Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle Review
Whenever you're choosing a new graphics card there is always a balance to be found between the "next model up" and how much that increase in product number will cost you. Anyone who has ever put down the specs for their new build will know how tempting it is to spend an extra twenty quid here for a few extra MHz, twenty there for another few GB of storage, and you could go from the 3060 to the 3060 Ti for only another... and before you know it your build is £300 more than you planned. So restrain yourselves. What if you had a display that was 1920x1080, and you wanted to game at that resolution on a fairly restricted budget with no wiggle room?
Once you take those factors into consideration the Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle is a fantastic choice for those of you who want to be able to game at 1080P without worrying about needing to turn off things in the settings. It has the horsepower to run any game, on any setting, at 1080, and for many people that is already enough to put it on the list of graphics cards to upgrade their system. If you just look at forums and similar places it's easy to come away with the conclusion that everyone is running a 4K display. Even if that was true, and it isn't, the amount of people running 4K in buttery smooth frame rates are tiny. Heck the new Nintendo Switch is rumoured to have a 4K display option without actually upgrading the hardware to handle it, such is the allure of that particular resolution. So look at the Steam analytics 67% of people are playing at 1080, and the most popular GPU is the GTX 1060.
If you're one of those 67% of people we recommend the Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle without hesitation. You can just turn everything up and enjoy glorious visuals. Should you want a little bit of an upgrade path down the road then with some careful settings choices it has enough to game at 1440 too, although you'll need to start backing off certain high demand features.
Another thing we like about the RTX 3060 Eagle is the cooler. It might not be the most dazzling cooler ever designed, and it's most certainly old-school in its aesthetic. At this price point though we want our coolers to do two things. Firstly, rather obviously, we want it to cool the card. As you saw on the previous page the Eagle has no problems at all keeping the Ampere GPU frosty, which allows the GPU Boost 4.0 technology to work it's magic and boost the card beyond it's rated clock speeds. Secondly we want the cooler to be quiet. It's all well and good keeping temperatures low but if everyone in the local area goes deaf in the process then that's a bad thing. The Eagle Windforce 2X cooler is whisper quiet even under heavy loading. Yes you're not getting RGB but in every other regard it's an unqualified triumph.
How Gigabyte have kept the RTX 3060 Eagle at stock MSRP is a big part of why we've waited this long for the right card to test. We aren't interested in a card which has all the bells and whistles and costs another £200 more than the rest, nor do we want to even touch upon the price manipulation that is a depressing part of the current scene, both etailers and ebay resellers. When you're looking for a 1080 card your budget is limited and performance is everything. The Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle gives you all the performance you could wish, in a cool and quiet package, and for around £300. Naturally it wins our OC3D Gamers Choice Award. Assuming you can fight your way through the jungle and find someone that selling on for MSRP or even somewhere close that is.