphics Card Review
NVIDIA adds the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti to the Ampere RTX 30 series family. The company claims that it runs faster than the previous-gen RTX 2080 Super, a $699 card. NVIDIA also claims that on average it is 40% faster than its predecessor, the RTX 2060 Super. The new RTX 3060 Ti launches for $399; it’s $100 cheaper than the RTX 3070.
The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, like all of the Ampere GPUs, features 2nd generation RTX architecture. It offers 16.2 shader TFLOPs, 31.6 RT TFLOPs, and 129.6 Tensor TFLOPs, using the new sparsity feature. An 8nm NVIDIA custom process fabricated by Samsung, the GA104 GPU, is used to power the RTX 3060 Ti. The GA104 features 17.4 billion transistors.
Based on the specs sheet, the RTX 3060 Ti has 4864 CUDA cores, more than double the CUDA cores than its predecessor, the RTX 2060 Super, has. It’s also able to deliver a total of 47.8 TFLOPS (effective ) of ray tracing performance. The RTX 3060 Ti also features 8GB GDDR6 memory with a 7GHz memory clock speed; just like the RTX 2080S and 2060S.
The GALAX RTX 3060 Ti EX features a slightly faster boost clock speed of 1710MHz out of the box. That’s only a 45MHz increase from the reference boost clock speed. But no matter, since thanks to NVIDIA’s GPU Boost technology and the chunky heatsink, the GALAX RTX 3060 Ti EX can boost higher than 1710MHz easily.
Also, the RTX 30 series GPUs have HDMI 2.1 out that enables support for 4K@120Hz. It features AV1 decode as well, which provides better compression and quality compared to existing codecs like H.264, HEVC, and VP9. AV1 is said to provide 50-55% bitrate savings over H.264. You can check out more features of the 3060 Ti below.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Features
- Programmable Shader: Increased to 2 shader calculations per clock versus 1 on Turing – 16.2 Shader-TFLOPS compared to 7.2 TFLOPS for the RTX 3060 Ti.
- Second-gen RT Cores: For the RTX 3060 Ti, Ray-triangle intersection throughput is now doubled so that the RT Core delivers 31.6 RT-TFLOPs, compared to Turing’s 21.7.
- Third-gen Tensor Cores: For RTX 3060 Ti, New Tensor Core automatically identifies and removes less important DNN weights and the new hardware processes the sparse network at twice the rate of Turing—129.6 Tensor-TFLOPS with sparsity compared to Turing’s 57.4 TFLOPS.
- NVIDIA RTX IO: Enables rapid GPU-based loading and game asset decompression, accelerating input/output performance by up to 100x compared with hard drives and traditional storage APIs. In conjunction with Microsoft’s new DirectStorage for Windows API,(1) RTX IO offloads dozens of CPU cores’ worth of work to the RTX GPU, improving frame rates and enabling near-instantaneous game loading.
- NVIDIA Broadcast for AI-powered Video and Voice: Turn any room into a home studio with AI – taking your live streams and video chats to the next level with AI-powered audio and video effects like noise removal, virtual background, and webcam auto frame.
- Next-gen process technology: New 8N NVIDIA custom process from Samsung, which allows for higher transistor density and more efficiency.
- NVIDIA Reflex: Low Latency Technology: Acquire targets faster, react quicker, and increase aim precision through a revolutionary suite of new GeForce and G-SYNC technologies to optimize and measure system latency in competitive games.
- AI-Powered Video and Voice – NVIDIA Broadcast: You can now transform any room into a home broadcast studio—taking your live streams and video chats to the next level with AI-powered audio noise removal, virtual background effects, and webcam auto frame.
- NVIDIA Studio: RTX-Accelerated Content Creation: RTX 30 Series brings faster rendering and AI performance, more graphics memory, and exclusive NVIDIA AI tools such as Omniverse Machinima to help you finish creative projects in record time.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Reference Specs
|RTX 3060 Ti||RTX 3070||RTX 3080||RTX 3090|
|Fab Process||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung|
|Base Clock||1410 MHz||1500 MHz||1440 MHz||1400 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1665 MHz||1730 MHz||1710 MHz||1700 MHz|
|Memory Clock||14 Gbps||16 Gbps||19 Gbps||19.5 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||448 GBps||512 GBps||760 GBps||936 GBps|
|Max. GPU Temp.||???||93°||93°||93°|
|Power Connectors||8-pin||8-pin||2x 8-pin||2x 8-pin|
|Graphics Card Power||200W||220W||320W||350W|
Packaging and Closer Look
The hooded guy is gone, but he is replaced with another “mysterious” character. The GALAX RTX 3060 Ti EX packaging is quite similar to the other RTX 30 series cards’ box. But this time we got a Teal color accent. Since the graphics card inside is only a dual-fan config, the box isn’t that big compared to the RTX 3080 SG and RTX 3070 SG we reviewed before.
Compared to the Zotac RTX 3060 Ti, the GALAX RTX 3060 Ti EX is larger, heavier, and thicker despite having the same dual-fan configuration. It measures approximately ~285mm in length, ~115mm in height, and occupies 2.5″ PCI slots. The front cooler shroud is a combination of metal and plastic; while the backplate is all metal.
You can also see the two 102mm “Wings” fans with 11 transparent blades. The RGB LEDs are located in the center of the fans, illuminating the surrounding fan blades. Despite the appearance of the fan blades, these fans are very silent.
On its output ports, it has three DisplayPorts 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1. It also has a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. The fans and the slogan on the front-side portion have RGB lighting and can be sync by connecting the graphics card to the motherboard’s RGB header.
From this angle, you can see the 8-pin power connector and the RGB header for synching. Interestingly, the 8-pin power connector is reinforced by metal. The backplate also overlaps and covers the sides a bit. I think it looks nice compared to simply fully exposing the aluminum fin stacks.
Again, the “What’s Your Game?” slogan on the side may not appeal to most gamers. I’d rather see GALAX’s logo instead.
I didn’t open the GALAX RTX 3060 Ti EX yet. But it is obvious that its PCB is larger and perhaps wider compared to NVIDIA’s reference PCB.
GALAX RTX 3060 Ti Test Setup
For our graphics card reviews, I’m using a Z490 motherboard powered with an Intel Core i7-10700K. It is paired with a DDR4-4000 memory. Below are the rest of the specifications of the system:
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 2004|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10700K (running stock)|
|Motherboard||MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix MAX RGB DDR4-4000|
|Graphics Card||GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX|
|OS Drive||WD Black SN750 with Heatsink|
|Game Drive||Crucial MX500 2TB SSD, Kingston KC600 1TB SSD|
|Power Supply||Seasonic Prime TX-1000|
|Chassis||Thermaltake Core P3|
For this test, I used NVIDIA driver version 457.40 – an NVIDIA-provided driver for the RTX 3060 Ti. The graphics card was tested in three resolutions – 1920×1080 FHD, 2560×1440 WQHD, and 3840×2160 4K UHD.
For synthetic benchmarks, I used 3DMark’s benchmark suite. I also used the following games to test the graphics card: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Gears 5, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Horizon Zero Dawn, Monster Hunter World, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and The Division 2.
Below is the GPU-Z screenshot of the GALAX RTX 3060 Ti EX.
GALAX RTX 3060 Ti EX Noise and Temperature
Thanks to its larger heatsink, the GALAX RTX 3060 Ti EX had no issue cooling the GPU passively. Its idle to light load temps play around 45° Celsius, give or take; depending on what apps or software is running. The fans are not running as well since it has a fan-stop feature.
After I fired up FurMark and let it run for half an hour or less, the temperature settled at 68° Celsius. And on top of that, the fan speed was running at around 48% only. This means, even at full load, the graphics card is very silent. My unit doesn’t produce any coil-whine noise as well.
Now time to see how many frames we can get out of the RTX 3060 Ti EX card. Is it faster than an RTX 2080 Super or probably just on par? Will it be faster than other RTX 3060 Ti with a smaller cooling solution? Let’s find out.
GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX Synthetic Benchmarks
The first stop is some synthetic benchmarks. Some of you might not be interested in synthetic benchmarks, but others would like to see them. It also gives us an idea of the general performance of this graphics card and its standing or ranking.
For the synthetic benchmark results, I include 3DMark Fire Strike, 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme, 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra, 3DMark Time Spy, 3DMark Time Spy Extreme, and Port Royal (ray tracing). I also included benchmarks from Unigine’s Superposition. Below are the results:
Based on the synthetic benchmark results above, we can see that the RTX 3060 Ti is a bit faster than the RTX 2080 Super in general. The performance difference is not that significant at all, but it edges out the RTX 2080 Super FE overall.
Now let’s see if we will get similar results with real games.
GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 1080p Game Benchmark Results
Based on our first RTX 3060 Ti review, we already know that the RTX 3060 Ti is a great graphics card for 1080p gaming. This time, let’s also see if the EX card is faster than a close-to-reference RTX 3060 Ti (Zotac). Below are the results I got for the GALAX RTX 3060 Ti EX in 1080p resolution:
For 1080p resolution, we can see that the RTX 3060 Ti performs quite well. It’s able to drive all games well above 60 FPS. Also, compared to Zotac’s RTX 3060 Ti, the GALAX EX edges it out by a couple of frames. Although, sometimes Zotac’s card appear to be a bit slightly faster. But generally speaking, the difference is so small that it’s negligible.
GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 1440p Game Benchmark Results
The RTX 3060 Ti can handle games at 1080p quite well. And I think it can also run games at 1440p resolution without any hiccups. Let’s check out the results below.
Again, we can see that GALAX’s RTX 3060 Ti EX is a bit faster than Zotac’s RTX 3060 Ti by just a couple of frames or so. But sometimes, Zotac’s 3060 Ti would be able to catch up.
For 1440p gaming, you could get away with the RTX 3060 Ti. However, depending on how graphics-intensive the game is, you might want to lower the graphics settings to get higher frame rates.
Also, if you have plans on getting a 1440p 120Hz~140Hz monitor, I recommend you get an RTX 3070/3080 or equivalent graphics card instead. Latest game titles will only get more and more graphics-intensive. For example, the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. Not unless you don’t play these types of games.
GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 4K UHD Game Benchmark Results
Again, I wouldn’t recommend getting an RTX 3060 Ti for 4K gaming at all. But if you are interested to see some numbers, below are the results:
While you can play games at 4K with the RTX 3060 Ti, the experience is not as smooth compared to playing the same game at 1080p or 1440p. Graphics quality needs to be sacrificed just to get playable frame rates at this resolution. Overall, I do not recommend the 3060 Ti for 4K gaming.
Pricing and Availability
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $399 USD. I don’t have the MSRP for the GALAX RTX 3060 Ti EX variant yet. But I don’t think it will be priced way higher than NVIDIA’s MSRP. I estimate that it would be around ~$450 +/-. I wouldn’t pay more than $500 for this card since that is RTX 3070 territory already.
But considering the availability and the current situation, I don’t think that you’ll be able to get one at a decent or close to MSRP price at this time. Perhaps a few weeks from now when supply will be able to catch up with the demand.
GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX Review Conclusion
The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is a nice addition to NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series family. It’s great for 1080p (high refresh rate) gaming and it’s power-efficient as well. GALAX’s RTX 3060 Ti EX features a custom PCB design and a better cooling solution. It has two 102mm fans and a larger heatsink.
While we didn’t see the RTX 3060 Ti EX outperforming Zotac’s RTX 3060 Ti in every single test and game, I noticed that it was more silent and runs cooler at full load. Although I haven’t manually overclocked it yet, I’m positive that it has more overclocking headroom thanks to its better cooling solution.
My only concern here is not with this specific graphics card, but how the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 is priced closely. The difference is only $100; and if you can spare $100 more, better get an RTX 3070 instead. It’s generally faster and can handle games easily even at 1440p.
However, if you look at it the other way around, the RTX 3060 Ti is the more “value” option, especially if you play at 1080p only. But, at this time, it’s hard to talk about “value”; no-thanks to supply shortage and the insane prices that retailers are selling it for.
Once stocks and prices would normalize, it would be interesting to see which would appeal more to the consumers. Between the two GPUs, would you buy an RTX 3060 Ti or would you spend a bit more for an RTX 3070?
At the end of the day, I think the GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX is a great graphics card for 1080p gaming. And if you don’t mind the slogan on the front-side portion, this one is a highly recommended card for me.