The Bottom Line
- + Incredible power efficiency
- + RTX technologies like DLSS, Frame Generation, and Reflex
- + Impressive 1080p and 1440p performance
- + Next-level cooling
- - Not quite the leap over the RTX 3060 Ti we were expecting
- - 8GB of VRAM might impact the GPU's long-term viability
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
With the GeForce RTX 4060 family, which includes the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, NVIDIA has positioned its new mainstream options as graphics cards aimed at 1080p gaming. The latest Steam Hardware Survey results show that this is still the most popular resolution. This makes sense because cards like the GeForce RTX 3060 and the RTX 3060 Ti are some of the most popular GPUs in circulation. For many, though, it was the fact that both would feature 8GB of VRAM on a cut-down 128-bit memory bus that raised alarm bells.
With the latter, NVIDIA has added a lot more L2 Cache to the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, and looking at individual benchmark results; this means some impressive 1% low performance for the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio when compared to the previous generation's GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. The increase in L2 Cache increases the 'effective bandwidth' depending on the situation.
With reviews for the Founders Edition and other models already out there, it's no secret that the overall raw performance uplift for the RTX 4060 Ti, when stacked against the RTX 3060 Ti isn't all that earth-shattering. It's modest but consistent, especially at 1080p and 1440p.
The Ada Lovelace architecture excels in a few key areas, separate from raw in-game performance, that help make the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti as impressive as it is. For one, the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio's efficiency is next level, with the card able to do a lot more with a lot less - where you're looking at a lower power draw than the GeForce RTX 3060 while delivering a 46% 1080p performance uplift over that mainstream offering. Then there's the addition of DLSS 3 and Frame Generation, which looks great even at 1080p, and the continued widespread adoption of DLSS 2 Super Resolution.
Throw in improved ray-tracing performance, AV1 video encoding for content creators, and rock-solid drivers, and you've got all of that in the impressive package that is the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio.
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.
Compared to the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, the new GeForce RTX 4060 Ti does more with less - which is somewhat strange for a generational upgrade. For the first time, at least in recent history, you've got a new GeForce graphics card with fewer CUDA Cores than its predecessor, a cut-down memory interface, and a lower overall power draw.
There are some bright spots; spec-wise, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti arrives with a nearly 1 GHz increase in boost clock speed over the previous generation. And with the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio pushes this even further to an impressive 2685 MHz via a simple button press in MSI Center. The fact that NVIDIA has managed this without increasing the power draw is one thing, but the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio is an overclocked model that remains remarkably cool. With low temps and low fan speeds, the thing is essentially silent.
The specs show that NVIDIA's new Ada Lovelace generation scales incredibly well across the entire line-up, with the RTX 4060 Ti's 160W power rating less than the GeForce RTX 3060's 170W and the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti's 200W. Releasing a more power-efficient RTX 3060 Ti is one thing (and the RTX 3060 Ti was probably the most efficient card in the entire Ampere line-up), but this is more powerful too.
The fact that the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti launched with 8GB of VRAM, and we still have to wait for the 16GB models to arrive, is noteworthy when you look at some recent VRAM-hungry AAA PC game releases like The Last of Us Part I. Is 8GB enough? In most cases, yes. And much of what we are seeing is the result of poorly optimized ports that have all seen substantial improvements in post-launch patches.
Plus, when looking at a GPU aimed squarely at 1080p and 1440p gaming - tweaking settings to improve performance is a part of the game. Although limited to 8GB, there is some good news; 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 overall performance, covering both average frame rates and 1% lows - as mentioned earlier.
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Ti
- Model: MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio
- Interface: PCI Express 4.0
- CUDA Cores: 4352
- Tensor Cores: 136 (4th Generation)
- RT Cores: 34 (3rd Generation)
- Clocks: Boost: 2670 MHz, Extreme Performance: 2685 MHz (MSI Center)
- 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: 1 x PCIe 8-pin cable
- Recommended PSU: 550W
- What's in the Box: MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio, 1 x MSI Gaming Graphics Card Bracket, Quick Start Guide
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
With the Founder Edition model from NVIDIA presenting a small two-slot GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio is a 2.5-slot card with three fans, a metal backplate, and ample cooling. You might say it's overkill, but this is another Gaming X Trio release from MSI that features excellent build quality, components, and cooling. And we say overkill because even when gaming, you're looking at temperatures that sit at or below 50 degrees with fan speeds and overall noise kept to a minimum.
We've seen small form-factor GeForce RTX 4060 Ti models; even MSI has a few compact and slim designs. The MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio, which weighs in at 1167 grams, is one of the bigger RTX 4060 Ti options, but it's still relatively small compared to the more extensive high-end GeForce RTX 40 Series options. It uses MSI's new TORX Fan 5.0 fans designed to improve airflow, pressure, and precision heat pipes that make complete contact with the GPU to spread heat across the entire heatsink length. The fact that the PCB for the RTX 4060 Ti is small no doubt helps keep the Gaming X Trio model cool and quiet no matter the application.
Throw in the metal backplate and control over fan speeds and other settings using MSI's Afterburner and MSI Center apps, and the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio becomes one of the most impressive GeForce RTX 4060 Ti models available. Naturally, all of the extra cooling and OC potential means that this is not an MSRP model, so its price sits slightly higher than the USD 399 set by NVIDIA.
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 of the 15 game benchmarks also feature ray tracing, 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 comparison 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
The MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio is a remarkable 1080p performer for several reasons. Firstly, it's 17.8% faster than the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti at this resolution, making it faster than the GeForce RTX 3070 and roughly on par with the previous generation's GeForce RTX 3070 Ti. Again, it's the efficiency that impresses, with the RTX 4060 Ti able to deliver so much using very little - 44% less power usage than the RTX 3070 Ti, and yet it's able to match that mid-range to high-end Ampere offering.
The MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio is also the fastest RTX 4060 Ti we've tested, delivering a more consistent performance uplift over the previous generation's GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. As cards like GeForce RTX 3060 and older 60-series GPUs like the RTX 2060 make up the most popular GPUs, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti results point to a worthwhile upgrade for older non-RTX 3060 Ti models.
As we noted in other RTX 4060 Ti reviews, the results highlight how rare the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti was at its release - a GPU that got close to matching the beefier GeForce RTX 3070 overall performance. Compared to the GeForce RTX 4070, the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio is roughly 18.7% slower in 1080p gaming, which covers everything from competitive-style shooting to hardware-intensive ray-tracing and more.
15 Game Average FPS - 1440p Results
Even though it's being marketed as a 1080p graphics card, the 1440p results show that the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio delivers 1% low frame rates close to 60 fps with an average frame rate across 15 titles sitting at 87 fps. This makes the RTX 4060 Ti and the Gaming X Trio model reviewed here very much a card that can deliver when it comes to 1440p gaming.
What about the 8GB of VRAM? Isn't that a significant limitation? Well, that depends, and it's worth noting that most of the benchmarks we ran were using each game's highest overall quality setting. And when it comes to day-to-day gaming, with a few tweaks and the magic of DLSS, performance can and will sit a lot higher.
At 1440p, we see the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio matching the GeForce RTX 3070 using 32% less power while delivering better 1%-low performance thanks to the increase in L2 Cache. That said, the performance increase over the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti seen at 1080p drops to around 13%, a slightly underwhelming result.
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 MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio only delivers a score 12% higher than the previous generation's GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. The score here is higher than the GeForce RTX 3070, aligning with most of the 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 MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio delivers a score 13.6% higher than the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and 45% higher than the GeForce RTX 3060. Compared to the recently released GeForce RTX 4070, you're looking at a decrease of around 20%. The results show that when it comes to DirectX 12 gaming, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is more suited for 1440p than 4K - even when you factor in RTX technologies like DLSS.
3DMark Port Royal is a synthetic ray-tracing benchmark, an area where NVIDIA's new Ada Lovelace architecture excels. That said, the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio delivers a score over 15% higher than the previous generation's GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, a slightly conservative figure. When you review the actual in-game benchmark results, though, it's a different story. Take the RT-intensive Cyberpunk 2077 at 1080p, here the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio is 28.6% faster than the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti while delivering a whopping 88% improvement to 1% lows.
And then there's the fact that most modern ray-tracing enhanced games support DLSS 2's Super Resolution technology, with a growing number supporting the new Frame Generation technology exclusive to the GeForce RTX 40 Series. The GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is an RT-capable GPU at 1080p and 1440p. Looking at the same Cyberpunk 2077 example, this means 45 fps jumps up to 70 fps at 1080p using the DLSS Quality setting. Throw in a little DLSS 3 magic, which becomes 118 fps. Yeah, impressive.
Benchmarks - 1080p Gaming
Benchmarks - 1440p Gaming
Benchmarks Summary, Ray-Tracing Performance, and DLSS 3
No matter the title, the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio delivers exceptional 1080p performance in a highly efficient and quiet package. And as DLSS continues to make its way into most AAA (and indie) releases, it's the sort of technology you enable if it's there. Free performance with a minimal hit to visual fidelity. In some cases, games look better with DLSS enabled. And with DLSS 3 showing up in more and more titles, the RTX 4060 Ti is a capable 1440p card too.
There are pluses and minuses to the results. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Rainbow Six Extraction are good examples of where NVIDIA's Ada architecture excels, delivering better than GeForce RTX 3070 Ti performance. On the other hand, you've got titles like Total War: Warhammer III and Horizon Zero Dawn, where 1440p performance only slightly edges out the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti.
One feature exclusive to the GeForce RTX 40 Series not present in previous generation hardware is the addition of DLSS 3 and Frame Generation, and the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio delivers when it comes to 1080p gaming with DLSS 3 enabled. We were surprised by how good games looked with DLSS 3 enabled at this resolution. NVIDIA's groundbreaking tech scales remarkably well.
For Cybeprunk 2077, using the RT Ultra setting, the triple-digit frame-rate result with DLSS 3 represents a 2.6X 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 1.4X increase. For F1 22 and Hitman 3, a racing game with ray-tracing and an assassination game with ray-tracing, it's an impressive 1.9X increase over native 1080p rendering.
It's excellent that Frame Generation isn't limited to the high-end GPUs in the GeForce RTX 40 Series line-up and is the sort of feature you can enable on the more affordable entries.
Temperature and Power Efficiency
As other RTX 4060 Ti models have shown, the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio is another power efficiency champ. It continues the story we've seen across the entire Ada Lovelace generation - new cutting-edge entries that can boost performance while cutting down on power usage.
With an average power draw of around 141W when gaming in 1080p and 145W in 1440p, the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio is an efficiency powerhouse like its RTX 4060 Ti brethren. On top of that, you've got better performance than the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 at 1080p and 1440p. We'll probably not see this sort of efficiency gain for a while - if ever again - so it's worth celebrating.
Using a single stress test, we saw the temperature of the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio rise to 44.6 degrees Celsius with a hot spot of just over 50 degrees Celsius. For a gaming GPU in 2023, you'd think that MSI was packing some form of LN2 under the hood because this result is remarkable. Throw in fan speeds that rarely go above 30%, and yeah, the triple fan setup here might be overkill for the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti - but it's hard not to be impressed with the results.
The MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio is an excellent option for the various GeForce RTX 4060 Ti models. The build quality is excellent, the cooling remarkable, and you've got out-of-the-box overclocking that delivers better performance than the Founders Edition model we tested a little while back.
There are a few shortcomings regarding the underlying GeForce RTX 4060 Ti hardware, in that 1440p performance is a little lacking, and the uplift over the previous generation's GeForce RTX 3060 Ti isn't at the level you usually see. But, on the plus side, you've got all of the benefits of the Ada Lovelace architecture found across all GeForce RTX 40 Series entries, from DLSS 3 and Frame Generation to AV1 encoding for content creation, to the more advanced AI and ray-tracing hardware.
Even though a 16GB version of the RTX 4060 Ti is coming sometime in July, we'd wager that 8GB is plenty enough for most 1080p and 1440p games in the coming years, especially if you're okay with tweaking visual settings. In the end, MSI has delivered a Gaming X Trio variant of the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti that is as impressive as its more powerful siblings in the 40 Series. And sure, there are smaller and more compact options out there - but it's hard to look past cooling that's as impressively efficient as the RTX 4060 Ti's power usage.