Nvidia RTX 2060 vs 3060: Is it Worth the Upgrade?

Nvidia GeForce RTX
The Nvidia RTX 3060 outshines the RTX 2060 in gaming performance. However, that doesn’t mean the upgrade is necessary.

The Nvidia RTX 2060 vs 3060: which one is better? This is a question we have been seeing a lot, and in today’s article, we are going to answer it. With GPU prices on a downward trend lately, after being stuck in a long period of shortages and inflated prices, now looks like a great time to upgrade your graphics card.

If you have been considering an upgrade, you may be tempted by two of Nvidia’s finest GPUs: the RTX 2060 and the RTX 3060. One of them is certainly better than the other but by how much? Is it worth upgrading to an RTX 3060 if you already have an RTX 2060?

These are some common questions we are going to answer today. With a full side-by-side comparison of both graphics cards, we’ll dig into what makes each one special and which one is really better when it comes to performance. If you want to use your new GPU for gaming, streaming, or video editing, there is a lot of conflicting information out there on which graphics card is right for the job. With our help, you’ll be on your way to selecting the perfect graphics card in no time.

Nvidia RTX 2060 vs RTX 3060: Side-by-Side Comparison

As you might expect, both graphics cards have fairly similar specs, but the newer generation RTX 3060 brings with it some welcome upgrades. Have a look at the table below to get an idea of how each GPU’s specs stack up.

RTX 2060RTX 3060
Graphics Processor:TU106GA106
Shader Cores:19203584
TMUs:120112
ROPs:4848
VRAM Type:GDDR6GDDR6
VRAM Capacity:6 GB12 GB
Bus Width:192 bit192 bit
GPU Clock:1365 MHz1320 MHz
Boost Clock:1680 MHz1777 MHz
Memory Clock:1750 MHz1875 MHz
Texture Fill Rate:201 GTexel/s199 GTexel/s
Pixel Rate:80.64 GPixel/s85.3 GPixel/s
Double Floating-point Performance:201 GFLOPS199 GFLOPS
Sale
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition 8GB GDDR6 PCI Express 4.0 Graphics Card
  • GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs deliver the ultimate performance for gamers and creators. They’re powered by Ampere—NVIDIA’s 2nd gen RTX architecture— with new RT Cores, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors for the most realistic ray-traced graphics and cutting-edge AI features.
  • Experience today’s biggest blockbusters like never before with the visual fidelity of real-time ray tracing and the ultimate performance of AI-powered DLSS. RTX. It’s On.
  • NVIDIA DLSS is groundbreaking AI rendering that boosts frame rates with uncompromised image quality using the dedicated AI processing Tensor Cores on GeForce RTX. This gives you the performance headroom to crank up settings and resolutions for an incredible visual experience. The AI revolution has come to gaming.
  • NVIDIA Reflex delivers the ultimate competitive advantage. The lowest latency. The best responsiveness. Powered by GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs and NVIDIA G-SYNC monitors. Acquire targets faster, react quicker, and increase aim precision through a revolutionary suite of technologies to measure and optimize system latency for competitive games.
  • Take your creative projects to a new level with GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs. Delivering AI-acceleration in top creative apps. Backed by the NVIDIA Studio platform of dedicated drivers and exclusive tools. And built to perform in record time. Whether rendering complex 3D scenes, editing 8K video, or livestreaming with the best encoding and image quality, GeForce RTX GPUs give you the performance to create your best.

The specs show a slight improvement over the last generation. Interestingly enough, we can see that the theoretical performance is slightly lower when it comes to texture fill rate and double floating-point performance on the RTX 3060. But does this minor difference actually equate to any noticeable difference in real-world performance?

RTX 2060 vs 3060: What’s the Difference?

Nvidia released the RTX 2060 in January of 2019, and it was designed as a direct upgrade to the previous generation, the GTX 1060. The newer graphics card brought with it some impressive new features not found in the previous generation. Among them were hardware ray tracing abilities and variable-rate shading, as well as tensor cores for use in AI processing. Nvidia really made sure that the new RTX 2060 was a huge step up in every category.

When Nvidia released the RTX 3060 just over two years later, the long-awaited graphics card ended up disappointing some hardcore fans who expected a bigger upgrade. Although the new RTX 3060 features more VRAM and slightly faster clock speeds, it is not as big of an upgrade over the previous generation as the last model had been.

That’s not to say the RTX 3060 is a bad card. It still features a much higher shader core count and is based on the newer Ampere architecture. With the newer architecture, Nvidia is able to squeeze higher performance out of a very similar card. The fact that both the RTX 2060 and 3060 have similar capabilities when it comes to ray tracing and machine learning applications makes it difficult to really decide which one is the better value.

As far as price, Nvidia dashed the MSRP by a little bit compared to the previous generation. With the RTX 2060 launching with an MSRP of $349, the $329 price tag of the RTX 3060 was enticing. Due to the recent volatility in the GPU market, however, this MSRP has been unrealistic for the past couple of years. Only in the past few weeks have we seen the price of the RTX 3060 beginning to come back down towards its original MSRP. 

If you already have an RTX 2060 in your current PC, this makes buying an RTX 3060 seem downright silly. With similar levels of performance, you may be wondering if it’s worth an upgrade at all?

Power Consumption, Size, and Connectivity

When selecting a graphics card, it is important to know the power requirements. With mid-tier GPUs such as the RTX 2060 vs 3060, you don’t have to worry about using a tremendous amount of power, as they are both energy efficient. 

The RTX 2060 will draw up to 160 watts from your power supply, and you will need one 8-pin power connector to feed it. The RTX 3060, on the other hand, draws up to 170 watts under full load, and you will need two 6-pin power connectors to provide it with enough juice.

As far as the size and dimensions of the RTX 2060 vs 3060, you’ll need to make sure you have a roomy PC case. Both GPUs are on the larger side, with the RTX 2060 measuring about nine inches in length and the RTX 3060 coming in at about 9.5 inches.

The connectivity options provided by each card vary slightly. The RTX 2060 comes with a pleasing array of ports for connecting multiple monitors: one DVI, one HDMI 2.0, two DisplayPort 1.4a, and one USB Type-C. Although the RTX 3060 does not offer you quite as much variety, it makes up for it by offering newer technology. The RTX 3060 has one HDMI 2.1 port and three Display-Port 1.4a ports. No matter which graphics card you go with, either one will allow you to connect multiple high-resolution monitors in 1080p to 4K.

RTX 2060 vs RTX 3060: Which One Is Better For Gaming?

Sale
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition 8GB GDDR6 PCI Express 4.0 Graphics Card
  • GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs deliver the ultimate performance for gamers and creators. They’re powered by Ampere—NVIDIA’s 2nd gen RTX architecture— with new RT Cores, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors for the most realistic ray-traced graphics and cutting-edge AI features.
  • Experience today’s biggest blockbusters like never before with the visual fidelity of real-time ray tracing and the ultimate performance of AI-powered DLSS. RTX. It’s On.
  • NVIDIA DLSS is groundbreaking AI rendering that boosts frame rates with uncompromised image quality using the dedicated AI processing Tensor Cores on GeForce RTX. This gives you the performance headroom to crank up settings and resolutions for an incredible visual experience. The AI revolution has come to gaming.
  • NVIDIA Reflex delivers the ultimate competitive advantage. The lowest latency. The best responsiveness. Powered by GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs and NVIDIA G-SYNC monitors. Acquire targets faster, react quicker, and increase aim precision through a revolutionary suite of technologies to measure and optimize system latency for competitive games.
  • Take your creative projects to a new level with GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs. Delivering AI-acceleration in top creative apps. Backed by the NVIDIA Studio platform of dedicated drivers and exclusive tools. And built to perform in record time. Whether rendering complex 3D scenes, editing 8K video, or livestreaming with the best encoding and image quality, GeForce RTX GPUs give you the performance to create your best.

When measuring performance, gaming benchmarks are one of the best ways to distinguish which graphics card is better. If you are planning on buying one of these GPUs, most likely you’re going to use it for gaming.

We’ve compiled benchmarks from across the web to find out how each card stacks up. To really push these GPUs to the limit, we ran benchmarks in full 4K resolution on high settings. Have a look at the table below to get a feel for the results.

GameRTX 2060RTX 3060
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare43+ FPS55+ FPS
Hitman 345+ FPS55+ FPS
Horizon Zero Dawn30+ FPS42+ FPS
Metro Exodus26+ FPS32+ FPS
Red Dead Redemption 224+ FPS55+ FPS
Shadow of the Tomb Raider32+ FPS43+ FPS

The RTX 3060 did much better on the benchmarks. Where the RTX 2060 really struggled, the RTX 3060 excelled. 

If you are planning on playing games in 1080p resolution, then either one of these graphics cards will bring you more than satisfying performance, and might even be overkill. Where they really shine though, is when it comes to 4K gaming. This is where the RTX 3060 becomes the clear winner.

RTX 2060 vs 3060: Five Must-Know Facts

  • While the RTX 2060 runs on PCI-e 3.0, the RTX 3060 supports PCI-e 4.0 for higher bandwidth.
  • Both cards support DirectX-12 Ultimate and the latest OpenGL software.
  • The RTX 2060 and the RTX 3060 both use the latest GDDR6 VRAM.
  • Both have the full support of Nvidia DLSS and Ray Tracing and variable-rate shading.
  • The RTX 2060 and 3060 are similarly priced mid-tier graphics cards.

Which One Should You Choose?

If you are already the proud owner of an RTX 2060, it is probably not worth upgrading to an RTX 3060 just yet. Although the RTX 3060 does provide some clear improvements in performance and ranks slightly better on gaming benchmarks, for the price it just doesn’t seem worth it.

If you are upgrading from an older GPU such as the GTX 1060, then moving to the much newer RTX 3060 will provide you with a massive increase in performance. With the current trend in GPU prices, it makes sense to consider buying an RTX 3060 if you are looking to replace an older graphics card. However, both the RTX 2060 and 3060 will provide an enjoyable 4K gaming experience.

Last update on 2022-09-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Nvidia RTX 2060 vs 3060: Full Comparison with Specs, Price, and More FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is the Nvidia RTX 2060 better than the 3060?

The RTX 2060 may be very similar but, the RTX 3060 outshines it in many ways. Overall the RTX 3060 delivers better gaming performance, especially in 4K. With faster boost clock speeds, more Vram, and a newer graphics architecture, the RTX 3060 is definitely the better graphics card.

What's the difference between the Nvidia RTX 2060 and the 3060?

The RTX 3060 is a newer card and comes with some benefits such as higher Vram capacity and higher shader core count. Due to the similar specs, power consumption, and capabilities, both GPUs are quite comparable.

What are the best features of the Nvidia RTX 2060 and the 3060?

Both GPUs have full support for DirectX 12 Ultimate, DLSS, Ray Tracing, and G-Sync.

How much are the Nvidia RTX 2060 and the 3060?

The RTX 2060 launched with an MSRP of $349. The RTX 3060 launched about two years later with an MSRP of $329. Due to the volatility in the GPU market, it has been difficult to find either of these cards for less than $400.

About the Author

Follow Me On:

LinkedIn Logo

More from History-Computer

  • userbenchmark.com Available here: https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Nvidia-RTX-3060-vs-Nvidia-RTX-2060/4105vs4034
  • techpowerup.com Available here: https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/geforce-rtx-2060.c3310
  • techpowerup.com Available here: https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/geforce-rtx-3060.c3682
  • technical.city Available here: https://technical.city/en/video/GeForce-RTX-2060-vs-GeForce-RTX-3060