NVIDIA Confirms GeForce RTX 3060 Feb 25 Launch, But Will You Be Able To Buy One?

rtx 3060 power play
Earlier this week, we got wind of a rumor that NVIDIA's entry-level GeForce RTX 3060 would be launching on February 25th. Yesterday, however, NVIDIA confirmed the February 25th launch date in a statement to AnandTech, which means that cards will likely go on sale at 9am EST that morning.

NVIDIA first announced the GeForce RTX 3060 last month at CES 2021, and it will slot in under the already launched GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. While the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is priced at $399, the new GeForce RTX 3060 comes in at a more affordable $329 price point. Looking at NVIDIA's complete GeForce RTX 30 desktop Ampere lineup, here's how the pricing situation stacks up:

  • GeForce RTX 3090: $1,499
  • GeForce RTX 3080: $699
  • GeForce RTX 3070: $499
  • GeForce RTX 3060 Ti: $399
  • GeForce RTX 3060: $329

The GeForce RTX 3060 is a rather peculiar member of the Ampere family, as it will come with 12GB of GDDR6 memory -- due to its 192-bit memory bus -- while the more expensive GeForce RTX 3060 Ti tops out just 8GB of GDDR6. The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, however, will have the definite performance edge with just over 16 TFLOPs of single precision compute performance compared to nearly 13 TFLOPS for the GeForce RTX 3060. 

geforce 3060 ti front

NVIDIA has billed the GeForce RTX 3060 as the perfect upgrade solution for gamers that currently have the GeForce GTX 1060, which was based on Pascal architecture. According to NVIDIA, the GeForce RTX 3060 doubles shader performance over the GeForce GTX 1060, which is now two generations old. And given that the Pascal architecture never supported hardware ray tracing in the first place, it's claimed that the GeForce RTX 3060 provides a 10x uplift in that arena for supported games.

All of this sounds great, on paper, but the big question is whether gamers will be able to get their hands on the card. The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti launched back in December, and you'll be hard pressed to find one in stock at online retailers (or any GeForce RTX 30 card for that matter). However, taking a quick trip over to eBay shows that completed auctions for the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti are ringing up at nearly $1,000, which is mind-blowing for third-party cards that are supposed to retail for between $399 to $449.

There's no reason to believe that availability for the GeForce RTX 3060 will be any better when it launches later this month. So, while it's nice to see that NVIDIA is filling out its Ampere lineup with cheaper SKUs, production numbers are going to need to be boosted considerably to keep up with demand.