The Bottom Line
- + Incredible power efficiency
- + RTX technologies like DLSS, Frame Generation, and Reflex
- + No MSRP increase over the previous generation
- + Excellent Founders Edition build quality and thermals
- + Impressive 1080p and 1440p performance
- - Not quite the leap over the RTX 3060 Ti we were expecting
- - 8GB of VRAM might impact the GPU's long-term viability
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NVIDIA announced the entire GeForce RTX 4060 lineup ahead of its launch, a rarity for new GPU models in an existing lineup. Normally announcements, review embargoes, details, pricing, and all that arrive simultaneously. With the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, there was quite a bit of public information ahead of us going hands-on with the stylish Founders Edition model.
And based on what we heard and saw during the unveiling of the new mainstream GeForce RTX 40 Series cards, it was a mix of good and slightly underwhelming.
First up, the good stuff - specifically about the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti. With an MSRP of USD 399 for the 8GB model reviewed here (AUD 729), the price is identical to the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti's launch price (and current price, for that matter). The Founders Edition and all other partner models available this month fall under the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8GB banner, with 16GB models expected to arrive sometime in July with a higher price tag of USD 499.
The USD 399 price, though, is a first for the Ada Lovelace generation - which has seen price increases in all high-end models. As we move into the more mainstream and affordable pricing bracket, price becomes one of the main factors when you're looking to purchase a shiny new bit of GPU silicon, so this is very welcome. As is the GeForce RTX 4060's lower than the RTX 3060's price of USD 299.
Another good bit of news is that the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti retains all of the Ada tech seen in the higher-end models, including enough AI hardware to ensure DLSS 3 and Frame Generation are supported, AV1 encoding for content creators, and power efficiency that sees the 4060 Ti draw less power when gaming than even the RTX 3060.
So then, what's the underwhelming part? Well, that would be the raw gen-on-gen performance increase over the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, where you're looking at a roughly 13% increase across the 15 titles we benchmarked at 1080p, with that figure dropping to around 10% when you bump up the resolution to 1440p. This puts performance on par with the GeForce RTX 3070, which is still a great GPU for modern gaming, but the results were lower than expected.
Of course, the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 don't feature the AI hardware to support DLSS 3, which, when enabled, offers a massive perceived performance increase over the previous generation. One thing is for sure; the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is remarkably efficient while remaining cool and quiet.
The Ada Lovelace Generation
Below is a summary of the GeForce RTX 40 Series technology, applicable to all models.
There was a time when outright visual quality was the main driver for determining how advanced real-time rendering, especially in games, had progressed. There was also a time when pure grunt in raw hardware power determined how good a game could technically look and how fast it ran. We're now at a point where visual quality and performance go hand-in-hand, with raw power only being a part of the equation.
The GeForce RTX 40 Series, the Ada Lovelace generation, is a lineup of GPUs built on a cutting-edge process node while leveraging and evolving all of the advances in AI and hardware-based ray-tracing that NVIDIA helped become mainstream with the GeForce RTX 30 Series.
Named after mathematician Ada Lovelace, considered the world's first computer programmer, the GeForce RTX 40 Series is built on TSMC 4N process technology - a giant leap forward over the Samsung 8nm process used in the GeForce RTX 30 Series Ampere generation. From a pure numbers perspective, the full NVIDIA Ada GPU features 76.3 billion transistors, up to 18,432 CUDA Cores (70% more than the previous gen), and delivers clock speeds over 2.5 GHz while maintaining the same power requirements of the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti.
Ada also introduces the latest generation of RT and Tensor Cores, with the latter introducing brand-new hardware responsible for the next iteration of AI rendering - DLSS 3. NVIDIA's DLSS or Deep Learning Super Sampling is one of the reasons why raw power is no longer the be-all-end-all; it's an AI-based form of upscaling that can provide a sizable boost to in-game performance without sacrificing visual fidelity. In fact, in some cases, it can improve upon native rendering.
For this reason alone, DLSS and other forms of algorithm-based upscaling have become some of the most talked about bits of technology in the PC gaming space.
Free frames, enough said.
DLSS 3 combines DLSS Super Resolution (DLSS 2) with NVIDIA Reflex to reduce system latency and the brand-new hardware-accelerated Frame Generation technology. Three bits of rendering tech = DLSS 3. And it's exclusive to the GeForce RTX 40 Series.
And it's here where NVIDIA is looking to do what it has done for real-time graphics upscaling to the idea of frame-interpolation - or what they call Motion Plus in the TV world. Which, to be fair, is not a fair comparison on account of tech like Motion Plus being - well - terrible. But the fundamental idea is the same, albeit using specialized AI hardware in the GeForce RTX 40 Series graphics cards to generate and create entire frames.
So far, the results, although not without flaws, are impressive - with dramatic improvements to overall performance (in the smoothness stakes) seen in games like Cyberpunk 2077, F1 22, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered, and more.
As seen with DLSS 3, the Ada generation is much more than "smaller = more," with NVIDIA introducing back-end technology in the form of Shader Execution Reordering - which effectively ensures render tasks happen more efficiently and without running into bottlenecks. This means a leap forward in the real-time rendering of hardware-intensive ray-tracing effects.
The Ada generation also levels up NVIDIA's already formidable content creation chops with the arrival of AV1 encoding for better video quality for streamers without sacrificing anything in the way of performance or more bandwidth.
Specs and Test System
Here we can see how the specs and hardware stack up for the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti compared to the previous generation's GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and this generation's GeForce RTX 4070.
The main takeaway from these numbers is that compared to the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, the new GeForce RTX 4060 Ti does more with less. Fewer CUDA Cores (which might be a first for a gen-on-gen upgrade), a cut-down memory interface, and a lower overall power draw.
That last bit is a definite plus, and even though the overall performance of the RTX 4060 Ti is notably better than the RTX 3060 Ti (though by not as much as many, including us, were expecting), these specs show that NVIDIA's new Ada Lovelace generation scales incredibly well. The 160W power rating is less than the GeForce RTX 3060's 170W, and the performance increase over that mainstream GPU is sizable.
Okay, so the fact that the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti launching this month features 8GB of VRAM, the same capacity as the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070, is worth pointing out in the current climate where we're seeing more and more titles on PC release demand more than 8GB to max all the visual settings. This is one of the reasons why there's a 16GB model coming in July, though it's worth highlighting that as a GPU aimed squarely at 1080p and 1440p gaming - tweaking settings to improve performance is a part of the game.
But, there is some good news as NVIDIA's bump in L2 Cache from 2MB on the RTX 3060 Ti to 32MB on the RTX 4060 Ti effectively mitigates some of the memory bandwidth issues seen in the previous generation, not in terms of capacity but in overall performance, covering both average frame-rates and 1% lows. Gaming on the RTX 4060 Ti is smooth, impressively so.
Where the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti truly impresses specs-wise comes with the nearly 1 GHz increase in boost clock speed over the previous generation. The fact that NVIDIA has managed this without increasing the power draw is one thing, but the RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition is a remarkably cool unit - with low temps and fans rarely, if ever, making themselves known.
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Ti
- Model: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition
- Interface: PCI Express 4.0
- CUDA Cores: 4352
- Tensor Cores: 136 (4th Generation)
- RT Cores: 34 (3rd Generation)
- Clocks: Base Clock: 2310 MHz, Boost Clock: 2535 MHz
- Memory: 8GB GDDR6
- Memory Speed: 18 Gbps
- Memory Interface: 128-bit
- Total Memory Bandwidth: 288 GB/s (554 GB/s effective)
- L2 Cache: 32768 K
- Display Connections: 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI 2.1 x 1
- Power Connectors: 2 x PCIe 8-pin cables (via adapter)
- Recommended PSU: 550W
- What's in the Box: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition, 16-pin to 1x8-pin adapter
Kosta's Test System
- Motherboard: MSI MPG X670E Carbon Wi-Fi
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7900X
- Cooler: Corsair iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT Liquid CPU Cooler
- RAM: 64GB (2x32GB) Corsair DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB DDR5 DRAM 5200MHz
- SSD: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 4TB, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 8TB
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 850W
- Case: Thermaltake Core P3 Tempered Glass Snow
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
Physical Design and Cooling
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition uses the latest version of the sleek and stylish Founders Edition re-design that debuted with the GeForce RTX 4090 and GeForce RTX 4080, except it's much smaller.
The overall shape is identical to the GeForce RTX 4070 Founder Edition, especially with the cooler, two-slot form factor, and short overall length. Still, it takes a page from the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti playbook with shiny and bright silver parts versus the more muted metal tones of the GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition.
Like the GeForce RTX 4070, the unique cooling design results in an intake and exhaust on the underside and the top. This means air is drawn in from the outer side and vented from the top (also via the exhaust found on the back with the ports). The design debuted with the GeForce RTX 30 Series Founders Edition cards. NVIDIA has refined and improved it with bigger fans and other subtle changes to improve airflow, noise levels, and temperatures.
The result is impressive, with the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti being just about silent. When temperatures drop below a certain threshold, the fans turn off completely, but even when you're gaming, the ample cooling is more than enough to ensure that fan speeds and temps remain low.
The build quality is excellent, too. This GPU is built to last alongside something easily fitting in a smaller mini-ITX case. Connection-wise, you've got three DisplayPort 1.4 ports on the back, alongside a single HDMI 2.1 port - which is standard for the GeForce RTX 40 Series.
Benchmarks - 15 Game Averages
The Games and Tests
In 2023 PC gaming is a complicated and varied space, from indie games to major blockbuster releases and titles that push hardware and technology to their limit with the adoption of effects like real-time ray-tracing.
This is all a way of saying that the 15 in-game benchmarks we've chosen (and run at 1080p and 1440p) represent a wide range of styles, not only in terms of genres, like first-person shooters and racing games, but also in the API technology (DirectX 11, 12) and cutting-edge features like ray tracing and upscaling technology.
Results include DLSS and FSR 2, where possible, as both technologies are the sorts of things, especially in 1440p and 4K, which you'd turn on. Six out of the 15 game benchmarks also feature ray tracing, so this is a great way to see the additional benefit of NVIDIA's DLSS and Frame Generation technology. Also, each title is set to ultra-equivalent quality settings to push GPU hardware and minimize CPU bottlenecks at higher resolutions.
Also, it's just fun to max out a game's visual settings and see the results. Here's the breakdown of games, graphics settings, and what's being tested.
And with 15 games, a special shoutout goes to Sabrent for providing us with the storage to ensure we can keep everything installed - and then some - with both the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 4TB and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus Plus-G M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 8TB offering exceptional performance, capacity, and reliability.
We can keep all our benchmark software installed while also installing every new game release that comes our way.
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Ultra High-quality settings, with the in-game benchmark tool used.
- Borderlands 3: Ultra quality settings, with the in-game benchmark tool used.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II: Ultra quality setting, in-game multiplayer benchmark tool used.
- Cyberpunk 2077: Ultra quality setting, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Cyberpunk 2077 (RT): Ray tracing Ultra quality setting, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- DOOM Eternal (RT): Ultra Nightmare quality setting with ray-tracing enabled, the opening of Mars Core campaign level used to benchmark.
- F1 22 (RT): Ultra High-quality setting with ray tracing, one lap of the Bahrain track benchmarked. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Forza Horizon 5 (RT): Extreme quality setting with ray tracing enabled, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Hitman (RT): Ultra-quality settings with ray-tracing, Dubai scene benchmarked. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included. A May 2023 update to the game has greatly improved performance, so individual results for this game are excluded for now (but still factored into the averages).
- Horizon Zero Dawn: Ultimate quality setting, in-game benchmark used.
- Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (RT): Ultra quality setting with ray tracing enabled, the in-game benchmark tool used.
- Rainbow Six Extraction: Ultra quality settings and in-game benchmark tool used.
- Red Dead Redemption 2: Maximum quality settings, with in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- The Division 2: Ultra quality settings with in-game benchmark tool used.
- Total War: Warhammer III: Ultra-quality settings with the in-game Battle Benchmark tool used.
15 Game Average FPS - 1080p Results
According to the latest Steam Hardware Survey, 1080p is still the most popular resolution for PC gamers. It also confirms that cards like the GeForce RTX 3060 and GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and older 60-series GPUs like the RTX 2060 make up the most popular GPUs.
When it comes to 1080p gaming, across the 15 games tested, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti slightly edges out the GeForce RTX 3070, outperforms the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti by around 13.1%, and obliterates the baseline GeForce RTX 3060 by about 40.7%. Compared to the GeForce RTX 4070, the higher-tier Ada GPU outperforms the RTX 4060 Ti by 21.9%.
As mentioned earlier, the gen-on-gen improvement is lower than expected - where the general rule of thumb is that you're likely to see an increase of around 30% in performance every couple of years. Interestingly with the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti being roughly 60% faster than the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER (which would be the 2060 Ti equivalent from the 20 Series), this lower-than-expected generational update does highlight that the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti was a remarkable GPU for its time.
So much so that it's still great to this day, which makes the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti and its improvements to efficiency and the addition of things like DLSS 3 and Frame Generation support - major selling points.
15 Game Average FPS - 1440p Results
There's no denying that 1440p is seen by many as the current sweet spot for new builds and modern PC gaming. It's the fastest-growing resolution, even if 1080p still dominates. Here we see the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti stumble a little with the performance gap between it and the previous generation's GeForce RTX 3060 Ti shrinking to around 9.1% - a somewhat underwhelming and not all that exciting result.
Again, this puts the results on par with the GeForce RTX 3070 - with the impressive part not reflected in the chart. The RTX 4060 Ti manages RTX 3070 levels of 1440p performance using 38.7% less power, a remarkable achievement and a reminder that Ada's efficiency is next level.
Another area where NVIDIA's new architecture excels comes with ray-tracing performance, where raw performance in Cyberpunk 2077 using the RT Ultra settings sees the RTX 4060 Ti perform roughly 22.9% faster than the RTX 3060 Ti in 1080p - with a massive 88.2% increase to 1% low performance. A better 1% low performance is seen across the board for the RTX 4060 Ti when stacked against the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070. Maybe not as drastic as the Cyberpunk 2077 figure, but consistent and potential evidence that the bump in L2 Cache is doing its thing.
Compared to the next GPU in the GeForce RTX 40 Series lineup, the RTX 4070, the RTX 4060 Ti's 1440p performance is roughly 25% slower.
15 Game Average FPS - 4K Results
Like the 1440p results, the 4K numbers for the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti sit roughly on par with the GeForce RTX 4070 - with the same 9% or so improvement over the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. That said, we wouldn't consider the RTX 4060 Ti a 4K card in 2023 - especially for the models with 8GB of VRAM.
Native 4K rendering is taxing on any GPU that doesn't sit on the high-end, and with that, the individual game results below will only detail 1080p and 1440p results where higher than 60fps performance is the norm thanks to tech like DLSS.
Benchmarks - 3DMark FireStrike
3DMark FireStrike is a DirectX 11 test that has been around for many years and covers quite a large portion of games released over the past decade - at least in terms of the API and graphics technologies used. The three tests cover the resolutions - 1080p, 1440p, and 4K.
The 1080p results show that the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Founder Edition only delivers a score 11.6% higher than the previous generation's GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. The score here is higher than the GeForce RTX 3070, aligning with the actual in-game average benchmark results.
Benchmarks - 3DMark TimeSpy and Port Royal
With 3DMark TimeSpy being DirectX 12-based, it's a more relevant synthetic benchmark for modern games. Here we see that the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti delivers a score 12.3% higher than the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and 43% higher than the baseline GeForce RTX 3060. Compared to the recently released GeForce RTX 4070, you're looking at a decrease of around 21.4%.
Bumping things up to the 4K-based TimeSpy Extreme synthetic benchmark and the gen-on-gen gap between the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and GeForce RTX 4060 Ti drops to 8.7% - which adds further weight to the RTX 4060 Ti being optimized for 1080p and 1440p.
3DMark Port Royal is a synthetic ray-tracing benchmark, an area where NVIDIA's new Ada Lovelace architecture excels, thanks to several improvements. Here the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti delivers a score over 15% higher than the previous generation's GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and a whopping 52% higher than the GeForce RTX 3060.
With modern ray-tracing titles supporting DLSS 2's Super Resolution technology and more and more games adding support for DLSS 3 and Frame Generation, the good news here is that the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is an RT-capable GPU at 1080p and even 1440p in some titles. Taking Cyberpunk 2077 as an example, this means 69fps RT Ultra performance at 1080p using the DLSS Quality setting, which can be pushed to over triple digits with DLSS 3.
Benchmarks - 1080p Gaming
Benchmarks - 1440p Gaming
Benchmarks Summary, Ray-Tracing Performance, and DLSS 3
When looking at all titles in our benchmark lineup, the overall picture for the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is that it's more often than not faster than the GeForce RTX 3070 when it comes to 1080p gaming and roughly on par when it comes to 1440p gaming.
There are some positive exceptions. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Rainbow Six Extraction performance edge out the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, which points to excellent high frame rates for competitive titles. The flip side to this is several titles where the GeForce RTX 3070 out the RTX 4060 Ti when it comes to average frame rates, though the 1% lows for the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti are generally higher.
One feature exclusive to the GeForce RTX 40 Series not present in previous generation hardware is the addition of DLSS 3 and Frame Generation, slowly but surely becoming a feature worth celebrating.
For 1080p gaming, the results are excellent - and DLSS is a technology that scales remarkably well across the various resolutions as long as you're using the Quality setting for Super Resolution. For Cyberpunk 2077, using the RT Ultra setting, the triple-digit frame-rate result with DLSS 3 represents a 2.5X increase over native 1080p rendering. In Forza Horizon 5, with RT enabled using the game's Extreme visual quality setting, you're looking at a more modest 1.3X increase.
For F1 22, another racing game with ray-tracing, it's a similar 1.8X increase over native 1080p rendering. This is a game where DLSS 3 also delivers at 1440p, so it's great to see that Frame Generation isn't limited to the high-end GPUs in the GeForce RTX 40 Series lineup.
Temperature and Power Efficiency
You've probably heard that the Ada Lovelace generation and GeForce RTX 40 Series lineup has incredible power efficiency compared to the previous Ampere generation and AMD's RDNA 3 flagship cards. The GeForce RTX 4060 Ti takes this to a new level regarding improved performance and doing more with less. Even more so than other entries in the GeForce RTX 40 Series.
With an average power draw of around 130W when gaming in 1080p and 1440p, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is an efficiency powerhouse. When you factor in that performance beats the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 for 1080p gaming, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti manages that by using 30% and 37% less power, respectively.
The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition is an efficient beast and quiet and cool to boot. Under full load in our test rig setup, temperatures hovered at around 55 Degrees Celsius with a GPU hot spot of about 62 Degrees. And sound levels were negligible, with fan speeds rarely exceeding 30-40%. The Founders Edition is a two-slot silent performer that barely breaks a sweat - impressive stuff.
Although the raw gen-on-gen performance of the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is a little underwhelming, that fact also points to the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti as an anomaly.
Like the GeForce RTX 4070 delivering GeForce RTX 3080-like performance, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti does the same, except its performance is roughly on par with the GeForce RTX 3070. As much as raw performance is seen as the be-all-end-all for GPU discussion, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti's additional features make it stand out.
With NVIDIA's Ada Lovelace architecture, you're looking at one of the most power-efficient GPUs in years - something that directly translates to overall temperatures and cooling. The addition of DLSS 3 Frame Generation is also great to see, and it's well worth enabling in games like Cyberpunk 2077 to push some incredible RT visuals. Then there's AV1 encoding for content creators and better creator app support and performance, all with the same MSRP as the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti - USD 399.
For some, the fact that the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti retains the 8GB of memory seen in the previous generation might be a deal breaker (the 16GB models arriving in July will mitigate this somewhat), but when it comes to 1080p and most 1440p gaming in 2023 - it's more than enough.
And really, when you get to the more affordable price range for new GPUs tweaking settings without sacrificing much in the way of visual fidelity can lead to substantial performance gains. NVIDIA continues to update its automated game optimization tool with that principle in mind - and it's a great feature to have.
Ultimately, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is a great 1080p and 1440p performer - especially regarding visually demanding titles with RT. Throw in game-changing RTX technologies like DLSS, Reflex, Frame Generation, and more, and the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is something to consider.