Although reference specs are listed, it's unlikely that a card
with reference NVIDIA cooler and PCB layout will be released
NVIDIA have been keeping their cards close to the chest prior to retail availability of their GeForce RTX 3060 later this month. Although officially unveiled at CES 2021, the green team failed to divulge key specifications of the card, potentially to keep their competition guessing. That's finally been rectified as the official specs are now available, offering a baseline against which the fleet of partner implementations can be assessed.
The RTX 3060's closest sibling is the RTX 3060 Ti, a card with which it shares an architectural family and partial model name. Under the hood however they're quite distinct, with different underlying silicon and broad specifications.
The RTX 3060 is based on the GA106 GPU, with 28 SMs enabled for a total of 3584 CUDA cores, 112 TMUs and 64 ROPs. The RTX 3060 Ti is a bigger beast; this cut-down GA104 houses 38 SMs for a total of 4864 CUDA cores, 152 TMUs and 80 ROPs. The number of ray tracing units will be different in similar proportions, speaking to the RTX 3060's position as an entry level component for ray-tracing in 2021.
Memory subsystems also differ considerably between the two models. Each RTX 3060 Ti is equipped with 8GB of GDDR6 memory connected to the GPU over a 256-bit bus. The RTX 3060 meanwhile has 50% more VRAM (as NVIDIA decided that 6GB would be insufficient for this SKU), but a narrower 192-bit bus. The impact of this will be unpredictable, but as a general rule of thumb it is reasonable to expect the card to be less capable at higher resolutions and image quality settings than its bigger brother.
While the 3060 Ti is a considerably beefier model, the RTX 3060 will close the gap somewhat thanks to ~7% higher BOOST reference clock speeds. That should also help it to push higher frame rates at mainstream resolutions (1080p, up to 1440p) and take advantage of G-Sync panels that exceed 60Hz refresh rates. Note that these clock speeds are effectively a lower bound to the specifications that AIB cards will ship with; many models from the likes of MSI, ASUS and GIGABYTE will in fact be factory overclocked beyond this.
The GeForce RTX 3060 is scheduled to launch on Thursday February 25th with an MSRP of £299/$329/€329. Their actual street price however is anybodies guess.