RTX 3060 Ti Roundup - ASUS TUF, MSI Gaming X Trio, Gigabyte Eagle
Published: 1st December 2020 | Source: OC3D | Price: £459, £450 and £380 respectively |
Three very different takes upon the RTX 3060 Ti. Three very different results too.
MSI Gaming X Trio
Starting with the best of the cards, the MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio. It undoubtedly comes with a price premium because of that Tri Frozr 2 cooler. MSI always produce a PCB which has plenty of custom features and the newest addition to the range is no exception. We've got the TORX 4.0 fans, direct contact heatpipes, graphene backplate, extra thermal pads for smoother heat transfer, a metal brace to eliminate any possibility of sagging, and the custom fuses to protect your card should the very worst happen. Add to that a clock speed which is not only faster out of the box than any of the others we've looked at, and the highest GPU boost which makes full use of the cooler and you have a card which certainly promises much. Best of all that promise isn't squandered on mediocre performance. Throughout our testing, the Gaming X Trio was the fastest of the four, and usually much nearer to models above it in the range than we might expect. There is a price to be paid for this extra performance, but if you want the very best of the RTX 3060 Ti cards, then the MSI Gaming X Trio is undoubtedly it and wins our Enthusiast Award.
If the MSI Gaming X Trio is the premium take upon the RTX 3060 Ti formula, then the Gigabyte Eagle goes down the other direction. The cooler and backplate is entirely plastic, and to be honest; it feels a bit cheap. It looks a bit cheap. It just has two fans compared to the three on the ASUS and MSI. It's square and utilitarian. This is a card designed to be installed as fast as possible and never touched or looked at again. Those points are where the negatives cease though. Performance, whilst not blistering, is solid and reliable. It's the most power-efficient of them too, and if you run your PC for very long stretches those savings will soon add up. Additionally, you're saving on buying the card in the first place. Gigabyte hasn't used their name to up the price but has instead used their nous to put the budget in all the right places, bringing you a card which is cool and quiet and just a tenner more expensive than the Nvidia FE. For those with limited wallets, it's the perfect option and wins our Value For Money Award.
Lastly, the ASUS TUF. Until now the TUF has always fit into the ASUS range below the Strix. It's their equivalent of a card which has all the bits you'd expect to find on an ASUS product, just in reduced form, so that those of you who want to stay loyal to a single brand can purchase something which will be around the same levels of performance as a vanilla card, but with that ASUS brand which blends into the rest of your system so nicely. Certainly, when we were looking at the card, we felt it was all we expected a TUF card to be given our, successful experience of it on other Ampere cards. Testing it didn't change this opinion either as it performed around the same as the Gigabyte card, which is exactly where you would imagine the affordable card in the ASUS range to be. Then, right on top of writing our thoughts, we discovered the price. £445 It's not just more expensive than the Gigabyte card, but almost the same as the MSI! The performance doesn't remotely justify this price tag, even taking into account the "ASUS premium" that you always have to pay.