Another GeForce RTX 3060 Variant Might Be Coming With A GDDR6X Memory Upgrade

GeForce RTX 3060 12GB GDDR6X hero
NVIDIA may soon welcome another sibling to the GeForce RTX 3060 family. A graphics card cataloging source on Twitter highlighted that a new version of the popular Ampere architecture RTX 3060 has caused a blip on the radar. This could be the best RTX 3060 yet, with 12GB of GDDR6X VRAM delivering over 456GB/s of bandwidth.

Ever since the original GeForce RTX 3060, NVIDIA has been introducing unwelcome snips and cuts. The initial variant got the LHR treatment during one or other of the cryptocurrency boom periods, which meant gamers couldn’t earn as much coin in their spare time. More recently, a version with a neutered memory subsystem was launched. The RTX 3060 8GB obviously has a reduced VRAM capacity and was introduced in an era where 8GB is starting to feel cramped. Adding insult to injury, this 8GB graphics card also has the memory bus cut down from 192- to 128-bits, resulting in a 33% drop in memory bandwidth.

A few hours ago, T4CFantasy took to Twitter to share, with some mirth, that he had spotted “another 3060.” The Tweeter is TechPowerUp’s GPU database editor and commented that the latest version of the RTX 3060 would use a GA104 GPU. This GPU has been used for cards as high up the stack as the RTX 3070 Ti. It measures 392mm2, which is sizable compared to the GA106 (276mm2) used in other RTX 3060 renditions.

GeForce RTX 3060 models compared table

All RTX 3060 variants for desktop graphics, known and rumored, have the same 3,584 CUDA cores. However, it must be noted that the GA104 version feels wasteful with 6,144 potential usable CUDA cores cut down to 3,584. Remember, the GA106 has a max 3,840 CUDA cores reduced to 3,584 for the RTX 3060, a much more efficient use of silicon. Using the physically larger GPU may have helped NVIDIA salvage some otherwise unusable cast-off dies. We should comment that there may be some impacts on power usage and cooling with the severely cut down GA104, but we would have to test to say for certain.

Moving along, the star feature of the newest RTX 3060 is the GDDR6X memory. This 12GB chunk of VRAM has a 192-bit bus, and it can deliver 456GB/s of bandwidth. Some games engines appreciate graphics memory bandwidth more than others, and the bandwidth uplift delivered here, compared to the original 12GB models, is about 27%. Compared to the cramped RTX 3060 8GB, the bandwidth upgrade the GDDR6X model enjoys is an even more impressive 90%.

TPU GPU databse entry for RTX 3060 GA104
TPU database entry showing an RTX 3060 with GDDR6X

Please remember that while T4CFantasy may be well-connected as a TechPowerUp staff member, this RTX 3060 with 12GB of GDDR6X is still just a rumor until NVIDIA (or a board partner) makes a formal announcement. Interestingly, in the TPU database, the model spotted was a Gigabyte factory overclocked model. The data shows that its GPU base / boost clocks were 1,320 / 1,807MHz – that’s the same base as reference, with only a slightly faster boost (reference boost is 1,780MHz).