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RTX 3060 Ti vs 3070: Which GPU Should You Get?

RTX 3060 Ti vs 3070

NVIDIA’s RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 graphics cards are the go-to GPUs for many PC gamers at the moment. They’re midrange cards, but they’re capable of running most modern games on max settings at high resolutions. Because of this, the RTX 3060 Ti vs 3070 battle is extremely relevant to many gamers.

With both cards you get close to high-end performance without breaking the bank. And while NVIDIA’s RTX 40-series might be just around the corner, these 30-series graphics cards have enough longevity to keep you game-ready for the foreseeable future.

The two cards are very similar, sharing the same GPU and memory configuration, but the RTX 3070 is more powerful and costs more than the 3060 Ti.

The question is whether the 3070’s extra frame-churning capabilities are enough to warrant its steeper price tag. To answer this, we need to consider the price difference alongside the performance difference.

Difference Between 3060 Ti and 3070

NVIDIA’s RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti are midrange graphics cards from the company’s latest desktop GPU range.

Both cards were released towards the end of 2020, with the RTX 3070 launching a couple of months prior to the 3060 Ti.

The RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti use the same GA104 GPU and share the same 8GB GDDR6 memory. However, the 3060 Ti’s GPU is scaled back, meaning it has less CUDA, Tensor, and RT (Ray Tracing) Cores than the RTX 3070. It also has slightly lower base and boost clocks.

The difference between the two cards’ number of CUDA and RT cores closely translates to their different gaming performances. The RTX 3070, on average, performs 10-20% better than the RTX 3060 Ti across all resolutions, with higher resolutions showing a more noticeable delta between the two cards.

At MSRP, the RTX 3070 costs $100 more than the RTX 3060 Ti, making the 3060 Ti 20% cheaper than the RTX 3070.

Price

The RTX 3060 Ti’s MSRP is $399.99, while the RTX 3070’s MSRP is $499.99. So, the 3070 costs $100 more than the 3060 Ti, making the 3060 Ti 20% cheaper relative to the cost of the 3070.

But these are just recommended retail prices, and while the global GPU shortage is reportedly nearing its end, and while according to NVIDIA the company’s own GPU shortages have ended, prices still haven’t settled to what they once were. Neither have stocks – the two go hand in hand.

As such, in practice, you’re likely to see both the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 retailing for a fair amount more than their respective MSRPs. You can currently find RTX 3070 cards going for $570-650, and RTX 3060 Ti cards often going for the same but sometimes with deals that drop the price down to $460 or $470.

In other words, if you add $100 on to each MSRP you probably have a better estimate of these cards’ prices at the moment. But given the nature of the current market, this could change, so make sure you keep your eye out for any online deals.

Specs

RTX 3060 Ti RTX 3070
GPU GA104 GA104
CUDA Cores 4,864 5,888
Tensor Cores 152 184
RT Cores 38 46
Stream Multiprocessors 38 46
Memory 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6
Memory speed 14GT/s 14GT/s
Memory bandwidth 448GB/s 448GB/s
Clock speed (base/boost) 1.41GHz / 1.67GHz 1.5GHz / 1.73GHz
Power connector 1x 12-pin 1x 12-pin
TDP 200W 220W

The RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 are similar in many respects. They share the same GA104 GPU, the same memory capacity, memory speed, and memory bandwidth. They also have very similar boost clocks, which is the speed that the GPUs will likely be running at while gaming.

The main differences between the two cards comes from their respective number of CUDA, Tensor, and RT Cores. The RTX 3060 Ti has less of these because it uses a pared down version of the GA104 GPU.

It has about 1,000 fewer CUDA Cores than the RTX 3070, and CUDA cores are what will affect game performance the most. It has 32 fewer Tensor Cores, and has eight fewer SMs, meaning it has eight fewer RT Cores, which will reduce its ray tracing performance in comparison to the RTX 3070.

In other words, the RTX 3060 Ti is essentially an RTX 3070 that’s had a portion of its SMs and CUDA Cores disabled and its clock speeds slightly reduced.

Performance

The RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 perform as you might expect given their specs. Their differing performances across different resolutions usually match their differing CUDA core counts.

There are differences in performance depending on which resolution you’re gaming on, though. Comparing benchmark results from different sites like PCGamer, TechSpot, and TechRadar, we can get a better picture of the performance deltas at different resolutions.

1080p

If you’re gaming at 1080p resolution, it’s probably not worth paying extra for an RTX 3070 over an RTX 3060 Ti.

Both cards are, of course, very capable at 1080p. They should both give you over 100fps at max settings in almost any modern game at this resolution.

Online benchmarks like the ones linked above show that at 1080p the RTX 3070 edges only slightly in front of the RTX 3060 Ti when it comes to average framerates in modern triple-A titles.

Sometimes the cards come neck-and-neck, and sometimes the 3070 edges in front by a 10-15% increase, giving you an extra 10-20fps in most games. But this slight edge probably isn’t enough to justify the 20% steeper price tag for the 3070.

1440p

At 1440p resolution the RTX 3070 becomes more worth its salt.

Both cards should get you over the crucial 60fps threshold at max settings in almost any game while playing at 1440p. And in less graphically intensive games, of course, you’ll get well above 100fps with both.

The 3070 leads the 3060 Ti more consistently at 1440p than at 1080p, meaning its average fps is ahead in pretty much all games. And the difference in framerates is a little more pronounced than in those cases where it’s also ahead at 1080p.

But this difference is still slight, with the 3070 only maintaining a 10-20% lead in average framerates at 1440p.

Nevertheless, at 1440p you might still consider buying an RTX 3070 over an RTX 3060 Ti because at this resolution framerates drop down closer to 75fps and 60fps.

If you have a 75Hz, 1440p monitor, you might prefer a 3070 because some games will run just below 75fps on a 3060 Ti but just above 75fps with a 3070. Also, as games continue to become more and more graphically intensive, a 3070 might be more likely to ensure you surpass the 60fps threshold in future games.

As things stand, though, both cards can get you above 60fps in the vast majority of modern games at 1440p resolution on max settings, and if that’s enough for you then it might be best to go for the cheaper 3060 Ti.

4K

At 4K resolution, the story is very much the same as at 1440p. Except this is the point where single digit frame deltas really start to matter.

If high-end 4K gaming is your goal, then paying extra for an RTX 3080 or something similar is probably best. But if you’re on a budget, or if you don’t mind dropping your settings a little, both the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 are surprisingly capable at 4K resolution.

It’s unlikely that either card will bag you a steady 60fps at max settings and 4K resolution in all games, but they’ll come close, and in most cases should give you very playable framerates above 40fps and often into the high 50s.

While both cards are capable at 4K resolution, the 3070 beats the 3060 Ti across the board, just like at 1440p, but only slightly. In some games, the framerate delta is similar to 1440p deltas at about 15%, but in other games this delta drops to just four or five frames.

The thing is, though, at this resolution those few frames can really make a difference. If it’s the difference between, say, 33fps and 39fps, those extra frames are noticeable. And the same is true if it’s the difference between 47fps and 55fps.

If you want to give 4K, max settings gameplay a shot but you don’t want to splash out on a 3080, an RTX 3070 will give you that extra edge that can make all the difference. But if you don’t mind dropping your settings a little, or you won’t be playing many graphically intensive games, or you’ll only spend some of your gaming time at 4K resolution, the RTX 3060 Ti is likely still a better choice.

Ray Tracing

The RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 are both great at ray tracing – especially when comparing them to NVIDIA’s previous-gen 20-series cards.

As far as differences between the two cards go, there’s not much more to add than you could already guess: the framerate deltas are almost parallel to the non-ray traced framerate deltas across different resolutions discussed above.

In other words, ray tracing is a little quicker on an RTX 3070 than an RTX 3060 Ti, but not quick enough on its own to justify the extra cost of the card.

If you combine the slight edge in ray tracing capabilities with the slight but noticeable edge at 4K resolutions, however, you have a more compelling argument for getting a 3070 instead of a 3060 Ti.

NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti vs 3070: Which GPU is Best for Gaming?

When deciding between the RTX 3070 vs 3060 Ti, it’s important to remember that both are midrange graphics cards that are very capable across the board.

In some ways, they’re both approaching high-end gaming performance. They can give you very playable framerates even at 4K resolution, especially if you don’t mind dropping your graphics settings a little.

The RTX 3070 is the better-performing card, without a doubt. But the difference in performance between the two, while not insignificant, is nevertheless small enough that the RTX 3060 Ti is a much better value card given its 20% cheaper cost.

It might be worth picking up an RTX 3070 if you play triple-A games at 1080p and max settings at a high refresh rate, because the extra 10 or 20 frames that the 3070 gives you might be what pushes you above 144fps, for example.

The same might be true for 75Hz gaming at 1440p, or if you want to guarantee 60fps in future, more graphically intensive games at this resolution. Similarly, the extra few frames can matter a great deal at 4K where you might struggle to reach that 60fps threshold. But if you’re gaming at 4K, an RTX 3080 will be better value.

Putting these specific circumstances aside, though, NVIDIA’s RTX 3060 Ti is a much better value offering. It almost keeps up with the RTX 3070 across the board, regardless of resolution, and can often be found retailing for significantly less money.

If you’re playing at 1080p, or 1440p in all but the most graphically intensive games, the slight drop in framerates should be well worth the money saved by sticking with the 3060 Ti.

What about an RTX 3060? Should you choose one over an RTX 3060 Ti? Check out our in-depth guide on the differences between the RTX 3060 Ti and the RTX 3060 for the answer.

Jacob Fox

Jacob's been tinkering with computer hardware for over a decade, and he's written hardware articles for various PC gaming websites. Outside of the wonderful world of PC hardware, he's currently undertaking a PhD in philosophy, with a focus on topics surrounding the meaning of life.

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