The Geforce RTX 3060 offers 2.0 GBytes of VRAM more than the nominal flagship Geforce RTX 3080. Why is that?
As part of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021, Nvidia presented the Geforce RTX 3060 last Tuesday. The special thing about the so far smallest graphics card from the line-up of the RTX-3000 series based on the ampere architecture is the very large video memory of 12.0 GB.
Video memory raises questions: In the comments below our article, many of you understandably asked what the point is to equip the RTX 3060 with larger graphics memory than the RTX 3080. Nvidia answered questions during a Q&A session.
RTX 3060 with 12.0 GB VRAM – why?
The answer is relatively simple: A 192-bit wide memory interface was chosen, which in turn only allows 6.0 and 12.0 GBytes of video memory. In order to ensure the best balance between performance and price, the decision was made in favor of 12.0 Gbyte GDDR6 VRAM.
Furthermore, it is not only the size of the graphics memory that matters. The RTX 3080 is only equipped with 10.0 GB VRAM, but with fast GDDR6X modules (19.0 Gbps, effective 19.0 GHz) including a 320 bit connection. This results in a memory bandwidth of 760 GB/s.
The RTX 3060 on the other hand comes to 360 GB/s with GDDR6 modules (15.0 Gbps, effective 15.0 GHz) and the aforementioned 192-bit interface. Thus, the data transfer on the RTX 3080 is already more than twice as fast due to the memory connection alone. In addition, the GPU is much faster anyway and can therefore process the data faster, which means that the transfer rate is better on the road.
RTX 3060 versus RX 6700 (XT)?
Nvidia did not reveal whether possible new graphics cards from AMD are also a reason for the large video memory of the RTX 3060. Nevertheless, the expected 12.0 GB GDDR6 of the upcoming, new Radeon mid-range, which will most likely go by the names RX 6700 and RX 6700 XT, might have played a role in the decision.