With the recent launch of the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, there has been a lot of discussion around the card's switch to a 128-bit bus for memory and the overall capacity remaining stagnant at 8GB. But with NVIDIA bumping up the L2 Cache, delivering improved 1% lows in our benchmarks, and additional features like DLSS 3 proving to be worthwhile even at 1080p, our favorable review focused on these new Ada Lovelace features and the GPU's impressive efficiency.
But it looks like these features don't make up for the overall downgrade to the memory bus when it comes to PC emulation of the Nintendo Switch hardware. With the recent release of the groundbreaking The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Switch emulation is a hot topic right now, and the team behind the YUZU platform has shared some not-so-kind words about the new GeForce RTX 4060 Ti.
The team calls NVIDIA's latest GPU "a terrible investment" for those interested in Switch emulation, with the complete statement pulling no punches. Check it out.
Now, on to the disappointing news: the RTX 4060 Ti.
We don't understand what kind of decisions NVIDIA took when deciding the Ada Lovelace GeForce product stack, but it has been nothing but mistakes. The RTX 4060 Ti 8GB with only a 128-bit wide memory bus and GDDR6 VRAM is a serious downgrade for emulation when compared to its predecessor, the 256-bit wide equipped RTX 3060 Ti. You will be getting slower performance in Switch emulation if you get the newer product. We have no choice but to advise users to stick to Ampere products if possible, or aim higher in the product stack if you have to get a 4000 series card for some reason (DLSS3 or AV1 encoding), which is clearly what NVIDIA is aiming for.
The argument in favour of Ada is the increased cache size, which RDNA2 confirmed in the past helps with performance substantially, but it also has a silent warning no review mentions: if you saturate the cache, you're left with the performance of a 128-bit wide card, and it's very easy to saturate the cache when using the resolution scaler - just 2X is enough to tank performance.
Spending 400 USD on a card that has terrible performance outside of 1X scaling is, in our opinion, a terrible investment, and should be avoided entirely. We hope the 16GB version at least comes equipped with GDDR6X VRAM, which would increase the available bandwidth and provide an actual improvement in performance for this kind of workload.
Here the team outlines that performance on the new RTX 4060 Ti is worse than the RTX 3060 Ti because of the drop in memory speed, noting that 2X scaling (the doubling of the Switch's native resolution) tanks performance.
For emulation enthusiasts, one of the main drawcards is being able to run games at higher resolutions with custom visual mods like ray tracing. This is doubly disappointing because the team notes that the increased L2 Cache doesn't help because "it's very easy to saturate the cache when using the resolution scaler."
Of course, companies like NVIDIA don't factor in emulation when developing new hardware, and RTX Remix is a very different beast. Still, as it's the sort of thing where brute force is a significant focus - it looks like the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is not a card for emulation enthusiasts.