Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition review: Spectacular 1440p gaming

This is the 1440p graphics card for most people. Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is faster than last-generation's RTX 2080 Super for half the price.

Credit: Brad Chacos/IDG

GeForce RTX 3060 Ti ray tracing benchmarks

While we were busy running benchmarks, we flipped on real-time ray tracing and Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling in a handful of games. Enabling ray tracing imparts a massive performance impact; DLSS’s AI-enhanced image upscaling claws a lot of those frames back. (DLSS can also be activated separately from ray tracing to drive your in-game frame rates beyond what Nvidia’s hardware pumps out natively.) We dove deeper into Ampere’s ray tracing and DLSS performance in our RTX 3080 review if you’re interested in more analysis.

We tested ray tracing capabilities set to Ultra in four games, each deploying a different version of the cutting-edge lighting technology. Shadow of the Tomb Raider uses (surprise!) ray-traced shadows; the ray-traced global illumination in Metro Exodus truly transforms the look and feel of that game; Wolfenstein Youngblood and Ubisoft’s strenuous Watch Dogs Legion show off ray-traced reflections on the rival Vulkan and DirectX 12 APIs, respectively. Tomb Raider and Metro use Nvidia’s original DLSS 1.0 implementation, while Wolfenstein and Watch Dogs deploy the faster, better DLSS 2.0.

rt metro Brad Chacos/IDG
rt sotr Brad Chacos/IDG
rt watch dogs Brad Chacos/IDG
rt wolf Brad Chacos/IDG

No real surprises here. The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is roughly as fast as the last-gen RTX 2080 Super in traditional gaming performance, and it’s roughly as fast in ray tracing performance too. The last-gen RTX 2060 FE couldn’t even run Wolfenstein with ray tracing enabled. We repeatedly received memory capacity warnings onscreen, then the game crashed.

Next page: Power, thermals, and noise

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Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
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