5 Best NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti Graphics Cards To Buy In 2021

Nvidia launched the RTX 3060 Ti on December 2nd, 2020 in an almost discrete fashion, with no announcement event or any indication of price or launch date either. The RTX 3060 Ti is Nvidia’s premium mid-range option that aims to replace the Turing based RTX 2060 Super at an MSRP of $399. At this price point, the RTX 3060 Ti comes into the range of many mainstream gamers who do not have buckets of cash to spend on a brand new graphics card.

The RTX 3060 Ti is a fantastic offering from Nvidia that delivers slightly better performance than the older $700 RTX 2080 Super. This is great news for potential buyers who can now enjoy the flagship-level performance at roughly half the price. The RTX 3060 Ti also has a slew of AIB partner cards that aim to deliver a better graphics card than the Nvidia Founder’s Edition model at a small price premium. While availability and stock levels are still abysmal, we are hoping that this Top 5 guide will help potential RTX 3060 Ti buyers in the future. Here are the 5 Best RTX 3060 Ti AIB graphics cards.

1. ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3060 Ti

Premium Performance for a Price

Pros

  • Huge Factory OC
  • Massive Cooler
  • Impressive Acoustics
  • Beautiful RGB

Cons

  • Price Matches RTX 3070

16 Reviews

CUDA Cores: 4864 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1410/1890 MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 14 Gbps | Dimensions: 16 x 9.2 x 3.5 inches | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: 2xHDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

It would be impossible to talk about the AIB partner cards of any GPU without mentioning the flagship variant from ASUS. The incredible ROG Strix tops the chart once again with its premium build quality, extremely good cooling performance, and eye-catching aesthetics. The card is built to provide the best of the best not only in terms of thermals but also in the category of acoustics. Synchronous with other ASUS Strix models, the ASUS Strix RTX 3060 Ti is a physically monstrous card, coming in at 16 x 9.2 x 3.5 inches. This means that case clearance can be a real issue and you cannot expect to cram the ASUS Strix in any Mini-ITX builds anytime soon.

Talking about the cooling on this card, this is where every Strix variant excels. The cooling system consists of 3 Axial-tech Fans on a large and beefy heatsink that makes contact with the GPU and VRAM modules directly via a copper baseplate. The heatsink spans over 2.9 slots, therefore it provides plenty of metal surface area for heat dissipation. ASUS has employed the Axial-tech fan design in the RTX 3060 Ti as well, which means that the middle fan spins in the opposite direction to reduce air turbulence. Apart from that, the fan blades are designed in such a way that the air is purposely directed straight downwards through the heatsink to maximize efficiency.

Performance-wise, the ASUS card comes with a significant factory OC with a boost clock of 1890 MHz. This takes the performance of the ASUS Strix RTX 3060 Ti quite a bit above the reference Founder’s Edition card. Moreover, ASUS has also included dual BIOS in the card which is a handy feature for overclockers. The card also features a vented backplate which allows some flow-through cooling to take place as well.

The only drawback of the ASUS Strix RTX 3060 Ti is the price. The $499 price tag of the Strix card makes it a really difficult recommendation since that is, theoretically at least, the same price as a Founder’s Edition RTX 3070. It is up to the buyer to decide if the ASUS Strix RTX 3060 Ti offers enough Quality-of-life features to make it their preference over a faster overall GPU.

2. MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 3060 Ti

Premium All-Round Option

Pros

  • Massive Heatsink
  • Impressive Acoustics
  • High Boost Clock
  • Beautiful RGB

Cons

  • High Price

66 Reviews

CUDA Cores: 4864 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1410/1830 MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 14 Gbps | Dimensions: 12.7 x 5.5 x 2.2 inches | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: 1xHDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

MSI’s premium Gaming X variant of the RTX 3060 Ti plans to check all the boxes and deliver a no-compromises graphics card option. MSI’s offering does charge a premium but it also delivers on all the bases that we would expect from a card that is targeted at the enthusiast market.

MSI has opted for their Tri’ Frozr 2.0 thermal system in the Gaming X Trio, which employs an efficiently-designed heatsink system cooled by 3 Torx 4.0 fans. The Torx 4.0 fans feature dual-linked fan blades that direct the airflow straight downwards which improves the heat dissipation from the massive heatsink. MSI has also included a huge heatsink in the Gaming X Trio which helps to dissipate heat from the GPU die as well as the VRAM modules and the VRMs via a series of thermal pads. The heatsink features a unique curved fin design which increases the surface area of the fins as compared to straight fins, and that helps in efficient heat dissipation.

MSI has gone ahead and included a hefty factory overclock in the Gaming X Trio as well, which takes the final boost clock of the card to 1830 MHZ. This additional boost clock helps to increase the out-of-the-box performance of the card without any manual tuning by the end-user. Apart from that MSI has also increased the power budget of the RTX 3060 Ti which improves the overclocking headroom of the card should the user choose to manually tinker with the card after purchase.

Aesthetically, the MSI Gaming X Trio delivers on multiple grounds. It features a beautiful shroud and a metal backplate which is perforated as well, so flowthrough cooling is possible here too. The fan shroud also features a pleasing diagonal RGB Strip that surrounds the middle fan. This would look particularly impressive if the card is vertically mounted behind a tempered glass side panel. The RGB can of course be controlled by MSI’s Mystic Light Software.

Overall, the Gaming X Trio is a well-built and impressively well-rounded graphics card that delivers on most bases. Just like many other premium AIB variants, the Gaming X Trio also features a large price tag but, in this case, it is not as bad as the ASUS Strix variant.

3. EVGA RTX 3060 Ti FTW3 Ultra

EVGA's Top Offering

Pros

  • Great Cooling
  • Silent Operation
  • High Factory OC

Cons

  • Lack of RGB
  • High Price

44 Reviews

CUDA Cores: 4864 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1410/1800 MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 14 Gbps | Dimensions:11.23 x 4.38 x 1.5 inches | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: 1xHDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

Unlike many other AIB partners, EVGA has changed the design of their flagship variant for the 3060 Ti as compared to the RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090. The FTW3 Ultra from EVGA is still an impressive AIB card but it now resembles the XC3 more than it does the FTW3 from the RTX 3070, let’s say. EVGA has chosen this route apparently in order to deliver the maximum performance while staying within a reasonable budget for a premium AIB variant.

This does not mean, however, that the new FTW3 card does not pack the very best in terms of cooling and features. Just like the FTW3 from the higher-end cards, the FTW3 3060 Ti features EVGA’s iCX3 technology. The iCX3 cooling technology takes data from 9 thermal sensors to analyze the card’s temperature levels in real-time from multiple sources. It then makes decisions to change fan speeds based on that specialized data. This provides an accurate and highly complex level of tuning that is just available to the FTW3 cards.

As for the fans, the 3 fans in the FTW3 do feature 0dB technology which allows them to turn off under idle conditions or under lower levels of lead. This allows the card to run silently and also improves the longevity of the card. Furthermore, the heatsink of the FTW3 employs “Through-Hole” technology which is supposed to increase airflow through the heatsink for efficient heat dissipation. Finally, the metal backplate of the EVGA FTW3 also includes adequate ventilation holes for flowthrough cooling.

EVGA FTW3 also allows the user to overclock the card using the fan-favorite Precision X1 software which is tailor-made for the EVGA cards. One disappointment with the FTW3 is that it has almost no RGB implementation on the fan shroud. The card features a total blackout design and the only RGB is limited to the EVGA logo on the side which might be a deal-breaker for customization enthusiasts.

Overall, the FTW3 is another strong offering from EVGA despite a few lapses here and there. The card does charge a $50 premium over MSRP so it might be worth considering due to its excellent cooling system and good performance.

4. ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3060 Ti OC

Decent Budget Offering from ASUS

Pros

  • Good Cooling
  • Affordable
  • 1x8-pin PCIe Connector

Cons

  • Limited RGB
  • Limited OC Headroom

42 Reviews

CUDA Cores: 4864 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1410/1785 MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 14 Gbps | Dimensions:16 x 9.2 x 3.5 inches | Power Connectors: 1x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: 2xHDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

The ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3060 Ti is one of the more budget offerings from ASUS that does still deliver excellent cooling performance. The TUF aims to bridge the gap between the entry-level Dual series and the premium Strix series and is what most general consumers should consider buying. The ASUS TUF also features a factory OC however it is not as big as the one found on the Strix.

The TUF features a 3-fan design over a large heatsink to maximize cooling performance. The 3 fans on the ASUS TUF are also Axial-tech fans that aim to provide maximum airflow over the heatsink fins. The central fan spins in the opposite direction in order to reduce turbulence. The fans are also dual-linked at the edges to improve fan stability and to direct the airflow straight downwards through the heatsink to increase heat dissipation. Speaking of the heatsink, the TUF does feature a large heatsink itself although it is not as huge as the Strix variant. The heatsink does include ASUS’s Max Contact technology which uses a large heat-spreader to direct heat away from the GPU die and memory modules. The overall thickness of the card is limited to 2.7 slots.

As far as aesthetics go, the TUF is not a bad looking card at all but it does lack some extra flair. The fan shroud is well-built but plain-looking, and the RGB is almost non-existent. The only lighting zone is constricted to the TUF Logo on the card with a small light strip.

Synchronous with the theme of the TUF, the card does not skimp on features like Dual BIOS, Flow-through design, and metal backplate inclusion. The card also features an extra HDMI port, taking the total display output count to 5, for people with a lot of monitors. The TUF also has ventilation holes on the backplate which allow one of the three fans to direct air through the heatsink directly to improve heat dissipation.

Overall, the ASUS TUF is a very decent option when it comes to the RTX 3060 Ti AIB variants. ASUS has kept most of the key features alive in the TUF as well, and the only drawback on the card seems to be the limited RGB implementation. However, overclocking on the card can be a hit-or-miss scenario as well since it may be power limited due to the fact that it only features a single 8-pin power connector. Keeping that aside, this is a well-built budget option from ASUS.

5. Gigabyte Gaming OC RTX 3060 Ti

A Good Barebones Option

Pros

  • Triple Fan Design
  • Decent Aesthetics

Cons

  • Small Factory OC
  • Limited Power Headroom
  • Limited RGB

62 Reviews

CUDA Cores: 4864 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1410/1740 MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 14 Gbps | Dimensions: 11.26 x 4.53 x 2.01 inches | Power Connectors: 1x PCIe 8-pin| Outputs: 1xHDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

Gigabyte offers the RTX 3060 Ti in a few variants but the one that interested us the most was the budget offering known as the Gigabyte Gaming OC. The Gaming OC has always been one of the most consistent performers for budget cards in any graphics card lineup and this is no exception either. The Gaming OC aims to deliver all the key features that one might expect from a custom RTX 3060 Ti while still keeping it within reach of someone shopping on a budget.

Gigabyte has included the Windforce 3X cooling system with the Gaming OC that includes 3 fans on a large heatsink in order to maximize airflow. The fans are identical in terms of size but the middle fan does spin in the opposite direction to minimize turbulence. The Gaming OC does feature a hefty heatsink with a large surface area which helps to take heat away quickly from the heat-generating components. Gigabyte has also included a metal backplate that has ventilation holes to allow passthrough cooling.

Aesthetically, the card looks beautiful with a silver and gray aesthetic that offers a beautiful look especially if the card is mounted vertically. The RGB implementation is again limited to the Gigabyte logo and a small strip on the side of the card. The card does include a metallic backplate instead of a plastic one which is a nice touch.

Gigabyte has included a small factory overclock which takes the Gaming OC boost clock to 1740 MHz. This does not come close to the boost clocks offered by some of the premium variants but it is a nice touch nonetheless. The card features a single 8-pin PCIe connector, however, which may hinder its overclocking headroom somewhat.

Gigabyte Gaming OC is a nice budget offering overall that provides efficient cooling performance and a small factory overclock as well. While it may not provide a large amount of RGB or insanely high boost clocks, it does deliver on the core aspects while maintaining a budget target. This card should definitely be a consideration for someone looking for an AIB variant of the 3060 Ti without completely breaking the bank.

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.