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GeForce RTX 3060 8 GB: New mid-range NVIDIA GPU shown to offer 35% less performance than original 12 GB model

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The RTX 3060 8 GB is an RTX 3060 in name only. (Image source: NVIDIA)

NVIDIA's latest mid-range graphics card has arrived, with the company electing to re-run the RTX 3060 rather than offering up an Ada Lovelace-based model. While the GeForce RTX 3060 8 GB contains the same GA106 GPU as its 12 GB sibling, NVIDIA's memory changes significantly hamper in-game performance.

Hardware Unboxed has outlined the performance of the RTX 3060 8 GB, which NVIDIA announced last month with a new RTX 3060 Ti. While the latter received a GDDR6X VRAM upgrade, the RTX 3060 8 GB has 4 GB of VRAM less than the original RTX 3060, as well as a narrower 128-bit memory bus. As a result, the RTX 3060 8 GB delivers 240 GB/s of memory bandwidth, two-thirds of what the original RTX 3060 manages. Unsurprisingly, the newer RTX 3060 falls short of its older namesake in benchmarks, despite containing the same GA106 GPU.

According to Hardware Unboxed, the difference between the two models is stark in certain titles. As the YouTube channel discusses in the video below, the RTX 3060 8 GB offers up to 35% worse performance in some modern triple-A titles like Dying Light 2 than the original RTX 3060. However, a 17% gap exists between the pair in a dozen games tested at 1080p. A similar gap exists at 1440p too, with Hardware Unboxed using these resolutions to prevent VRAM usage from being a bottleneck.

Although NVIDIA has every right to effectively launch a cut-down RTX 3060, the 8 GB and 12 GB variants currently sell for roughly as much as each other in many markets. Neither NVIDIA nor its board partners have taken steps to inform consumers of what model they are purchasing, either. Instead, both models feature the same branding, even though 'RTX 3050 Ti' would be free to use for a new desktop graphics card. Incidentally, the decision to offer a slower version of the RTX 3060 flies in the face of NVIDIA 'unlaunching' the RTX 4080 12 GB in October.

Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 7322 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018

Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.

Alex Alderson, 2022-12- 3 (Update: 2022-12- 3)

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