Hong Kong based graphics card manufacturer Zotac has just released new versions of the RTX 3060 Ti. Ever since it was released (opens in new tab) it's been one of the most difficult to buy of all GPUs. The new 3060 Ti’s come with the GA103 GPU, the same as the one used for the notebook RTX 3080 Ti. Up until now all 3060 Ti’s have been equipped with the GA104 GPU.
The three cards are listed on Zotac’s Chinese website (via Mydrivers (opens in new tab)). Zotac thoughtfully adds an X suffix to differentiate GA103 cards from GA104 versions. It goes further and denotes the specific GPU in use on every cards’ specification page.
The performance of both the GA103 and GA104 versions of the 3060 Ti should remain unchanged, with both featuring the same base specifications including 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM and 4,864 CUDA cores.
Zotac tells us they don’t plan to sell these specific cards outside of China, but of course that doesn’t rule out the release of SKUs for the global market in the future.
The GA103 sits between the GA102 and GA104 in Nvidia’s GPU lineup and appears to have been developed to power high end gaming notebooks. The GA102 as used by the desktop RTX 3080 (opens in new tab) and RTX 3090 (opens in new tab) isn’t feasible to use in laptops, while the GA104 isn’t powerful enough to deliver flagship tier performance. The GA103 bridges that gap. It first came to our attention when it showed up in pre-release geekbench listings (opens in new tab) as part of a high end HP Omen laptop complete with an at the time unreleased Alder Lake processor.
Compared to the GA104, the GA103 is a larger and more powerful GPU. Its 496 mm² size is significantly larger than the 392 mm² GA104. The notebook 3080 Ti comes with 7424 shaders enabled, just shy of the maximum possible 7680. That’s much higher than the maximum 6144 of the GA104.
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As the RTX 3060 Ti comes with 4864 shaders, it's clear that Nvidia is using significantly harvested dies. It also means that Nvidia is able to use GA103 dies with more unlocked shaders for future RTX 3070 and 3070 Ti variants, both of which use the GA104.
The fact that Nvidia chose to release an updated RTX 3060 Ti is an indicator of how popular it is, both as a mid range gaming GPU (not that it’s priced like one!) and an excellent mining card. Surely it’s only a matter of time before Zotac and other vendors follow suit and release GA103 equipped 3060 Ti’s for the worldwide market. The option to make GA103 or GA104 models will surely help to alleviate shortages of this popular model.