NVIDIA today launched its GeForce RTX 3060 "Ampere" graphics card, and the new MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio is the company's premium interpretation of the new midrange offering. Historically, NVIDIA made the bulk of its sales to gamers of a new graphics architecture from its xx60 middle-of-the-market series, starting all the way back with the 9600 GT, which NVIDIA refers to as the "sweetspot." Cards from this segment are fast enough to let you max out a game at mainstream resolutions, or game at higher resolutions with reduced settings.
The new GeForce RTX 3060 retains the "sweetspot" entry price of $329, or roughly that of the Xbox Series S. It debuts the new 8 nm "GA106" silicon on the desktop platform and allows NVIDIA's custom board partners enormous headroom to either beef up the chip, as is the case with this MSI Gaming X Trio card, or keep costs low to come up with simple designs that skirt the baseline price. It is also designed to offer a significant performance uplift from the GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB "Pascal," another very popular card from the NVIDIA stable. The card is designed to offer 1440p gaming with fairly high details, or 1080p gaming with maxed out raytracing. You could also leverage DLSS 2.0 to crank up the display resolution.
The new GeForce Ampere architecture marks the 2nd generation of RTX Technology, which combines new Ampere CUDA cores with concurrent FP32+INT32 math performance, 2nd generation RT cores which double the intersection performance over the previous generation, hardware for raytraced motion-blur effects, and 3rd generation Tensor cores that leverage the sparsity phenomenon in neural nets to increase AI inference performance significantly.
The GeForce RTX 3060 comes with 3,584 Ampere CUDA cores, 112 3rd generation Tensor cores, 28 Ampere RT cores, 112 TMUs, and 48 ROPs. NVIDIA sweetens the deal by doubling the memory amount over the RTX 2060 to 12 GB. The memory bus width and memory type are unchanged—192-bit GDDR6. The memory clock has been increased slightly to 15 Gbps.
MSI supercharges the RTX 3060 with its top-of-the-line GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio. This card powers the RTX 3060 with an over-specced VRM solution and a meaty Tri Frozr cooling solution that's optimized for extremely low gaming noise levels, is loaded with all the RGB bling you could ask, and sports high-end looks when installed. MSI is also giving the card its highest factory-overclocked speeds with the maximum GPU Boost frequency set to 1852 MHz (compared to 1777 MHz reference). MSI is not providing any pricing guidance for this card, but we expect it will come at a significant premium over the $329 starting price, which is very unlikely to hold for more than a day or two.