Nvidia RTZ 4060 Ti Review: A Promising Step Forward at $399, But with Limited Impact
Nvidia sent shockwaves through the tech world last week with their groundbreaking announcement of the GeForce RTX 4060 series. Breaking away from the pricing trends set by its predecessors in the RTX 4000-series, Nvidia unveiled a surprise twist: the 4060 Ti is hitting the market at the same price as its predecessor, while the 4060 itself is getting a tantalizing price cut.
Now, let me tell you, this mid-range graphics card is an absolute powerhouse, delivering stunning performance at 1080p and even pushing the boundaries at 1440p. It’s like getting a turbocharged engine for the price of a 3060 Ti from yesterday. And let me tell you, it’s loaded with all the special tricks of the Ada Lovelace architecture, including the mind-boggling DLSS Frame Generation and hardware-accelerated AV1 video encoding. This card is a game-changer, my friends.
However, here’s the thing: unlike its predecessors, the 4060 series doesn’t bring the high-end performance of the last generation down to a more reasonable price. Now, I’m not one to rain on Nvidia’s parade, but that’s a missed opportunity, my dear readers.
The RTX 4060 Ti
Let’s dive deeper into the specs of the star of the show, the RTX 4060 Ti. This bad boy is a whole different beast compared to the RTX 3060 Ti. It stands out within the 4000-series lineup as the only GPU to come with fewer CUDA cores than the card it’s replacing. Can you believe it? Even the regular 4060 has a couple hundred more cores than the RTX 3060 Ti. And let’s not forget about the memory bus width, which takes a massive step down from 256-bit to 128-bit. Now, that’s a narrow memory bus, my friends, but hey, let’s not judge too quickly.
Nvidia compensates for these reductions by cranking up the GPU and memory clock speeds to the heavens. Plus, with some changes to the Ada Lovelace architecture, they’ve thrown in a significantly larger chunk of L2 cache, ensuring fewer trips to the relatively slow 128-bit bus. I must admit, most of the time, this strategy works like a charm. The 4060 Ti outpaces the 3060 Ti with a decent—if not awe-inspiring—margin. But hey, there are exceptions to every rule, as we’ll soon discover in our performance section. And as you venture beyond 1080p, the performance gains start to dwindle like sand slipping through your fingers.
Now, here’s another potential stumbling block for the 4060 Ti’s longevity: the 8GB of RAM. Yes, you heard that right—it’s the same amount as the 3060 Ti, the 4060, and a whole bunch of mid-range GPUs released in the last few years. It seems like newer games are starting to push the limits of that 8GB threshold, especially when you crank up all the settings to the max. But hold your horses! Nvidia’s cherry-picked performance numbers only showed a difference in two games when they bumped up to the 16GB model. Most of the time, 8GB should suffice. Besides, there’s an ongoing debate about whether those “Ultra” settings, which hog GPU memory, are worth it anyway. So, take that into consideration, folks.
Now, let’s shift gears and talk about the physical cards themselves. Nvidia’s Founders Edition 4060 Ti is a sleek and reasonably sized card that will fit snugly into most PCs. Trust me, you won’t have to tear your hair out trying to make it fit. And brace yourselves—there’s a bonus! The partner card from PNY that we got our hands on has a cooler that extends beyond the end of the card. What does that mean? Well, it suggests that we might see some compact designs of the 4060 Ti and 4060 tailored for smaller PCs. Isn’t that just peachy?
But wait, there’s a small snag. The Founders Edition still uses the relatively new 12VHPWR connector. While this connector makes sense when you’re replacing three or four separate 8-pin power connectors, the 4060 Ti only needs a single 8-pin connector (as demonstrated by the PNY card). Unfortunately, ATX 3.0 power supplies with built-in 12VHPWR connections are still a rare breed, and Nvidia’s dongle (even with a single 8-pin plug) is a bit on the bulky side. Oh, and let’s not forget the size of the packaging—it’s the same hefty box Nvidia uses for the RTX 4090. It’s a minor inconvenience, but worth noting nonetheless.
Performance and Power
Now, let’s dive into the performance and power realm. We’ve conducted tests on the 4060 Ti, 3060 Ti, and other competitors, focusing mainly on the resolutions most users target—1080p and 1440p. Overall, the 4060 Ti’s performance is commendable, but not without exceptions. We try to stick to stock, non-manufacturer-overclocked cards whenever possible, although the Zotac RTX 3060 Ti and MSI Radeon RX 6750 XT we tested came with extremely mild GPU overclocks out of the box. So, no significant impact on the results there.
In DirectX 12 games at 1080p, the RTX 4060 Ti manages to clock average frame rates around 15 percent faster than the 3060 Ti, just as Nvidia promised. In Hitman 3, it even improves performance by approximately 30 percent. And this holds true for games with and without ray-tracing effects enabled.
But, you guessed it, there are exceptions to the rule. Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey showed similar average frame rates, with AC Odyssey experiencing a notable drop in low frame rates on the 4060 Ti. And let’s not forget about Grand Theft Auto V, the elder statesman of our test suite, which performs slightly worse. Now, pinpointing the cause of these hiccups is tricky. It could be related to the non-DirectX 12 APIs (such as Vulkan and DirectX 11) used by these games, the reduction in memory bandwidth, or something else entirely. We’re just scratching the surface here.
Now, let’s move on to 1440p, where things get a bit more nuanced. The good news is that the 4060 Ti can handle many games at an average of 60 frames per second at 1440p, especially with some tinkering of the settings or with DLSS enabled. However, the bad news is that its performance advantage over the 3060 Ti diminishes to around 10 percent in the same games where it had a 15 percent lead at 1080p. It seems like the reduction from a 256-bit to a 128-bit memory interface is making a more noticeable impact at this resolution. So, keep that in mind if you’re eyeing the 1440p experience.
Now, let’s briefly touch on the competition. AMD is still trailing behind Nvidia in the race with their RX 7000 cards. While the RX 7600 is rumored to be on the horizon, it appears to be more of a competitor to the non-Ti 4060 rather than the 4060 Ti. In the meantime, Intel’s fastest Arc A770 is in the same performance class as the 4060 Ti. As for AMD’s previous-generation RX 6000 series, it’s locked in a battle with the 40-series, with mixed results. The RX 6750 XT stands as AMD’s closest competitor, starting at around $380. Its 12GB of RAM directly addresses one of the major concerns about the 4060 Ti’s long-term performance.
In our rasterized gaming tests, the RX 6750 XT matches or even surpasses the 4060 Ti, outperforming it by approximately 15 to 17 percent in the best-case scenario. However, once ray tracing enters the equation, the tables turn. The 4060 Ti performs well with ray-traced games at 1080p, and with DLSS and/or DLSS FG enabled, it can even handle 1440p. On the other hand, the 6750 XT will need to rely on FSR upscaling to achieve 30 to 60 frames per second at 1080p. The choice between ray tracing and performance ultimately comes down to personal preferences.
Now, before we wrap up, let’s talk power consumption. The 4060 Ti draws less power compared to the 3060 Ti, going from nearly 200W to around 160W. It’s not the most mind-blowing improvement, but it’s a nice bonus for those who skipped the 3060 Ti.
DLSS 3 and Framne Generation
Finally, let’s touch on DLSS 3 and Frame Generation (FG). DLSS FG is an exclusive feature of the 4000-series GPUs that essentially doubles your frame rate by generating one AI-interpolated frame for every rendered frame. DLSS FG works alongside traditional DLSS upscaling, with Nvidia claiming that “seven out of every eight pixels” can be generated by AI when both DLSS and DLSS FG are enabled. The result is a high-resolution, high-frame-rate image that can be rendered using a fraction of the GPU’s performance compared to native rendering.
Nvidia heavily emphasizes DLSS FG in its presentations to showcase the 4000-series GPUs as major leaps forward. However, with the 4060 Ti, Nvidia relies almost exclusively on DLSS FG to present it as a significant leap over the 3060 Ti, just as the 3060 Ti was compared to the 2060 Super. The good news is that DLSS FG does improve average and 1 percent low frame rates in all the games we tested. It can be particularly useful for achieving high frame rates on demanding games, especially if you have a high-refresh-rate monitor. But it’s not without consequences. DLSS FG can introduce extra input latency, potentially making fast-paced shooters or action games feel less responsive, especially when V-sync is enabled.
In summary, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is a capable mid-range graphics card that shines at 1080p and can handle 1440p with some adjustments. It offers improved performance and lower power consumption compared to its predecessor, the 3060 Ti, all at a similar price point. The card incorporates features of the Ada Lovelace architecture, such as DLSS Frame Generation and hardware-accelerated AV1 video encoding. However, it doesn’t bring high-end performance from the previous generation down to a more affordable price range like some older Nvidia cards. The 4060 Ti’s 8GB of RAM may raise concerns for future games pushing the limits, but for now, it seems to handle most titles without issues.