At CES 2021, Nvidia announced a new, cheaper graphics cards in its RTX 3000 series.
The RTX 3060 is positioned as the ideal upgrade for the GTX 1060, which could play AAA titles (at the time) at 60fps.
That’s what the RTX 3060 is designed to do in 2021, except of course it’s said to do it with RTX turned on.
RTX 3060 at a glance:
Launches on 25 February at 12pm ET/5pm GMT
Can run the latest titles with RTX on at 60fps
£299 / $329 MSRP, but no Founders Edition this time
When will the RTX 3060 be released?
Unlike the 3060 Ti, which went on sale the very next day (2 December) after launch, that’s not the case here. The RTX 3060 will be available from the end of February 2021.
As initially rumoured and eventually confirmed by Nvidia, the RTX 3060 will go on sale on 25 February 2021 at 9am PT/12pm ET, or 5pm BST for those of us in the UK.
That’s three hours later than previous Nvidia GPU launches, which typically launch at 2pm GMT, possibly in a bid to give US fans more of a chance to pick one up without getting up too early in the morning.
After all, as we know from recent GPU launches, it’ll likely be very hard to get your hands on an RTX 3060 if you’re not ready with your credit card the very second it launches.
How much does the new Nvidia RTX 3060 cost?
The RTX 30 range now starts with the RTX 3060 which will cost £299 / $329. The 3060 Ti – the previous cheapest model – starts at £369. However, with stock shortages and Nvidia not producing a 3060 Founders Edition at the suggested RRP, it’s likely that the RTX 3060 will cost significantly more.
Wccftech discovered a store in Pakistan prematurely selling the Palit variant of the RTX 3060 ahead of its expected launch later this month with a whopping $750 USD price tag – almost double Nvidia’s MSRP – which doesn’t bode well for the ‘entry-level’ nature of the upcoming GPU.
Although Nvidia didn’t go into much detail about the 3060’s specs during the launch, it did say that it has twice the raster performance and 10x the ray-tracing performance of the GTX 1060.
Fortunately, the full details can be found on Nvidia’s website which confirm rumours that it has 3584 CUDA cores and 12GB of GDDR6 RAM (oddly, more than the 3060 Ti). It has a 192-bit bus to facilitate this.
Plus, the 3060 will be the first to support Resizeable BAR that allows all GPU memory to be accessed at once by the CPU.
Nvidia has also confirmed that it’ll be nerfing the crypto-mining capabilities of the RTX 3060 by halving the hash rate, apparently in a bid to get the GPU in the hands of more gamers.
It hasn’t forgotten about miners though; in its place, it’ll be releasing the NVIDIA CMP, or Cryptocurrency Mining Processor, product line tailored to specific needs of miners, ditching things like display outputs for better airflow and better stacking capabilities. It’ll likely still be hard to get a hold of one initially thanks to scalpers and bots, but at least you won’t be competing with crypto miners too.
Previous rumours suggested that Nvidia would also launch an RTX 3050 Ti with 3,584 CUDA cores and 6GB of RAM, and an entry-level RTX 3050 with 2,304 CUDA cores and 4GB GDDR6 memory. But that didn’t happen: the event was geared more towards the new RTX 30-series gaming laptops which will cost from $999 (likely around £999).
Where can I buy an Nvidia RTX 3060?
Of course, the biggest question isn’t the specs of the new card. It’s the availability, since it’s almost impossible to buy the existing cards because they’re always out of stock.
The cards will likely be available from the following retailers in the UK. Currently it’s not possible to pre-order the card, and if previous releases are anything to go by, you won’t be able to – it’ll likely be first come, first served, at release.
We’ll update this section with specific links, along with more retailers as listings go live.
See also where to buy the Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti in the UK and, if you’re unsure of which graphics card is best for you, take a look at which Nvidia GPU should I buy?