Update: Nvidia has offered us the following brief statement confirming that there will be no RTX 3060 12GB Founders Edition:
“From time to time we decide not to design a Founder’s Edition card for cards targeted at the mainstream part of the market.”
That means the RTX 3060 launch in late February will be comprised of third-party AIB cards only. Make sure to keep an eye out for those when launch day rolls around.
Original story: Nvidia may choose not to release an RTX 3060 12GB (opens in new tab) Founders Edition, French tech site Cowcotland reports (opens in new tab). It states that the GPU launch will take place at the end of February, as Nvidia roughly stated during the RTX 3060 announcement stream, and that it will be made up of third-party AIB graphics cards exclusively.
So far all the RTX 30-series graphics cards have received a Founders Edition: an Nvidia designed cooler shroud and PCB design. These have proven to be very popular, and as such are often the first to sell out during the initial flurry of orders on launch day.
However, no such card will arrive for the RTX 3060 12GB, according to the report. Although the source of the information is not clearly stated in our translation.
The RTX 3060 was sort-of pictured at a distance within a PC render during Nvidia's announcement stream during CES 2021, although the lack of focus was clearly by design and the card present appears a generic stand-in. Third-party cards were displayed more prevalently during the show (see header image).
It wouldn't be an entirely surprising decision from Nvidia either. It certainly discounts the onerous task of retailing Founders Edition cards direct, a task the company admits its own webstore has struggled with.
We're rather fond of the RTX 30-series Founders Edition shroud, at least, so in that regard it will be a shame to see it go for the card arguably set to become the most populous of the entire Ampere generation. So long as it's replaced with performant coolers at MSRP, however, its loss will remain an aesthetic one.
Its predecessor, the RTX 2060 (opens in new tab), did come with its own compact Turing Founders Edition shroud, and a rather lovely one at that. The RTX 3060 Ti (opens in new tab) also comes in FE garb, a light silver variant of the cooler included on the RTX 3070 (opens in new tab).
The RTX 16-series did not arrive in Founders Edition garb, however.
We've reached out to Nvidia for clarification and will update if we hear anything back.