The graphics card market is pretty sad right now. Where store shelves were emptied for video cards a few years ago, demand has moved downstairs in 2023.
The price level has not yet fallen on Nvidia video cards.
Here on the mountain, the situation is getting worse thanks to inflation and the low krone exchange rate, but even American prices cannot save the video cards that Nvidia has recently launched.
On June 28, the RTX 4060 will be in stores. xx60 cards are among Nvidia’s best-selling products, but in recent generations the price level has risen from the budget class to the middle class.
The RTX 4060 is launched at NOK 4,000.
The graphics card should be more energy efficient than the previous RTX 3060, and it should offer more powerful performance.
At least that’s what Nvidia says.
The tests they rely on for marketing are mainly done using DLSS. Our raster-based tests paint a very different picture of what Nvidia wants to sell the card for.
The results are surprisingly weak.
Small and cozy
Our test sample is the Gigabyte RTX 4060 Windforce OC. It has a small cooler with two fans.
The RTX 4060 has 3072 CUDA cores, 8GB of DDR6 video memory, and a clock speed of 2460MHz. The Windforce OC card runs up to over 2800MHz out of the box.
The keel design is fine enough. It’s not Gigabyte’s fault that the RTX 4060 is a poor product, even if the fans aren’t able to prevent overheating.
This version of the RTX 4060 reached 81 degrees at most, and the heat point on the graphics card was then 101 degrees. Average while playing requires 78 degrees.
It does not bode well after a few days of use.
The propellers rotated up to 80 percent of maximum speed at most, then 2,800 revolutions. The noise level is minimal, but the temperatures are quite high for a video card that draws no more than 128 watts from the wall under full load.
That shouldn’t be possible
Performance is what completely broke the RTX 4060. It is quite natural to expect it to touch the previous new video card released more than two years ago.
but not. Our tests show that the RTX 3060 12 GB outperforms the RTX 4060 on several occasions.
You won’t succeed. Nvidia has machined the RTX 4060 for 1080p gaming, and there on average it’s a bit more powerful than its predecessor. At 1440p they are on average quite the same, and at 4K the RTX 3060 is somewhat faster due to the increased memory.
It seems clear that Nvidia is using DLSS 3 support as a crutch. Nvidia always sends out a test guide to those who get samples, and almost all RTX 4060 tests are done using DLSS.
Raster-based tests are only done in games where the RTX 4060 is clearly better than the RTX 3060, but that doesn’t reflect the realities of this card.
A little better, a little worse
The RTX 4060 is clearly more powerful than the RTX 3060 in some of the 18 games I tested. Featured positively in these games:
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. 27 percent faster at 1080p, 14 percent faster at 1440p and the same at 4K
- Chernobyl Enhanced Edition; 36 percent faster at 1080p, 19 percent faster at 1440p and 11 percent faster at 4K
- Far Cry 6; 20 percent faster at 1080p and 16 percent faster at 1440p, but 13 percent slower at 4K
Otherwise, it’s usually 10-15 percent faster in many other games.
It’s a little thin for a video card that comes in much later at NOK 4,000, but it’s not a crunch. Like the vast majority of modern video cards for a few thousand pounds, it delivers decent performance in less demanding games.
However, the problem is that it is already being overpowered by the RTX 3060 in games like CS:GO, Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch 2, and Rainbow Six Extraction.
They all seem to like the 3000 series well, but they balance out newer games (the ones in the list above) with a larger cache like the RTX 4060.
You can see how the pieces are distributed at three different resolutions here:
Thus, the predecessor is faster on average at 1440p and 4K. It would be in favor of the RTX 4060 by a fair margin if you put out Overwatch 2, CS:GO, and Rainbow Six, but that would be wrong.
It is incomprehensible that Nvidia can power a video card that is sometimes outperformed by its predecessor.
Game choice will greatly affect this, but I used these games for most of my Lovelace tests.
So I know the 3060 Ti is clearly faster than the RTX 4060 in games as I have data from the 3060 Ti – and test data from an older test bench. You can currently buy an RTX 3060 Ti for exactly NOK 4,000, like this.
Anyway, I’m skeptical about buying video cards with 8GB of VRAM now. Cyberpunk 2077 and Far Cry 6 ran out of memory on the RTX 4060 at 4K.
It handles 1080p without a problem, but for example Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II warns me that I have very little video memory even at 1080p.
This will become a bigger and bigger problem as new, more demanding games come out.
Back ray tracing
The RTX 4060 has the biggest advantage over the RTX 3060 when ray tracing is turned on. The previous version also does not support DLSS 3, which you will be able to use in more and more games in the future.
I’d recommend buying the 4000 series precisely for DLSS 3 support, but the RTX 4060 isn’t something you should buy right away.
I expect great discounts on these. Online stores will be left with plenty of stock when the Black Week and New Year’s Sale arrive.
Tests using ray tracing show the RTX 4060 to be 15 to 16 percent faster than the RTX 3060 at 1080p and 1440p, but about the same at 4K. Then it’s probably memory that comes into play again:
Overall, it’s hard to recommend anyone to buy an RTX 4060. You can get huge performance jumps if you’re sitting on an RTX 2060 or GTX 1060, but then you can easily buy an RTX 3060 Ti or wait.
Frame construction could be a clear advantage of the 4000 series, but it just doesn’t perform well enough yet to be a draw on its own.
It also doesn’t help that the RTX 4060 is more powerful than the RTX 3060 in ray tracing. Anyway, the image stream reduction is so great with ray tracing that it’s not worth using.
The RTX 4060 is simply an insult to the consumer. Nvidia should never release a graphics card that is so weak compared to its predecessor.
It is normal to expect 20-30 percent higher performance in the next generation at the same price. Nvidia has lowered power consumption, but it misses out on performance entirely.
This is weak and bad.
I must stress that – given the isolation – there is nothing to say about the RTX 4060’s 1080p performance. On average, I get 150fps in our tests on ultra settings, but the positive impression fades once I look at other products on the market.
At the time of writing, the Proshop has the RTX 3060 Ti from Inno3d for NOK 4,000. You can even find the significantly more powerful RTX 3070 Ti on the used market for 3500-4000 NOK, and they still have many good years left.
Here, as consumers, I have to vote using my wallet. The RTX 4060 is very weak, has very little memory, and costs a lot.
We put ourselves a little higher than a pure failing grade here, namely because the product works as it should. A (strong) price adjustment is required to raise the score. And ideally, that should be the RTX 4050 Ti, not the RTX 4060.
Try again, nvidia.
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