Graphics cards have come a long way over the last two decades, especially since AMD has entered the fray. Furthermore, the competition has only done well for consumers as we get better performance for lower costs. Moreover, we have seen AMD and NVIDIA develop innovations in all their lineups in recent years. Similarly, we see an approximate uplift of 15% over each generation with NVIDIA graphics cards. Therefore, let’s see whether NVIDIA’s latest 3000 series GPUs can hold their ground or not. For this reason, let’s check the RTX 2060 Vs 3060 out!
Recently, we have also had AMD and Intel options regarding graphics cards. However, it’s a fact that NVIDIA rules the GPU world by a huge margin right now. Although, AMD has managed to close that gap with their RX 6000 series GPUs. But NVIDIA still wins throughout with their superior cards and more creative innovations.
Consequently, as NVIDIA is the first to showcase raytracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), they hold an advantage too. On the other hand, AMD released their version of raytracing and DLSS as Fidelity FX Super Resolution (FSR). While both have similar functions, the way they operate is completely different.
As a matter of fact, the NVIDIA RTX 2060 and RTX 3060 graphics cards are similar too. In addition to having their fair share of variations, ultimately, they are part of the RTX series. To explain, all graphics cards that start with “RTX” have “RT Cores,” which enable raytracing and DLSS. These are NVIDIA’s latest innovations in graphics cards, with the latter helping improve FPS and the former giving better graphics. In any case, let’s look into the RTX 2060 Vs RTX 3060 specifications.
RTX 2060 Vs. 3060 Specifications
Likewise, talking about NVIDIA’s previous and current-gen graphics cards, let’s look at a few of their specifications. To summarize, these specifications should help us understand the RTX 2060 Vs RTX 3060 war better.
|Name||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060|
|Node||TSMC 12nm||Samsung 8nm|
|Core Clock||1365 MHz||1320 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1680 MHz||1780 MHz|
|Memory||6 GB GDDR6||12 GB GDDR6|
|Memory Clock||14 Gbps||15 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||336 GB/s||360 GB/s|
|Transistors||10.8 billion||13.25 billion|
|Power Connector||1 x 8 pin||1 x 8 pin|
|Launch Year||January 15, 2019||February 25, 2021|
With attention to the table, it’s obvious that the RTX 3060 has better overall specifications. However, there are times when the RTX 2060 has the edge over the RTX 3060, at least on paper. If we look at the tensor cores, the RTX 2060 has 240, and the 3060 has a total of 112.
Although tensor cores aren’t the most accurate for computation, we still use them for multiple calculations. Similarly, 2060 requires lesser wattage and boasts a higher core clock speed.
However, if you look at the total VRAM, the RTX 3060 has double the RTX 2060’s VRAM, at 12GB. Furthermore, the 3060’s using a smaller node and have a greater transistor count than 2060 using a 12nm node.
Overall, looking at prices, there is currently a $50 difference between both GPUs. In conclusion, whether the price gap affects your purchase depends on if it’s worth it.
What is Raytracing?
By and large, raytracing has been at the forefront of the gaming community for many years. Of course, the technology has come with RTX 2000 series graphics cards, but it has existed in cinematography. In like manner, raytracing is what movies use to combine real life with Computer Graphics (CG).
So, how does this blend with games? In general, raytracing helps in creating life-like shadows and reflections through CG. Think it like this; lighting is the most important for cinematography; similarly, life-like graphics are the new go-to for games. If so, then why did raytracing not become accessible earlier? To figure out why it is equally important to know how to do raytracing.
To clarify, we traditionally render games from 3D to 2D to make the process quicker. Due to the rasterization, we lose a lot of the quality. However, we see better lighting and shadow quality in many games, thanks to raytracing.
Furthermore, raytracing requires hundreds and thousands of algorithms from the graphics card using which we create shadows in a frame. For the same reason, we see a significant hit in performance, making raytracing unfeasible. But, with the RTX 2000 series GPUs, that has changed. Additionally, with RTX 3000 series GPUs, we have only seen raytracing become better.
Although raytracing is still an emerging technology, it can become the next best thing in games with proper research. What’s more, if you enable RTX, you will see a significant drop in FPS, which we counter by enabling DLSS. Overall, as the technology isn’t too popular, only a few hundred games exhibit RTX.
What is DLSS?
Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) is one of the greatest technological advancements for budget gamers. That is to say, the sole purpose of buying a high-end graphics card for gaming is to get high FPS. What if there was another way to get high FPS while maintaining resolution and settings with a budget GPU? Exactly; DLSS helps in achieving such a feat.
To explain, NVIDIA’s DLSS technology is a rendering technique that boosts FPS by rendering frames at a lower resolution. Moreover, using an AI, we upscale these frames at a higher resolution to look sharp again. For instance, using DLSS, you can render a frame at 1080P and upscale it at 4K to give more FPS while attaining 4K quality. Of course, there are ifs and buts involved.
For example, the lower the resolution for the frame render, the worse the quality will be. However, NVIDIA has eliminated this problem with DLSS 2.2 — the latest DLSS edition.
According to NVIDIA, DLSS 2.2 gives ~200-300% performance uplift without destroying the image quality. While not completely true, DLSS does give some amazing performance uplift. Also, AMD has their version of DLSS, which they name Fidelity FX Super Resolution (FSR).
Unlike DLSS, FSR renders frames at lower resolutions and then uses an open-source upscaling algorithm to make the game look like it’s running at native resolution. In contrast, DLSS uses an AI algorithm to do the same. But because DLSS requires Tensor Cores to work, it only supports RTX cards. On the other hand, FSR supports almost all graphics cards. The list includes GTX 10 and 16 series, RTX 2000 and 3000 series, RX 400, 500, 5000, and 6000.
To conclude, DLSS and FSR are amazing technologies you should use alongside raytracing to help with the performance impact.
Gaming Benchmarks of RTX 2060 Vs RTX 3060
Now that we know the new technology that the RTX 2060 Vs. 3060 GPUs utilize; let’s check their benchmarks. When comparing two pieces of hardware, it’s best to benchmark them to know which is better. Therefore, we are testing both graphics cards on a few games, both in 1080P and 1440P. Benchmarks For Gamers has conducted these benchmarks.
Test Rig for the RTX 2060 Vs. 3060
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
- Motherboard: MSI MPG X570 Gaming Edge Wifi
- RAM: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 2 x 16 GB
- CPU Cooler: Enermax Liqmax III 360 AIO
- Graphics Card: KFA2 RTX 2060 Plus & Palit RTX 3060 Dual
Firstly, looking at the processor, the Ryzen 7 5800X is a good choice to pair with the 2060 and 3060. Using a high-end processor with high-end GPUs ensures we don’t see any bottlenecks. Furthermore, Benchmarks For Gamers uses an MSI MPG X570 motherboard. A good motherboard allows for greater voltage transfer and no problems during testing.
Moreover, looking at the RAM, they’re using 32 GB of DDR4 RAM at 3200 MHz. G.Skill’s Trident Z RAM is an amazing pair with good heat transfer and tight CL timings. Lastly, Benchmarks For Gamers uses the Enermax Liqmax III 360mm AIO for the CPU Cooler. To that end, keeping your processor cool is important during benchmarks, so your system does not allow thermal throttle. To conclude, after analyzing the testing rig, let’s look into the benchmarks to see which graphics card you should buy.
First, we have the evermore popular game, Cyberpunk 2077 by CD Projekt Red. While we revere the game to be visually pleasing, it requires a lot of horsepowers to run. Therefore, the higher-end RTX GPUs are more than welcome to test their capabilities with Cyberpunk.
As shown above, Cyberpunk 2077 utilizes RTX and DLSS, due to which the FPS has dropped so much. Although even with RTX and DLSS turned off, the RTX 3060 was barely getting 60 FPS on average. So, we can easily state that Cyberpunk 2077 is a truly tough game to run, even for modern hardware.
Comparing FPS, the RTX 3060 is getting 50 FPS while the RTX 2060 is getting 36. In percentages, the RTX 3060 is ~38.8% faster than the RTX 2060. Overall, this is a good result for the 3060 as there’s about a ~15% price difference between both graphics cards. Thus, the RTX 3060 has better performance and is better value for money too. At least for Cyberpunk 2077, that is.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Next, we have Assassin’s Creed Valhalla by Ubisoft. Another popular game, especially for its visual graphics and storyline. Assassin’s Creed games have always been infamous for being difficult to run due to their system requirements. However, running even the most demanding Assassin’s Creed game shouldn’t be a problem if you have a good processor and GPU.
In the light of the above image, we see quite a discrepancy in wattage usage. For the RTX 3060, we see 136W, but for the RTX 2060, the wattage usage is 152W. Along with having higher FPS, the RTX 3060 also utilizes less power making it more power efficient.
Moreover, looking at FPS, the 3060 Vs. 2060 gap is still there. With a ~28% performance increase against the RTX 2060, the 3060 wins in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla too. In conclusion, the RTX 3060 easily gets over 60 FPS at ultra-high settings in-game, while the RTX 2060 doesn’t. So, the 3060 is a better GPU to buy now as prices are also dropping.
Similarly, we now have Doom Eternal by ID Software. The game is notoriously famous for being easy to run, with good graphics and storyline. Consequently, using a high-end GPU for Doom Eternal is similar to having a Ferrari’s engine in a Suzuki. Notwithstanding, it is always leisurely to see high framerates in shooter games.
On the contrary, we see the RTX 3060 boasting a greater FPS and a higher wattage usage. Furthermore, if we look at the frame time, the RTX 3060 is faster. The frame time is the time it takes to render and show a frame on screen. Likewise, the less time it takes, the faster or better it is. Not to mention even more so for first-person games.
Lastly, looking at average FPS, the RTX 3060 has more FPS than its competitor. With an average of 204, the RTX 3060 is ~24.4% faster than the RTX 2060, which has 164 FPS. Overall, the RTX 3060 still has better performance and value than the RTX 2060.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Additionally, the next game in this benchmark test is Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Furthermore, released in 2020 by Raven Software, this Call of Duty edition is one of the first to adopt raytracing. Also, RTX and DLSS are on to stress the GPUs as much as possible due to available options.
Looking at the numbers, the RTX 3060 isn’t running as hot as the RTX 2060 at 71C. We most likely see such numbers because the RTX 3060 has a better heatsink than its competitor. Moreover, because the RTX 3060 has more VRAM, it utilizes ~10GB against the RTX 2060s ~5GB. In summary, this might be one of the reasons why the RTX 3060 has more FPS in this title.
In the end, looking at FPS, the RTX 3060 has an average of 72, ~20% faster than the RTX 2060. While the performance gap decreases as we progress through games, it’s still greater in value for money. To repeat, the RTX 3060 is currently ~15% more expensive than the RTX 2060. But, as we see, the RTX 3060 has a bigger FPS difference than the price, making it more valuable.
Red Dead Redemption 2
We have Red Dead Redemption 2 by Rockstar Games for the next game. As a matter of fact, after the GTA franchise, Rockstar gained its fame from Red Dead Redemption. Not only for its graphics but its compelling storyline and gameplay as well. Also, it’s important to note that Red Dead Redemption 2 is a pretty heavy game to run. Analogous to how GTA V was difficult to run in its time.
In any case, the RTX 3060 is consuming more power at 170W than the RTX 2060’s 159W. But if we look at the processor utilization, the 5800X’s utilization for the 3060 is only 41%. On the other hand, for the RTX 2060, the Ryzen 7 5800X is capping at 90% usage.
To conclude, the RTX 3060’s average FPS stands at 71, a solid 18.33% higher than the RTX 2060s 60. Once again, the overall performance gap is decreasing, but the RTX 3060 is still better off than the RTX 2060.
Watch Dogs: Legion
Next, we have Watch Dogs: Legion, the triple-A title by Ubisoft. Although Ubisoft has many games under its name, it first became popular through the Watch Dogs series. While difficult to run due to its system requirements, you get amazing graphics to boast. Furthermore, you can also enable raytracing if you have RTX GPUs or AMD’s 6000 series graphics cards.
Similarly, due to the availability of RTX, all settings are on for this test reducing the average FPS. Even though DLSS helps get back some of the lost FPS, there is still a huge performance hit. Also, because the RTX 3060 has more VRAM, the frame time is much faster than the RTX 2060.
Overall, looking at average FPS, the RTX 3060 is a whopping ~57.57% faster than the RTX 2060 in this title. Subsequently, the difference is likely due to the greater number of CUDA cores in the RTX 3060. Be as it may, through this title, we see that the RTX 3060 performs much better than the RTX 2060. Therefore the RTX 3060 is a better buy in all aspects.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Now, we have Microsoft Flight Simulator for the next benchmarking game. While famous for its ultra-realistic flying simulation, the game features amazing graphics too. Therefore, you need an extremely high-end rig to match the game’s requirements and enjoy flying. Moreover, Microsoft released the game to help trainee pilots get a good simulation.
On the other hand, if you look at the screenshot, we see that the game loves VRAM. In other words, as the RTX 3060 has a greater amount of VRAM, it has a greater FPS too. The frame times are also drastically lower for the RTX 3060, making the gameplay buffer less. In addition to the frame time, the temperatures and wattage are also lesser for the RTX 3060.
In conclusion, the RTX 3060 dominates over the RTX 2060 in almost all fields. The RTX 3060 also uses less power with a higher average FPS. All in all, with the RTX 3060 being ~17.5% faster than the RTX 2060, it shows its worth again. However, it’s good to note that the RTX 3060 is only a good 1080P graphics card. If you look at Microsoft Flight Simulator, the 3060 barely gets under 50 FPS average.
Horizon Zero Dawn
For the next game, we have Horizon Zero Dawn by Guerrilla Games. Because of the game’s amazing graphics and compelling storyline, we consider it one of the best triple-A titles today. Although, as you can guess, you need a suitable PC to run the game itself. Especially with its open-world nature, you need a strong graphics card and an equally strong processor.
Meanwhile, looking at the screenshot, we see that both graphics cards have 100% usage. Notwithstanding, because of the greater number of CUDA Cores in the RTX 3060, it has a greater average FPS. Also, we see that the RTX 3060 uses more VRAM and system RAM than the RTX 2060. Conversely, the RTX 2060 uses less power than the RTX 3060, making it more power efficient.
In conclusion, the RTX 3060 is ~18.3% faster than the RTX 2060, which averages 71 FPS. Although not by a lot, the 3060 proves more efficient than the RTX 2060 in this triple-A title.
Lastly, we have the famous battle royale game, Fortnite. Consequently, developed and released by Epic Games in 2017, Fortnite is recognized as one of the best battle royale games today. As a result of its fame, the game gets regular updates, increasing its system requirements a little each time. That is to say, when playing Fortnite, you’ll need a PC that can handle the game getting even more unoptimized.
Of course, looking at the image, we see that the RTX 3060 utilizes more system RAM than the RTX 2060. Also, the RTX 3060 is 4C cooler than the RTX 2060, which runs at 70C. Although the temperature is manageable, many consumers get flustered if their GPUs hit the 70C mark. Furthermore, it’s important to note that both GPUs are at 100% usage.
To conclude this benchmark test, the RTX 3060 is ~22.9% faster than the RTX 2060. In short, along with more FPS, the 3060 has a lower frame time which will help with frame buffers. Overall this makes the RTX 3060 a better buy than the RTX 2060.
Verdict for RTX 2060 Vs. 3060 1080P Gaming Benchmarks
Now that we have looked at all the 1080P tests for the 3060 Vs. 2060, which card is worth it? You would most likely be thinking of going with the RTX 3060, which is the correct answer. However, if you own an RTX 2060 and are considering upgrading to the RTX 3060, it’s not worth the cost.
To explain why it’s not worth it, we have taken a simple sum of all the average FPS by both GPUs. While the RTX 2060 totals 623 frames in nine games, the RTX 3060 has 778. Thus, the RTX 3060 is ~25% faster than the RTX 2060 with only a 15% price increase. Although objectively speaking, that’s an amazing gain, in reality, you’re only getting around ~10% of the added performance.
Therefore, you’re better off adding a few extra dollars and buying an RTX 3060 Ti or even an RTX 3070. But, if you have a GTX 1060 or even a GTX 1080, then going with the RTX 3060 is worth it. Simply to list, you don’t only gain raytracing capabilities but also get DLSS. Also, for games that support it, you can utilize NVIDIA Reflex technology through the RTX 3060.
Provided that, the RTX 3060 is a great 1080P graphics card to get budget gamers started with 60 FPS gaming. If you’re sitting with an old AMD or NVIDIA graphics card, then looking into the RTX 3060 is best.
RTX 3060 Vs RTX 2060 At 1440P Resolution
While it may be true that 1080P is the most used resolution today, 1440P is quickly catching up. To that end, it’s important to know whether the graphics card you’re about to buy can support 1440P or not. The RTX 2060 and 3060 GPUs are entry-level cards in their respective lineups. However, because today’s technology has gotten so far, we can’t be certain whether they are good 1440P cards or not.
Seeing that, we looked through the 1080P games at 1440P resolution and took a sum of their average frames. To explain, the RTX 2060 has 425 frames, and the RTX 3060 totals 556 frames. Thus, the RTX 3060 is ~31% faster than the RTX 2060 at 1440P resolution. In contrast, that’s a 6% increase from the 1080P benchmarks.
Unlike 1080P, where the processor plays a huge role, at 1440P and above, the graphics card is the deciding factor. As a result, we see a major drop in FPS. Subsequently, the RTX 3060 managed to get 30 FPS consistently in all titles, but the RTX 2060 couldn’t. You’d need to decrease all settings to hit 30 frames with the RTX 2060. On the other hand, you can easily get 30 FPS — and even 60 with the RTX 3060.
Therefore, the RTX 3060 is a good entry-level 1440P graphics card if you’re fine with 30 FPS. Again, if you have an RTX 2060, investing and getting an RTX 3060 Ti would be the best option.
RTX 2060 Super Vs. 3060
NVIDIA has many graphics cards in its lineup, and the RTX 2060 Super is one such GPU. Although released in 2019, six months after the original RTX 2060, it gives a similar FPS to the RTX 3060. So let’s look at both GPU specifications and discern which is better.
|Name||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060|
|Node||TSMC 12nm||Samsung 8nm|
|Core Clock||1470 MHz||1320 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1650 MHz||1780 MHz|
|Memory||8 GB GDDR6||12 GB GDDR6|
|Memory Clock||14 Gbps||15 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||448 GB/s||360 GB/s|
|Transistors||10.8 billion||13.25 billion|
|Power Connector||1 x 8 pin||1 x 8 pin|
|Launch Year||July 9, 2019||February 25, 2021|
Comparing both graphics cards, the RTX 2060 Super is better at first glance. However, both graphics cards roughly have the same performance in games. What you need to be wary of is the pricing.
Even though the RTX 3060 has higher pricing than the RTX 2060 Super, does its performance uplift justify the price? According to benchmarks, no. For this reason, if you can find an RTX 2060 Super, go with it without hesitation. You get more RT cores with the RTX 2060 Super and save a few dollars! In other words, it’s a win-win situation.
RTX 3060 Ti Vs RTX 2060 Super
In like fashion with the RTX 2060 Super Vs. 3060, the RTX 3060 has a descendent too. We can consider the RTX 3060 Ti as the super version of the RTX 3060. Thus, knowing which graphics card to go with is important if you have the budget. Also, whether you should go with it altogether or not.
|Name||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti|
|Node||TSMC 12nm||Samsung 8nm|
|Core Clock||1470 MHz||1410 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1650 MHz||1670 MHz|
|Memory||8 GB GDDR6||8 GB GDDR6|
|Memory Clock||14 Gbps||15 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||448 GB/s||448 GB/s|
|Transistors||10.8 billion||17.4 billion|
|Power Connector||1 x 8 pin||1 x 12 pin|
|Launch Year||July 9, 2019||December 2, 2020|
In light of the above chart, we see the specifications for the RTX 2060 Super and the RTX 3060 Ti. With a few tweaks here and there, the main issue drops at the pricing. If global inflation weren’t a thing right now, then going with the RTX 3060 Ti would be the obvious choice. However, the RTX 3060 Ti is currently ~32% more expensive than the RTX 2060 Super.
Looking at performance differences, the RTX 3060 Ti is ~24% faster than the 2060 Super. Therefore, the RTX 2060 Super is the better GPU, unless you don’t care about prices. Overall, if the prices return to normal, then the obvious choice would be the RTX 3060 Ti.
Who Is This Article For?
To begin with, the RTX 2060 Vs. 3060 article is for customers who are thinking of upgrading their systems. Similarly, customers with an old GPU or an RTX 2060 want to know whether the 3060 is worth it. For that reason, we have first described the specifications of both GPUs. Secondly, we have given an in-depth explanation of what DLSS and RTX technologies are.
Furthermore, we discussed a total of nine games at 1080P resolution, and after that, we tested them at 1440P. Lastly, we looked into the RTX 2060 Super Vs. RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti Vs. 2060 Super.
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Frequently Asked Questions
In summary, no, it isn’t. While the RTX 3060 is ~25% faster than RTX 2060, due to the 15% price addition, it’s not worth it. At most, you’re only going to get a 10% performance increase. Therefore, you’re better off buying an RTX 3060 Ti or an RTX 3070 if you find one for a reasonable price.
Mostly, there is only a transistor count difference between the RTX 2060 and RTX 3060. To explain, the RTX 3060 has Samsung’s 8nm node with 13.25 billion transistors. On the other hand, the RTX 2060 uses TSMC’s 12nm node with 10.4 billion transistors. Other than that, the number of CUDA Cores, RT Cores, etc., are different.
As stated above, the RTX 2060 Super and RTX 3060 have similar performances. The only real difference is in their price tags. Thanks to global inflation, you can find the RTX 2060 Super much cheaper than the RTX 3060. Thus, making it more valuable in terms of price per performance.
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