MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review

MSI's new GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO is a tremendous replacement to the GeForce GTX 1060, with RTX + DLSS and 12GB of GDDR6.

@anthony256
Published Thu, Feb 25 2021 8:00 AM CST
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: MSI (MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO)

Introduction

NVIDIA launches its mid-range GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card today, with the company positioning its new GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card as the perfect replacement for the GeForce GTX 1060.

MSI's new custom GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO graphics card was the first custom RTX 3060 to arrive at my doorstep so it's the first GeForce RTX 3060 review out of the gate today. The new GeForce RTX 3060 rocks 12GB of fast GDDR6 memory, with the GPU being a huge upgrade for GTX 1060 gamers.

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VIEW GALLERY - 58 IMAGES

Not only that, but the new GeForce RTX 3060 upgrade over the GeForce GTX 1060 (or even the GeForce GTX 960) not only has more VRAM with 12GB of VRAM -- 2GB of VRAM more than the much higher-end, and much more expensive GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card that only ships with 10GB.

The new GeForce RTX 3060 is a monster for gaming, with NVIDIA Reflex Low Latency support providing some incredible numbers in games like Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Fortnite, Valorant, and more. Not only that, but you also get great RTX ray tracing support as well -- if that's your thing.

I wouldn't necessary recommend a GeForce RTX 3060 for ray tracing gaming, but you'll be able to get by at 1080p 60FPS with DLSS enabled in some games without an issue. You'll be able to get some Cyberpunk 2077 in on the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO, too.

Everything You Need to Know About The RTX 3060

NVIDIA's previous-gen GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card was a super-popular mid-range graphics card, offering 1920 CUDA cores from its GPU compared to the 3584 CUDA cores on the new GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card.

But the big upgrade comes in the VRAM with 6GB on the GTX 1060 blowing up into a huge 12GB on the RTX 3060, both on a 192-bit memory bus with the GTX 1060 rocking 336GB/sec of memory bandwidth the new RTX 3060 boasts 360GB/sec memory bandwidth.

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MSI marketing

This needs to be edited -- I'll update this one the MSI pages go live!

DOGE TO THE MOON!

Detailed Look

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The usual MSI GAMING X TRIO retail packaging.

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MSI retains that great style for its GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO, looking mean in any gaming PC in the year 2035 when you can buy this card.

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A chunky card for a mid-range release.

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Dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors required, a bit overkill considering some custom RTX 3060s have a single 8-pin PCIe power connector.

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The usual display I/O: 3 x DP 1.4 and 1 x HDMI 2.1 connector.

Test System Specs

Latest upgrade:

Sabrent sent over their huge Rocket Q 8TB NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD, which will be my new Games install SSD inside of my main test bed.

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I've got a new upgrade inside of my GPU test bed before my change to a next-gen test bed, where I will be preparing for NVIDIA's next-gen Ampere graphics cards and AMD's next-gen RDNA 2 graphics cards.

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Sabrent helped out with some new storage for my GPU test beds, sending over a slew of crazy-fast Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSDs. I've got this installed into my GPU test bed as the new Games Storage drive, since games are so damn big now. Thanks to Sabrent, I've got 2TB of super-fast M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD storage now.

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Anthony's GPU Test System Specifications

I've recently upgraded my GPU test bed -- at least for now, until AMD's new Ryzen 9 5950X processor is unleashed then the final update for 2020 will happen and we'll be all good for RDNA 2 and future Ampere GPU releases. You can read my article here: TweakTown GPU Test Bed Upgrade for 2021, But Then Zen 3 Was Announced.

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Benchmarks - Synthetic

3DMark Fire Strike

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3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

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3DMark TimeSpy

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Heaven - 1080p

Heaven benchmark

Heaven is an intensive GPU benchmark that really pushes your silicon to its limits. It's another favorite of ours as it has some great scaling for multi-GPU testing, and it's great for getting your GPU to 100% for power and noise testing.

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Benchmarks - 1080p

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Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is the latest game to be inserted into our benchmark suite, with Ubisoft Montreal using its AnvilNext engine to power the game. It scales really well across the cards, and has some surprising performance benefits with AMD's new Big Navi GPUs.

You can buy Assassins Creed: Valhalla at Amazon.

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Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

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Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

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1080p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

Right out of the gate with Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO offers performance levels of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, the previous-gen Pascal-based flagship GPU.

We're looking at 114-120FPS out of Shadow of War at 1080p on the RTX 3060, beating the GTX 1080 but losing by a few FPS to the GTX 1080 Ti. Metro Exodus has the RTX 3060 performing either side of the RTX 2070, and coming within 10% of the GTX 1080 Ti.

Benchmarks - 1440p

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 4014 | TweakTown.com

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is the latest game to be inserted into our benchmark suite, with Ubisoft Montreal using its AnvilNext engine to power the game. It scales really well across the cards, and has some surprising performance benefits with AMD's new Big Navi GPUs.

You can buy Assassins Creed: Valhalla at Amazon.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 110 | TweakTown.com
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Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 119 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 4013 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 113 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 4002 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 116 | TweakTown.com

1440p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

2560 x 1440 performance is solid on the GeForce RTX 3060, with Assassin's Creed: Valhalla seeing the MSI RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO keeping up with -- and beating (when overclocked) the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The same goes for Shadow of War, while Metro Exodus performance lags behind the GTX 1080 Ti by a few FPS.

Benchmarks - 4K

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 4014 | TweakTown.com

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is the latest game to be inserted into our benchmark suite, with Ubisoft Montreal using its AnvilNext engine to power the game. It scales really well across the cards, and has some surprising performance benefits with AMD's new Big Navi GPUs.

You can buy Assassins Creed: Valhalla at Amazon.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 109 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 4006 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 118 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 4013 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 112 | TweakTown.com
MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 4002 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO Review 115 | TweakTown.com

4K Benchmark Performance Thoughts

4K performance on the GeForce RTX 3060 in a new game like Assassin's Creed: Valhalla isn't too bad at all, hitting 30FPS -- better than a next-gen console for the most part. Overclocked, the MSI RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO has nearly 20% more performance at 4K in AC:V.

Shadow of War is hitting 60FPS at 4K on the MSI RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO when overclocked, a decent feat which has the custom RTX 3060 beating the older GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphic card at 4K. Metro Exodus requires the MSI RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO to be overclocked, getting to 29FPS -- equal to the Radeon RX 5700 XT.

Overclocking

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In all its GPU-Z nerdy goodness.

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Out of the box the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO was running at 1927MHz, while running at 58C -- not too bad at all. The fans are spinning at around 1175RPM or so, or at 35% -- running nice and quiet and not bothering me during my hours of testing on it.

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Pushed about as far as it would go, the MSI RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO was sitting pretty at around 2185MHz while I pumped 700MHz+ into the 12Gbps of GDDR6 memory. With the fans @ 100% the card was running at just 49C under full load.

Power Consumption & Temps

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The custom MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO runs incredibly cool in stock form at just 58C, while the GPU at its maximum overclock and the fans cranked to 100% have the card dropping to under 50C at just 48C.

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Inside of the AMD Ryzen 7 3800X test bed the MSI RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO and the entire system was using just 270W, when overclocked those numbers bump up by 30W to 300W or so.

What's Hot, What's Not

What's Hot

  • A kick ass successor to the GeForce GTX 1060: The GeForce GTX 1060 was a super-popular GPU with NVIDIA calling one of the most successful GPUs the company has ever built. It was a 1080p 60FPS price/performance powerhouse and dominates the Steam hardware charts... now we have the RTX 3060 and it has improvements across the board.
  • Mid-range 1080p and 1440p gaming champ: NVIDIA has some great performance out of an RTX x060 card, with the GeForce RTX 3060 keeping up with the RTX 2060 SUPER and GTX 1080 Ti at 1080p in most things, and if not it's not that far away. 1080p 60FPS and 1440p 60FPS gaming is easy for the GeForce RTX 3060.
  • Cheapest Ampere with RTX + DLSS tech: RTX and DLSS weren't even a thing for gamers when the GeForce GTX 1060 was here, but now you can get them on the cheapest Ampere GPU yet with the GeForce RTX 3060.
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  • 12GB of GDDR6 memory: This is a great amount of memory to have for the $329 MSRP that NVIDIA has set, but you won't find the card for that price unfortunately. Still, it's great to see mid-range cards with much more VRAM. Hopefully this means the Ampere refresh RTX 3070 has 16GB of GDDR6 memory and the Ampere refresh of the RTX 3080 has 20GB of GDDR6X memory.
  • Great HTPC graphics card: If you want all of the new Ampere GPU features that include HDMI 2.1 connectivity for high-res, high refresh rate monitors (4K 120Hz, etc) for a HTPC gaming rig then the GeForce RTX 3060 is a great buy. There's also AV1 decode abilities here, too.

What's Not

  • No price: I can't write a price on this review because there is no price at launch... I've never had to do that before, so that's definitely a "What's Not" if there ever was one. It's a great card that I, uh, can't tell you the price of.
  • Impossible to find: Good luck trying to find it.
  • 12GB of GDDR6 memory: This is going to be confusing to at least some people... the cheapest Ampere graphics card in the GeForce RTX 3060 has 12GB of GDDR6 meanwhile the flagship GeForce RTX 3080 has 10GB of GDDR6X memory and the GeForce RTX 3070 with 8GB of GDDR6.

Final Thoughts

NVIDIA's launch of the new GeForce RTX 3060 is giving me some of those crazy Radeon RX 5600 XT launch vibes, which was a total mess -- NVIDIA isn't that bad, but the launch of the RTX 3060 is a troubled one.

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First off there's no stock -- AIB partners are silent on pricing and I cannot state a price here in this review. I've been reviewing graphics cards working for TweakTown for close to 10 years now and this is one of, if not the first time I've ever had to do that. The GeForce RTX 3060 has an MSRP of $329... the custom MSI RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO should be around $50-$60 more but was rumored to cost up to $500 or more.

The price on the MSI RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO is TBD right now... so I guess I'll update this review once I have the price. These GPU shortages are making reviews harder for us hardware reviewers too, the stock is low -- you guys can't buy them -- and then the prices are so insane pre-launch that we're being told not to even state pricing in the review of said product.

This isn't MSI's fault... but is it NVIDIA's fault? Well, they could be clearer on pricing and availability but they're not being easy with that. I'm not the only reviewer who thinks this way, and the RTX 3060 launch is having us all scratch our heads collectively.

Still, when the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO launches it will depend on the price whether you would jump on it. If you're gaming away on the older-gen GeForce GTX 1060 and want to upgrade, it's a great upgrade -- but the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition and stock AIB models can be found for the same $500-ish pricing... so why would you get the gimped RTX 3060 that fails to touch the RTX 3060 Ti?

The GPU market is wild right now, I can tell you that.

Another fine release from MSI, but a tricky GPU from NVIDIA -- more RTX 3060 reviews to come, I'd have more of them ready by now but the drivers for the GeForce RTX 3060 were also delayed... wild, wild, wild times my friends. Let me know in the comments below if you can even find a GeForce RTX 3060 available in your country.

Performance

90%

Quality

90%

Features

90%

Value

N/A

Overall

90%

The Bottom Line

MSI's new GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING X TRIO is in a funky spot... do you get the RTX 3070? Probably. It's a great card nonetheless, a worthy successor to the popular GTX 1060.

TweakTown award
90%

MSI RTX 3070 GAMING X TRIO

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* Prices last scanned on 4/21/2021 at 5:13 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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