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MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Gaming X Review – One of the Best RTX 4060 Cards

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 rtx 4060 gaming x review

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 CardRTX 4060RTX 4060 TiRTX 4070RTX 4070 TiRTX 4080RTX 4090
Fabrication ProcessTSMC 4N NVIDIA Custom ProcessTSMC 4N NVIDIA Custom ProcessTSMC 4N NVIDIA Custom ProcessTSMC 4N NVIDIA Custom ProcessTSMC 4N NVIDIA Custom ProcessTSMC 4 nm NVIDIA Custom Process
Transistor Count18.9 billion22.9 billion35.8 billion35.8 billion45.9 billion76.3 billion
ArchitectureAda LovelaceAda LovelaceAda LovelaceAda LovelaceAda LovelaceAda Lovelace
GPUAD107AD106AD104AD104AD103AD102
Graphics Processing Clusters3345711
Texture Processing Clusters121723303864
Streaming Multiprocessors2434466076128
CUDA Cores3072435258887680972816384
Tensor Cores96 (4th Gen)136 (4th Gen)184 (4th Gen)240 (4th Gen)304 (4th Gen)512 (4th Gen)
RT Cores24 (3rd Gen)34 (3rd Gen)46 (3rd Gen)60 (3rd Gen)76 (3rd Gen)128 (3rd Gen)
Texture Units96136184240304512
ROPs48486480112176
Boost Clock1830 MHz2535 MHz2475 MHz2610 MHz2505 MHz2520 MHz
Memory Clock8500 MHz9000 MHz10500 MHz10500 MHz11200 MHz10501 MHz
Memory Data Rate17 Gbps18 Gbps21 Gbps21 Gbps22.4 Gbps21 Gbps
L2 Cache Size24,576 KB32,768 KB36,864 KB49,152 KB65,536 KB73,728 KB
Total Video Memory8 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR6 / 16 GB GDDR612 GB GDDR6X12 GB GDDR6X16 GB GDDR6X24 GB GDDR6X
Memory Interface128-bit 128-bit192-bit192-bit256-bit384-bit
Total Memory Bandwidth272 GB/s288 GB/s (554 GB/s effective)504 GB/s504 GB/s716.8 GB/s1008 GB/s
Texture Rate236 GigaTexels/sec345 GigaTexels/sec455.4 Gigatexels/sec626 Gigatexels/sec761.5 Gigatexels/sec1290.2 GigaTexels/sec
Connectors3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI
Minimum Power Supply550 Watts550 Watts650 Watts700 Watts750 Watts850 Watts
Total Graphics Power (TGP)115 Watts160 Watts200 Watts285 Watts320 Watts450 Watts
PCI Express InterfaceGen 4 (x8)Gen 4 (x8)Gen 4Gen 4Gen 4Gen 4
Release DateJune 2023May 2023 - 8GB
July 2023 - 16GB
April 2023January 2023November 2022October 2022
Launch Price$299$399 - 8GB
$499 - 16GB
$599 $799 $1,199 $1,599

Check the latest pricing and availability: (#ad)
GeForce RTX 4060 graphics cards are available on Amazon.com here.
GeForce RTX 4060 Ti graphics cards are available on Amazon.com here.

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 SystemWindows 11 Pro
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 7 7700X
MotherboardMSI MPG X670E Carbon WiFi
MemoryCorsair Vengeance RGB DDR5-6000MHz CL30 AMD EXPO
Graphics CardMSI GeForce RTX 4060 Gaming X
OS DriveMSI Spatium M480 Play
Game DriveSanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 and Extreme Portable SSD V2
Power SupplyMSI MPG A1000G PCIE5
ChassisMSI MPG Velox 100P Airflow
MonitorMSI 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.

msi rtx 4060 gpuz

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

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.

Check the latest pricing and availability: (#ad)
GeForce RTX 4060 graphics cards are available on Amazon.com here.
GeForce RTX 4060 Ti graphics cards are available on Amazon.com here.

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

GPUVRAMPriceTGPPerf. IncreaseRelease Date
GTX 9602GB GDDR5$199 120W0%Jan. 2015
GTX 10606GB GDDR5$299 120W72%July 2016
RTX 20606GB GDDR6$349 160W59%Jan. 2019
RTX 306012GB GDDR6$329 170W19%Jan. 2021
RTX 40608GB GDDR6$299 115W15%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.

Final Thoughts

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.

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Author
Peter Paul
Peter is a PC enthusiast and avid gamer with several years of hands-on experience in testing and reviewing PC components, audio equipment, and various tech devices. He offers a genuine, no-nonsense perspective, helping consumers make informed choices in the ever-changing world of technology.

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