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Nvidia’s new, $399 GeForce RTX 3060 Ti offers ray tracing support

After a lot of speculation and anticipation, Nvidia has finally taken the wraps off of its GeForce RTX 3060 Ti graphics card. The 3060 Ti joins Nvidia’s other RTX 3000 series GPUs — like the RTX 3070, RTX 3080 flagship, and enthusiast-class RTX 3090. With a price of just $399 when it becomes available tomorrow, December 2, it is one of the most affordable cards capable of playing ray tracing games on the market.

“We have a brand-new addition to our RTX 30-series of graphics cards,” said Justin Walker, Nvidia product manager for GeForce. “It’s my pleasure to introduce you to the GeForce GTX 3060 Ti — a superpowerful new GPU with 16 shader teraflops, 32 RT teraflops, and 130 tensor teraflops. There’s plenty of memory bandwidth, with a 256-bit memory interface running eight gigs of G6 memory.”

Compared to the prior-generation RTX 2080 Super, Nvidia claims that the RTX 3060 Ti is more powerful and faster.

“This GPU is going to be faster than an RTX 2080 Super,” Walker added, “And for a 60 series GPU to be faster than than the previous-generation 80 Super, that’s going to offer just a tremendous value.”

Nvidia claims the new RTX 3060 Ti will deliver much better performance at rasterizing, ray tracing, and rendering compared to the previous RTX 2060 Super.

Like its higher-priced siblings in the RTX 3000 family, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is based on Nvidia’s second-generation ray tracing architecture called Ampere. By making internal architectural changes to how the GPU works, Nvidia said the company was able to reduce latency and bring faster response times to games to get more performance when ray tracing is enabled. The company is using its CUDA cores, its RT cores, and its tensor cores to minimize any latency, dropping from 51 ms in response to just 12 ms. The use of artificial intelligence to upscale images in a scene is a big part of how Nvidia uses DLSS to minimize performance drops when ray tracing is enabled in games.

During a demo, Nvidia showed that not only will you get more frame rates, but you’ll also get more details out of scenes with DLSS enabled at 4K resolution. Using the flagship RTX 3080 GPU, Nvidia said it was able to play at 26 fps in 4K without DLSS, but the frame rate jumped to more than double at 64 fps with DLSS.

The company said the RTX 3060 Ti should get gamers some great performance from titles like Cyberpunk 2077Watch Dogs: LegionCall of Duty: Black Ops, Marvel’s Avengers, Pumpkin Jack, War Thunder, Ghostrunner, Ready or Not, Enlisted, and more that will be arriving this holiday. In released benchmarks, Nvidia showed that the 3060 Ti readily outpaced the RTX 2080 Super in Horizon Zero Dawn, Doom Eternal, Red Dead Redemption 2, Control, Minecraft, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood at 1440p. In Gears 5 and Watch Dogs: Legion, performance between the two cards was about equal.

If you’re interested in the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, you can likely expect supply shortages similar to those seen with Nvidia’s prior recent GPU releases. The company cited unprecedented demand, noting that launch day traffic of the RTX 3000 series launch was 10 times the traffic of previous launches. Interested gamers will have to likely pre-order early or wait for Nvidia to replenish its supply of cards.

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Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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