Nvidia RTX 2070 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – Is the 30-series better?

It's the Nvidia RTX 2080 vs Nvidia RTX 3070 battle

Nvidia RTX 2070 vs Nvidia RTX 3060

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When looking at GPUs, we often look at the differences between Nvidia, AMD Ryzen, or Intel. But what about the inner battles? Today, we delve into a Nvidia head-to-head comparison: Nvidia RTX 2070 vs Nvidia RTX 3060. At first glance, pitting a revered member of the 20-series against its 30-series counterpart might seem like a straightforward contest. However, the nuances of their capabilities, particularly in the realm of gaming, reveal a more complex narrative.

Interested in more Nvidia comparisons? We have the Nvidia RTX 3060 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti and the best RTX 2070 graphics card in 2024.

Nvidia RTX 2070 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – Specs and components

In the showdown between Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 vs RTX 3060, the leap from Turing to Ampere architecture plays a pivotal role. Turing, the foundation of the RTX 2070, introduced real-time ray tracing to the gaming world, marking a significant step forward in graphics technology. Ampere, which powers the RTX 3060, builds on this foundation with enhanced efficiency and power, showcasing Nvidia’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of gaming graphics further.

The memory configuration between these two GPUs adds another layer to this comparison. The RTX 3060 boasts 12GB of VRAM, outpacing the 2070’s 8GB, suggesting a potential edge in handling more demanding textures and larger game worlds. However, this advantage is nuanced by the 2070’s wider memory bandwidth and bus, which enable it to manage data more swiftly and efficiently, leveling the playing field to some extent.

SpecificationsNvidia RTX 2070Nvidia RTX 3060
CUDA cores23043584
TMUs (Tensor cores)144112
Memory size8 GB GDDR612 GB GDDR6
Memory Bus256 bit192 bit
Bandwidth448.0 GB/s360.0 GB/s
Base Clock1410 MHz1320 MHz
Boost Clock1620 MHz1777 MHz
RT Cores3628
MSRP$499$329
TDP175 W170 W
Specs table for the Nvidia RTX 2070 vs Nvidia RTX 3060

Despite the RTX 3060’s larger pool of VRAM, in practical terms, the excess beyond 8GB seldom translates to noticeable benefits for 1080p gaming and mid-range tasks. It’s in the realm of 1440p gaming where additional VRAM could offer an advantage, yet both cards find themselves equally challenged by this higher resolution.

Ultimately, the architecture improvements and VRAM increase of the 3060 position it as a slightly better performer, but the real-world impact of these specs is most pronounced within the confines of 1080p gaming, where both cards excel. This comparison reveals that while advancements in technology and increases in VRAM are significant, the balance between memory size, bandwidth, and architectural efficiency is what truly defines the gaming experience at this level.

Nvidia RTX 2070 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – Performance

Theoretically, the extra bandwidth and better TMUs would make the 2070 a better graphics card; however, the reality is way different. When it comes down to real-world gaming, the RTX 3060 leverages its Ampere architecture to surpass the 2070, especially in graphically demanding games.

Public benchmarks and test results reveal that the RTX 3060 consistently outperforms the RTX 2070, delivering smoother and more efficient performance. In high-fidelity titles such as “Red Dead Redemption,” “Cyberpunk 2077,”, “Forza Horizon 5”, “God of War,” and “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla,” the 3060 achieves an average of 7-10 FPS more than its 2070 counterpart. This difference becomes even more pronounced with ray tracing enabled, thanks to the 3060’s second-generation RT cores, compared to the first-generation cores in the 2070. When speaking about specific games, please note that DLSS technology is only available on select games for Nvidia products

This performance edge, underscored by the 3060’s ability to handle ray-traced graphics better, showcases the significant advancements made with Nvidia’s Ampere architecture. Despite the 2070’s theoretical advantages in bandwidth and TMUs, the 3060’s architectural improvements and efficient use of its 12GB of VRAM enable it to deliver superior gaming experiences.

Nvidia RTX 2070 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – Price

At launch, the Nvidia RTX 2070 commanded a higher MSRP of $499, setting it above the later RTX 3060, which was introduced at a more accessible $329. Despite the 2070’s loftier price tag, it doesn’t outperform the 3060, highlighting the advancements Nvidia has made across generations.

Today, the pricing trend continues to favor the 3060, which not only offers slightly better performance but also remains the more budget-friendly option. Market dynamics have further widened this value gap, with the 3060 often found at lower prices than 2070 on the secondary market. This combination of superior performance and cost efficiency solidifies the RTX 3060 as the clear choice for gamers seeking optimal value, marrying high-end capabilities with affordability.

Is the Nvidia RTX 2070 good for gaming?

Yes, the Nvidia RTX 2070 is still considered a good choice for gaming. While it’s not the latest or most powerful graphics card available, it offers solid performance and is capable of running modern games at high settings and resolutions. With its ray tracing capabilities and AI-enhanced features, it can deliver immersive gaming experiences which are crucial for most gamers. The RTX 2070 strikes a good balance between performance and price, making it suitable for gamers who want a high-quality gaming experience without leaving a hole in the wallet. The Nvidia RTX 2070 is a great choice for “Marvel’s Spider-Man”, “Hitman”, “Far Cry”, and more modern franchise games.

Final thoughts

So, will you upgrade? The Nvidia RTX 3060 unequivocally outshines the RTX 2070, offering superior performance at a more attractive price point. For gamers and users focused on 1080p gaming and productivity tasks that don’t demand extreme graphics power, the 3060 stands as the best option. Its advanced architecture and efficient performance, combined with a cost that undercuts the older 2070, make it the clear winner in this comparison.

Whether you’re chasing the highest FPS in the latest titles or seeking a reliable GPU for everyday tasks, the RTX 3060 delivers on all fronts, proving that newer generations indeed bring about meaningful improvements. For anyone in the market for a new GPU, the RTX 3060 offers compelling performance and value that’s hard to beat.