With the shortages, I sadly haven’t had the chance to check out any of the latest generation of cards from Gigabyte to see what is new their way. But I did recently happen to receive their RTX 3060 Eagle 12G. The Eagle is an interesting one to have come in because while that product line came out last year and covers the 2000 series and the 1600 series of cards I haven’t had the chance to check one out yet. They are a little more budget-focused which is the opposite of what I’ve been seeing this generation with some companies taking advantage of the unprecedented demand to bring out higher-cost cards. It still has features that you expect to see from Gigabyte like their Windforce cooling so I am excited to see how it performs. Let’s check it out!

Product Name: Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle 12G

Review Sample Provided by: Gigabyte

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE

 

Specifications

Graphics Processing

GeForce RTX™ 3060

Core Clock

1777 MHz

CUDA® Cores

3584

Memory Clock

15000 MHz

Memory Size

12 GB

Memory Type

GDDR6

Memory Bus

192 bit

Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)

360 GB/s

Card Bus

PCI-E 4.0 x 16

Digital max resolution

7680x4320@60Hz

Multi-view

4

Card size

L=242 W=124 H=41 mm

PCB Form

ATX

DirectX

12 Ultimate

OpenGL

4.6

Recommended PSU

550W

Power Connectors

8 pin*1

Output

DisplayPort 1.4a *2

HDMI 2.1 *2

Accessories

Quick guide

 

Before diving into everything I do always take a look with GPUz to double-check that the listed specifications match up with what I am getting in my testing. I also want to give some reference to the overall clock speeds that this and other RTX 3060’s that I have tested are all at. So the 3060 Eagle and the EVGA RTX 3060 XC Black are both reference clocked cards so they come in at 1777 MHz which GPUz below confirms that. Then the MSI Gaming X Trio is an overclocked card at 1852 MHz.

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Packaging

Well, the packaging for the 3060 Eagle wasn’t that far off from the last Gigabyte card that I had come into the office. The last card which was one of their Gaming OC line of card which does still exists alongside the Eagle line. It has the same mechanical eye on the front. The only big difference is that the eye how has that aqua blue accent in it where it used to be orange and it has Eagle in the eye itself. They also have Eagle 12G down below that in a smaller font. The Gigabyte logo is in the top left corner and isn’t too in your face or big then you have the standard Nvidia wrap around in the bottom right corner which has the GeForce RTX branding and the 3060 model number. They show that the card does have RGB lighting and the Windforce cooler with logos in the bottom left as well. On the back of the box, they have a lot more to check out. There is a picture of the card in the section talking about the Windforce cooling and how its opposite spinning fans work. Then before that, they show the top edge lighting with three examples. I like that they have a picture of the card, though being on the front would be nicer. I also wish they would have specifications, at least the card's dimensions, and the clock speed. They did include a line drawing of the display connections which is nice though!

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Inside when you open the small box up you have foam with a cutout shaped like the card and the card sitting inside of a static protective bag. There aren’t any accessories or documentation so it's just the card. But it does come well protected.

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Card Layout and Photos

While the packaging shares a lot of styling with the Gaming OC, the RTX 3060 Eagle doesn’t look anything like the normal look that Gigabytes cards have had. Their Eagle lineup starts with a plastic fan shroud in a distinct grey finish. It does have a lot of the same angular styling that nearly every video card gets these days, but with the grey, it blends in more and can hardly be seen. Then up above the right fan, they have a transparent but tinted plastic panel that completes the shroud with the Eagle logo back behind the tinted plastic.

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As for the fans, they look the same as past Gigabyte cards. The 3060 Eagle has a dual fan design and they did stick with their Windforce technology which has the two fans spinning in opposite directions. You can see that the blades curves back in two different directions. The idea is that any wind pushed off of the end of the fans is combined in the middle and pushes upward. If you have two fans going in the same direction next to each other that same wind will fight against each other and be wasted and also creates turbulence and noise. The fans have the Gigabyte logo on the center and there is a blue ring on the outside of the centers to match the Eagle theme. They are both large fans at 100mm in size and you can see when looking closely that the heatsink even ends with the heatpipes up on top before the fan ends so there is some wasted space there. That view also shows us that this card has a horizontal fin orientation on the heatsink which isn’t seen often on axial fan designs. This is a little counter-intuitive to the Windforce design that will push air up in between those two fans as well so we will have to see how well the cooling works, horizontal layouts are normally less efficient from what I have seen but they don’t push as much hot air down up under the card creating a hot spot there as well.

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Overall the length of the card is about what you would expect for a large dual-fan cooler but you can see that it does extend out past the end of the PCB which ends at 175mm all the way out to 242mm in length. The card is also tall at 124mm with 20mm up over the top of the PCI bracket top. But I do like that the card does stick with a true dual-slot design, so many cards these days are pushing things close to a 3 slot but this is 41mm in overall thickness

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Looking around the edges of the 3060 Eagle verify some of what I saw before with the horizontal heatsink layout. The top of the card has the cards four large copper heatpipes exposed up under the fan shroud. These help pull the heat from on top of the GPU out across the cooler. The bottom view gives us a great look at the direct touch heatpipes being right on top of the GPU as well as a large heatspreader there that makes contact on all of the memory as well. I like that we can see the heatsink is cut around each cap on the PCB and even the fan plugs. What is interesting though is on the end of the card I was surprised that the end doesn’t have more of an opening given the horizontal heatsink layout but there is a reason for that which we will see in a second.

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Here is a closer look at the tinted section on the top edge of the card with the Eagle branding on it. If you look closely right above that there is also a backlit RGB accent as well. In the past, I have talked a lot about preferring accents like this over just having backlit branding so I do like this. But I’m surprised it isn’t any larger or that there isn’t more than the one. The top does have the Gigabyte and GeForce branding on top printed on the grey with a silver. The top of the card is also where you will find the power connection, with the PCB ending at 170mm it isn’t down at the end but it is tucked up under the heatpipes. The 3060 Eagle requires one 8-pin for power. The plug is flipped around with the PCB notched to fit the clip to help with cooler clearance and if you look closely you can also see that Gigabyte put a small LED under it to let you know if the cable isn’t plugged in.

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The back of the 3060 Eagle has a grey plastic backplate that matches the front fan shroud. This has the same GeForce RTX and Gigabyte branding as the top printed on it but they also included a bright blue Eagle logo as well. There are also a few darker grey lines printed on it as well. The plastic backplate doesn’t do much for supporting a long card, nor is it needed here because this card isn’t especially long or heavy but the plastic also means a little less cooling can go through the back as it is more of an insulator. They counter this at least some with the large opening towards the end. This lets the right fan blow directly through the card and remember earlier I mentioned how the end of the card doesn’t have much ventilation for a horizontal heatsink card. Well, I think the idea is that this is where a lot of that air will be blown out.

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The PCI bracket has some ventilation as well and with the layout, it will be important in the cooling. For display connections, the card has two DisplayPort 1.4a connections and two HDMI 2.1 ports. This is an unusual layout, most cards have been going with the now standard 3 DisplayPort and 1 HDMI layout but there are still a lot of people who need multiple HDMI so this is great for that situation. HDMI 2.1 also supports 4K at 120Hz as well so those won't be limited.

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Before getting into my testing I did also get pictures of the 3060 Eagle up and running to check out the RGB lighting. Like I said before it is just that one strip above the Eagle branding so the RGB lighting isn’t too crazy. I will take it over having the brand name backlit any day but I don’t think having a few on the fan side or the back would have hurt as well.

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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 Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle has the same reference clock speed as the EVGA 3060 that I previously took a look at but drives have also been updated so we can see how they compare.

The first round of tests was done in the older Fire Strike benchmark which is a DX11 test. There are three detail levels, performance, extreme, and ultra. The 3060 Eagle did better than I would have expected obviously due to the newer driver, coming in a little ahead of the overclocked RTX 3060 in all three tests.

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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. In the normal Time Spy test the 3060 Eagle was a touch faster than the EVGA and behind the overclocked MSI card but it is interesting to see right in the middle of the chart just how close everything is with the 2060 SUPER, 3060, Radeon, VII, 5700 XT and the 2070 all grouped up. The Time Spy Extreme test had a similar grouping and this time the EVGA and the 3060 Eagle were even closer together.

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In 3DMark’s Port Royal I can take a look at ray tracing performance, especially now that AMD is also supported. The 3060 Eagle did well here, coming in ahead of the other 3060’s including the overclocked card as well as being a little above the overclocked 2060 SUPER as well.

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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 3060 Eagle was a little faster than the EVGA but behind the overclocked MSI here which was enough to edge out a little faster than the overclocked RX 5700 XT.

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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 3060 Eagle is a half an FPS behind the overclocked 3060 in the VR Future test and one FPS behind in the VR Max test. All three of the 3060’s tested are a little behind on the max test compared to where they are on the future setting.

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My second round of VR testing was in VRMark which has two tests that are similar to the VR tests in Superposition. One is future-looking and extremely demanding and the other (cyan room) is more like modern VR games. The results in VRMark are similar to what we saw in the superposition tests. The 3060 Eagle is just a hair behind the Gaming X Trio in the more demanding blue room test but in the cyan test the overclocked Trio pulls ahead a little more but all three 3060 are all together here.

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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 Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle 12G do in actual games? Well at 1080p everything I tested came in at 60 FPS or higher and with 7 over 120 FPS and 9 in the 60-119 range. This is a touch lower than the other two RTX 3060’s because Far Cry at the ultra setting came in just a hair below 120. At 1440p the 3060 Eagle did well with 11 out of 15 results being over 60 FPS and 4 that were playable but in the 30-59 FPS range. Then at 4K, the 3060 Eagle had just one result over 60 FPS, a majority at 13 in the 30-59 FPS range, and 2 that were unplayable. The 1440p and 4K results were both the same as I saw with the overclocked and other factory clocked RTX 3060’s so nothing different there.

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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. The first game I took a look at was Watch Dogs: Legion and it shows that running the newer driver does give a performance boost to the otherwise stock clocked 3060 Eagle putting it right with the overclocked Trio and at 1080p on the ultra setting it even gained an FPS on it. The three 3060’s are still very close together in performance. With most of the other games you can see a clear tier with the Eagle being faster than the EVGA but behind the overclocked Trio. That means that the Eagle, like the other 3060’s sticks mostly around where the RTX 2060 SUPER is in performance.

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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 3060 Eagle comes in just a hair above the EVGA 3060 with 9088 and the overclocked 3060 still has a good performance gap but all of them are above the overclocked RX 5700 XT’s.

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In Basemark I test with the DirectX12 setting and again with OpenGL. The 3060 Eagle comes in right in line with the other RTX 3060’s and the RTX 2060 SUPERs as well with a tiny edge above the EVGA 3060.

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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 3060 Eagle has the same 255-second score as the overclocked Gaming X Trio with the EVGA just a second behind as well. The Optix tests compare the same CUDA results against Optix which is significantly faster to do the same Blender workload, cutting the time in half and more.

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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 3060 Eagle did better than I would have expected. With the 3DMark test, the system pulled 314 watts which was under both the overclocked and other factory clocked RTX 3060’s by around 20 watts. The AIDA64 workload which is a lot more consistent was a lot closer but even here the 3060 Eagle did come in at 5 watts under the other factory clocked 3060. I took a look at GPUz’s sensor readings while running 3DMark again just to see what they would say for the peak on chip power draw but because this is a new addition we can only see that the 3060 Eagle does a good job of pulling less than the two much more powerful 6700XT’s.

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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. The 3060 Eagle was quiet, both the 100% and 50% fan noise tests had the dual fan card down at the bottom of our charts. A quick look at the RPM chart tells us why with the two fans running significantly lower in RPM than almost everything else tested. The under load test on the other hand tells a different story, with the fans being worked a lot more with the lower RPM fans and the card ends up in the top 1/3 of the cards tested.

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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 Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle 12G didn’t do too bad coming in at 61c but this was still warmer than the stock clocked EVGA and the MSI with the huge RTX 3090 cooler was of course even cooler than that. Cranking the fans up to 100% didn’t see the temperatures dropping down as much as you might expect as well with the 3060 Eagle going from the bottom 1/3 to near the top of the chart. The horizontal heatsink layout seems to have its limitations which are also contributing to the otherwise quiet fans running higher in RPM with the stock fan profile not leaving much room for the fans to speed up. The delta between the two was just 3 degrees. This is one of those it cools just fine, but I wouldn’t overclock things. There just isn’t the head room.

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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. Right away on the fan side, you can see that there isn’t as big of a hot spot up under the card like vertical heatsink designs will have. We can also see that opening in the backplate from the fan side with that area running much cooler. The top edge view lets us look down and see the heat from the heatsink which is much warmer on the left side where the power, GPU, and memory are all at. But we also don’t see the wires up on top of the shroud getting as much of that heat because it doesn’t blow up. The backplate being plastic does insulate things but we can still see a hot spot where the GPU is at.

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Overall and Final Verdict

Going into this review I was excited to check out the RTX 3060 Eagle 12G because I haven’t had Gigabyte’s Eagle line in the office before. They launched it early last year and as you can imagine things have been tight from them on. Their Eagle lineup is Gigabyte’s budget-focused model but it does come in two different SKUs as far as the RTX 3060 is concerned. They have a referenced clocked 1777 MHz model which is what I am checking out today and then they have a similar model with an overclock which has a small overclock of 1807 MHz. While budget-focused Gigabyte didn’t do a bad job on the overall styling of the RTX 3060 Eagle. I am digging the grey color that they went with for the entire fan shroud and backplate. Black, grey, and silver are used often in video cards but this is a lighter shade than the grey you normally see and it looks good. They do still include Eagle branding and the bright blue or aqua color that they use with the Eagle line is also unique and good looking. They did also slip in a little bit of RGB lighting though I think the card could use a little more if you are going for it. But I was happy that they avoided using it to just light up branding which is what so many cards have.

The plastic fan shroud wraps around to the back of the card which does give it a backplate officially. But being plastic it doesn’t offer any extra strength and as far as cooling goes it is more of an insulator as well. But it does look better than not having a backplate and it offers at least impact and small spill damage. As for performance, the RTX 3060 Eagle competed right with the previous RTX 3060’s that I have tested. This put it with the RTX 2060 SUPER a majority of the time and that translated to great 1080p performance and enough power at 1440p to push things though you may have to turn the settings down on some titles.

The biggest faults with the 3060 Eagle all come down to just one area. They went with a horizontal heatsink fin layout along with capping the overall RPM of the dual fans a lot lower than most cards. When testing the fans at 100% and 50% fan speeds they were very quiet, but when under load the card is noisier than the other RTX 3060’s. This is because even with the stock fan profile the cooler pushes the fans to keep things cool leaving very little headroom. It's harder to push the air side to side the longer distance compared to a vertical layout so even being a larger card than the EVGA the Eagle doesn’t cool as well. Now it is perfectly fine for cooling, I just wouldn’t expect to be able to get a big overclock out of the card as it sits.

The other big issue and frankly the elephant in the room is the overall availability and pricing of this and ALL GPUs right now. This isn’t on Gigabyte at all, in fact, the RTX 3060 Eagle has an MSRP of $329.99 which is right at Nvidia’s announced price and much lower than any of the overclocked cards. But due to more than a year of shortages and high demand from mining as well as with people working from home and gaming more often cards like this are selling for ludicrous numbers if you can even find one. I hate to post up reviews when they are so tight, but if you are shopping around I do want people to know what to expect from the card and in this case, you can expect so-so cooling, unique and good looking styling, solid performance, and budget focused materials on things like the plastic backplate which would normally go perfectly with its budget-focused MSRP.

fv5

Live Pricing: HERE

 

 

 

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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