MSI Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio Review & Benchmarks (2023)

Introduction

Over the last year we have seen an influx of GPU releases from both Nvidia and AMD, as the battle to make the best GPUs reaches the hottest point we’ve seen in a number of years. Last year we saw Nvidia release their 30-series cards, based on their brand new Ampere architecture. The cards ranged from the 3090, 3080 and 3070, down to a more budget oriented RTX 3060Ti. Now the latest contender has entered the ring, in the form of the RTX 3060. This is a GPU aimed at the mainstream PC gamer, and sits on Nvidia’s most popular 60-series skew.

Unfortunately, it goes without saying that this card will sell out straight away on launch – but that isn’t to say stock won’t improve, nor does it mean its performance or MSI’s efforts becomes less relevant. The RTX 3060 is the card which will set the benchmark for the masses of 1080p gamers out there, and puts down a large flag in the sand as to what AMD must come close to in order to compete.

One heartache felt by all GPU-buying gamers over the last 6 months has been the lack of stock, exacerbated by hugely inflated demand from Cryptocurrency miners. It is worth noting the recent announcement from Nvidia of a hash rate restriction on this card. Essentially, this is an advanced software fix, which utilises a combination of BIOS and driver changes to limit the productivity of this card in mining situations. Nvidia seem pretty steadfast in their confidence of this solution, and should it work it is potentially a huge light at the end of the proverbial tunnel for gamers out there. You can read Nvidia’s article on this matter on their website.

Buy the MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 3060 on:

Table Of Contents

(Video) MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO 12G- Overview & Initial Benchmarks
  • Introduction
  • Architecture
  • Design
  • Performance
  • Conclusion

Architecture

Similarly to the 3060Ti, and higher end 3090, 3080 and 3070 cards that were released in 2020, the RTX 3060 is built off of Nvidia’s latest Ampere architecture. The 7nm chips have proven themselves to provide a step change in performance, one that goes well above the usual 10-15% generational jumps we are used to seeing. This architecture also boasts Nvidia’s 2nd generation ‘RT Cores’, with better support for Ray Tracing, alongside support for matured DLSS 2.0 and software suites like NvidiaBroadcast, which have proven popular in the streaming community.

MSI Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio Review & Benchmarks (1)

DLSS is worth a separate mention on the architecture front, as a standout RTX feature which perhaps has the most mainstream appeal. DLSS, which stands for Deep Learning Super Sampling, is an image scaling tech which is backed by AI to improve frame rate. Essentially, it allows for games to be rendered at a lower resolution, say 1080p, and upscaled to a higher resolution like 1440p.

While in principal this is nothing new, it has proven to provide really strong results, with a much more minimal visual fidelity impact than has been previously seen with resolution scaling tech. AMD does have competitive software to match Nvidia known as FidelityFX Super Resolution (or FSR for short). However AMD hasn’t gotten their technology to flourish the way Nvidia has, and the amount of supported games is far less by comparison, but we imagine this will improve over the coming years.

This card also boasts 12GB of GDDR6 video memory, 4GB increase over it’s 3060Ti bigger brother (up 50%). This move looks to be in anticipation of a budget AMD 6000 series GPU release, following their tendency towards higher amounts of video memory.

Power efficiency gains are another area where Ampere has been universally praised, and surprise surprise, an area which miners have come to love. Interestingly this MSI card has dual 8 pin power connectors, pointing to an increased amount of overclocking headroom for those wanting to push the GPU to its limits. This decision is interesting when you consider that the ASUS STRIX card, ASUS’ range topping equivariant, only has a single 8 pin connector. Overkill from MSI here? Probably, but not a complaint!

MSI Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio Review & Benchmarks (2)
MSI Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio Review & Benchmarks (3)
MSI Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio Review & Benchmarks (4)
(Video) THIS Is The GPU You Should Be Buying | MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Review

Design

Architecture aside, the whole reason you buy an aftermarket AIB card is because of the cooler design and extra features someone like MSI might add. Price is also a factor here, though comparing that point seems a little silly in the current climate, even if this is MSIs most expensive 3060 release in their stack.

MSI Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio Review & Benchmarks (5)

This card uses a seemingly identical cooler design to the 3060Ti, perhaps not surprising when you consider how closely these cards sit to one and other. The cooler performance is great, which reflects very well in the temperatures below. This is not surprising given the base 3060 design has a total power requirement of just 170W, so any extra cooling requirement MSI have added will be nicely absorbed by this huge triple fan cooling design.

Cable management obsessives will be pleased to learn of power connectors placed on the right hand side of the card, with no centre mounted connectors in sight. The card looks fantastic in my opinion – a solid metal backplate, plastic cooler that feels premium to the touch with a really nice build quality, and RGB lightbar up top on the GPU make for a great overall look and feel. While MSI’s Gaming X Trio cooler is arguable overkill for this card, it does look fantastic and has proven itself to be rock solid across MSIs entire GPU line-up.

I wouldn’t recommend using this card in a build where maximum price to performance is your utmost priority, but otherwise the design is pretty superb.

Performance

When it comes to straight performance, the RTX 3060 really impressed me. Perhaps the best thing about that statement is that I am not at all surprised by it. All of the 3000 series cards so far have been solid performers, and it slots well in to the Nvidia line-up. It gets very close to the 3060Ti in some titles, and for some the performance difference at times is nominal. The Ti card does flex its Ray Tracing legs a bit further, but all in they both perform really well.

We witnessed some really solid gains over the previous generation 2060, in the region of 25% to 35%, let alone the 1060 which was released in mid-2016 to great fanfare. I’d also be willing to bet that there are a huge number of GTX 960 and RX 480 users out there looking for an upgrade here, and users of either card will not be disappointed.

At Nvidia’s recommended retail price of $329 upwards, this card would be astonishing value – though as we know seeing those prices on launch day or in the weeks following is not really going to happen. AIB cards, especially at this tier, also have a price premium which is worth bearing in mind too. As alluded to earlier, I think Nvidia’s move to restrict hash rate on this card is a huge step in the right direction for gamers, but its impact will take time to realise, and with mining out of the equation for a moment, the amount of pent up demand from gamers out there is huge as well.

All of the 3000 series cards so far have been solid performers, and it slots well in to the Nvidia line-up.

When it comes to straight rasterization the card is very impressive, with titles like APEX Legends and Valorant performing incredibly well. It’s a similar case for Doom: Eternal, a game which pushes non Ray Traced lighting to the limits.

Ray Tracing also looks great in several titles, and perhaps for the first time a 60-series card can support RTX gaming at 1080p, while largely maintaining the all important 60FPS at medium to high settings. For all of the recorded benchmark runs you can go and check out our very own YouTube channel ‘Benched’ where you can see all of the performance in the latest titles available.

(Video) Benchmarking MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO

Conclusion

MSI Gaming X Trio 3060

Product Name: Gaming X Trio 3060

Brand: MSI

  • Features
  • Design
  • Performance
  • Value For Money

3.8

(Video) MSI RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio Review, Thermals, Overclocking & Gaming Benchmarks

Summary

The RTX 3060 is a really solid card, that knocks very closely on the door of it’s own bigger brother, the RTX 3060Ti. While the Ti model definitely has a performance edge, I would argue for the RRP price that this card is a very good bet. Once again Nvidia has shown the power of the Ampere architecture, and as I’ve said in other reviews: the ball is in Nvidia’s court to get these cards out there as fast as is possible. If you can get one of these cards for a reasonable price, you won’t be disappointed.

Pros

✅ Very affordable card.

✅ Great 1080p performance.

✅ Prices close to MSRP.

Cons

❌ Unable to outperform the 3060Ti.

❌ Design is quite simplistic.

(Video) RTX 3060 SHOWDOWN [Gigabyte & MSI TESTED | 1080/1440/4K/DLSS/RTX]

❌ Doesn’t have great legs in 1440p.

FAQs

Is the MSI 3060 good for gaming? ›

THE ULTIMATE PLAY

The GeForce® RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3060 let you take on the latest games using the power of Ampere—NVIDIA's 2nd generation RTX architecture. Get incredible performance with enhanced Ray Tracing Cores and Tensor Cores, new streaming multiprocessors, and high-speed G6 memory.

How good is MSI RTX 3060? ›

Best Bang for Buck Graphics Card

The 3060 card lineup is probably the best bank for buck card currently. I didn't see it being practical to get a 3090 for triple the price of a 3060 when all I play is some Warzone and Fortnite. This card runs what I need it to at top settings! No complaints what so ever!

How much RAM do I need for 3060? ›

Specs
RTX 3060 TiRTX 3060
NVIDIA CUDA Cores48643584
Boost Clock (GHz)1.671.78
Memory Size8 GB12 GB / 8 GB
Memory TypeGDDR6 / GDDR6XGDDR6

Is RTX 3060 worth buying? ›

Theoretically, the RTX 3060 is a solid option for the average gamer. Most AIB partners have come up with triple fan options with chunky heatsinks for this particular video card. Furthermore, the 3060 has ample VRAM. Nvidia paired the card with 12 GB of GDDR6 memory to make it a long-lasting component.

Is RTX 3060 outdated? ›

In the end, the RTX 3060 is still a very solid buy a year in and will be a GPU that could easily last for years to come, similar to the GTX 1060 and 1660 before it. I would have no problem recommending anyone upgrade to the RTX 3060, even from a higher-tier non-RTX card like the 1080, similar to the move I made myself.

Is RTX 3060 worth gaming? ›

The RTX 3060 is a promising card but there are some trade-offs. Nvidia launched the 3060 as a performance-focused mainstream entry into the Ampere series. The card is a significant step down from the much more capable RTX 3060 Ti that is built for non-compromised 1080p gaming.

Is 16GB of RAM enough for RTX 3060? ›

For example, if you have an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti (which has 8 GB of VRAM), we recommend 12-16 GB of RAM. Accordingly, if you have an RTX 3090 (with 24 GB of VRAM), we recommend 32-64 GB of RAM as an optimal amount.

Is 32GB RAM better than 16GB for gaming? ›

32GB. 32GB of RAM is becoming increasingly popular amongst gamers, and the increase in FPS from 16GB is likely to be a key reason. With 32GB, you will have graphically enhanced gameplay, while still being able to do multiple things in the background, like livestreaming and using Chrome, system software, or Spotify.

Can RTX 3060 run all games? ›

As a mainstream card, the RTX 3060 primarily targets 1080p and 1440p gaming. Some lighter games may also run fine at 4K, or in some cases, you could shoot for 4K at medium settings. But despite having more VRAM than even the RTX 3080, frame rates definitely take a hit at the highest resolutions.

Is RTX 3060 a powerful GPU? ›

As far as specs go, the 3060 is as impressive on paper as it is in practice. With a large 12GB of GDDR6 memory, which is actually more than its beefier brother the 3060Ti, it is well equipped. Clock speeds are quite impressive too, with a nearly 1.7GHz boost clock speed, and 3584 CUDA cores.

What is the Nvidia RTX 3060 equivalent to? ›

NVIDIA's RTX 3060 offers similar raw performance as the AMD RX 6600, plus it has better ray-tracing capabilities backed up by DLSS. However, despite similar list prices, the RTX 3060 is now being sold for considerably more than the RX 6600 due to stock shortages.

Is a 3060 laptop good for gaming? ›

Not bad at all. A worthy mainstream gaming laptop for a really great saving here. It's a little lacking in terms of RAM and storage space, and sure its CPU is two generations old, but it's still a more than relevant combo for gaming today.

Is the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 12gb good? ›

Tom's Hardware Verdict. If the GeForce RTX 3060 can come close to its official $329 asking price, it's a great product for mainstream gamers. But in today's market, even with reduced mining performance, that's an unlikely if, as its performance lands right between the RTX 2060 Super and 2070 Super.

Is an RTX 3060 laptop GPU good for gaming? ›

All of the laptops with Nvidia's RTX 3060 GPU. Nvidia's RTX 3060 is one of the best graphics cards for mid-range performance — armed with 3,840 CUDA cores, 6GB GDDR6 video memory and a boost clock speed up to 1,703 MHz.

How long will a RTX 3060 last? ›

In the end, the RTX 3060 is still a very solid buy a year in and will be a GPU that could easily last for years to come, similar to the GTX 1060 and 1660 before it. I would have no problem recommending anyone upgrade to the RTX 3060, even from a higher-tier non-RTX card like the 1080, similar to the move I made myself.

Is a 3060 Good for 4K? ›

As a mainstream card, the RTX 3060 primarily targets 1080p and 1440p gaming. Some lighter games may also run fine at 4K, or in some cases, you could shoot for 4K at medium settings. But despite having more VRAM than even the RTX 3080, frame rates definitely take a hit at the highest resolutions.

Is 8GB RAM enough for gaming? ›

With 8GB RAM, you will be able to play most released games without many problems, but some games might not play at the highest quality, and you might have to shut down other applications.

Is 16GB RAM enough for RTX 3060? ›

For example, if you have an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti (which has 8 GB of VRAM), we recommend 12-16 GB of RAM. Accordingly, if you have an RTX 3090 (with 24 GB of VRAM), we recommend 32-64 GB of RAM as an optimal amount.

Is GeForce RTX 3060 still good? ›

RTX 3060 is the best-selling Ampere-based RTX 30 series video card. This graphics card was launched in 2021 as a performance-focused 1080p gaming GPU and is a successor to the extremely popular GTX 1060 and RTX 2060 family of GPUs. Theoretically, the RTX 3060 is a solid option for the average gamer.

Is RTX 3060 or 3080 better? ›

The 3080's GA102 GPU offers more cores, more memory, faster core and boost clock speeds, and faster memory than the 3060 Ti's GA104 GPU. This difference only gets bigger if you compare the 3060 Ti to the 12GB version of the RTX 3080.

What GPU does the 3060 compare to? ›

Again, the 3060 is comparable to the RTX 2070 and 8% slower than the 2070 Super. Relative to the 3060 Ti it does well a 13% deficit here, though we are only at 1080p. The margin remains much the same at 1440p, where the 3060 was 14% slower than the 3060 Ti and 15% slower than the 5700 XT.

What is better GTX 3060 or RTX 3060? ›

The RTX 3060 contains 3,584 CUDA cores and a core clock performance of 1,320 MHz, while the 3060 Ti has 4,864 CUDA cores and a core clock performance of 1410 MHz. Despite the lesser VRAM and a lower boost clock, the RTX 3060 Ti offers better performance.

How much should a RTX 3060 cost? ›

The cheapest RTX 3060 GPU that we've been able to verify is the ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 Twin Edge OC 12GB for $379.99 (opens in new tab).

How much does a RTX 3060 make a day? ›

0.31 USD / Day

*Please note that values are only estimates based on past performance - real values can be lower or higher.

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