The video card market has been a little like groundhog day for four or five months now with card demand being through the roof and availability being limited. Big jumps in cryptocurrencies have brought mining back in vogue as well which has exacerbated things as well. Well, today is the big day for the new Nvidia RTX 3060 which was announced back in January. Nvidia has already put miners on notice that they are taking firmware and software action to limit mining performance, at least with Etherium with the hope that their new cards can get into gamer's hands. This is extremely important because the RTX 3060 follows up the RTX 2060 and the GTX 1060 which were huge sellers. Today I’m going to check out the EVGA RTX 3060 XC Black and see how the new GPU performs in EVGAs more compact dual-fan SFF friendly design.

Product Name: EVGA RTX 3060 XC Black

Review Sample Provided by: EVGA/Nvidia

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE

 

What is the RTX 3060

Before getting into the RTX 3060 I wanted to touch a little more on why the xx60 cards are so important. Just looking at the Steam hardware survey the GTX 1060 still tops the charts with 9.75%  of steam users still running the 1060 which came out 5 years ago this July. The GTX 1050 Ti is right behind the 1060 with 7.07% of the market and the slightly newer GTX 1650 is sitting at 4.95% as well. Not to mention the RTX 2060 rounding out the top 5 at 3.72%. Those four cards alone are 25.49% of the entire market share. That is a lot of people who wanted great performance at a good value and a lot of those have been on the market for a new card for a while. The GTX 1060 has dropped 1.61% over the past five months and that is even before the new 3000 series of cards has its new non-Ti xx60 model. Will Nvidia’s actions with the driver, firmware, and silicon to limit hash rates help and show gamers some relief? Well, it is only Ethereum specific and from what I understand doesn’t stop other coins so we will have to wait and see. But Nvidia’s reaction does show just how important the RTX 3060 is.

So the RTX 3060 is based on NVidia's Ampere architecture, just like the rest of their 3000 series of cards has been but they did make a few changes. Below I have put together the specifications of the RTX 3060 along with the RTX 3060 Ti that sits above it in the current product stack and then I have the original RTX 2060 and the GTX 1060 as well because those are the cards that I imagine people will be upgrading from the most and that the RTX 3060 replaces. As far as the GPU goes, the RTX 3060 is significantly smaller than the RTX 3060 Ti, the Ti has 38 SMs where the RTX 3060 has 28. This took the number of CUDA cores down from 4864 to 3584. When we go back and compare that to the RTX 2060 and the GTX 1060 though you can see how big of a jump it is still. The jump from the 1060 to the 3060 is 180% and the 2060 was 86.6%.

The smaller GPU size from the Ti to the 3060 can be seen on the Tensor cores and RT cores as well with Tensor cores being 112 from 152 and ray tracing cores at 28 from 38 (just like the SMs). The 1060 didn’t have either so we can’t compare there but the RTX 2060 did have the older versions. For the 260 its Tensor core count is higher due to it having the older 2nd gen version and two more of the RT Cores with the older 1st gen design. As for clock speeds, the RTX 3060 is clocked higher than the RTX 3060 Ti with a boost clock of 1777 MHz vs 1665 MHz and the same goes for the memory which is clocked at 7501 MHz vs 7000 MHz.

The biggest change and the one that might seem the weirdest is Nvidia's decision to give the RTX 3060 12GB of video memory when the RTX 3060 Ti only had 8GB. In fact, the RTX 3070 also had 8GB and even the RTX 3080 was lower at 10GB. One thing is for sure though, the extra memory isn’t going to hurt. It will also help the RTX 3060 have a longer life, much like the GTX 1060 with its 6GB of memory at the time when 4GB was more common. More video memory doesn’t mean more bandwidth though, the RTX 3060 has a 192-bit memory controller just like the RTX 2060 and GTX 1060 before it where the RTX 3060 Ti has a 256-bit controller. Even with the higher clock speed, the more cut down Ampere GPU pulls less wattage than the 3060 Ti with the TGP of the 3060 at 170 watts.

The other big part of the original RTX 3060 announcement was the MSRP of the card which was put at $329. Given the push back on the RTX 2060 being at $349 when it launched due to its larger die size, it is great to see the MSRP come back down. Of course, MSRPs are completely out the window right now with just how limited stock for GPUs has been with retailers already showing significantly higher prices for their RTX 3060’s. So until all of that chances, MSRP’s don’t apply at all sadly.

Specifications

GTX 1060

RTX 2060

RTX 3060

RTX 3060 Ti

FE

SMs

10

30

28

38

CUDA Cores

1280

1920

3584

4864

Tensor Cores

N/A

240 (2nd Gen)

112 (3rd Gen)

152 (3rd Gen)

RT Cores

N/A

30 (1st Gen)

28 (2nd Gen)

38 (2nd Gen)

Texture Units

80

120

112

152

ROPs

48

48

48

80

GPU Boost Clock

1709 MHz

1680 MHz

1777 MHz

1665 MHz

Memory Clock

8000 MHz

7000 MHz

7501 MHz

7000 MHz

Total Video Memory

6144 or 3072 MB GDDR5

6144 MB GDDR6

12,288 MB GDDR6

8192 MB GDDR6

Memory Interface

192-bit

192-bit

192-bit

256-bit

Memory Bandwidth

192.2 GB/s

336 GB/s

360 GB/s

448 GB/s

TGP

120 Watts

160 Watts

170 Watts

200 Watts

Launch MSRP

3GB $199
6GB $249/$299(FE)

$349

$329

$399

 

Now before diving into any GPU review I do always double-check the specifications of the card against what is showing up in GPUz. The EVGA RTX 3060 XC Black card that EVGA and Nvidia partnered up to send over for the launch is designed to have the base specs of the RTX 3060 as listed above. So we can see that we do have the 1777 MHz GPU boost clock speed and the 1875 MHz memory clock does add up to 7500 MHz (I’m not sure where Nvidia gets that extra 1 on their specifications, but it is close enough). GPUz also documents the BIOS version I tested on, that we had Samsung memory, and the driver version I tested with which is the pre-launch driver provided by Nvidia.

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Packaging

EVGA goes a completely different direction than others when it comes to their packaging. They have their packaging orientated vertically which I bet looks awesome in stores. They have a picture of the card inside on the front which I love, I would never buy something without knowing what I am getting. The box of course has the Nvidia green wrap around down at the bottom which shows that this is an RTX card and has the 3060 model name on the bottom stripe. Above that, they have the black branding which is EVGAs cut-down version as well as XC in huge letters next to the picture of the card. They also have the memory capacity up on the top edge as well which the RTX 3060 has 12 GBs of. Around on the back of the box, things are more generic with the exception of the model name up top. They have a feature list and QR code to link you to the EVGA Precision X1 software.

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The RTX 3060 XC Black is a compact card so the box itself is surprisingly small, but in addition to that EVGA has most of the inside of the box packed with padding to keep the card safe. It comes with a small installation guide and a 20% off coupon for EVGAs XR1 capture device. Then the card comes wrapped up in a button wrap bag. Then inside of that is a thick black foam padding. THEN inside of that, the card comes in its static protective bag.

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Card Layout and Photos

The EVGA RTX 3060 XC Black has the same styling as the RTX 3070 XC3 Black that I took a look at previously. Their black cards keep the styling simple with an all-black fan shroud and no RGB lighting like EVGA has been putting on their higher-end FTW and Ultra models. The 3060 XC Black is a simple dual fan card with a compact form factor. The shroud has the EVGA logo in between the fans at the top and GeForce RTX at the bottom but they have avoided locking the shroud into just one model by not putting the GPU model on it. The shroud is black plastic with a light texture up near the top and larger dots in the scooped-out sections to the left and right of the fans.

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The dual fans are both the same size and the fan holes measure at 90mm with the impellers being closer to 85mm. They have the EVGA logo as a sticker on the middle and then that same EVGA E logo are also bumps on the blades kind of like a golf ball.

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Like I mentioned before the 3060 XC Black is surprisingly compact and it reminds me a lot of our old GTX 1060 from EVGA which was a single fan design but fit the full ITX form factor. This card comes in at 201.8mm officially but my measurements had is a little longer with the fan shroud overhanding. It is 110mm tall which is right above the top edge of the PCI bracket and it is a true dual-slot card which these days is shockingly rare. In fact, everything about the size of this card is hard to come by these days, but that means this could be a perfect option for SFF builds. Especially with cases like the Dr Zaber Sentry 2.0 which needs true dual-slot cards and doesn’t have room for cards that are too tall. The XC Black isn’t sub 175mm and truly ITX, but at around 201-205mm it isn’t far off.

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Looking around the outside edge of the RTX 3060 XC Black we can get a better idea of the cooling configuration EVGA has went with as well. But first, up on the top, we can see that there is white branding with the EVGA logo and the GeForce RTX logo on that edge. The top also has the power connection which this stock clocked card has just one 8-pin plug and not the new smaller connection that Nvidia has been moving towards. The top and bottom edge views let us know the aluminum heatsink is laid out vertically and you can see a copper heat plate over the GPU and it is wide enough to also cover the memory as well as heatpipes that pull the heat across the heatsink to the ends. The vertical fin layout means heat from the two axial fans blowing down on the cooler will blow up and down. Some will end up trapped under the card heating up that area, so using M.2 slots under this card isn’t ideal. But blowing up should help get the heat away. EVGA also did a great job keeping the heatsink very tight against the PCB just leaving room for tall objects like the power plug and fan headers.

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I love the PCI bracket that EVGA went with and every other manufacturer should really take note. The flat black finish is simple but looks premium and it actually will better match other components like most gaming motherboard I/O shields and cases. I also like the hexagon cutouts used for airflow even though the cooler itself doesn’t need them. Then for connections, the XC Black comes with three DisplayPorts and then one HDMI down at the bottom.

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Being a no-frills black card the XC Black doesn’t come with a backplate which while I understand is still a bummer. EVGA did give the card a nice flat black PCB though that helps the card blend in and goes with the rest of the all blacked out look. You can see the four heatsink mounting screws in the center around the GPU then over on the left they have a large cutout in the PCB for airflow from one of the front fans. If you check out the PCB layout you can also see that the end of the card could be shorter if not for the cooling, so true ITX options aren’t completely hopeless as well. EVGA please consider a single fan ITX design! Also down at the end on the left, you can see how the heatsink and with it the fan shroud hang out past the end.

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I would normally also take a look at any lighting here at the end but as I mentioned before this card doesn’t have any which at least a portion of you will see as a big bonus.

 


Test Rig and Procedures

 

Test Rig

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3900X

Motherboard: Asus Crosshair VIII HERO WiFi

Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Royal 3600MHz 16-16-16-36

Storage: Corsair MP600 2TB

Cooling – Corsair H100i RGB Pro XT

Power Supply - Corsair AX1200w

Case - Primochill Wetbench

OS - Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

 

Our Testing Procedures

3DMark

The same goes for the most current version of 3DMark using the Fire Strike benchmark in normal, extreme, and ultra settings. Tests are also run in the DX12 focused Time Spy benchmark as well as the Time Spy Extreme test. Port Royal is also used on video cards that support DirectX Raytracing

Unigine Superposition

1080p Medium, 1080p Extreme benchmarks along with the VR Maximum and VR Future tests, both done at the Vive resolution

VRMark

Cyan and Blue rooms tested, use Average FPS for the result

Borderlands 3

Built-in benchmark testing with the ultra detail setting and medium detail setting, done at full screen with default settings at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k.

Metro Exodus

Using built-in benchmark, testing at ultra and normal details at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k.

The Division 2

Built-in benchmark at Ultra detail with V-Sync turned off at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k resolutions.

Total War: Three Kingdoms

Built-in benchmark using the Battle Benchmark setting. Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k at both Medium and ultra detail settings

World War Z

Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k in both Medium and Ultra Detail using the built-in benchmark.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Built-in benchmark, tested using the Medium texture setting and again at the highest texture detail setting. Both tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k

Far Cry 5

Built-in benchmark, tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k with the Ultra and Medium detail settings

Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War III

Built-in benchmark, Image and Texture settings set to the maximum setting and V-Sync turned off. Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k

Watch Dogs: Legion

Built-in benchmark testing at ultra and high details. Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Built-in benchmark, tested using the Medium texture setting and again at the highest texture detail setting. Both tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k

Far Cry 5

Built-in benchmark, tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k with the Ultra and Medium detail settings

Passmark Performance Test 9

Test using the GPU Compute Score inside of Passmark’s Performance Test 9

Blender

Using the new Blender Benchmark with the Quick Benchmark setting set to use the GPU, not the CPU. The result is in total seconds the test took, lower is better. All cards tests were done using the 2.90 build for compatibility with the latest cards

Basemark GPU

GPU tests were done using the OpenGL and DirectX12 APIs

Power Usage

Results come from a Kill-A-Watt hooked up in line to the power cord for the test rig. Two tests are done, one using the AIDA64 Stress Test and the second uses the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark on the Performance setting using the combined test.

Noise Testing

Our Noise testing is done using a decibel meter 18 inches away from the video card on the bottom/fan side of the card. We test at both 50% and 100% fan speeds. The 100% test isn’t a representation of typical in-game noise levels, but it will show you how loud a card can be if you run it at its highest setting or if it gets very hot. Under load testing is also done, measuring the noise levels of the card when under load in AIDA64 over a half hour. This is done using a Protmex PT02 Sound Meter that is rated IEC651 type 2 and ANSI S1.4 type 2. Tests are done set weighted to A and set to a slow response using the max function. The ambient noise level in the testing area is 33.3 decibels using the test settings.

Temperature Testing

Using AIDA64, the GPU stress test is run for 30 minutes or until the result has leveled off. The test is run twice, once with the stock fan profile and a second time with 100% fan speed.

 


 

Synthetic Benchmarks

As always I like to start my testing with a few synthetic benchmarks. 3DMark especially is one of my favorites because it is very optimized in both Nvidia and AMD drivers. It's nice to not have to worry about it being favored too much either way and the repeatability of the results makes it a nice chance to compare from card to card, especially when comparing with the same GPU.

The first round of tests were done in the older Fire Strike benchmark which is a DX11 test. There are three detail levels, performance, extreme, and ultra. The RTX 3060 XC Black came in nearly tied with the RX 5600 XT from AMD and just behind the RTX 2060 SUPER. The performance jump here from the original RTX 2060 wasn’t huge at around 7%.

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The next two were both based on the Time Spy benchmark. One is the standard test and then there is the extreme detail level. The RTX 3060 XC Black jumped way out ahead of the RX 5600 XT here, outperforming even all of the RX 5700’s by a big margin and coming in basically on par with the RTX 2060 SUPER as well as the fastest overclocked original RTX 2060.

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The last test was using the Unigine based Superposition benchmark and I tested at 1080p with medium detail and again at 1080p with the extreme detail setting. In the extreme detail setting the RTX 3060 was once again almost spot on with the RTX 2060 SUPER. This also puts it in right with the RX 5700 XT as well. The 1080p medium performance was lower and closer to the original RTX 2060 however.

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VR Benchmarks

As for Virtual Reality, I love it but it is more demanding than traditional gaming. This is partially because of the resolutions needed to render for two eyes and because they render more than what is immediately visible. But also because of post effects to get the proper “fisheye” effect for it to look proper in your eyes with the HMD. You also have to have much higher expectations for frame rates in VR, skipping frames or lower FPS can cause motion sickness in VR. Because of that, I ran a few tests.

My first test was again in Superposition. This time I tested the VR Maximum and VR Future tests using the Vive resolution. Here the RTX 3060 XC Black came in right in the middle of the RX 5700 XT’s in the more demanding VR Future test. The VR Maximum was a little lower at 113 FPS putting it in above the RTX 2060 KO but lower than the 2060 SUPER at 119 FPS.

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In VRMark the performance was a mirror of what I saw in Superposition with the RTX 3060 XC Black coming in at 56.38 FPS in the demanding blue room test, putting it just above the RX 5700 XT’s but a few FPS lower than the RTX 2060 SUPER. The cyan room performance however put the 3060 out ahead of the 2060 SUPER, even the overclocked 2060 SUPERs.

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In-Game Benchmarks

Now we finally get into the in game performance and that is the main reason people pick up a new video card. To test things out I ran through our new benchmark suite that tests 9 games at three different resolutions (1080p, 1440p, and 4k). Most of the games tested have been run at the highest detail setting and a mid-range detail setting to get a look at how turning things up hurts performance and to give an idea of if turning detail down from max will be beneficial for frame rates. In total, each video card is tested 48 times and that makes for a huge mess of results when you put them all together. To help with that I like to start with these overall playability graphs that take all of the results and give an easier to read result. I have one for each of the three resolutions and each is broken up into four FPS ranges. Under 30 FPS is considered unplayable, over 30 is playable but not ideal, over 60 is the sweet spot, and then over 120 FPS is for high refresh rate monitors.

So how did the RTX 3060 XC Black end up performing? Well in the 1080p compilation graph we can see that of all 16 of the results they were all at least over 60 FPS but with half of the results even up over the 120 FPS high refresh rate range. The RTX 3060 is going to handle anything you throw at it at 1080p. In the 1440p graph, we still have a majority in the smooth 60+ FPS range but at 1440p there were four results that came in between 30-59 FPS and would potentially require you to adjust the detail down slightly. Then at 4K, even with the large VRAM the RTX 3060 struggles with almost all of the results playable but not exactly smooth in the 30-59 FPS range. One result was still smooth and two were unplayable. For comparison with the RTX 3060 Ti that I tested with these same games came in at 10 120 FPS and 6 60 FPS at 1080p. At 1440p it had 5 at 120 FPS, 10 at 60 FPS, and 1 over 30 FPS. Then at 4k 8 over 60 FPS, 7 over 30 FPS, and 1 under 30 FPS. The 3060 Ti is better if you want to run a high refresh rate at 1080p and 1440p but both will play the same games.

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Of course, I have all of the actual in game results as well for anyone who wants to sort through the wall of graphs below. With these, I wanted to take a look at where the RTX 3060 ended up falling in comparison with AMD's cards as well as Nvidia’s older cards. In the synthetic tests the 3060 was running around the RTX 2060 SUPER a majority of the time but in real games, this varied a lot more. For example, in Metro Exodus the 3060 and the 2060 SUPER were right there together along with the RX 5700. But then in War War Z the 3060 was up closer to the RX 5700 XT and above the 2060 SUPER. Then in Total War Three Kingdoms the 2060 SUPER was faster. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider the 3060 was all the way up with the 2070 SUPER. Overall though the RTX 3060 falls right in between the AMD RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT in all of my tests.

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Compute Benchmarks

Now some people don’t need a video card for gaming, they need the processing power for rendering or 2D/3D production, or in some cases people who game also do work on the side. So it is also important to check out the compute performance on all of the video cards that come in. That includes doing a few different tests. My first test was a simple GPU Compute benchmark using Passmark’s Performance Test 9 and the RTX didn’t do bad. It came in significantly ahead of the RX 5700 XT’s and was even ahead of the RTX 2080 SUPER.

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In Basemark I test with the DirectX12 setting and again with OpenGL. The RTX 3060 is again way ahead of the 5700 XT and was just a touch ahead of the overclocked RTX 2060 SUPER. There is a gap between it and the GTX 1080 Ti and RTX 2070 which were the next cards up.

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Blender is always my favorite compute benchmark because the open-source 3D rendering software is very popular and it isn’t a synthetic benchmark. Here I render two scenes and combine the total time it takes. The RTX 3060 XC Black came in with a faster time than all of the RX 5700 XT’s once again and was sitting behind the Radeon VII and then the RTX 2070 SUPER. In my second test, I compared CUDA performance in Blender against the RTX specific Optix which always gives a big performance jump. The 3060 performed the same two renders in less than half the time as with CUDA.

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RTX and DLSS

Being an RTX card I also like checking out the performance of some of Nvidia’s features. Namely the ray tracing performance and the performance improvements you can see by using DLSS combined with the tensor cores. In most of the tests, I’m only comparing a few of the RTX cards as well as a GTX 1080 Ti for comparison. But in the 3DMark Port Royal test, I have been tracking ray tracing performance in all of the RTX cards as well as a few of the GTX cards introduced into the mix as well. Here the RTX 3060 XC Black was just a hair below a few of the overclocked RTX 2060 SUPERs and above the stock 2060 SUPER.

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I then jumped into game tests, this time with the just recently released Watch Dogs: Legion. For this one, I wanted to get an idea of the performance you will see when taking advantage of Nvidia’s RTX and DLSS features. Here I tested with both on, just RTX on, and with neither on. With RTX on but no DLSS, the 3060 struggled at 14 FPS at 4k as tested. Turning DLSS on made a huge difference and doubled the frame rate to 28 FPS. This was even 1 FPS higher than testing without RTX or DLSS on at all.

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Next, I wanted to check out the performance in Metro Exodus which I do our normal testing in as well. When testing at 4K with the ultra detail with RTX on the 3060 came in at 18 FPS. Turning DLSS on helped jump that up to 27.81. Having only DLSS on was even better at 32.11 but that wasn’t a significant jump over not having either on like normal. Overall though this tells us that RTX is demanding (shocked face) and that DLSS helps bring performance nearly back up to the same as without RTX.

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With Wolfenstein: Youngblood I tested at 4K using their Mein Lenen! Detail setting which is the highest detail. I tested with RTX on and just compared running with DLSS on the balanced setting and with it off entirely. The RTX 3060 ended up performing similar to the RTX 2070 SUPER here which was impressive. Turning DLSS on made a significant difference here as well, taking the frame rate from playable but slow up to over 60 FPS and smooth.

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Next, I tested using a benchmark based on the game Boundary. For this one, I wanted to see how all of the different DLSS settings would perform, including turning it off completely. At 4k the RTX 3060 was obviously out of its league here, but the jump from no DLSS up to the DLSS quality setting was big going from 9.4 to 17 FPS. DLSS balanced helped slightly but the jump up to the performance DLSS setting was nearly enough to make things playable on the 3060 which isn’t designed at all for 4k.

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The last tests were done in a benchmark based on the game Bright Memory. Here I wanted to check out the performance difference between different RTX settings. Once again the RTX 3060 did struggle at 4k as expected, but it does let us see the performance difference between the different RTX settings. Each of the settings between very high, high, and normal were all 3 FPS difference between settings. But the RTX low has a much bigger gap with a 7 FPS difference between it and the RTX normal setting.

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Cooling Noise and Power

For my last few tests, rather than focusing on in game performance, I like to check out other aspects of performance. These are also the most important ways to differentiate the performance between cards that have the same GPU. To start things off I took a look at power usage. For this, I use our Kill-A-Watt hooked up to the test bench to record the total wattage of the system. I ran two tests with the first using 3DMark Fire Strike to put the system under a load similar to normal in game performance. Here our test system with the RTX 3060 XC Black pulled 333 watts which put it right with the RTX 2060 SUPER at its stock speeds. The AIDA64 benchmark is more demanding of the GPU itself but doesn’t also load the CPU ended up at 266 watts which was again right in the middle of the 2060 SUPERs interestingly enough.

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My next round of tests were looking at noise levels. These are especially important to me because I can’t stand to listen to my PC whirling. Especially when I’m not in game and other applications are using the GPU. For my testing, though I first tested with the fan cranked up to 100% to get an idea of how loud it can get, then again at 50% to get an idea of its range. With the XC Blacks dual fans cranked up to 100% they put out 55.8 dB which put the card down in the bottom 1/3 of the cards tested. Its 50% fan speed results weren’t bad as well at 34.8 dB with just two cards coming in quieter. Of course having two fans also means that when under load they have to do more work, so after running AIDA64 for a half-hour with the stock fan profile the XC Black came in right in the middle of the pack at 37.4 dB and interestingly right with the RTX 2060 SUPER FE once again. I will have to wait until we test more RTX 3060’s to see how this compares, but I would bet that larger cards will come in a little lower. But this isn’t bad considering the size of the card.

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To finish up my testing I of course had to check out the cooling performance. To do this I ran two different tests. I used AIDA64’s Stress Test run for a half-hour each to warm things up. Then I documented what temperature the GPU leveled out at with the stock fan profile and then again with the fans cranked up to 100%. With the stock profile, the RTX 3060 XC Black ran surprisingly cool at 58c which was near the bottom of our charts. The 100% fan speed results weren’t as impressive, but this is a dual fan card that is short, not three slots wide, or taller than the PCI bracket. Overall the delta between the results was 11 degrees showing that there is still a little room, but not a lot if a big overclock is in your future.

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While running the stock fan profile testing I also took the time to get a few thermal images so we could see what is going on. Without a backplate, the 3060 XC Black does give us a more direct look at the thermals on the back of the card. You can see the hottest area starting at the center where the GPU is as well as to the right with the VRMs. The other end with the holes cut out for airflow runs much cooler. At the top of the card, the air venting out of the top is focused the most right above the two fans and has a big thermal difference compared to the shroud. You also don’t see too hot of an area on the underside as well which is nice. Then fan side we can see that same hot spot in the center and on the left which is right in between the two fans letting them both share the load with the heatpipes pulling the heat out across the card.

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Overall and Final Verdict

The RTX 3060 was announced all the way back at CES this year and while the excitement for card launches has worn off a lot due to availability across the board being so bad the RTX 3060 is still a big launch in my opinion. It signifies Nvidia finally getting down into the always popular xx60 variation of the new ampere architecture. This is especially important as I talked about earlier because of just how popular the GTX 1060 and even to a lesser extent the RTX 2060 were and with both reaching ages that people are actively looking for an upgrade. This is the future for a lot of mid-range builds, so its performance at 1080p and to a lesser extent at 1440p is very important. Thankfully performance in both was great in all of my testing, 1080p is ready for high refresh rate monitors, even with modern more demanding games and in those same games if you plan on playing at 1440p everything is going to be smooth and playable. As far as comparisons with past GPUs, on the AMD side, the 3060 outperformed or ran with the RX 5700 XT, and for Nvidia, this card was extremely close in performance in a lot of tests with the RTX 2060 SUPER. It is around a 14% increase over the original RTX 2060 and isn’t a world breaking jump in performance. But if you are still living with the GTX 1060 five years later you will see a jump of 115% (both in Time Spy) which is HUGE. That’s really where the 3060 stands out. Now if you upgraded around the 2060 SUPER or later, this isn’t going to be the upgrade for you.

As for the EVGA RTX 3060 XC Black specifically, I am loving the compact dual fan design. It doesn’t quite reach the ITX form factor that I would love to see it be which would be at 170mm, but it is close at 201.8mm. With a true dual slot width and no extra height, it is perfect for a lot of SFF builds. I also dig the simple all blacked out styling, though the non-black version which should have a small overclock and a backplate would be a nice step up. The dual-fan design also translated to it being quieter than I expected in my testing.

The XC Black with its stock clock speeds is also designed to sell for Nvidia announced MSRP of $329 which I did confirm that it will be sold at that. Sadly, given current times we also know that most cards won’t sell anywhere near that. Currently, there are 100% zero cards available when you hit up retailers like Newegg, and until that changes people are going to get abused with higher prices. Hopefully, that starts to calm down. Once it does, the $329 price point is a solid one. What they sell for outside of EVGA directly (which I highly recommend btw) remains to be seen. Today's launch reviews come out at 9 AM EST and there is just a small 3-hour window between reviews and card availability. So we will find out at that time.

fv5

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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