One of MSI’s better-looking RTX 4060 graphics cards is the GeForce RTX 4060 Gaming X, and today we are sharing our review of this graphics card. By now, several RTX 4060 reviews from various media outlets, written and videos, are already up. And while the consensus seems to be “meh” and got a lukewarm reception, the RTX 4060 still has some merits as a gaming GPU. In particular, the MSI RTX 4060 Gaming X graphics card I have here offers a balance of aesthetics, size, and performance. And I think it is one of the best RTX 4060 cards in the market. Please continue reading our review below and find out if MSI’s RTX 4060 Gaming X is worth it.
MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Gaming X Review
Straight off, NVIDIA’s new GPU for 1080 gaming, the GeForce RTX 4060, is based on the AD107 GPU. It has 3,072 CUDA Cores providing 15 FP32 Shader-TFLOPS of power for rendering traditional rasterized graphics. It also has 96 4th gen Tensor cores offering 242 FP8 Tensor-TFLOPS (with Sparsity) for AI processing and DLSS; and 24 3rd gen Ada RT Cores capable of 35 RT-TFLOPS for powering next-generation ray-traced graphics.
According to NVIDIA, the RTX 4060 is a great platform for gamers and creators, providing immersive graphics, AI-accelerated performance, livestreaming with NVIDIA Encoder, NVIDIA Reflex, and more.
Alas, similar to the RTX 4060 Ti, the RTX 4060 (non-Ti) only has a (gimped) 8GB of GDDR6 memory, with only 272 Gb/s of bandwidth running on a 128-bit interface. On the flip side, it offers a higher 17Gbps of memory data rate; and a larger 24MB of L2 cache than the RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti. Another concerning specs is its PCIe Gen4 connection, which is only PCIe x8, not the full x16.
NVIDIA’s solution to mitigate the RTX 4060’s meager 8GB of VRAM is to increase its L2 cache. The 4060 Ti has 32MB of L2 cache, but the 4060 only has 24MB. Still, 24MB is larger than the 3060 and 3060 Ti’s 3MB and 4MB cache, respectively. According to NVIDIA, “increasing the size of the L2 cache improves performance, reduces latency, and increases power efficiency, as data accesses can remain on-chip rather than having to go out across the GPU’s memory interface to external graphics memory.” Below is NVIDIA’s illustration of how the increased L2 cache affects the GPU’s performance.
Below are additional features of the RTX 4060 and its specifications. After that, let’s discuss MSI’s RTX 4060 Gaming X and see how it performs.
Ada Technological innovations include:
- New Streaming Multiprocessors (SM) – The new SM delivers up to 2x performance and power efficiency
- 4th Generation Tensor Cores and Optical Flow – Enable and accelerate transformative AI technologies, including the new frame rate multiplying NVIDIA DLSS 3
- 3rd Generation RT Cores – Up to 2x ray tracing performance, delivering incredibly detailed virtual worlds like never before
- Innovative Ada Memory Subsystem – Ada delivers a significant increase to the L2 cache, delivering better performance, reduced memory bus traffic, and increased power efficiency.
- Shader Execution Reordering (SER) – SER improves ray tracing operations by up to 2x.
- DLSS 3 – A revolutionary breakthrough in AI-powered graphics that massively boosts performance using AI to generate additional high-quality frames
- NVIDIA Studio – Unmatched performance in 3D rendering, video editing, and livestreaming
- AV1 Encoders – The 8th generation NVIDIA Encoder (NVENC) with AV1 is 40% more efficient than H.264, enabling new possibilities for streamers, broadcasters, and video callers
GeForce RTX 4060 Specifications
|Graphics Card||RTX 4060||RTX 4060 Ti||RTX 4070||RTX 4070 Ti||RTX 4080||RTX 4090|
|Fabrication Process||TSMC 4N NVIDIA Custom Process||TSMC 4N NVIDIA Custom Process||TSMC 4N NVIDIA Custom Process||TSMC 4N NVIDIA Custom Process||TSMC 4N NVIDIA Custom Process||TSMC 4 nm NVIDIA Custom Process|
|Transistor Count||18.9 billion||22.9 billion||35.8 billion||35.8 billion||45.9 billion||76.3 billion|
|Architecture||Ada Lovelace||Ada Lovelace||Ada Lovelace||Ada Lovelace||Ada Lovelace||Ada Lovelace|
|Graphics Processing Clusters||3||3||4||5||7||11|
|Texture Processing Clusters||12||17||23||30||38||64|
|Tensor Cores||96 (4th Gen)||136 (4th Gen)||184 (4th Gen)||240 (4th Gen)||304 (4th Gen)||512 (4th Gen)|
|RT Cores||24 (3rd Gen)||34 (3rd Gen)||46 (3rd Gen)||60 (3rd Gen)||76 (3rd Gen)||128 (3rd Gen)|
|Boost Clock||1830 MHz||2535 MHz||2475 MHz||2610 MHz||2505 MHz||2520 MHz|
|Memory Clock||8500 MHz||9000 MHz||10500 MHz||10500 MHz||11200 MHz||10501 MHz|
|Memory Data Rate||17 Gbps||18 Gbps||21 Gbps||21 Gbps||22.4 Gbps||21 Gbps|
|L2 Cache Size||24,576 KB||32,768 KB||36,864 KB||49,152 KB||65,536 KB||73,728 KB|
|Total Video Memory||8 GB GDDR6||8 GB GDDR6 / 16 GB GDDR6||12 GB GDDR6X||12 GB GDDR6X||16 GB GDDR6X||24 GB GDDR6X|
|Total Memory Bandwidth||272 GB/s||288 GB/s (554 GB/s effective)||504 GB/s||504 GB/s||716.8 GB/s||1008 GB/s|
|Texture Rate||236 GigaTexels/sec||345 GigaTexels/sec||455.4 Gigatexels/sec||626 Gigatexels/sec||761.5 Gigatexels/sec||1290.2 GigaTexels/sec|
|Connectors||3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI||3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI||3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI||3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI||3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI||3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI|
|Minimum Power Supply||550 Watts||550 Watts||650 Watts||700 Watts||750 Watts||850 Watts|
|Total Graphics Power (TGP)||115 Watts||160 Watts||200 Watts||285 Watts||320 Watts||450 Watts|
|PCI Express Interface||Gen 4 (x8)||Gen 4 (x8)||Gen 4||Gen 4||Gen 4||Gen 4|
|Release Date||June 2023||May 2023 - 8GB|
July 2023 - 16GB
|April 2023||January 2023||November 2022||October 2022|
|Launch Price||$299||$399 - 8GB|
$499 - 16GB
Packaging and Closer Look
Unlike the RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio‘s retail box, the 4060 Gaming X is substantially smaller. But it does share the same box art design. You can see an image of the graphics card at the box’s front and back. The graphics card’s name is visibly printed at the front, and you can read some of its highlighted features at the back.
By the way, “X” means the graphics card is an OC version. For example, the Gaming X is the overclocked version, while the Gaming is the non-overclocked version. Between an OC variant and a non-OC card, get the cheapest one at the time. Don’t worry; these cards will eventually boost higher thanks to NVIDIA Boost Technology.
Also, there is no Gaming X Trio or a triple fan version of MSI’s RTX 4060 graphics card. Using a large cooler or a triple fan design is also unnecessary since the RTX 4060’s GPU is only 115W TGP. A dual fan cooler is sufficient to cool the RTX 4060 GPU.
Size-wise, the MSI RTX 4060 Gaming X measures 247mm in length, 130mm in width, and only 41mm in height or 2-slot. It weighs approximately 587 grams. Basically, it’s a typical two-slot card with two fans, and you don’t need a graphics card support at all. The front cooler shroud is plastic, but the backplate is metal.
MSI uses its TORX FAN 5.0 on its Gaming (X) graphics cards. According to MSI, it is a culmination of fan design improvements to increase the air pressure and flow into the heatsink. Ring arcs link three sets of fan blades that tilt 22 degrees together to maintain high-pressure airflow even at slower rotational speeds. The resulting increased airflow is +23% compared to an axial fan.
TWIN FROZR 9 Thermal Design
- TORX Fan 5.0: Fan blades linked by ring arcs and a fan cowl work together to stabilize and maintain high-pressure airflow.
- Copper Baseplate: Heat from the GPU and memory modules is captured by a copper baseplate and then rapidly transferred to Core Pipes.
- Core Pipe: A square-shaped pipe section makes maximum contact over the GPU, then spreads the heat to the heatsink.
- Airflow Control: Airflow Control guides the air to exactly where it needs to be for maximum cooling.
Under the hood, MSI’s RTX 4060 Gaming X features a 4+1 power phase design; 4 for the GPU and 1 for the VRAM. It also uses GDDR6 memory from SKhynix. Although I encountered no temperature issue, only the GPU and VRAM are actively cooled. The rest of the components, like the VRM, does not make direct contact with the heatsink and is cooled by the air from the fans instead.
Like the RTX 4060 Ti, the RTX 4060 uses a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. If you are looking for some RGB action, you may be slightly disappointed. Unlike the higher-end Gaming (X/Trio) models, the cooler shroud has no RGB lighting. Instead, only the MSI logo at the front-side portion has three RGB LEDs to light it up.
Now let’s see how this graphics card performs.
Test Setup for RTX 4060 Review
I’m using an X670E motherboard with an AMD Ryzen 7 7700X to test the GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card. It is paired with a DDR5-6000MHz CL30 memory kit with the AMD EXPO profile enabled. Resizable BAR was also enabled from the BIOS settings. Below are the rest of the specifications of the system:
|Operating System||Windows 11 Pro|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 7 7700X|
|Motherboard||MSI MPG X670E Carbon WiFi|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR5-6000MHz CL30 AMD EXPO|
|Graphics Card||MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Gaming X|
|OS Drive||MSI Spatium M480 Play|
|Game Drive||SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 and Extreme Portable SSD V2|
|Power Supply||MSI MPG A1000G PCIE5|
|Chassis||MSI MPG Velox 100P Airflow|
|Monitor||MSI Optix MPG321UR-QD 4K 144Hz|
I used NVIDIA’s GeForce Game Ready Driver version 536.20 WHQL. The card was tested in two resolutions – 1920×1080 FHD and 2560×1440 WQHD only. For synthetic benchmarks, I used 3DMark’s benchmark suite.
I also used the following games to test the graphics card in traditional rasterization: Call of Duty Modern Warfare II, Deus Ex Mankind Divided, Forza Horizon 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, Monster Hunter World, Read Dead Redemption 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and The Division 2.
For ray tracing and DLSS-enabled games, I tested the graphics card with Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion, The Witcher 3 Next Gen, A Plague Tale: Requiem, and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
GeForce RTX 4060 Gaming X Benchmarks
Synthetic Benchmark Results
Below are the results that I got with 3D Mark’s benchmark suite. The numbers are the graphics scores.
The RTX 4060 outperforms its predecessor, the RTX 3060, by a small margin. However, it could not surpass the RTX 3060 Ti or even match its performance. It would be nice to see at least the RTX 4060 matching the 3060 Ti’s performance.
GeForce RTX 4060 Gaming X Ray Tracing and DLSS 3 Benchmark Results
Let’s start with the more demanding game titles with ray tracing and/or DLSS enabled. Most of you may not be interested in ray tracing. But with the help of DLSS 2 and DLSS 3 Frame Generation, even an X60-class GPU can offer playable frame rates with ray tracing enabled.
Note that DLSS 3 (Frame Generation) differs from DLSS 2 (upscaling technology). It is a bit tricky since it doesn’t really increase the frame rate natively, unlike DLSS 2. Instead, you get the performance or smoothness of an “X” frame rate, making the game more playable and run or look smoother. However, at this point, DLSS 3 is not that mature yet. I can observe visual imperfections, pixelations, and other visual anomalies. Not to mention
Cyberpunk 2077 is a very graphics-intensive title. At 1080p, while you can get above 60 fps with the RTX 4060, you may need to tone down graphics settings if you plan to play at 1440p. Note that I use the highest graphics settings or ultra in all games. The RTX 4060 can still get higher frame rates if we lower the graphics settings. Enabling DLSS can also help, especially if you want to enable ray tracing effects.
A Plague Tale: Requiem
Plague Tale Requiem is a demanding title, even at 1080p. The RTX 4060 couldn’t achieve at least an average of 60 fps in 1080p. You’ll have to lower the graphics settings or enable DLSS 2 and/or Frame Generation if you want to play it at ultra graphics.
The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3 used to be not that graphics intensive. But with the Next Gen update (DX12), it has become one of the most graphics-intensive titles. However, the Next Gen does look better than the older version. Enabling DLSS 2 and/or Frame Generation is a must if you plan to enable ray tracing effects. Otherwise, you’ll have to tone down the graphics settings or run the game in DX11 mode to get higher frame rates.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
Watch Dogs: Legion
1080p Game Benchmark Results
NVIDIA is marketing the GeForce RTX 4060 as a 1080p gaming GPU. Below are the results using traditional rasterization. I expect that we should get decent frame rates at 1080p, even with high graphics details. It would be disappointing if we didn’t.
By the way, Forza Horizon has its RT enabled. But its ray tracing is only applied to the car’s reflection. So, it’s not that demanding compared to The Witcher 3’s or Cyberpunk 2077’s ray tracing. Below are the results I got using traditional rasterization.
The RTX 4060 offers some performance uplift from its predecessor. It managed to get around 100 fps on average in most games above. The RTX 4060 is a capable 1080p card, but generally, it trails behind the RTX 3060 Ti.
1440p Game Benchmark Results
The RTX 4060 is generally not geared toward 1440p gaming, which is unfortunate. You may be able to get higher frame rates at 1440p by adjusting graphics settings and/or with the help of DLSS. But its Achilles heel is its 8GB of memory, which has a lackluster configuration.
You may not see it on the graph, but although the RTX 4060 managed above 60 fps in most game titles above, sometimes I experience textures or assets not loading immediately. Sometimes some assets would appear suddenly when the character is already (very) close. Or there is a delay for textures to load properly. While I am not sure, its limited VRAM could be one of, or is, the reason.
Admittedly, most of the games above are old. My concern is with newer game titles that require more VRAM. Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X have 16GB of VRAM, and new games are developed based on those specs. I hope, at least, NVIDIA used 10GB or 12GB of VRAM on the RTX 4060 family.
Now that we have seen the results, it’s time to conclude this review. The graphs speak for themselves.
Pricing and Availability
The MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Gaming X comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $329, just $30 more than the base model. Meanwhile, MSI’s base model, the RTX 4060 Ventus graphics card, retail at $299.
MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Gaming X Review Conclusion
I have mixed feelings about the RTX 4060 in general. On the one hand, it does offer some performance increases from its predecessor while consuming less power and with a lower starting price. But on the other hand, it only has 8GB of memory with “gimped” memory specs.
On average, MSI’s RTX 4060 Gaming X consumed only 112 watts of power in my testing. Meanwhile, the RTX 3060 consumed 158 watts on average. Its temperature is also commendable, with an average of only 62°C throughout my tests. MSI’s TWIN Frozr design is a tested and proven cooling solution. It runs silently, inaudible at best, and the GPU’s temperature never reaches 65°C.
While its memory department is lackluster, overall, the RTX 4060 is undeniably a capable 1080p GPU. I have seen a lot of people saying that the RTX 4060 should be a $200 or $250 GPU; some even went as far as “it should be a $150 GPU”. Let’s check the previous 60-class GPUs and look at things objectively.
A Brief Recap
|GPU||VRAM||Price||TGP||Perf. Increase||Release Date|
|GTX 960||2GB GDDR5||$199||120W||0%||Jan. 2015|
|GTX 1060||6GB GDDR5||$299||120W||72%||July 2016|
|RTX 2060||6GB GDDR6||$349||160W||59%||Jan. 2019|
|RTX 3060||12GB GDDR6||$329||170W||19%||Jan. 2021|
|RTX 4060||8GB GDDR6||$299||115W||15%||June 2023|
Let’s start with the GTX 960; it was released on January 2015 with a starting price of $199. It only had 2GB of GDDR5 memory and had a power rating of 120W. In the table above, there’s a column for “performance increase”; what I mean by this is the performance increase from the previous GPU. So, the GTX 1060 is, on average, 72% faster than the GTX 960. The RTX 2060 is, on average, 59% faster than the GTX 1060, and so on.
I got the data above from TechPowerUp since I no longer have these old GPUs. In my comparison between the RTX 4060 vs. RTX 3060, I found that the RTX 4060 is 23% faster than the RTX 3060 in 1080p and around 18% faster in 1440p. Meanwhile, according to TechPowerUp’s data, the RTX 4060 is only 15% faster than the RTX 3060. Of course, there will be differences since the testing methodology is different. That’s why I used TPU’s data for consistency, just for this recap.
If you analyze the data above objectively, the RTX 4060 doesn’t look bad. There’s no way we will get a $150 or $200 RTX 4060, considering that the GTX 960 started at $200. We didn’t even add inflation into the equation. The RTX 4060 is cheaper, and it is the most efficient X60-class GPU so far.
While, undeniably, the performance increase from its predecessor is not that high anymore, the RTX 4060 is still faster than the RTX 3060. Not to mention, it has DLSS 3 Frame Generation and the latest NVENC with AV1 support. Admittedly, those features may not be for everyone, but some may find them useful in their setup.
Is the RTX 4060 Good or Bad?
Well, you have seen the data above and a brief history of the X60-class GPU. Generally speaking, the RTX 4060 is a capable 1080p graphics card; objectively, it is better than its predecessor in several ways. It can also play some games at 1440p, but there is a performance hit, and its 8GB of VRAM can be limiting.
My only real concern is its “gimped” memory (VRAM). While it can play the games today, how about the upcoming titles that will be more graphics intensive and/or requires more VRAM?
The RTX 4060 is a good option for 1080p gaming, especially if you come from a much older GPU. However, if you are torn between the RTX 4060 and the 4060 Ti, I think it’s either the 4060 or the 4070 instead. While more expensive, the RTX 4070 is better overall than the 4060 Ti. The RTX 3060 Ti is also an option if you can find one at around $300 brand new.
At the end of the day, I think the RTX 4060 is still a good option for 1080p. But I have reservations about its 8GB GDDR6 128-bit memory. It may be able to play recent and older games just fine, but I can’t say the same for upcoming game titles. Finally, if you are set on getting an RTX 4060, the MSI RTX 4060 Gaming X is an excellent graphics card overall.