The RTX 3060 was announced during CES alongside NVIDIA’s year opener technologies including their RTX 30-series laptop lineup. Today, we have the GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card debuting, which unlike previous launches, will be a partner launch. That means there’s no Founders Edition so we’ll have all partner cards to work with. For this launch we have samples from COLORFUL, ASUS ROG and ZOTAC to share with you but due to incidents beyond our control, driver availability has limited our time to simultaneously release these reviews on launch.
In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the gaming performance of the ZOTAC RTX 3060 Twin Edge White Edition.
Debuting at $329, NVIDIA has bumped up their midrange offering to the $300 mark but promises performance that rivals that of the RTX 2070. This means that it should push 1440p performance in this price as well as pushing high-refresh rate gaming in 1080p as well as making realtime raytracing more prevalent as well. Also, I’ll mention it now, but regarding price, I’ll expand on that on the conclusion after we go over performance.
As NVIDIA targets users still using GTX 10-series and lower to upgrade with the RTX 30 series, the RTX 3060 will be specifically targeting the benevolent GTX 1060. NVIDIA’s reviewer guides says it so, and as we’ve preached for over 10 years now, Steam’s Hardware Survey says a lot about the landscape of gaming as we help it guide us in our reviews and NVIDIA acknowledges that as well. Steam’s Hardware Survey lists the GTX 1060 as the most popular graphics card in the market today 9.38% of the market uses this card. It is followed by the GTX 1050 Ti at 6.79% as of January 2021.
What’s New on the RTX 3060
This means a few things: first, the xx60 class of graphics card are indeed popular as the RTX 2060, the GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 SUPER are also both in the top 10 of Steam users. Its AMD counterpart, the RX 580 is the only AMD card in the top 10. This in turn leads us to our second point: midrange is where its at. Which opens up a bigger story as NVIDIA puts a few things forward with the RTX 3060 namely crippled mining performance which should improve availability (hopefully) and resizable BAR support. This will be the first RTX 30 card for desktop that will support resizable BAR which gives applications more access to the large memory pool of the RTX 3060. This should see varying performance improvement but we’ll focus on that on another article. Other than that, NVIDIA is remind us of their large ecosystem that leverages the power of their RTX 30-series cards including raytracing, RTX Studio, NVIDIA Broadcast, DLSS, and other technologies.
About the GeForce RTX 3060
The RTX 3060 will formally supersede the RTX 3060 and will deliver roughly RTX 2070 performance but with a larger VRAM of 12GB. The RTX 3060 will have 3584 CUDA cores, 112 Gen3 Tensor cores and 28 RT cores. It default to 1777Mhz boost clock and has a 1875Mhz of memory wired to a 192-bit bus. It features nearly double the amount of CUDA cores found on the RTX 3060 and like many RTX 30 series card, the RTX 3060 will have the more recent Tensor cores and RT cores for deep-learning and raytracing.
Against the 3060 Ti, the RTX 3060 has a faster overall boost clock but the RTX 3060 Ti has a wider 256-bit bus for its memory which is less than the RTX 3060 which has 12GB of VRAM but only a 192-bit wide bus. As with all RTX 30 cards, it is on PCI-Express Gen4 and will feature all of NVIDIA’s RTX 30-series software feature like DirectX 12 Ultimate support, DLSS, RTX Studio, Reflex, etc.
The RTX 3060 is rated at 170W. Models exact card power will vary.
About the ZOTAC GAMING RTX 3060 OC White Edition
ZOTAC’s has had a slim port folio for all their RTX 30 releases with the exception of the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080. For the RTX 3070, 3060 Ti and now the RTX 3060, we get the Twin Edge design. While it is arguably the shortest of all the RTX 30 cards that I know of, it is not small in all accounts as it sports the widest heatsink. This wider footprint makes it ideal for smaller microATX or even some ITX towers but narrow cases who can’t house CPU tower heatsinks larger than 150mm may have problems fitting it.
It is exactly 141.3mm wide so it should fit in most cases but will be quite prominently posed on its side for vertical GPU mounts. Its 92mm fans are not RGB illuminated and the only lights on all Twin Edge coolers are on the logo on the side.
Going back to specs, we have an OC card here which is factory tweaked to deliver 1867Mhz of boost clocks. Now one thing to note, this is not just a simple palette swap of the RTX 3060 Twin Edge from ZOTAC. They made it so that it drops the OC nomenclature but dubs it as the White Edition. Not advertised with the White Edition is the fact that it features a factory OC of +60Mhz than the standard ZOTAC RTX 3060 Twin Edge OC which requires me to name it specifically the ZOTAC RTX 3060 Twin Edge White Edition in this review because of that.
The ZOTAC RTX 3060 Twin Edge requires two 8-pin PCIe connector for power.
Power Draw, Clock Speed and Temperature
We’ll switch things up and open with the power and temperature behavior of the graphics card first. We use Final Fantasy XV Benchmark to simulate a gaming workload but for those looking extreme loads, we do put our cards through Kombustor on first installation for stress testing to check for stability. For our reviews though, we use Final Fantasy XV to simulate a true gaming scenario. Power draw is captured inline via PCAT or Powenetics so no other components affects readings. Readings are taken from the average 15 min idle readings for both load and idle.
Let’s take a look at clock behavior versus temperature:
And here are our reference temperature and power charts:
Starting with this review, we’ll also integrate readings for Kombustor, a stress-testing tool for graphics card. As requested by some readers, they want to see the cards stressed a bit more to see how decent cooling is. The charts below show a full extended run of the stress test (Furmark GL in 4K resolution). The chart will also show some key readings related to the card including fan speed, voltages, etc. Again, the room ambient is kept at 28*C.
Test Setup and Methodology
Processor: Intel Core i9 10900K
Memory: G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3600 32GB
Storage: Patriot Viper VP4100 Gen4 SSD
PSU: FSP Hydro G Pro 1000W
Cooling: Corsair H150i Pro 360mm AIO
Monitor: ROG PG27UQ 4K 144hz HDR1000
For a full-hardware workout, visit https://benchmarks.ul.com for our system warm-up and stress test of choice.
For benchmarking methodology please see our game benchmark method guide.
Test results are gathered and produced on CapFrameX. This makes it easier for use to get both line graph comparison and raw averages without extra tools. Simply the easiest tool for benchmarking and its available for everyone to use, free of charge. Check it out at capframex.com.
Since this is a GPU review, we benchmarked the area of the games that put heavy load on the GPU.
All our test runs are repeatable, click the links below for area and details. Read our benchmarking methodology.
- DOTA2 – Kiev Major Grand Finals Game 5: OG vs Virtus.Pro (54:05 – 55:05)
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: FPS Benchmark Workshop Map
- Rainbow Six: Siege – Benchmark Mode
- The Witcher 3 – Woesong Bridge
- Grand Theft Auto V – Palomino Highlands
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Kuwaq Yaqu
- Call of Duty Warzone – Fog of War
- Monster Hunter World: Iceborne – Wildspire Waste
- F1 2020 – Benchmark Mode
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – Training Mode
- Apex Legends – Firing Range
- Valorant – Custom Game
- Destiny 2 – The Tower
- Cyberpunk 2077 – Little China, noontime
See our Youtube playlist for benchmark sequences.
You can click on any of the benchmark charts enlarge. You can also move forward and backwards to quickly navigate through our charts via gallery view. For this test, only the out-of-box normal mode will be tested.
Kindly let me know if you spot an errors in the charts. I do my best to keep them error free but while test results are reliable and accurate, bringing them over to Excel and relying on formulas to generate the reports sometimes can cause mix-ups.
- All data are gathered from exactly the same system, with exactly the configuration we list here. No data is reused from another system or from any variations of. We gather data from only one system as indicated here.
- Graphics cards are allowed to heat up prior to benchmarking. Cooler graphics cards may boost higher than normal.
- Following up on the above, we try to enjoy the game and play a bit before proceeding to the actual benchmark scenario. This allows us to detect any other problems like stuttering, frame skipping, or any other problems.
- Games that receive graphical updates that affect performance e.g. (DOTA2 moving from DX9 to DX11) will be retested completely.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, popularly known as CSGO, competes for Steam’s most popular game. It has found a resurgence in its popularity and has recently peaked in 2020 in the number of players that play the game. Based on Valve’s Source Engine, the game received major asset overhauls during the years since its inception nearly 10 years ago. Still, it’s a light game and can be played on fairly lighter systems but the competitive scene for CSGO has seen average players demand high FPS from their systems thus gaining favorable standing with GPU vendors just from the demand for higher FPS alone. CSGO is a game that can easily go past 500FPS on enthusiast systems on maximum settings. We’re including CSGO as requested by our community.
API: DirectX9 (default)
Maximum In-Game Settings
Texture Streaming Disabled
Note: JUNE 2020 – DOTA2 has recently implemented a transition from DirectX9 to DirectX11 and new install of the game will prompt users to switch from DX9 to DX11. With that said, we are testing DOTA2 in DX11 from now on.
In contention for the most popular game on Steam and the biggest competition in eSports: DOTA 2 is powered by the Source 2 engine. The game is fairly light on low to medium settings but maxed out, with heavy action on screen especially during clashes, can really stress most systems. This is a game where frame times matter as responsiveness is very important in high-stakes competition. We’re looking at consistently low frametimes in this game for the best experience
Our test uses actual game replay, using the segment from game 5 of the Kiev Major 2017 Grand Finals between OG and VP. The clash during the 54:05 to 55:05 of the game is a nice example of how much a system will get punished during intense team fights in DOTA2.
API: DirectX11 (default)
Best-Looking slider setting (Ultra)
Rainbow Six: Siege
Nearly 4 years later and Rainbow Six: Siege has become a phenomenon after a lukewarm beginning. The massive shift in focus of the game sees it stepping into eSports territory and the excellent mix of gameplay mechanics, good design and a dedicated dev team has put R6: Siege in a position it couldn’t even picture during launch. Rainbow Six: Siege focuses heavily on tactical and creative gameplay and its vertical levels and highly destructible maps encourage players to be quick on their feet so the action is always going. Powered by Ubisoft’s own AnvilNext 2.0 engine which powers some of Ubi’s recent visual masterpieces, R6:Siege also feature excellent graphics and can get very taxing at high detail settings. The game also features an Ultra HD texture pack download for those that want higher resolution textures but will of course demand more from the system.
API: DirectX 11
Anti Aliasing: TAA
Ultra HD Texture pack not installed
Ambient Occlusion: SSBC
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
CD Projekt Red’s latest installment in the Witcher saga features one of the most graphically intense offering the company has to date. As Geralt of Rivia, slay monsters, beasts and men as you unravel the mysteries of your past. Vast worlds and lush sceneries make this game a visual feast and promises to make any system crawl at its highest settings. This game has found great resurgence in its playerbase thanks to the release of Netflix’ Witcher series.
API: DirectX 11
Frame Rate: Unlimited
Nvidia HairWorks: Off
Motion Blur: Off
Ambient Occlusion: SSAO
Depth of Field: On
Chromatic Aberration: Off
Light Shafts: On
Grand Theft Auto V
The fifth and most successful installment to date in the highly controversial Grand Theft Auto series brings a graphical overhaul to the PC version of GTA V which many have lauded as a superior approach in porting a console game to PC. Featuring large areas and detailing, GTA V is a highly challenging application in terms of scene complexity.
Our benchmark uses a run from Palomina Highlands running through a lush area to a remote road all the way to a neighborhood in our car to simulate multiple scene changes.
API: DirectX 11
Very High settings
Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
Motion Blur disabled
Advanced Graphics enabled
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the latest installment in the reboot run of the classic Tomb Raider franchise. The game follows the story set forth by the previous game which Shadow of the Tomb Raider short follows after. Technology-wise, the game uses the Foundation engine updated to meet the demand of developer Eidos Montreal to push the engine to its limits. The game supports DirectX 12 and is one of the launch titles to support RTX technology namely DLSS which launched a couple of months post-launch.
API: DirectX 12
Graphics Settings Preset: Highest
Texture Quality: Ultra
Texture Filtering: 8x Anisotropic
Raytraced Shadow: OFF
Call of Duty Warzone
Call of Duty Warzone, Modern Warfare’s free-to-play component, is a reboot of the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare storyline, set in a different world where you, along with Captain Price have to stop the world from going to war. Call of Duty Modern Warfare reignites the franchise by introducing full crossplay support where Xbox and PS4 players can play together with PC players. On PC, the game features a new engine pushing photorealism for COD far beyond what their older engine is capable of. The new engine also introduces raytracing and the AI is designed to perceive light as well. With a revitalized multiplayer arena, the game will require fast frame rates.
API: DirectX 12
Render Resolution: 100%
Texture Resolution: High
Texture Filter Anisotropic: High
Particle Quality: High
Shadow Map Resolution: Extra
Particle Lighting: Ultra
DirectX Raytracing: OFF
Ambient Occlusion: Both
Anti-Aliasing: Filmic SMAA T2X
World Motion Blur: Off
Shaders Installed before benchmarks*
The latest iteration of the F1 series from CodeMasters features support for DirectX 12 as well as more photorealistic graphics than ever. Now heavily featured in the official F1 esports scene, much attention has been given in the development of this game particularly for added realism.
API: DirectX 12
Settings: Ultra High
PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG)
Developed by South Korean company Bluehole, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was an ARMA3 mod which has gained a massive global playerbase after being released as a stand-alone game. The game is now available for almost all platforms from PC to mobile but PC has been the definitive edition of the game. The game has evolved much since its release, receiving multiple polish to arrive at its current state.
API: DirectX 11
The battle royale genre sees multiple titles emerge and Respawn Entertainment’s most successful title to date, Apex Legends differentiates itself from main rival PUBG as it presents itself in true, fast-paced FPS. Existing in the same universe as Titanfall, Apex Legends sees contenders in traditional battle royale elimination format but gameplay heavily gears towards more familiar FPS mechanics. As a Respawn Ent. game, its closer to COD versus PUBG’s more sluggish and heavier gameplay.
API: DirectX 11
Texture Streaming Budget: 6GB VRAM
FSP Cap Disabled
Destiny 2: New Light is an MMOFPS which sees a persistently sizable playerbase. The game features traditional MMO elements but played in an FPS approach which allows a more skill-dependent game versus traditional MMORPG formats. The game features a futuristic sci-fi universe with lush and detailed in-game locations that puts respectable workload on a gaming system.
API: DirectX 11
Developed by League of Legends developer, Riot Games, Valorant is a first-person shooter featuring multiple heroes or agents which have unique skills to assist them within the games traditional team-based FPS combat. The game is gaining incredible success and has taken a large chunk of the now-incredibly massive CSGO playerbase as well, presenting a more refreshed take on classic TDM FPS but spices it up with skills, etc. Like CSGO and League, this game is light as a feather for the largest adoption possible. With 360hz monitors and input lag/system latency a major focus for these games, we’re now including it as reference for players.
API: DirectX 11
Settings: Max in-game details
Anti-Aliasing: MSAA x4 (highest in-game)
NVIDIA Reflex: Off
The most anticipated game of 2020 and perhaps the most anticipated game of the last decade, Cyberpunk 2077’s launch has been a rollercoaster gamers on PC are largely in agreement that it was definitely worth the wait. Made by CD Projekt Red and based on the REDengine4, Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most modern games introducing full utilization of raytracing amongst others. Technically, the game is still under polishing stages and will improve over time but as it is, the PC version is fully functional on my end and it is one of the most taxing game out right now so we have to include it. We do not enable raytracing in this test.
API: DirectX 12
Settings: Ultra Preset
In this segment, we’ll introduce our raytracing benchmark test. This is purely experimental at this time point so let me talk some detail about its current state. I mentioned a few reviews earlier that my concept of benchmarks revolves around simple factors like player adoption (popularity), and technological advancement as well as some other details and at this point, slowly but surely, the gaming world is slowly filling up with more raytraced games. Regardless of who’s backing the raytracing as a technology partner, with consoles leading the charge, PC will have to follow on the raytracing path.
As always, we set the maximum details possible for each game available. We also disable proprietary technologies specifically DLSS. We will introduce a DLSS benchmark in the future as looking into DLSS introduces more testing that I’m currently looking into how to manage data properly
For now, have the following Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War and Control. Future inclusions that are still in research status are Fortnite, Metro Exodus and a few other upcoming titles.
This was supposed to be a launch review and as a keen as I was into releasing this review on launch day, I decided against it study the card further as it sets out to be the new mainstream choice. Performance-wise, it is a sizable jump from the RTX 2060 and GTX 1060 that it displaces and offers RTX 2070 Super levels of performance with a larger video memory. While this memory pool doesn’t really offer more for gamers especially those that prefer esports titles but regardless, it is a growth many have wanted to see and with RTX 30 series’ VRAM capacity have disappointed many. The RTX 3060 somewhat corrects that.
The RTX 3060 launch was partner launch which mean there was no Founders Edition in sight which means that reference cards were the only non-OC cards that would fit the $329. That said, all our review units are OC models including the one we have right now. We’ll discuss pricing in the closing segment of this review. Focusing more on its market position, its aimed at the more mainstream segment, competing with Radeon RX 5700 XT, RTX 2070 and the RTX 2070 Super. It does offer competitive numbers against these cards and better operating temperatures and efficiency are very impressive as well.
*deep breath* Where to begin? Ok, let’s get started with looks: this is the most atrocious touch of white on a graphics card I have seen in my life. While the Trinity White Edition had a nice break-up of the shroud, the Twin Edge OC uses a white treatment of the original Twin Edge OC’s black/gunmetal, the Twin Edge OC done in white looks like a cheap desk fan hiding a GPU inside. I do understand this is a subjective matter and I’m telling it how I see it. Truth be told, the white is clean but with no contrast in the entire build, only shadows give shape to the overall silhouette of this card. Its an easy manufacturing choice, replacing the resin with white pellets and then calling it a day once the injection mold starting cranking the shroud. This is easily my biggest gripe against this card.
Switching over to performance, despite its size its a formidable performer and boosts closely to the ROG Strix RTX 3060 during gaming loads and ZOTAC deserves some props here as they didn’t downgrade their heatsink fins stack to reduce cost. They use pretty much the same cooler on all their RTX 30 Twin Edge cards which means that the ZOTAC RTX 3060 Twin Edge gets the benefit of a cooler that does well on an RTX 3070. Given the amount of boost it does already, tuning this card manually could bring out some more power but given we’ve never managed to find a >2100Mhz stable RTX 30 GPU, the quest goes on but you’re free to explore.
The Edge of the ZOTAC RTX 3060 Twin Edge is pretty much its size. With the majority of the RTX 30 series cards on the marking sporting triple fans, the Twin Edge is one of the rare dual fan models and not just a dual fan model, its also a short PCB model. As mentioned, it makes for this with its depth and width at a very wide 141.3mm but many tower cases should be able to accommodate that and users who have told me stories of their ITX builds in chassis like the A1 had managed to fit the ZOTAC Twin Edge cards in such cases. This should make it friendly to compact ITX cases that follow standard mounting like the InWin A1, the Lian Li TU150 or an NZXT H200. You’ll have to check if it can fit under 150mm width just to be sure but the point is, that the ZOTAC Twin Edge cooler, which is the one on our aptly named ZOTAC RTX 3060 Twin Edge White Edition, should be able to fit on a majority of cases, giving it extra points for high compatibility. Historically, the ZOTAC cards are also primarily more affordable and once prices normalize, this should be one of those cards that are on the lower end of the price spectrum and that means good things. We can only hope it does so very soon.
All in all, it continues the same good things about its other Twin Edge brothers and continues some of their negative ones. I’ll have to point out that the PCIe power connectors are recessed over the heatsink somewhat which can cause some fitting issues on some cables, very rarely but I had it happen. It can also cause cabling issue as the cables have to go over the shroud which means a few centimeters slack taken up by the shroud. Barring that, it a unique issue that the ZOTAC RTX 3060 Twin Edge White Edition has is its lack of silhouette. A minimal issue but something a little corrective stickers should break up. Your choice, Zotac.
The ZOTAC RTX 3060 Twin Edge OC White Edition is not just a recolor but also the top OC card for ZOTAC’s RTX 3060 line up and marks its place as the head of the table with its color. ZOTAC does not have a standard black counterpart released as of this moment. Barring color, the ZOTAC RTX 3060 Twin Edge White Edition delivers an excellent gaming performance coupled with high compatibility giving it a unique spot in this triple-fan landscape.
ZOTAC backs the RTX 3060 Twin Edge White Edition with a standard 2-year warranty and plus 3 more years after registration.
- Good overall performance
- Great build quality
- High compatibility due to size
- Availability issues
- White plastic just looks weird
- Extra wide cooler
- Recessed power connectors