MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X TRIO review

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MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming X TRIO review

NVIDIA has released another RTX 3000 series SKU onto the market, in this review, we check out the GeForce RTX 3060, and yeah that's the non-Ti model. This Ampere GPU-based graphics card series is based on a generous 12GB, but then has 3584 shading processors activated (less than available on the actual GPU). Much has been said, rumored, and spoken about this card. And weird it is that it's released after the Ti model made a fashionable introduction.

However, with that 3584  shading cores and Ampere architecture, this 3060 series is bound to influence the 2560x1440 (WQHD) domain. If we look back at the previous generation, the product would sit at GeForce RTX 2070 (SUPER) performance levels and, in due time, will replace that series. If stock becomes available in plentiful volumes though. The GPU is again fabricated on an 8nm node derived from Samsung. This process further develops Samsung's 10nm process; no EUV is applied in production just yet. The first wave of announcements has seen the GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 being released first, and, as a bit of a surprise, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and 3070. It's now late February 2021 and NVIDIA is set to release its more 'regular' 3060 prices 329 USD.  As you will have noticed, the 3060 GPU cores count is about 26 percent lower than with the RTX 3060 Ti, which has a GA104 chip with 4864 shading cores (shader/stream/cuda cores = all the same thing with a different name). NVIDIA is launching the 3060 series with the 12GB model, which's remarkably enough is 2GB more than the GeForce RTX 3080 (!). Later on, they'll likely silently slip in a 6 GB version, though that has not been confirmed. NVIDIA advertises the series with 13 'shader teraflops' and 25 'RT-ops', the latter giving an indication of the ray-tracing performance. Notable is that a change is in effect, the memory runs ar 15 Gbps as opposed to the usual 14 Gbps, likely to compensate for the perf hit of going 256-bit towards 192-bit on the memory bus due to that memory configuration. It's the same for the shader core cluster, it's clocked higher in the boost frequency compared to the Ti model, also compensating a bit for the lower number of shader cores.   

The Ampere lineup nearly doubles ray-tracing performance with Gen2 ray-tracing cores and 3rd iteration Tensor cores. These cards will all be PCIe 4.0 interface compatible and offer HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4a, but most importantly is that exorbitant shader processor count (referred to as CUDA cores by NVIDIA). With just over a third of the shader processor count seen from the flagship product, we now meet the NVIDIA GA106 GPU. And despite being a lower segmented card, it still holds a sizable GPU die. In this round, NVIDIA is not seeding Founder edition cards, aka FE GeForce RTX 3060. But of course, they do present the reference specification; a boost clock of 1780 MHz and a base clock of 1320 MHz. 


Model Base Clock (MHz) Boost Clock (MHz) VRAM Base Clock (MHz) VRAM Effective Datarate (MHz) Max Power %
GeForce RTX 3060 1320 1780 1875 15000 -
ASUS RTX 3060 STRIX OC 1320 1882 1875 15000 23
PALIT RTX 3060 DUAL OC 1320 1837 1875 15000 6
MSI RTX 3060 Gaming X TRIO 1320 1852 1875 15000 6
EVGA RTX 3060 XC 1320


1875 15000


ZOTAC RTX 3060 AMP Wh. 1320


1875 15000 10



MSI submitted their successful gaming TRIO X model. Armed with a BIOS that offers an 1852 MHz Turbo (1780 MHz = reference), slightly power levels, and a cooler that you'll bow to, this product was designed to shine and impress. The TRIO X is a premium product, and it shows that in all its ways. Truth be told, the product might even be over-engineered for something with RTX *060 in it's name. It however has a factory tweak, some smooth aesthetics, and of course the cooling performance numbers to back it up. This card manages to produce 30~31 Dba acoustic levels (which is an all time low) at temperatures in a 60 Degrees C range. The card is outfitted with that NVIDIA GA106-300 GPU; it a proper shader core count as 3584 stream processors are activated and gets paired with 12GB GDDR6 graphics memory, 192-bit running at 15 Gbps. The card is passive in idle (it has fan stop) and offering incredibly silent acoustics when under load based on fan stop. The card has dual 8-pin power headers, and the card is rated by us at 200 Watt power draw typical. That means MSI allows the graphics card to breathe a bit more, with an increased power limiter. Regardless, it still overclocks quite well bringing, and accumulated it makes this product a notch faster than founder edition specifications for the base model.

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