Nvidia's RTX 4060 and 4060 Ti rumoured to launch in May and could struggle even at 1080p

Nvidia RTX 4080 graphics card
(Image credit: Future)

Way back in the ancient mists of February, we reported that RTX 4060 rumours were shaping up well in terms of performance. The latest news is that it and its Ti sibling are go for launch in May.

Unfortunately, in the intervening period the specs of the GPUs, at least according to the rumours, have had a pretty serious haircut. Back in Feb, an early RTX 4060 was supposedly benchmarked, revealing performance pretty much on par with an RTX 3070 Ti.

That "RTX 4060" GPU was said to have 4,608 CUDA cores and a 2.5GHz boost clock courtesy of the AD106 GPU. The latest rumblings, however, put the RTX 4060 on the smaller AD107 chip with just 3,072 cores.

As for the RTX 4060 Ti, that's said to be the one to use the AD106 chip, but slightly cut down to 4,352 cores running at 2.5GHz. Oh and both AD106 and AD107 have 128-bit memory buses.

Obviously all this information remains nothing more than rumour. But we really hope that it's somehow wrong. Here's why. Take the rumoured 4060 Ti. It supposedly has its memory bus cut in half versus the old 256-bit RTX 3060 Ti and also fewer shaders at 4,352 versus 4,864.

OK, the 4060 Ti is clocked a lot higher and will have more cache. So, the raw compute performance will be a decent step over the 3060 Ti. But that memory bus is a killer. Not only will bandwidth be way down. But it also limits options in terms of memory size.

Unless a new video 32Gb memory chip spec appears, both the 4060 and the 4060 Ti will have the technical option of either 4GB or 8GB of total video memory using existing 16Gb GDDR6 memory.

Your next upgrade

(Image credit: Future)

Best CPU for gaming: The top chips from Intel and AMD
Best gaming motherboard: The right boards
Best graphics card: Your perfect pixel-pusher awaits
Best SSD for gaming: Get into the game ahead of the rest

If those GPUs had 192-bit buses, however, 12GB would be an option. That would be a far better solution for a brand new mid-range GPU in 2023. 8GB is going to be a real limitation with the latest games, even at 1080p, let alone higher resolutions.

How so? Well, here's an example. The Last of Us: Part 1 for PC has just been released. Early testing shows that at 1080p Ultra settings, the game eats up nearly 11GB of VRAM. So various graphics data has to spill over into system RAM, which is horrible for performance.

Even at 1080p High, just over 8GB of video data is used and you're flirting with spilling over into RAM. Set the resolution higher and it will only get worse. So, yeah, an RTX 4060 Ti that lacks the basic specs to support 1080p at top detail settings in a game that's just been released is not a nice prospect. A puny RTX 4060 based on the uber-budget AD107 GPU even less so.

Of course, you could argue that The Last of US is a badly ported console title. But that's by the by. It won't be the only badly ported game you might want to play and the reality is that it uses the video memory that it uses. If you had 12GB, it wouldn't be a problem.

Anyway, all the usual caveats apply. None of this is official information. But we are likely pretty close to these GPUs launching. And the nearer you get to launch, the more reliable the rumoured specs tend to be. Oh dear.

Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.