Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB vs Nvidia RTX 4060: Which is better?

Which GPU reigns supreme?

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With the constant evolution of graphics processing units (GPUs), Nvidia continues to push the boundaries of performance and efficiency with its latest releases. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 6GB and Nvidia RTX 4060 represent two distinct options within Nvidia’s lineup, catering to different market segments and PCs. In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll delve into the specifics of Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB vs. Nvidia RTX 4060 to determine which graphics card might suit your needs better.

We’ll cover general info about each component and help you make an informed decision for your gaming or professional setup. For even more detail, we recommend checking out our full RTX 4060 review which goes over the card’s performance, design, features, and price analysis.

What’s the main difference between the RTX 3050 and RTX 4060?

The RTX 4060 boasts substantially greater performance, thanks to its newer architecture, faster clock speeds, larger memory, and overall technological improvements.  This translates to higher frame rates, the ability to play demanding games at higher resolutions, and smoother ray tracing for more realistic lighting effects.  While the RTX 3050 is an entry-level option, the RTX 4060 delivers a high-tier gaming experience. 

Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB vs. Nvidia RTX 4060: Specs comparison

In the battle of Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB vs. Nvidia RTX 4060, a detailed comparison of their technical specs is crucial for PC gamers looking to upgrade their systems for better graphics and a more immersive gaming experience. Let’s dive into the specifics:

Architecture and processor

The RTX 3050 utilizes the Ampere architecture, while the RTX 4060 adopts the newer Ada Lovelace architecture. The RTX 4060 boasts a more advanced 5nm processor size than the RTX 3050’s 8nm processor, indicating potential performance and efficiency gains for the RTX 4060.

Clock speeds

When it comes to GPU clock speed, the RTX 4060 surpasses the RTX 3050 by a significant margin. With base and boost clocks of 1830 MHz and 2460 MHz, respectively, the RTX 4060 offers notably higher frequencies than the RTX 3050’s more modest 1042 MHz base and 1470 MHz boost clocks. These clock speed differentials could translate to tangible performance discrepancies in real-world scenarios, particularly in demanding PC games.

Memory and bandwidth

The RTX 4060 has 8GB of memory, offering a substantial upgrade over the RTX 3050’s 6GB configuration. Moreover, the RTX 4060 features a wider memory bus (128-bit) and higher memory clock speeds, resulting in significantly enhanced memory bandwidth compared to its counterpart. This improvement supports multi-display technology and ensures higher transfer rates for a smoother gaming experience.

Core counts and shading units

In terms of core counts and shading units, the RTX 4060 again holds an advantage over the RTX 3050. With 24 cores per Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) and 3072 shading units, the RTX 4060 offers more computational power than the RTX 3050’s 18 cores per SM and 2304 shading units. This increase in stream processors contributes to better graphics rendering and a more immersive gaming experience.

Thermal design and power efficiency

The RTX 3050 boasts a lower Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 70W compared to the RTX 4060’s 115W TDP. While the RTX 3050 consumes less power, the RTX 4060’s higher TDP accommodates its superior performance capabilities and increased power requirements. However, the RTX 4060’s advanced chipsets and higher transistor count may result in a lower load temperature, making it more efficient under heavy usage.

Additional features

Both GPUs support high-definition video playback and are equipped with a mini HDMI port for connectivity. The RTX 4060, with its newer architecture, may offer better support for the latest peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) standards, enhancing its compatibility with modern motherboards and monitors.

SpecificationRTX 3050 6GBRTX 4060
ArchitectureAmpereAda Lovelace
Processor Size8nm5nm
Base Clock Speed1042 MHz1830 MHz
Boost Clock Speed1470 MHz2460 MHz
Memory6GB GDDR68GB GDDR6
Memory Bus128-bit128-bit
Memory Clock Speed1125 MHz1250 MHz
Cores per SM1824
Shading Units23043072
TDP70W115W

Impact on gamers

PC gamers are likely to see noticeable improvements in frame rates, graphical fidelity, and overall responsiveness with the RTX 4060. These specifications enable greater visual detail, support for higher refresh-rate monitors, and a more immersive gaming experience overall. While both cards provide ray tracing capability, the RTX 4060’s advancements may result in smoother performance when using RTX features in supported titles.

Can the Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB and RTX 4060 work with any motherboard, and do they support AI-enhanced features?

Both the Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB and the RTX 4060 are compatible with motherboards that have a PCIe x16 slot and sufficient space to accommodate the GPU. However, to fully leverage the capabilities of these GPUs, it’s recommended to use a motherboard that supports the latest PCIe standards for optimal performance.

Additionally, both GPUs support AI-enhanced features, with the RTX 4060 offering more advanced AI capabilities due to its newer architecture and higher computational power. These AI features can enhance gaming experiences, improve image quality, and accelerate creative workflows.

How does the RTX 4060’s new architecture improve performance and efficiency?

The RTX 4060’s Ada Lovelace architecture offers several advances over the Ampere architecture in the RTX 3050. Notable improvements include higher overall calculation speed, a more efficient ray-tracing pipeline, and support for the performance-boosting AI technology, DLSS 3.  Though it has a higher nominal TDP, it’s likely more energy-efficient in operation for many workloads. 

Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB vs. Nvidia RTX 4060: Performance showdown

When comparing the Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB vs. Nvidia RTX 4060 in terms of performance, the disparities in architecture, clock speeds, memory configuration, and core counts become apparent. The RTX 4060, with its advanced hardware and superior specs, outperforms the RTX 3050 across various metrics, offering a significant performance boost in video games and demanding applications.

Gaming performance

With its higher core count and clock speeds, the RTX 4060 delivers smoother frame rates, faster rendering times, and better responsiveness in demanding video games. Gamers looking to run the latest titles at high resolutions and frame rates will undoubtedly benefit from the extra horsepower provided by the RTX 4060. Its larger memory capacity (VRAM) and advanced features like tensor cores, variable rate shading, and upscaling technology contribute to a more immersive gaming experience with near-native visual quality.

Multimedia and creative tasks

The RTX 4060’s advanced architecture and increased computational resources enable it to excel in multimedia and creative tasks. Features like deep learning super sampling (DLSS) and realistic lighting enhance visual fidelity in creative applications, making it the ultimate choice for content creators and professionals.

Energy efficiency and cooling

Despite its superior performance, the RTX 4060’s advanced cooling system ensures efficient heat dissipation, maintaining lower load temperatures and reducing the risk of a malfunction. In contrast, the RTX 3050, with its lower TDP, is also well-suited for systems with less robust cooling solutions.

Compatibility and future-proofing

The RTX 4060’s compatibility with the latest motherboards, SSDs, and other components makes it a more future-proof option. Its support for newer technologies ensures that it can handle upcoming video games and applications with ease, providing a longer lifespan and better general performance of the graphics card.

Game TitleRTX 3050 (Average FPS)RTX 4060 (Average FPS)RTX 4060 Gain
Cyberpunk 20775585+54%
Red Dead Redemption 26095+58%
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla65100+54%
Forza Horizon 580125+56%
Elden Ring5075+50%

In conclusion, the RTX 4060 offers a significant performance boost over the RTX 3050, making it the preferred choice for gamers and professionals seeking ultimate performance and future-proofing. However, the RTX 3050 remains a viable option for those with budget constraints or less demanding gaming and multimedia needs.

Does the RTX 4060’s larger VRAM and bandwidth benefit gamers?

Yes! The RTX 4060 boasts 8GB of VRAM compared to the RTX 3050’s 6GB, plus a wider, 128-bit memory bus. This means it can handle higher resolution textures more seamlessly, reducing visual stuttering. Faster VRAM bandwidth further translates to smoother performance, particularly in demanding game scenarios and content creation tasks. 

Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB vs. Nvidia RTX 4060: Price comparison

When evaluating the Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB vs. Nvidia RTX 4060, a price comparison is essential for making a smarter choice. The launch prices of $179 for the RTX 3050 and $299 for the RTX 4060 reflect their positioning within different market segments, catering to different budget constraints and performance expectations.

Budget considerations

The RTX 3050 offers a more budget-friendly option for gamers seeking decent performance without breaking the bank. It’s a better deal for those who want a capable graphics card for entry-level gaming and multimedia tasks. However, it’s important to conduct similar comparisons with other GPUs in its price range for a precise assessment of its value.

Performance value

On the other hand, the RTX 4060, with its higher price tag, delivers significantly better performance and features, making it a compelling choice for enthusiasts and gamers who prioritize graphics fidelity and smooth gameplay experiences. The additional investment in the RTX 4060 can be justified by its superior capabilities and the enhanced gaming experience it offers.

Warranty and support

When considering the price, it’s also significant to factor in the manufacturer’s warranty and the support provided in the case of a malfunction. A longer warranty period or more comprehensive support can add value to the purchase, especially for higher-end models like the RTX 4060.

Laptop models and OEMs

For those considering a laptop model with either GPU, the price comparison becomes more complex. Specific versions of laptops with these GPUs may be offered by different OEMs, each with its pricing strategy. It’s crucial to compare the overall specifications and features of the laptop, in addition to the GPU, to determine which offers the best value for your needs.

SpecificationRTX 3050 6GBRTX 4060
MSRP (Launch Price)$179$299
Typical Current Price Range*$200 – $250$320 – $380
Potential Savings on RTX 3050~$20 – $100+

In conclusion, the RTX 3050 is a more budget-conscious choice, suitable for casual gamers and users with basic graphic needs. In contrast, the RTX 4060 is a smarter choice for those seeking top-tier performance and willing to invest more for a premium gaming experience.

Is the RTX 4060 worth the cost over the RTX 3050?

Whether the RTX 4060’s increased price is worth it depends on your needs and budget. Consider it an investment in better visuals, higher frame rates, advanced features like DLSS 3 (exclusive to RTX 40-series) and long-term viability — it will handle future games more effectively than the RTX 3050. If you have the budget and want the best within this price segment, the RTX 4060 justifies the additional cost. 

Can I upgrade from the RTX 3050 to the RTX 4060, or even the RTX 4060 Ti?

Yes, upgrading from the RTX 3050 to either the RTX 4060 or RTX 4060 Ti offers a massive performance boost. However, you must ensure your existing components (such as the motherboard and power supply) can accommodate the new graphics card and offer enough potential power.  NVIDIA G-Sync technology is supported on both generations, ensuring a smooth experience with compatible monitors.

What impact does the RTX 4060’s architecture and design have on frame rates?

The RTX 4060’s architectural enhancements, improved core configuration, and faster clock speeds deliver significant increases in average frame rates when compared to the RTX 3050. This leads to a smoother and more responsive experience in video games, whether in fast-paced action titles or graphically demanding open-world games. 

Final verdict

In this graphics card comparison of Nvidia RTX 3050 6GB vs. Nvidia RTX 4060, the RTX 4060 emerges as the clear winner for those seeking higher settings and a more powerful processor in their gaming setup. With its advanced GPU architecture, higher clock speeds, expanded memory capacity, and increased computational resources, the RTX 4060 offers substantially better performance. This makes it an ideal choice for running a large set of popular games at higher resolutions and smoother frame rates.

The RTX 4060’s newer versions of GDDR memory offer improvements in bandwidth and effective memory clock speeds, further enhancing its capabilities. Additionally, the RTX 4060 typically features a greater number of video connectors, providing more flexibility for multi-monitor setups or VR experiences.

However, for budget-conscious consumers, the RTX 3050 remains a viable option that provides respectable gaming performance at an affordable price. It’s a suitable choice for those who are content with playing games at medium to high settings without the need for the latest features.

Ultimately, the decision between these GPUs depends on individual budget constraints, performance requirements, and gaming preferences. Whether you opt for the more powerful RTX 4060 or the budget-friendly RTX 3050, both graphics cards offer compelling value in their respective segments.

Maria is a full-stack digital marketing strategist interested in productivity and AI tools.