Palit GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GamingPro OC Review 1

Palit GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GamingPro OC Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • An exact price for the Palit RTX 3060 Ti isn't known yet, we're assuming it to be around $450.
  • Faster than RTX 2080 Super
  • Capable of 4K in many games
  • Overclocked out of the box
  • Idle fan stop
  • Second-generation hardware-accelerated raytracing
  • Power limit increased
  • Support for HDMI 2.1, AV1 decode
  • DLSS improved
  • PCI-Express 4.0
  • New GeForce features: 8K, Reflex, Broadcast, G-SYNC 360, and RTX-IO
  • 8 nanometer production process
  • Actual market pricing and supply levels unknown
  • Probably large price increase over $400 MSRP
  • Energy efficiency lost
  • Could be quieter
  • Runs in power limit all the time
  • Memory not overclocked
  • Overclocking more complicated due to power limit
We have six reviews for you today: NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition, ASUS RTX 3060 Ti STRIX OC, Gigabyte RTX 3060 Ti Gaming OC Pro, MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio, Palit RTX 3060 Ti GamingPro OC, and Zotac RTX 3060 Ti Twin Edge.

With the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, NVIDIA is finally pushing Ampere below the $500 price point, which makes it attractive to an even larger audience of gamers. The new RTX 3060 Ti is based on the same GA104 graphics processor as the RTX 3070, just with some rendering units disabled. The RTX 3060 Ti is targeted at definite 1440p gaming with 60 FPS and entry-level 4K at lower details or with DLSS enabled. Raytracing is a core focus of NVIDIA's Ampere lineup, too. The RTX 3060 Ti will offer a great RT experience at 1080p and 1440p in most titles.

Palit has overclocked their RTX 3060 Ti GamingPro OC to a rated boost of 1800 MHz out of the box, which is +135 MHz, or 8%. Averaged over our whole test suite at 4K resolution, we measured a GPU frequency of 1957 MHz, 80 MHz higher than the 1877 MHz we saw on the Founders Edition. Guess these boost ratings are a bit optimistic, but other custom designs aren't doing much better. The Palit RTX 3060 Ti GamingPro OC is 2% faster than the Founders Edition at 1440p, 3% at 4K. Against other cards, it beats the RTX 2080 Super by 5%, which makes it only 9% slower than the RTX 2080 Ti that cost a fortune not long ago. The performance uplift over the RTX 2060 is a staggering 61% and 41% more than the RTX 2060 Super. The RTX 3060 Ti sits right in the middle of the AMD competition—the RX 5700 XT is 23% behind the RTX 3060 Ti and the RX 6800 is 17% faster, which suggests we'll see an RX 6700 Series which will go head-to-head with the RTX 3060 Ti from AMD soon.

With these performance numbers, the RTX 3060 Ti is an excellent choice for gaming at 1440p. It also has enough horsepower to handle 4K, but you'll have to reduce details a little bit in the most demanding games. Considering the price, this will be a reasonable tradeoff for many. I can also imagine plenty of 1080p Full HD gamers wanting the RTX 3060 Ti because it will net them enough FPS for high refresh-rate monitors, even with enabled raytracing at maximum details—just check out the Average FPS page, where the card scores over 144 FPS on average. You can only expect frame rates with e-sports titles to be higher still.

Raytracing performance on the RTX 3060 Ti is comparable to other Ampere cards. Of course, there is still a significant performance hit from enabling raytracing, but it's much smaller than on AMD, which introduced raytracing just weeks ago. For example, RTX 3060 Ti raytracing performance is comparable to the RX 6800 non-XT with DXR raytracing enabled—a card that's otherwise 20% faster in rasterization. Of course, there are only a few raytracing titles out there, but the new game consoles are using RDNA2 technology, so this might change in the future. NVIDIA also has DLSS, which uses upscaling to improve performance, a technology AMD does not have at all, but they are working on something similar.

Palit's cooler design looks elegant because it is long—30 cm long while fitting into a standard-slot height profile. The triple-slot, triple-fan cooler does a good job at keeping the card cool. We measured 70°C under load, which is a few degrees better than the Founders Edition. In our apples-to-apples direct cooler comparison test, we confirmed that the design is indeed slightly more powerful than the FE cooler. Unfortunately, Palit chose more aggressive fan settings because they wanted to beat the FE temperatures, so noise levels are higher than on NVIDIA's card. With 34 dBA, the card isn't noisy in any way, just more audible than the Founders Edition, which is very quiet. It's surprising how well NVIDIA's dual-slot design can compete with much bigger coolers. We also tested other RTX 3060 Ti custom designs today, and a lot of them had trouble competing with NVIDIA's heatsink, only the top cards from MSI and ASUS could offer lower temperatures and noise levels at the same time. NVIDIA introduced fan stop on their Founders Edition with Ampere, which means all board partners are expected to adopt this crucial feature, too. Outside of gaming, the fans on the Palit GamingPro will shut off completely for the perfect noise-free experience.

While NVIDIA is using their new 12-pin power connector on the Founders Edition, Palit is sticking with standard dual 8-pin PCIe—good. For some reason, we saw surprisingly high power draw of 245 W from the Palit GamingPro, while the Founders Edition drew 200 W. Palit dialed up the power limit, which is great, and needed for meaningful gains from the factory overclock, but I do have to wonder whether 3% performance is worth a 23% increase in power consumption. This brings performance per watt down by quite a bit and puts more stress on the heatsink.

While there has been a lot of discussion on 10 GB VRAM for the GeForce RTX 3080, even more so considering AMD offers 16 GB on their cards, the RTX 3060 Ti will be perfectly fine with 8 GB. It offers substantially lower shading power compared to these "4K" cards, so the limiting factor will be the shading-rate capability, not the amount of memory. Next-gen consoles do have more memory, but their 16 GB is for the OS, game, and graphics combined, which means effective graphics memory is close enough to the 8 GB offered by the RTX 3060 Ti. I've been hearing good things from developers about the direct-to-GPU disk streaming capabilities of the new consoles, especially on PS5, which could reduce VRAM requirements considerably. Guess we'll have to wait and see. Should you ever feel VRAM is running out, just sell the RTX 3060 Ti and buy whatever card is right at that time.

NVIDIA is positioning the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition at $399, which is an extremely competitive price. Palit isn't sure about their final pricing yet, but they expect it to be around $450. I find $50 a pretty steep price increase over the FE, which runs almost as fast, almost as cool, and quieter in a dual-slot form factor. Why should anyone pay that much extra? I suspect the answer will lie in the supply levels. Looking at recent launches from both AMD and NVIDIA, it seems MSRP prices are a fantasy true for only the first batch, there to impress potential customers, with actual retail pricing ending up much higher. If the RTX 3070 Founders Edition comes back in stock at $500, it could also be an interesting alternative as it brings 10% higher performance and better noise levels to the table for 10% more than the Palit GamingPro OC.
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