NVIDIA RTX 4060 Ti 16GB, Gem or Joke?

Within the heart of each gaming computer, there lies an exquisite engine, none other than the illustrious graphics card, a marvel that exuberantly pumps forth an intricate dance of polygons, captivating shapes, and a kaleidoscope of resplendent hues. It bestows upon us a visual symphony so masterfully orchestrated, a realm where games come to life and the boundaries of imagination intertwine with reality in seamless harmony. That’s where NVIDIA comes in.  Since its founding, NVIDIA has grown to become one of the world’s leading technology companies, renowned for its graphics processing units (GPUs) and other computing solutions. The company’s innovations have significantly impacted the gaming, professional visualization, data center, and artificial intelligence industries such as ChatGPT and the likes.  However, NVIDIA doesn’t always make the best decisions, and I believe this is one.

On the 18th of July, NVIDIA had released its 16GB variant to their RTX 4060 Ti budget graphics card with a $499 price tag, which is $100 more than its 8GB variant that was released just about 2 months ago.  The 8GB video card comes equipped with a neutered 128 bit memory bus only, which is enough for 1080p gaming and some at 1440p, but lacks the necessary memory bandwidth to provide a smooth gaming experience at 4K resolution.  It uses DDR6 memory, which requires 32 bit memory controllers.  The RTX 4060 Ti 16GB has four 32 bit memory controllers, which adds up to the 128bit total, the same as the 8GB variant. To be honest, the RTX 4060 Ti should have skipped the 8GB and launched with 16GB. But NVIDIA explained that in order to increase the VRAM capacity, they had to redesign the 8GB card by adding another set of memory chips on the back of the video card (hence the clamshell design), therefore the whopping $100 premium was added to the 16GB variant. Is the 16GB card a good value overall?  Let’s dive deeper.

When compared to older generation of NVIDIA cards without frame generation turned on, it looks like the performance of the RTX 4060 Ti 16GB is on par or slightly slower than the previous generation 3070 (non Ti) in 1080p and 1440p resolution, depending on the game; the RTX 4060 Ti performs like the 3070, but falls short in some cases too.  In terms of performance, it is matching the 3070 in some cases, and without DLSS 3 turned on, it was slower than the 3060 Ti, which was disappointing. However, this isn’t the whole story. 

As graphic cards continue to get bigger, they will require more power to sustain performance. One thing RTX 4060 Ti does really well is its power consumption.  At full load, the RTX 4060 Ti will draw a maximum of about 144w of power, which is the lowest of any current generation cards on the market!  Even though it only performs like the 3070, the RTX 4060 Ti does it much more efficiently by requiring less power, allowing users to save on the electric bill.  

Aside from the $399 8GB variant and $499 16GB variant, there are other comparable options from AMD as well.  As of Aug 4th, 2023, the best value found is the XFX Speedster QICK319 Radeon RX 6750XT at only $349 on Amazon!  The performance of the 6750XT is largely neck to neck with the RTX 4060 Ti 16GB, and it comes equipped with a healthy 12GB of VRAM.  As a budget choice, consider XFX Speedster QUICK319 Radeon RX 6750XT from AMD.  Another good option is the XFX Speedster QICK308 Radeon RX 7600 Black Gaming Graphics Card.  It comes with a low $279 price tag and 8GB of VRAM, this seems to be a great budget contender against the 8GB variant of the RTX 4060 Ti, albeit offering lesser framerates and performance as the RTX 4060Ti.

Overall, the RTX 4060 Ti does offer really solid performance at 1080p and 1440p resolutions, and it does it with top notch efficiency, only drawing up to 144w or so of power consumption.  However, the price tag is NVIDIA might have messed up a little, because there are some really great options offering comparable if not better performance for equal or lesser price tag, like the examples listed above. 

If you do decide to pick up a RTX 4060 Ti, you will still be happy with it as it is a beast of a video card regardless, but do your research, be sure this is what you need and not over spending.


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