3 Reasons to Avoid Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 8GB GPU

Back in October 2022, Nvidia quietly released another variant of the GeForce RTX 3060 GPU with 8GB of VRAM.

Despite being built on the same GA106 silicon, the revised model suffers from lower memory capacity and restrained memory bandwidth. Even more surprising is that the new version costs roughly the same as the 12GB model, while offering 15-20% less performance on average.

Based on these insights, here are three reasons why you shouldn’t be considering Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 8GB GPU for your next upgrade.

1. Poor price-to-performance ratio

In an effort to cut down on memory capacity without switching to a lower-density chip, Nvidia made some adjustments to the GeForce RTX 3060 8GB GPU’s memory subsystem. Compared to the original 12GB model, the 8GB variant sees a significant reduction in its bus width from 192-bit to 128-bit.

Furthermore, the new variant packs in a much smaller 1.5MB L2 cache while producing an effective bandwidth of only 224GB/s, which is a massive 61% reduction over the 12GB model. Aside from differences in memory capacity and overall bandwidth, both GPUs share similar specifications with 3,584 CUDA cores, an advertised boost clock of 1,777MHz, and a more reasonable 170W TGP.

Now, a major disadvantage of using a narrower memory bus is its effect on the full bandwidth of the GPU, especially when you’re running graphically demanding games at high resolutions. In this case, even if you don’t exceed the 8GB VRAM buffer on the new RTX 3060, its 128-bit bus width will certainly stifle performance in traditionally GPU-bound games.

From benchmarks alone, it’s clear that the RTX 3060 12GB offers a far better gaming experience than the 8GB version in most modern AAA titles. Furthermore, for games that benefit from higher memory capacity, the performance difference between these GPUs can increase to as much as 35%.

While gaming performance on the new RTX 3060 isn’t terrible by any means, the pricing structure for this GPU tells a completely different story. Coming in at an MSRP of $329 for the base model, the RTX 3060 8GB is noticeably slower than the base 12GB version and offers little or no value for budget-conscious gamers and content creators, especially when you only pay the $30 price. There are factors between the differences. both types.

2. Anti-Consumer Practices of Nvidia

With weak performance, compromised specs, and a much higher price tag, the GeForce RTX 3060 8GB is a product of Nvidia’s anti-consumer practices in recent years. A similar situation happened when Nvidia “unlaunched” the RTX 4080 12GB a few weeks before its release date and then relaunched the exact same GPU, this time with the RTX 4070 Ti designation.

According to Nvidia’s official unlaunch statement, the RTX 4080 12GB is a “fantastic graphics card” in its own right, but suffers from a poor naming scheme compared to the 16GB variant. Since the GPU was not limited to the low memory capacity, it received enough backlash from the gaming community to force Nvidia to stop production entirely.

Unfortunately, the RTX 3060 8GB appears to suffer from the same naming convention that is confusing and misleading to the average consumer. If you’re not familiar with the performance difference between these two GPUs, you could be paying the same amount for essentially an inferior product at its current retail price.

Instead of releasing it as a 60-bit GPU, Nvidia could rebrand the RTX 3060 8GB variant to a lower-end product like the RTX 3050 Ti or RTX 3050 Super. However, at this point, we can only expect the 8GB model to drop in price by about 20-30% to make up for its performance deficit.

3. Better option with competitive price tag

Given that the GeForce RTX 3060 8GB GPU retails for around $329-$379 in the US, it’s possible to find better options from both AMD and Intel at similar or lower prices. While the 12GB variant offers an incredible price-to-performance ratio over the cut-down 8GB model, its value proposition starts to falter as soon as we compare it with direct contenders like the Intel Arc A770 or even the Radeon RX 6700XT goes.

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