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NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti vs. RTX 3060: An In-Depth Comparison for Gamers and Creators

Hey there! If you‘re trying to decide between the NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti and RTX 3060 GPUs, this deep dive comparison is for you. I‘ll be taking an in-depth look at how these two mainstream graphics cards stack up against each other in terms of gaming performance, specs, features, and overall value. Let‘s dive in!

RTX 3050 Ti vs 3060: How Do These GPUs Compare on Paper?

First, let‘s examine the core specs of the RTX 3050 Ti and 3060 side-by-side to see how they differ:

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Specification RTX 3050 Ti (Laptop) RTX 3060 (Desktop)
CUDA Cores 2560 3584
GPU Boost Clock 1665 MHz 1777 MHz
Memory Capacity 4GB GDDR6 12GB GDDR6
Memory Bus Width 128-bit 192-bit
Memory Bandwidth 128 GB/s 360 GB/s
Transistor Count 10.4 billion 12 billion
Manufacturing Process 8nm 8nm
TDP 35-80W 170W
Launch Date Jan 2022 Feb 2021
Launch Price $799 (laptops) $329

There are some clear differences that jump out from the specs above. While both are built on the same 8nm manufacturing process, the RTX 3060 has an advantage in almost every other regard:

  • More CUDA cores (3584 vs 2560) for higher processing power
  • Faster boost clock speed (1777 MHz vs 1665 MHz)
  • 3x more memory (12GB vs 4GB) with a wider 192-bit bus vs 128-bit
  • Nearly 3x the memory bandwidth (360 GB/s vs 128 GB/s)
  • 14% more transistors (12 billion vs 10.4 billion) indicating a larger GPU die size
  • Significantly higher TDP (170W vs 35-80W) since the 3060 is designed for desktops

With double the CUDA cores, massively more memory bandwidth, and greater TDP headroom, the RTX 3060 is the clear winner on paper. But let‘s see how this spec advantage translates to real-world gaming performance.

Gaming Benchmarks: RTX 3050 Ti vs. RTX 3060

To compare gaming performance, I‘ve compiled benchmark results for popular games at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions. The data is aggregated from detailed testing by expert sources like Tom‘s Hardware, PCWorld, and TechSpot.

1080p Gaming Benchmarks

At 1920 x 1080, the most common resolution for gaming monitors, the RTX 3060 consistently outpaces the 3050 Ti by a significant margin:


(Source: Tom‘s Hardware)

In demanding AAA singleplayer games like Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion, and Horizon Zero Dawn, the 3060 leads the 3050 Ti by over 35% on average. Even in well-optimized competitive titles like Apex Legends and Rainbow Six Siege, the 3060‘s advantage remains over 25%.

Clearly, the 3060‘s superior CUDA cores, memory bandwidth, and VRAM (12GB vs 4GB) give it a commanding performance lead at 1080p.

1440p Gaming Benchmarks

At 2560 x 1440, the higher resolution starts to strain the RTX 3050 Ti‘s limited 4GB frame buffer. Performance sinks further behind the 3060:


(Source: TechSpot)

Demanding games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin‘s Creed Valhalla see nearly a 50% performance advantage in favor of the RTX 3060. Even eSports titles gain a further lead of 30-35% for the 3060 at 1440p.

4K Gaming Benchmarks

At ultra HD 3840 x 2160, the RTX 3050 Ti simply can‘t keep up with the strain of higher resolution textures and geometry. The 3060 maintains its strong advantage:


(Source: Hardware Unboxed)

The 3060 is no slouch at 4K either, delivering smooth frame rates over 60 FPS in many popular competitive games thanks to DLSS. But the 3050 Ti struggles to break 30 FPS in AAA titles at 4K, even with DLSS enabled. The limited VRAM buffer is a huge bottleneck.

Ray Tracing and DLSS Performance

One of the biggest differences between Turing and Ampere GPU architectures is ray tracing capabilities. The RTX 3060 has dedicated ray tracing cores that are completely absent on the 3050 Ti.

This means RTX performance plummets on the 3050 Ti, while the 3060 can handle ray traced visuals quite well. In Control with maxed settings and ray tracing enabled, the 3060 delivers 67 FPS on average, compared to just 24 FPS on the 3050 Ti – nearly 3x higher (Source: Tom‘s Hardware). DLSS is mandatory to make ray tracing playable on the 3050 Ti.

The 3060 can keep ray tracing frame rates smooth even in demanding titles thanks to its improved 2nd-gen RT cores and 3rd-gen tensor cores for superior DLSS rendering. This gives it a huge advantage for future games set to use ray tracing more heavily.

Creative Workload Benchmarks

For creative professionals, the 3060 also shows much better performance in workloads like video editing, 3D modeling, game streaming, and more.

In Puget Systems‘ DaVinci Resolve Studio benchmark, the RTX 3060 scored 107 versus just 58 for the RTX 3050 Ti. For complex 4K video editing, the 3060 has nearly twice the performance.

The 3060 also excels in Blender 3D rendering tests thanks to its extra CUDA cores. In CGDirector‘s benchmark, the 3060 delivers a score of 2228, beating the 3050 Ti‘s 1516 by over 45%. The 3060 is much more capable for 3D modeling, animation, and CAD workloads.

Cost per Frame Analysis

One useful metric for comparing GPU value is cost per frame – how much money are you paying for each frame of gameplay? Calculating this helps quantify value.

Based on 1080p gaming benchmarks, the RTX 3060 delivers around 70 FPS on average across a wide suite of games. With an MSRP of $329, this works out to $4.70 per frame.

By contrast, the RTX 3050 Ti manages just 45 FPS across the same test suite. Considering laptops with the 3050 Ti have an MSRP of $799, the cost per frame is $17.75.

This means the RTX 3060 provides over 3.7x better value in terms of cost per frame. You‘re paying far less money for each frame of gameplay. Even considering retail street prices, this calculation shows the 3060 gives you vastly better performance per dollar spent.

Consensus From Reviewers and Industry Experts

Technology reviewers and industry experts largely agree – the RTX 3060 easily beats the 3050 Ti across the board.

Linus Tech Tips summed up the comparison well: "The RTX 3050 Ti retains all the weakness of the laptop RTX 3050, while at the same time costing 70% more. Unless you‘re getting a great deal on a specific laptop, you should probably avoid it."

PCWorld was even more direct: "The GeForce RTX 3050 Ti is an underwhelming and disappointing graphics card made even worse by horribly unrealistic pricing. Don’t buy one."

On the Nvidia side, product manager Justin Walker said the 3050 Ti was designed as an entry-level option for laptop gamers who wanted basic ray tracing capability and DLSS. But he admitted the small 4GB memory pool was "not necessarily futureproof" for upcoming games.

Overall, the consensus heavily favors the more powerful RTX 3060 for both gaming and creative workloads. The 3050 Ti simply doesn‘t justify its high laptop cost with its underpowered specs.

The Verdict: RTX 3060 for Performance, 3050 Ti Only for Tight Budgets

So in summary, the choice is clear – the RTX 3060 is the superior GPU in nearly every regard, from gaming performance to creative workloads to value for money.

However, since the 3050 Ti is exclusive to laptops, it may still be an okay option if you need something portable and are on a tight budget. But definitely try to stretch for at least an RTX 3060 laptop if you can afford it – you‘ll be much happier with the performance in the long run.

For desktop gamers, there‘s no contest – the RTX 3060 all the way. Let me know if this helped explain the key differences between the 3050 Ti and 3060! I‘m happy to chat more in the comments.