As it stands today you'll find a GA106 GPU under the hood of any non-TI RTX 3060 graphics card, along with the RTX A2000 and mobile RTX 3050 Ti. Above that GPU sits the GA104, which is used primarily for the RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, and mobile RTX 3080, among other workstation cards.
But according to TechPowerUp's GPU database editor, we could soon see the GA104 GPU find its way within the RTX 3060 as well.
Recycled GA104s used in unannounced RTX 3060shttps://t.co/ma9XHreCc3 new dev ID 2487September 17, 2021
It's not all that unusual for Nvidia to repurpose a chip this way. In fact, the RTX 2060 can be found with both TU106 and TU104 GPUs at its core. That was only within one manufacturer's card, the EVGA RTX 2060 KO, as far as we know.
So GPU jostling is in the realms of possibility. That said, such a change shouldn't amount to much by way of specification for the RTX 3060, despite the larger GPU's greater potential core counts and ROPs. The GPU should be as much a match as the GA106 version, although there's the possibility of some fringe disparities between the two depending on how the larger chip is chopped up.
Instead, what this move would likely achieve is handing Nvidia a little more freedom and flexibility in supply.
Ideally, for us lot, that would translate to greater availability of the cheaper card, but that really depends on how many GA104 GPUs end up filtering into the RTX 3060 production line, if any—Nvidia wouldn't just throw more expensive GPUs into a cheaper graphics card for the fun of it.
No, these chips are likely to be up to the standard required by any of the current GA104 graphics cards, even the relatively slim core count of the RTX 3060 Ti, hence why they might find a home elsewhere.
We've no word on availability yet though, and it's likely in the grand scale of graphics card supply most GA104 RTX 3060 cards will go unnoticed by their owners—if any are made, of course.
It's worth mentioning that Nvidia may have a more substantial shake-up on the cards for next year. Perhaps even a Super one.
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Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would later go on to win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top team as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. He also enjoys making short videos for TikTok and believes everyone reading this should go follow our account immediately.