Wednesday, May 29, 2024

With the RTX 4060 at $299, Nvidia reverses course on pricing

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Price increases have been the name of the game for Nvidia’s RTX 40-series cards so far, but the introduction of the RTX 4060 family attempts to reverse course.

The RTX 4060 Ti 8GB comes in at $399, matching the retail price of the 3060 Ti, while the 4060 Ti 16GB costs $100 more. But the RTX 4060 is where the real value’s at this time around. It will retail in July for just $299, undercutting the previous-gen RTX 3060 by $30 and the RTX 2060 by $50. It hasn’t been since the GTX 1060 Founders Edition launched in 2016 that we’ve seen prices this low.

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Now on the surface, that might not sound like a huge deal. But it’s pretty dramatic considering the price hikes on Nvidia’s high-end GPUs this year like the RTX 4090 and the increasing cost of just about everything in the world right now.

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RTX 4060 Ti
RTX 4060
RTX 3060 Ti
RTX 3060
Shaders
22 TFLOPs
15 TFLOPs
16.2 TFLOPs
13 TFLOPs
VRAM
8GB / 16GB
8GB
8GB
12GB
L2 cache
32MB
28MB
4MB
48MB
Memory type
GDDR6
GDDR6
GDDR6X
GDDR6
Memory bus
128-bit
128-bit
256-bit
192-bit
TGP
160w/165w
115w
200w
175w
Price
$399/$499
$299
$399
$329

The $299 price of the RTX 3060 also gets it closer to what Intel is offering with the $289 Arc A750. Both have 8GB of VRAM, but Nvidia’s ray tracing and DLSS features are easily worth $10 these days.

Of course, how the RTX 4060 performs will ultimately determine if it’s worth the price. I’m not expecting a huge jump in raw performance over the RTX 3060 — after all, in terms of shaders, the RTX 4060 can only produce two more TLOPs (trillion floating-point operations per second) than its predecessor. That’s even slightly behind the RTX 3060 Ti.

The gen-over-gen gains on the RTX 4060 Ti seem more in impressive by comparison. Like in the 30-series, the difference in performance between the RTX 4060 and RTX 4060 Ti looks to be significant.

On average, however, Nvidia expects a 20% jump in performance for the RTX 4060 over the RTX 3060 and a 70% jump over the RTX 2060. The chart below shows a handful of games tested at the highest settings, which include maxed-out ray tracing and DLSS.

Let’s not forget — the RTX 4060 has 4GB less VRAM than the RTX 3060 too. The increased L2 cache might make up for some of that difference, but the lack of VRAM is certainly making some nervous. But with $200 separating the RTX 4060 and the 16GB RTX 4060 Ti, that’s not an easy decision to make.

But the strength of Nvidia’s cards these days is more about RTX and AI than just raw power. The bump to 3rd-gen RT cores and 4th-gen Tensor cores, along with DLSS 3 frame generation, make the RTX 4060 more than meets the eye — at least, according to Nvidia. When you throw in frame generation via DLSS 3, Nvidia says you’ll get 70% better frame rates with the RTX 4060 over the RTX 3060.

The much larger 24MB L2 cache help RTX performance too, along with improving power efficiency across the board. Speaking of power, the RTX 4060 has a TGP (total graphics power) of just 115 watts, which is another dramatic reduction from the 170 watts of the RTX 3060.

It should be noted that prices on these cheaper cards can also vary more since Nvidia doesn’t offer a first-party Founders Edition. In fact, of the three GPUs, Nvidia will only Founders Editions for the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB.

So, when the RTX 4060 becomes available to purchase in July, expect to see a variety of prices from board partners.

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