Best NVIDIA RTX 3060

Nvidia continues to work its way down the product stack with the release of the brand new mid-range option, the GeForce RTX 3060. The 60 series cards have always been the most popular offerings from Nvidia in terms of sales. This is mostly thanks to their excellent price-to-performance ratio and their relatively lower initial cost. The RTX 3060 is also particularly interesting due to the inclusion of a 12GB GDDR6 memory buffer which is more than the RTX 3060Ti and RTX 3070 (find best RTX 3070 Guide here), which both have 8GB memory buffers. This move seems to be an answer to the Radeon RX 6800 and 6700 series cards from AMD which include 16GB and 12GB memory buffers respectively. If the RTX 3080, 3090, and other variants are not part of your plan, and you want a budget graphics card or one which offers a lot of value, this Best RTX 3060 Buying Guide will assist you when going for shopping. Our Experts have prepared the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Graphics Card list based on preferences and factors, as such Budget, Performance, Value, RGB, Looks, and overall choice for consumers.

However, predictably, the glaring and obvious ongoing stock issue plagues the new RTX 3060 as well. Although Nvidia took the special step of limiting the crypto-mining performance of the RTX 3060 in order to deter crypto miners, the demand levels were still too strong for the initial supply of the RTX 3060. Scalping and low stock levels seem to be the norm for the RTX 3000 series and Radeon RX 6000 series, unfortunately, and the situation has not improved since.

Best RTX 3060 Graphics Cards You Can Buy Today

While the situation may not be ideal as of the time of writing, this list should help potential buyers in the future when the RTX 3060 and its various AIB partner cards are available at MSRP with abundant stock levels.

With that out of the way, here are the 5 best Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards to buy in 2021.

#PreviewModelAwardDetails
1ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3060 OCBest Premium RTX 3060
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2MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 3060Best Looking RTX 3060
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3ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3060Best Budget RTX 3060
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4Gigabyte Gaming OC RTX 3060Best RTX 3060 Alternative
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5Zotac Twin Edge RTX 3060 OCBest Entry-Level RTX 3060 From Zotac
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#1
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ModelASUS ROG Strix RTX 3060 OC
AwardBest Premium RTX 3060
Details
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#2
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ModelMSI Gaming X Trio RTX 3060
AwardBest Looking RTX 3060
Details
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#3
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ModelASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3060
AwardBest Budget RTX 3060
Details
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#4
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ModelGigabyte Gaming OC RTX 3060
AwardBest RTX 3060 Alternative
Details
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#5
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ModelZotac Twin Edge RTX 3060 OC
AwardBest Entry-Level RTX 3060 From Zotac
Details
Check Price

Last Update on 2021-10-22 at 22:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3060 OC

Premium Variant of a Midrange GPU

Pros

  • Big Heatsink Design
  • Quiet Operation
  • Impressive Aesthetics
  • Large Factory OC

Cons

  • Very Expensive

119 Reviews

CUDA Cores: 3584 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1320/1882 MHz | Memory: 12GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 15 Gbps | Power Connectors: 1x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: 2xHDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

The ASUS ROG Strix line has always been at the very top of the stack when we talk about the AIB partner variants of a particular graphics card. ASUS has done an excellent job with the design of their RTX 3000 series coolers for the Strix line, and this one is no exception. ASUS has used the same shroud and cooler design for the RTX 3060 as its bigger brothers, although with slight modifications that optimize it for the power draw and heat output of the 3060 itself.

The card features a 2.7-slot wide heatsink which is becoming the norm for premium variants of high-end GPUs nowadays. The cooling solution of the Strix has always been top-notch, and this implementation is no exception. The large heatsink features a precision machined surface for improved contact with the GPU die as well as with other heat-generating components such as the VRM components and memory modules. The heat is carried away towards the large heatsink via a complex system of numerous heatpipes that maximize heat dissipation efficiency.

The cooling is supplemented by 3 Axial Tech fans that are optimized for downward air pressure and low noise output. The fans feature an alternate spinning mechanism, in which the outer fans spin in the opposite direction to the inner fan, and that removes turbulence from the air and makes the airflow much more streamlined. The fans also turn off under low load or at idle, and that increases their lifespan and improves their acoustic performance. The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 3060 OC is our choice for the Best Premium RTX 3060.

ASUS has overclocked the Strix to a hefty 1882MHz which is quite a substantial factory overclock. The Strix also has a high power budget for overclocking and also has Dual BIOS support, a feature that should be standard on high-end cards. Aesthetically, the card looks beautiful with tasteful RGB implementation and an industrial design on the fan shroud that really makes it look and feel premium. The large RGB bar on the side of the Strix can be customized via the Aura Sync software.

Overall, the ASUS ROG Strix delivers on all grounds as we have come to expect from the Strix. The only catch is the hefty price premium, which really makes the buyer wonder whether or not the premium is worth it over a more nominally priced alternative.

2. MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 3060

Another Premium Alternative

Pros

  • Impressive Thermals
  • High Power Budget
  • Impressive Acoustics
  • Nice RGB Implementation

Cons

  • High Price

34 Reviews

CUDA Cores: 3584 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1320/1852 MHz | Memory: 12GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 15 Gbps | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: 1xHDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

MSI’s most premium offering for the RTX 3060 is their venerable Gaming X variant, this time offered in both the 2 fan and 3 fan configurations. The 3 fan variant makes a little more sense if you are looking for extra cooling performance and a bit of an aesthetic bump, however, the 2 fan variant shares a lot of the same internal design cues as the Trio. MSI does not seem to have any plans to release the SUPRIM X variant for the midrange RTX 3060.

Coming to the MSI Gaming X Trio itself, the card features a large heatsink with MSI’s famed Tri Frozr 2 cooling system. The Tri Frozr fans feature a unique blade design that helps channel the air more efficiently downwards through the heatsink. The heatsink assembly also features six heatpipes that direct the heat away from the large contact surface towards the heatsink fin array. The fans offer quiet operation even under load, and at idle they turn off to prolong their lifespan and improve acoustics.

Aesthetics-wise, the Gaming X Trio is one of the better-looking cards on the market. The 3-fan Trio variant looks especially hefty and powerful, with an industrial design that features intricate styling over the fan shroud. Perhaps the best element of the aesthetics is this card’s RGB implementation. Three strips of lighting are placed diagonally around the central fan, which makes the front of this card look especially beautiful. This is one of the cards that would look much better in a vertical mount. All in all, if you are looking for aesthetics, the MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 3060 is the Best Looking RTX 3060 out there for buyers.

MSI has provided a decent factory overclock for the Gaming X Trio, bumping up the boost clock to a respectable 1852 MHz. The Gaming X Trio also features an increased power budget, with dual 8-pin power connectors. This would improve the overclocking headroom on the card a little bit. The card is quite long and heavy though, coming in at 327mm in length, therefore potential buyers with small and compact cases should take this into account.

All in all, the MSI Gaming X Trio is another one of the premium variants of the RTX 3060. It does not have quite the flair of the ASUS ROG Strix OC, but it is also a little cheaper than the premium ASUS offering so it should be a somewhat easier pill to swallow.

3. ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3060

An Affordable Option from ASUS

Pros

  • Relatively Affordable
  • Impressive Cooling Performance
  • High Boost Clocks

Cons

  • Lack of Lighting
  • Relatively Low OC Headroom

209 Reviews

CUDA Cores: 3584 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1320/1882 MHz | Memory: 12GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 15 Gbps | Power Connectors: 1x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: 2xHDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

The ASUS TUF series has become an immediate fan-favorite among PC Gaming enthusiasts due to its incredible build quality, premium PCB design, and relatively affordable price. The TUF Gaming series is supposed to be a comparatively approachable variant as opposed to the incredibly premium ROG Strix series. The ASUS TUF RTX 3060 is no exception to this rule, as it offers solid build quality, great performance, and quiet operation at a cost much lower than the ROG Strix RTX 3060.

ASUS has provided the same Axial Tech fan design in the TUF as its bigger brother, and that means that the central fan spins in the opposite direction to the other two as well. This reduces turbulence in the airflow and allows the fans to direct the air directly downwards through the heatsink to increase the efficiency of the cooling. The heatsink has a 2.7-slot width which is the same as the ROG Strix variant. Most of the internal heatsink components are also shared with the ROG Strix, which is an excellent thing at this price point. The fans are also exceptionally quiet, which is to be expected from the Axial Tech fans.

As far as looks go, the TUF Gaming is not the most attractive card out there, but it is by no means ugly. The fan shroud features an industrial design that looks great in blackout builds. The only area where the TUF Gaming RTX 3060 lacks is the RGB implementation. The lighting on the card is close to none, with the only lighting zones being confined to the TUF logo on the side with a little sliver underneath. This might not be ideal for those who are looking to synchronize the lighting of their system to their heart’s content. If you are short on budget, and want max value, the ASUS TUF Gaming offers the Best Budget RTX 3060 In the market as of 2021.

One of the best features of the ASUS TUF Gaming is its super-high 1882MHz boost clock which is the same as the much more expensive ROG Strix variant. The card also features a decent power budget and dual BIOS feature which comes in handy when overclocking. ASUS has only provided a single 8-pin connector for this card however, therefore it might be a bit restricted in terms of overclocking headroom.

The ASUS TUF Gaming is definitely the card to buy if you want premium components, a robust PCB design, and high performance but in a relatively affordable package. The aesthetics are a bit uninspiring for some people, but that is definitely a subjective matter.

4. Gigabyte Gaming OC RTX 3060

Just the Basics

Pros

  • Affordable Variant
  • Decent Cooling Performance
  • Nice Aesthetics

Cons

  • Minimal Lighting Area
  • Low Power Budget

40 Reviews

CUDA Cores: 3584 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1320/1837 MHz | Memory: 12GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 15 Gbps | Power Connectors: 1x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: 2xHDMI 2.1, 2x DisplayPort 1.4a

One of the more affordable variants on the list, the Gigabyte Gaming OC RTX 3060 carries forward the DNA of the Gaming OC series which targets a lower price point but definitely delivers on all the basic grounds. The Gaming OC is Gigabyte’s base variant which is targeted at or near MSRP, and it aims to provide a complete RTX 3060 experience without completely breaking the bank.

Even though the Gaming OC is a more entry-level variant, that does not mean that you have to compromise on the cooling performance. The Gaming OC RTX 3060 features a sizeable cooling solution with a triple fan design that can definitely handle the heat output of the RTX 3060. The card employs the Windforce 3X cooling solution with three fans that spin in opposite directions for a more streamlined airflow. The heat is carried from the large copper baseplate to the heatsink fins via a network of three heatpipes. The fans themselves are decently quiet even under load.

Aesthetically, the card is a bit plain and uninspiring. The fan shroud is quite simple with a couple of silver accents here and there. The RGB lighting is confined to the Gigabyte logo on the side, which might be a deterrent for lighting enthusiasts. That is understandable, however, due to the competitive pricing of the Gigabyte Gaming OC. The lighting can be controlled via the RGB Fusion 2.0 software. Despite its flaws, we award the Gigabyte Gaming OC as the Best RTX 3060 Alternative, if you are willing to compromise, and cannot find other variants.

While the Gaming OC might not be the strongest overclocker in the world due to its limited power budget, it is still a competitive offering at or near MSRP for those who are looking for a decent performer without paying for various bells and whistles.

5. Zotac Twin Edge RTX 3060 OC

A Decent Entry-Level Variant

Pros

  • One of the Cheapest Variants
  • Impressive Boost Clocks

Cons

  • Unremarkable Cooling Performance
  • Can get Loud
  • Only Two Fans

327 Reviews

CUDA Cores: 3584 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1320/1852 MHz | Memory: 12GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 15 Gbps | Power Connectors: 1x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: 1xHDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

The only dual-fan card on our list, the Zotac RTX 3060 Twin Edge is a competitive offering from Zotac that is meant to target the RTX 3060’s MSRP of $329. The OC variant might be a little bit more expensive than that, but the only difference will be a modest factory overclock. The Twin Edge might be the card to buy for those potential buyers who have a compact case or are looking for an RTX 3060 variant that performs well but does not demand a price premium.

The card might not be the strongest performer in terms of thermals or acoustics, but its performance in these areas is definitely enough to keep the heat output of the RTX 3060 in check. The card features Zotac’s IceStorm 2.0 cooling solution which includes two fans with an 11-blade design for improved stability and airflow. The heatsink is also relatively well-built, with 4 heatpipes carrying the heat away from a large baseplate. The fans also turn off when the card is idle in order to improve acoustics.

The Zotac Twin Edge RTX 3060 does not look especially beautiful or breathtaking, but it definitely does not look unattractive either. For a two-fan design, the card is decently built with aggressive styling of the fan shroud and decent RGB implementation on the side. The lighting can be controlled by the Firestorm utility.

Of course, the Twin Edge does not have an impressive power budget, therefore its overclocking headroom will be a bit limited. The factory boost clock of 1852 MHz on the OC variant is quite impressive for a card in this price category. The card also features just a single 8-pin PCIe power connector so one should not expect the highest overclocks with this variant of the RTX 3060. All things aside, the Zotac Twin Edge RTX 3060 is our choice for the Best Value RTX 3060.

All in all, the Zotac Twin Edge OC is another solid offering if you are looking for an RTX 3060 at or near MSRP. The three fan alternatives like the Gigabyte Gaming OC do outperform the Twin Edge when it comes to thermals, but the Twin Edge OC has a higher boost clock so it is up to the potential buyer to decide based on their preferences.

Usman Saleem
Usman is a hardcore tech enthusiast and hardware geek with a passion for PC Gaming and the PC Hardware industry. What started with flash games in a browser window, led to an undying love for the technology behind PC Gaming and the hardware that drives it.