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6 Reasons to Avoid a Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming OC D6X 8G Graphics Card at All Costs

6 Reasons to Avoid the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Graphics Card

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti launched in late 2020 as a powerful mid-range GPU based on the Ampere architecture. Built on Samsung‘s 8nm process, it packed 4864 CUDA cores, 8GB of GDDR6 memory, and a 256-bit bus for 448 GB/s of memory bandwidth. The reference model had a 1665 MHz boost clock.

At the time, the RTX 3060 Ti offered excellent 1080p and 1440p gaming performance. It could even handle 4K if you didn‘t mind lowering some settings. And it did all this while being relatively power efficient with a 200W TDP. Even now in 2023, the RTX 3060 Ti remains a solid GPU for most gamers.

However, the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming OC PRO 8G model isn‘t necessarily the best choice anymore. Here are 6 reasons you may want to avoid it and consider alternative graphics cards instead:

  1. Struggles with 4K gaming
    While the RTX 3060 Ti can technically output at 4K resolution, it‘s not really suited for 4K gaming, especially with newer demanding titles. You‘ll often have to run at medium to low settings to maintain a playable framerate of 60fps.

Even slightly older games like Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin‘s Creed Valhalla, and Microsoft Flight Simulator will be taxing for this card at 4K. Newer releases like Hogwarts Legacy and Resident Evil 4 Remake are pretty much out of the question at high settings.

Realistically, the RTX 3060 Ti is best suited for 1080p or 1440p gaming. You‘ll get excellent performance at those resolutions with high to max settings. But if you have a 4K monitor or TV and want the best visual fidelity, the 3060 Ti will likely leave you disappointed. You‘re better off with a more powerful GPU like the RTX 3070 or higher.

  1. High power consumption
    For a supposedly mid-range GPU, the RTX 3060 Ti has a fairly high power consumption, with a TDP rating of 200W. In actual usage, it can spike even higher, especially if you get a factory overclocked model like the Gigabyte Gaming OC PRO which boosts to 1770 MHz.

This means you‘ll need a fairly beefy power supply, Nvidia recommends a minimum 600W PSU. In comparison, the newer RTX 4060 Ti has a lower 160W TDP while offering slightly better performance. So it‘s more power efficient overall.

The high power draw also means more heat output. You‘ll want a well-ventilated case and room to prevent the GPU from thermal throttling under load. Gigabyte‘s cooler is better than Nvidia‘s reference model but still not as good as some other brands.

  1. 12-pin power connector
    Another oddity of the Gigabyte RTX 3060 Ti is that it uses Nvidia‘s proprietary 12-pin PCIe power connector. This was introduced with the Ampere Founders Editions cards and adopted by some AIB partners like Gigabyte.

The 12-pin is smaller and allows for more power in a compact connector. But it‘s non-standard which makes it a pain to use. You either need a PSU with a native 12-pin output or have to use an awkward adapter. And it‘s not compatible with the newer 16-pin 12VHPWR connector.

I much prefer cards that use standard 6 or 8-pin PCIe power connectors. It‘s just simpler for cable management and compatibility. Unfortunately the 12-pin connector is a trend that Gigabyte needlessly followed.

  1. Relatively expensive in 2023
    Launched at an MSRP of $399, the RTX 3060 Ti was good value initially. But it suffered from poor availability and inflated prices for the first year or so due to supply chain issues and crypto-mining demand.

Now in 2023, the GPU market has settled down and you can readily find models close to or even below MSRP. However, the Gigabyte RTX 3060 Ti Gaming OC PRO still goes for around $450-500 at most retailers, making it relatively expensive.

For the same or less money, you could get a more powerful RTX 3070 or an AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT. Or if you‘re willing to spend a bit more, around $600 will get you a much faster RX 7600 XT or RTX 4060 Ti. All of these cards offer significantly better performance and features for gaming.

The RTX 3060 Ti is still fine if you can find it for under $400. But at its current going rate, there are simply better options available that make it hard to recommend.

  1. Missing some latest features
    Being an older GPU, the RTX 3060 Ti lacks some of the newer technologies and features introduced with the RTX 40 series and Intel Arc cards.

This includes hardware-accelerated AV1 encoding, which is useful for streamers and content creators. As well as faster ray tracing cores and tensor cores for DLSS. Speaking of DLSS, the 3060 Ti can only use DLSS 2, not the newer DLSS 3 that‘s exclusive to 40 series cards.

DLSS and especially DLSS 3 can provide a massive performance uplift in supported games. The RTX 4060 Ti for example is around 25-30% faster than the 3060 Ti without DLSS. And with DLSS 3 enabled, that gap grows to over 80% in some titles.

The RTX 3060 Ti also lacks support for PCIe 5.0 which is slowly being adopted. And it uses the older DisplayPort 1.4a instead of the newer 1.4 or 2.0 standards.

  1. Design and aesthetics
    Finally, the Gigabyte RTX 3060 Ti Gaming OC PRO has a fairly plain and uninspired design in my opinion. The black plastic shroud with some diagonal lines doesn‘t really stand out from other GPUs.

The metal backplate is a nice touch and helps with rigidity. But I‘m not a fan of the "GeForce RTX" logo emblazoned across it which looks tacky to me. Gigabyte also missed an opportunity by not including any RGB lighting. Something that‘s present on many other cards in this price range.

Looks are subjective of course. And to be fair, you‘ll probably spend more time looking at your monitor than inside your case. But considering how much GPUs cost, the aesthetics are still a factor for some. And I think Gigabyte could have done better here.

Alternatives to consider
If you‘re in the market for a GPU around the $400-600 price point, here are some alternatives to the Gigabyte RTX 3060 Ti worth considering:

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti
Based on the new Ada Lovelace architecture, the RTX 4060 Ti offers around 25% faster performance than the 3060 Ti at 1080p/1440p while consuming less power with a 160W TDP. It also supports DLSS 3 for a big boost in supported games.

You lose some VRAM, dropping to 8GB from the 3060 Ti‘s 12GB. But that‘s still plenty for most games at this tier. And it has the full 128-bit memory bus unlike the problematic 8GB/16GB variants. Priced at $399, the same as the 3060 Ti initially, it‘s simply a better buy in 2023.

AMD Radeon RX 7600 XT
If you prefer a card from the red team, the RX 7600 XT is another strong contender. Part of AMD‘s new RDNA 3 lineup, it rivals the RTX 4060 Ti in traditional raster performance.

You get 8GB of faster GDDR6 memory and a full 128-bit bus. Plus goodies like AV1 encode, DisplayPort 2.1, and AMD‘s improved FSR 2 upscaling. The 7600 XT does draw more power at 185W and isn‘t quite as good at ray tracing. But it‘s still an excellent 1080p/1440p GPU.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
Moving up the stack, If you have a bigger budget, the ~$600 RTX 4070 provides a sizeable performance jump over the 3060 Ti and 4060 Ti. We‘re talking around 45-50% faster at 1440p without DLSS and potentially 2x or more with DLSS 3.

You also get a generous 12GB of GDDR6X VRAM, though on a slightly narrower 192-bit bus. Combined with Ada‘s improved memory compression though, bandwidth isn‘t an issue. Other perks include AV1 encode and the latest display outputs. For high refresh rate 1440p or 4K/60, the 4070 is a great choice.

The RTX 3060 Ti was undeniably a great GPU when it launched in 2020. Delivering RTX 2080 Super-level performance for much less. But a lot has changed in the nearly 3 years since.

In 2023, it‘s harder to recommend the 3060 Ti, especially a relatively expensive model like the Gigabyte Gaming OC PRO. For the same or less money, you can now get significantly faster current-gen GPUs from both Nvidia and AMD. With better performance, efficiency, and features.

Unless you can find the 3060 Ti at a hefty discount, it‘s just not the best value anymore. The RTX 4060 Ti for the same $399 MSRP is a much better buy. As is the RX 7600 XT if you prefer AMD. And if you can stretch your budget, the 4070 offers a massive performance uplift.

All that said, the 3060 Ti is still a highly capable 1080p/1440p GPU. It‘s far from obsolete and will play most games very well. Just be aware of what you‘re missing out and weigh the alternatives. At the right price, it can still be a good deal. But don‘t pay more than $400 for one in 2023.