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Will Nvidia try to spoil AMD's Big Navi launch with a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti?

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Rumours suggest that Nvidia is preparing an RTX 3060 Ti, said to be powered by a GA104-200 GPU with 4,864 CUDA cores and 8GB of GDDR6 memory (14Gbps). The card will supposedly have a 256-bit memory bus, offering 448GB/s of memory bandwidth. It's also said that such a card would be timed to arrive around the same time as AMD's Big Navi announcement. Game on.

Nvidia's Ampere launch has been a hot topic these past few weeks, as its GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 graphics cards have both sold out immediately on its website and by way of its retail partners. And on October 15, we're guessing the same thing is likely to happen with the GeForce RTX 3070.

Two weeks after that, on October 28, AMD will formally introduce its Radeon RX 6000 series, based on its RDNA 2 architecture, the same as what underpins the custom GPUs inside the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. An AMD exec has already suggested it will not be a paper launch, either.

You can bet Nvidia has a strategy to contend with AMD's launch, should the RX 6000 series bring performance parity to its Ampere cards at competitive price points. As it potentially applies to that, the folks at Videocardz say they have 'confirmed' from two sources that the next entry to the GeForce RTX 30 series is the 3060 Ti, before even the inevitable non-Ti variant.

Here's where such a card would would fit into the existing hierarchy:

  • GeForce RTX 3090: 10,496 CUDA cores, 24GB GDDR6X (19.5Gbps), 384-bit bus, 936.2GB/s memory bandwidth
  • GeForce RTX 3080: 8,704 CUDA cores, 10GB GDDR6X (19Gbps), 320-bit bus, 760.3GB/s memory bandwidth
  • GeForce RTX 3070: 5,888 CUDA cores, 8GB GDDR6 (14Gbps), 256-bit bus, 448GB/s memory bandwidth
  • GeForce RTX 3060 Ti: 4,864 CUDA cores, 8GB GDDR6 (14Gbps), 256-bit bus, 448GB/s memory bandwidth
  • GeForce RTX 2080 Ti: 4,352 CUDA cores, 11GB GDDR6 (14Gbps), 352-bit bus, 616GB/s memory bandwidth
  • GeForce RTX 2060 Super: 2,176 CUDA cores, 8GB GDDR6 (14Gbps), 256-bit bus, 448GB/s memory bandwidth
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That is not a complete list, of course, as there are several other SKUs (like the GeForce RTX 2070 and 2070 Super). 

As for the performance a prospective RTX 3060 Ti would be able to offer, we can only guess to the end result. We'll have a fuller picture once we're able to test the RTX 3070, which has a planned release in October, and therefore will be able to speculate where further cards in the RTX stack line up with their Turing counterparts.

Regardless, it would be an interesting addition to the RTX 30 series. With the 3070 occupying the $499 space, the 3060 Ti would debut somewhere south of that, probably at $449 or $399. Ti pricing has been tight in the past, although we usually see it arrive some time after the non-Ti cards, and not before/alongside.

There has also been chatter of a spattering of other additions to the RTX 30 series, including a version of the 3080 with 20GB of memory, a 3070 Ti, and a regular 3060. 

Throwing the 3060 Ti into the mix would give Nvidia an expanded arsenal to steal some thunder from AMD's Big Navi event, but it doesn't leave the company much wiggle room to work for future SKUs going forward. The same can be said for the prospective 20GB RTX 3080, which would surely take a bite out of the RTX 3090's already limited audience.

Nvidia and AMD are often keen to mind games with the competition, so perhaps there's more to these rumoured GPU specs than meets the eye. We're sure to see a clash between these two GPU goliaths come the end of October, regardless of what that may entail for the humble PC gamer.

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).