The GeForce RTX 3060 was deemed “good” by PCWorld senior editor Brad Chacos in an early 2018 review. He didn’t exactly sing its praises, saying that the GPU’s use of 12GB of GDDR6 memory for 1080p gaming was unnecessary and expensive at a time when graphics cards were scarce. Nvidia has now unveiled an 8GB version of the RTX 3060, which is the card it arguably should have made available more than a year and a half ago but didn’t.
The 8GB edition of the card is introduced without fanfare, appearing as little more than a new line on Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Family page with no accompanying press release or blog post. Retailers should begin stocking manufacturer variations of the lower card in November, though the exact pricing is anyone’s guess given the volatile nature of GPU prices as of late. It would have been a miracle if you could have found a 12GB RTX 3060 at retail price of 329. The 12GB card may be purchased for around 370 to 410 on the open market nowadays.
Another RTX 3060 Ti model was unveiled by Nvidia in the same fashion. The 8GB of memory it originally shipped with has been retained, however it now comes in the form of GDDR6X modules rather than its predecessors’ GDDR6. Unless you’re using ray tracing or other high-end visual effects at very high resolutions, the performance advantage from this minor increase in memory speed will be minimal for most games.
Nvidia is smart to update the RTX 3060 series, especially with a supposedly more affordable variant. It is the first time that the company has announced that its next generation, the RTX 40-series, would be marketed alongside the older 30-series designs. Even if the release of more affordable xx60 models was always going to be delayed by at least a few months, this provides Nvidia a “new” card to sell in the interim. And maybe some breathing room to roll out those newer, cheaper cards while buyers wearily eye the cheaper alternatives from AMD and Intel across the aisle.