NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti vs. RTX 3070: Which GPU should you buy?

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 review
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 review (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is a new RTX 30 card aimed at folks that don't want to spend too much on GPU but want good performance as well. It sits right below the RTX 3070, which is the definitive go-to GPU to get right now, delivering an insane value for money. While the RTX 3060 Ti does offer a solid value for money itself, the RTX 3070 is the GPU you should buy. Let's take a look at why.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti vs. RTX 3070: Specs

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 review

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

The RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 share a lot of the same hardware, so much so that the RTX 3060 Ti is actually more like the RTX 3070 than the RTX 3060. Both the graphics cards house the GA104 GPU, made with the 8nm Samsung process. The RTX 3060 Ti gets the GA104-200-A1 trim, while the RTX 3070 gets the GA104-300-A1 variant. The transistor count for both GPUs is 17.4 billion. Let's take a look at the full specifications of the two cards.

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CategoryNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 TiNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
Shader (CUDA) Cores48645888
Core Clock1410MHz1500MHz
Boost Clock1670MHz1730MHz
Memory8 GB GDDR6
256-bit bus width
8 GB GDDR6
256-bit bus width
Memory Clock14Gbps14Gbps
Memory Bandwidth448GB/s448GB/s
RT Cores3846
Tensor Cores152184
Transistors17.40 billion17.40 billion
NodeSamsung 8nmSamsung 8nm
ArchitectureAmpereAmpere
TDP200 W220 W
Ports1 x HDMI 2.1
3 x DisplayPort 1.4a
1 x HDMI 2.1
3 x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connector1 x 8 pin1 x 8 pin

Note: Some specifications of the RTX 3060 Ti and the RTX 3070, like the ports, may vary as per AIB models.

While the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 have some similarities, there are a few differences that set them apart. The core counts make a big difference here. The RTX 3070 has a higher shader core count at 5,888, versus the RTX 3060 Ti's 4,864 shader cores. Additionally, the RTX 3070 also has a higher ray tracing core count, as well as a higher tensor core count. This difference shows up in the real-world performance of the two cards.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti vs. RTX 3070: Real-world performance

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 review

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

The RTX 3060 Ti does great with gaming at 1080p and 1440p, but the RTX 3070 is a true 1440p GPU, hitting some good framerates at the resolution. Of course, the performance differences vary based on the configurations of the AIB cards. However, the RTX 3070 is the clear winner among the two, capable of doing some 4K gaming as well. The RTX 3060 Ti does not lag too far behind, but the 3070 is the better performer across the board. Let's take a look at the performance comparison between the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio and MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio, courtesy of Random Benchmark.

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GameRTX 3060 Ti (avg. FPS, 1440p)RTX 3070 (avg. FPS, 1440p)RTX 3060 Ti (avg. FPS, 4K)RTX 3070 (avg. FPS, 4K)
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War163182102115
Watch Dogs Legion (RTX On)54633136
Horizon Zero Dawn80895055
Control (RTX On)68783744
Doom Eternal16019183105
Red Dead Redemption 267774451
Assassin's Creed: Valhalla52745135
DIRT 586995666

The RTX 3060 Ti is still a solid performer for the price, but the RTX 3070 really pushes things. At 1440p, the RTX 3060 Ti pushes out decent frame rates but struggles to hit the coveted 60 FPS figure with the more intensive titles. The RTX 3070 is more comfortable, doing 1440p 60 FPS easily, even with RTX on.

At 4K, it becomes increasingly clear that the RTX 3070 is the card to go for. It can push to 60-144Hz if you tune down the settings a bit, but the RTX 3060 Ti will require you to compromise quite a bit more with graphics to hit those framerates. Both the cards do give a similar price-to-performance ratio, but if you are to pick one of the two cards, the RTX 3070 clearly makes a better argument with its numbers.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti or RTX 3070: Which one should you buy?

The RTX 3070 is the better GPU to buy right now, regardless of whether you're building a new system or upgrading your existing one. In our NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 review, we called it the 1440p graphics card to buy right now, and even if you're looking to push frames at 4K, it will still make for a great companion.

Unfortunately, both the RTX 3060 Ti and the RTX 3070 are plagued by the stock issues that are affecting all the best graphics cards right now. You will often see the pricing of both the cards marked way above the starting prices. So if you're trying to buy an RTX 30 GPU, make sure you're not overpaying for one.

If you're looking at getting the RTX 3070, then the safe way to go about it would be to get the Founders Edition. It carries the base price and makes for a really good value at that price tag. While the other AIB variants of the card are solid performers, they're less likely to be available closer to the starting price of the RTX 3070. So keep an eye out, and happy next-gen gaming!