Nvidia has released the RTX 4060, which is the new Ada Lovelace graphics card that is supposed to replace the previous generation RTX 3060. The card is marketed for 1080p, but it is capable of 1440p gaming as well. So, should you buy an Nvidia RTX 4060 right now? Here is what you need to know.
Is The Nvidia RTX 4060 Worth Buying In 2023?
Nvidia RTX 4060 Vs. RTX 4060 Ti 8GB Vs. 3060 Specifications
|Specifications||RTX 4060 Ti||RTX 4060||RTX 3060|
|RT Cores||34 (3rd Gen)||24 (3rd Gen)||28 (2nd Gen)|
|Tensor Cores||136 (4th gen)||96 (4th gen)||112 (3rd Gen)|
|Base Clock Speed||2310 MHz||~ 1830 MHz||~ 1320 MHz|
|Boost Clock Speed||2535 MHz||2460 MHz||1777 MHz|
|VRAM||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||12GB GDDR6|
|L2 Cache Size||32.7 MB||24 MB||3 MB|
RTX 4060 has fewer CUDA Cores, RT Cores, and Tensor Cores compared to the Ti variant, but that is expected. At the price tag of around $299 USD, it is less expensive than the previous generation card that it replaced. But the CUDA cores are less than the previous generation RTX 3060, as well as the VRAM and the memory interface, which are the reasons why the performance of the RTX 4060 is crippled. Nvidia claimed to compensate for these shortcomings by adding L2 cache, but this seems to provide little improvement in games.
Nvidia RTX 4060 Performance
Nvidia has marketed the RTX 4060 as a 1080p graphics card, but the benchmarks show that the new 40 series card is barely able to beat the previous generation RTX 3060 in games such as Cyberpunk 2077. Furthermore, the 3060 Ti is able to beat the RTX 4060 in Cyberpunk at 1080p. You would imagine that the new generation would provide a major boost in performance and that the RTX 4060 would be on par with the 3060 Ti, but that is not the case.
The trend remains the same in F1 22, where the RTX 4060 has a lead of 10% while the 3060 Ti performs better than the 40 series card. The last generation AMD RX 6700 XT is able to outperform the RTX 4060 in the title by 42%. This is a rather compelling option since you can buy the AMD RX 6700 XT for just $10 more. The same is the case for The Last of Us, Overwatch 2, and Atomic Heart.
Turning up the resolution to 1440p results in even worse performance for the RTX 4060 compared to the 3060 Ti since the RTX 3060 Ti’s lead improved with the increase in resolution. I personally use an RTX 3060 Ti for 1440p gaming and was hoping to upgrade to the RTX 4060 Ti or 4060, but that seems like a worthless upgrade now.
The RTX 3060 Ti is able to beat the RTX 4060 by a significant degree in games such as Overwatch 2, Cyberoubnk 2077, F1 22, and Returnal. The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT turns out to offer the best value for money in these titles considering its price and the performance that it has to offer compared to the RTX 30 and 40 series cards in question here, which is due to its 12GB of VRAM.
What about ray tracing performance? The 40 series cards have 3rd Gen RT cores, so they should perform better, right? You might think so, but the RT cores of the RTX 4060 are fewer than the 3060, even though they are “next-gen”. So ray tracing performance is better than the RTX 3060 but worse than the RTX 3060 Ti in games such as Returnal, Cyberpunk 2077, and F1 22. It does outperform the AMD cards, but the framerate hit, even at 1080p, is significant.
Nvidia has heavily marketed DLSS 3.0, and since this feature is exclusive to the RTX 40 series cards, you might be wondering whether the performance gains are significant. Yes, they are. With DLSS 3.0 enabled, you can run Cyberpunk 2077 at 1440p, high settings at an average FPS of 82. You can even turn on ray tracing and get 60 FPS on average. The strand is the same in games such as Returnal and Atomic Heart. So there is no surprise that Nvidia is heavily marketing this technology.
When it comes to rasterization performance, the RTX 4060 does not offer significant improvements over the previous generation RTX 3060 and is unable to beat the RTX 3060 Ti. The VRAM and memory bus are limiting factors that cannot be compensated for with an additional L2 cache. If you already own an RTX 3060, then we cannot recommend upgrading to the RTX 4060, and you would be better off overclocking your RTX 3060.
The RTX 4060 does offer a significant boost in performance with features such as DLSS 3.0 and frame generation, which in theory, could even allow you to play games at 4K. DLSS 3.0 is very good and works well. Since these features are not as widely supported as we would hope, we cannot recommend the RTX 4060, even with the added benefits of DLSS 3.0 and ray tracing.
We can only hope that in the future, these graphics cards will get a price cut that will make buying them more sensible.