NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Ti (8GB) review
NVIDIA's latest RTX 40 series card, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8GB, priced at US$399, looks set to make a significant splash in the mid-rangegaming market. The RTX 4060 Ti 8GB quite literally follows in the footsteps of its well-valued predecessor, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, which remains, in my opinion, the best value for money GPU of the last generation.
The RTX 3060 Ti stood out among the powerful RTX 30 series lineup, delivering excellent gameplay at 1080p and commendable performance at 1440p, at the same US$399 price tag. While the new RTX 4060 Ti maintains the same price point, it incorporates NVIDIA’s impressive RTX 40 series features, including DLSS 3, Reflex, RTX Video Super Resolution, advanced ray tracing, AV1 encoding, and outstanding power efficiency just to name a few.
However, recommending the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB is not as straightforward as it is.
NVIDIA’s technical decisions, such as reducing core counts and modifying the memory subsystem, have optimised the card for 1080p resolution but limited its appeal for 1440p gaming. These changes also result in the RTX 4060 Ti being a somewhat underwhelming upgrade in terms of raw performance as compared to its last-gen predecessor. With just 8GB of memory, it may not handle all games at maximum settings, even at 1080p – not just in my tests but also according to NVIDIA's own admission.
That said, there is a 16GB version of the RTX 4060 Ti available this coming July and will cost US$499, which is quite a premium top up.
This leads to a mind-bogging but no less important question: Would you be willing to spend US$400 on an 8GB 1080p graphics card in 2023? Here’s my TL;DR answer:
You shouldn’t, if you already own a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti card. Even if you own an older card, such as an RTX 2060 Super (which NVIDIA is saying that’s who the RTX 4060 Ti card is targeted at), it might just be more worth while to save up and invest in an RTX 4070 card instead.
But if you are curious about the longer version of the "why this isn't the RTX 40 series GPU you are looking for", read on.
When NVIDIA announced the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB and 16GB GPUs, they also revealed a third and non-Ti RTX 4060 variant. We know that both 8GB and 16GB versions of the RTX 4060 Ti are literally carbon copies of each other in terms of specifications except for the VRAM count. Comparing the RTX 4060 Ti and the RTX 3060 Ti reveals a few significant points.
|GeForceGraphics Card||RTX4090 FE||RTX 4080 FE||RTX 4070 Ti (ROG Strix)||RTX 4070 FE||RTX 4060 Ti (8GB) FE||RTX 3060 Ti FE|
|GPU||Ada Lovelace (AD102)||Ada Lovelace (AD103)||Ada Lovelace (AD104)||Ada Lovelace (AD104)||Ada Lovelace (AD106)||Ampere (GA104)|
|Transistors||76 billion||45 billion||35.8 billion||35.8 billion||22.9 billion||17.4 billion|
|Streaming Multi-processors (SM)||128||76||60||46||34||38|
|Tensor Cores||512(Gen 4)||304(Gen 4)||240(Gen 4)||184(Gen 4)||136 (Gen 4)||152 (Gen 3)|
|RT Cores||128(Gen 3)||76(Gen 3)||60(Gen 3)||46(Gen 3)||34 (Gen 3)||38 (Gen 2)|
|GPU base / boost clocks (MHz)||2230 / 2520||2205 / 2505||2310 / 2760||1920 / 2475||2310 / 2525||1410 / 1665|
|Memory||24GB GDDR6X||16GB GDDR6X||12GB GDDR6X||12GB GDDR6X||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6|
|Memory bus width||384-bit||256-bit||192-bit||192-bit||128-bit||256-bit|
|Price (at launch)||US$1,599||US$1,199||US$799||US$599||US$399||US$399|
The new card actually falls behind the card it’s replacing in terms of CUDA, tensor, and RT cores. This translates to a modest overall performance boost, and in many games and resolutions, the generational performance shows little improvement. Although the card boasts impressive power efficiency and enhanced GPU and memory clock speeds, it falls somewhat short as an upgrade from the RTX 3060 Ti.
Furthermore, the RTX 4060 Ti stands out within the RTX 40 series as the only GPU with fewer CUDA, tensor, and RT cores compared to its predecessor. The memory bus width also takes a significant step down, reducing from 256-bit to 128-bit. While narrower memory buses are a common feature across most of the lineup, a 50 per cent reduction is quite substantial.
To compensate for these limitations, NVIDIA has increased the GPU and memory clock speeds and implemented changes to the Ada Lovelace architecture. Notably, a larger L2 cache helps reduce the reliance on the relatively slow 128-bit bus, minimising trips to the main memory. While these adjustments provide some benefits, they don't consistently address all performance challenges.
Another potential concern for the card's longevity is its 8GB of RAM, which is the same as the RTX 3060 Ti. With newer games pushing the limits even at 1080p when using maximum settings, the 8GB capacity will eventually prove to be insufficient in the very near future – and not many of us can afford to switch out graphics cards every two years.
As a result, the RTX 4060 Ti sometimes falls short of its predecessor, offering only a modest overall performance boost. Although it achieves around 15 to 20 percent improvement in best-case scenarios, the generational performance remains largely stagnant in many games and resolutions as you will see in my benchmark results below. Despite commendable power efficiency and upgraded clock speeds, the card disappoints as an upgrade from the RTX 3060 Ti.
For benchmarks, our graphics card test rig comes with the following specifications:
Intel 12th Gen Core i9-12900K CPUROG Maximus Z690 HeroSamsung 980 Pro 1TB SSDKingston Fury 32GB DDR5Windows 11 Home 64-bitASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ 4K Gaming Monitor
Apart from the existing RTX 40 series cards, there’s also the RTX 3060 Ti (for obvious reasons) used in the comparisons. I have already revealed how the RTX 4060 Ti card compares to its last-gen counterpart and the charts below sum up why I thought NVIDIA tripped up with this GPU.
Our tests show the RTX 4060 Ti generally leads its RTX 3060 Ti predecessor, albeit by a slim to negligible margin in most games. It’s at 1440p and 4K that it struggles to jump ahead of the older card by a respectable margin, if at all.
Worse, we can see how the RTX 4060 Ti is actually slower than the RTX 3060 Ti in content creation benchmarks. You’d expect a new card to perform much better, but the RTX 4060 Ti really fails to meet my expectations, especially considering how impressively the higher-end RTX 40 series cards have fared.
NVIDIA seems to be relying on the power efficiency of the Ada Lovelace architecture and the comprehensive feature set of the GeForce lineup for the RTX 4060 Ti. Sadly, this is simply not good enough for a next-gen GPU.
Not the RTX 40 series GPUyou are looking for
The RTX 4060 Ti is the weakest GPU in the RTX 40-series lineup so far, and it all boils down to its mediocre raw performance. On average, the RTX 4060 Ti only provides an average 10 per cent performance boost compared to the RTX 3060 Ti at 1080p resolution. At 1440p, the margin is even narrower. It’s really a disappointingly small improvement and to make things worse, it’s even slower in content creation tasks.
The RTX 4060 Ti’s narrow 128-bit memory interface is certainly a limiting factor even with the inclusion of 32MB of L2 cache.
Considering the modest performance uplift in games, NVIDIA is heavily relying on DLSS 3 (which only RTX 40 series GPUs support) to make the RTX 4060 Ti attractive. Now, I’m not taking anything away from DLSS 3 – a fantastic technology that I adore – but there is still very limited support for it as far as games are concerned. At last count, there are barely 30 games supporting the feature. The number of games that support DLSS 2 (and which the RTX 3060 Ti supports), on the other hand, are already in the couple of hundreds.
And at US$399 price point, we must address the elephant in the room: 8GB of VRAM is simply inadequate in today's gaming landscape. Certainly not for a card that costs this much. I’m not saying that 8GB of video memory is useless or incapable of running games, but consider the direction the video games industry is heading, when new games like The Last of Us Part 1, Hogwarts Legacy and Resident Evil 4 Remake have proven just how hungry for video memory future games will be.
So in my opinion, a US$399 graphics card with 8GB of VRAM is unfortunately a dealbreaker for this class of GPUin 2023. Unless you have an RTX 2060 Super or an even older GTX 10 series card, I simply don’t see any compelling reason to switch to the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB. What about the 16GB version when it’s out? Well, I already mentioned that variant will cost an additional US$100 andthe GeForce RTX 4070 just seems to be the more sensiblechoice, with a price tag that better justifies its performance (and not to mention a longer shelf life) than any of the RTX 4060 versions.
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