Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all old graphics cards away. If you’re looking to send yours floating sometime soon, the new RTX 3060 Ti could be the midrange upgrade you’ve been waiting for. NVIDIA just announced it: it’s both the newest and the cheapest addition to the 3000 series line, and it goes on sale tomorrow, December 2nd for $399.99.
That’s $100 cheaper than the RTX 3070, which was previously the “baseline” card in the series, focusing on high-end game effects like ray-tracing, DLSS, and 4K resolution support. The 3060 Ti is the same dual-slot size as the 3070, with the same 12-pin power rail requirement, and it uses the same 8GB of GDDR6 video memory. But it’s using about 80% of the CUDA cores, a slightly slower GPU base clock (1.41GHz versus 1.5GHz), and uses 10% less electricity. It supports all of the same outputs and graphical bells and whistles.
NVIDIA says that the RTX 3060 Ti is more powerful than last gen’s RTX 2080 Super card, while getting a few less frames per second out of ray tracing-enabled games versus the 3070. One wonders if NVIDIA didn’t push to get this more affordable option out now, as both PC gamers and console gamers are struggling to find new hardware before the holidays—the RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090, versus the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, respectively.
Whatever the strategy, having a new $400 card out just as high-profile games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Cyberpunk 2077 are being released should ease the inventory crunch a bit. You’ll probably still need to be quick if you want to order one tomorrow. It comes with a free year of the premium tier of GeForce NOW to boot.