Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU Review

Scorpus

Posts: 2,028   +234
Staff member

The GeForce RTX 3060 is the most affordable of three new Ampere mobile GPUs released so far. Overall, the new laptop GPU provides a notable performance uplift over previous parts of the same class and power level.

Permalink to review.

Laptops Used for Testing:

  • XMG Apex 17 2021
  • Asus ROG Flow X13
  • Gigabyte Aorus 17X
  • MSI Stealth 15M
  • Schenker Via 14
  • XMG Core 14
  • Intel NUC M15
  • Dell Inspiron 14 7000
  • Tuxedo Aura 15
  • HP Probook x360 435 G7
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T14
  • HP Envy x360 (4500U)
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 14
  • Acer Swift 3 14 Ice Lake
  • Razer Blade 15 Base
  • MSI GE66 Raider 10SGS
  • Asus TUF Gaming A15 FA506IV
  • MSI GL65 Leopard 10SEK
  • MSI GS66 Stealth 10SE
  • Asus TUF Gaming A15 FA506IU
  • Asus TUF Gaming A15 FA506II
  • Gigabyte Aorus 15G XB
  • Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401IV
  • Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX481FL
  • Razer Blade Stealth 2019
  • MSI Prestige 14 A10SC
  • Gigabyte Aorus 15
  • MSI GE75 Raider 9SF
  • Rader Blade Pro 17
  • Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531G
  • Gigabyte Aorus 15 XA
  • Acer Predator Helios 300 (9750H)
  • Asus ZenBook UM433D
 

VEGGIM

Posts: 35   +7
The only benefit that the oem's have is that they could make more interesting laptops. Since you are no longer locked using 1 wattage.
 

cldmstrsn

Posts: 214   +188
Damn! no 1070 comparisons? oh well. my 1070 still does great at 1080p. I think I will wait a few more years to upgrade.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,657   +2,773
Nice review, thanks.

Quick question: did you test the Ryzen based laptop with or without resizable BAR ? It would be really interesting to see what the performance difference was for the 3060 with and without it.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,213   +5,908
It's actually sad how many people are still on a 1060 - 1080. Yes their games work fine in 1080p, but until they step up to at least a 2070, Ray Tracing isn't really even worthwhile to consider.

I think the 3000 series is where RTX will shine in laptops, but I'm wondering whether it makes sense to go for the 3070 over the 3060 - or just go for broke and grab the 3080.

Fortunately, the laptops are lighter now for travel. I am in the market for an upgrade.

 

Torrentius

Posts: 21   +63
It's actually sad how many people are still on a 1060 - 1080. Yes their games work fine in 1080p, but until they step up to at least a 2070, Ray Tracing isn't really even worthwhile to consider.

I think the 3000 series is where RTX will shine in laptops, but I'm wondering whether it makes sense to go for the 3070 over the 3060 - or just go for broke and grab the 3080.

Fortunately, the laptops are lighter now for travel. I am in the market for an upgrade.

It's actually sad how no GPU vendor provided a substantial upgrade in performance on original 1060 - 1080 price points in past 5 years. As Tim stated, 1060 was considerably cheaper than 2060. Current gen GPUs at 1060 price point simply do not exist - and I am not talking about crazy world crisis prices; no GPU vendor announced anything in 200$-300$ bracket, it is as simple as that.

So, now you know who to blame for all the poor people not being able to experience wonders of ray tracing in all the 20 or so games, that they might not even be interested in.

-

On the topic: 3060-laptop sounds like a poor choice to me. Super expensive when compared to 2060 models that are getting discounted, but limited by same 6GB of memory. If I were interested mainly in my backlog, 2060 is good enough, but if I wanted to comfortably play future games for the next two to three years, 3060 stuttering in recent titles doesn't sound promising.
 
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mbk34

Posts: 196   +128
Perhaps techspot should produce a simple hierarchy chart of laptop GPU's and include integrated GPU's on processors. That way people can know whether it's worth upgrading.
 

Toju Mikie

Posts: 212   +195
It's actually sad how no GPU vendor provided a substantial upgrade in performance on original 1060 - 1080 price points in past 5 years. As Tim stated, 1060 was considerably cheaper than 2060. Current gen GPUs at 1060 price point simply do not exist - and I am not talking about crazy world crisis prices; no GPU vendor announced anything in 200$-300$ bracket, it is as simple as that.

So, now you know who to blame for all the poor people not being able to experience wonders of ray tracing in all the 20 or so games, that they might not even be interested in.

-

On the topic: 3060-laptop sounds like a poor choice to me. Super expensive when compared to 2060 models that are getting discounted, but limited by same 6GB of memory. If I was interested mainly in my backlog, 2060 is good enough, but if I wanted to comfortably play future games for the next two to three years, 3060 stuttering in recent titles doesn't sound promising.
Yup. I'm still on a 1060 laptop. That 6GB VRAM is a big concern because of games like Cyberpunk 2077, and even Doom Eternal, needing more than 6GB already for maxed settings. It will get worse over time. I don't think this 3060 will last very long. It seems like it will be another 1060 3GB situation where that GPU didn't take too long to be obsolete.
 
As much as laptop 30 series have been somewhat of a disappointment (because Nvidia set the bar high with its desktop gains, and the power limit marketing debacle), its still an improvement in performance in most cases.
I'm interested to see a comparison of the 3060MX (naming as they suggested, aka the 115W+ variant) vs the 85W 3070. I'm in the market for one soonish, and the ASUS TUF Dash with the low power 3070
variant is similar in price as some of the other laptops with the 3060MX variant where I am.
 

Torrentius

Posts: 21   +63
As much as laptop 30 series have been somewhat of a disappointment (because Nvidia set the bar high with its desktop gains, and the power limit marketing debacle), its still an improvement in performance in most cases.
I'm interested to see a comparison of the 3060MX (naming as they suggested, aka the 115W+ variant) vs the 85W 3070. I'm in the market for one soonish, and the ASUS TUF Dash with the low power 3070
variant is similar in price as some of the other laptops with the 3060MX variant where I am.
Man, Dash, even with low powered 3070 is bootlenecked by that Intel CPU - sure, it is powerful in single thread loads, but only has 4 cores, and this seems like an entry-level for gaming nowadays. If you want super-slim laptop, either get a Zephyrus G15, or wait until Intel will have a competitor for any of AMD HS CPUs. Getting 4/8 i7 instead of 8/16 Ryzen doesn't make much sense nowadays, unless it is much cheaper of course (but cheaper doesn't sound like Intel to me).
 
And would this 80W power configuration of 3060 allow me to play Half-Life Alyx on an Oculus Quest 2 with max settings (or almost max)? šŸ˜
 

Aryassen

Posts: 164   +192
Well, though 3060 provides a nice enough jump from a 1060, it is not THAT tempting for changing a 1070...I honestly hoped to see more, especially knowing the specs. The 3060 has (almost) twice the cude cores, and faster ram than the 1070, not to mention 2 generations' worth of architecture improvement, so frankly I expected my trusty 1070 to be demolished...and that's really not the case (considering the 2060 data, which is roughly where a 1070 would be - strictly in laptops only)

I wonder: why isn't the 3060 twice as fast as a 2060? Power limitations? Or still the "ampere shines at 4K" feature? Or something else?...
 

Edster

Posts: 98   +71
Another thing to consider for laptop GPUs is the screen, is not uncommon to have an average screen ion most gaming laptops and the low screen estate means the need to have a powerful GPU is not needed as much.

Personally, the best thing about this generation would be getting equivalent performance at lower price point and lower size, making AAA titles on a reasonable looking machine on high setting a distinct possibility without breaking the bank. The old 2070 laptops are prohibitively expensive for a secondary machine.
 

veLa

Posts: 1,116   +753
It's actually sad how many people are still on a 1060 - 1080. Yes their games work fine in 1080p, but until they step up to at least a 2070, Ray Tracing isn't really even worthwhile to consider.

I think the 3000 series is where RTX will shine in laptops, but I'm wondering whether it makes sense to go for the 3070 over the 3060 - or just go for broke and grab the 3080.

Fortunately, the laptops are lighter now for travel. I am in the market for an upgrade.

Nothing is sad about that. If anything, it's a testament to the longevity of that generation of cards.

I made repairs a year or so ago to the PC of a close friend of mine and he still uses an EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Superclocked, and he's still having a great time with modern games with a couple settings turned down.

And by the way, not all of us care about raytracing.
 

maroon1

Posts: 46   +57
Yup. I'm still on a 1060 laptop. That 6GB VRAM is a big concern because of games like Cyberpunk 2077, and even Doom Eternal, needing more than 6GB already for maxed settings. It will get worse over time. I don't think this 3060 will last very long. It seems like it will be another 1060 3GB situation where that GPU didn't take too long to be obsolete.

WRONG

Doom Eternal, RTX 2060 6GB (desktop) minimum is 89fps and average 114fps when running the game on 1440p ultra nightmare quality

Check benchmarks
https://static.techspot.com/articles-info/2155/bench/DOOM-o.png

In other words, 6GB is not causing any issue in this game because it is running >60fps all the time. IT DOES NOT NEED more than 6GB on 1440p max setting even if the game can use over 6GB

..........

Cyberpunk 2077, RTX 2060 6GB is on par with 5700 8GB and slightly slower than RTX 2060 super 8GB on 1080p ultra (RT off) and 1440p ultra setting (RT off)

Check benchmarks
https://static.techspot.com/articles-info/2164/bench/1440p_Ultra.png
https://static.techspot.com/articles-info/2164/bench/1080p_Ultra.png

Since that RTX 2060 6GB is matching 5700 8GB and only slightly slower than RTX 2060 Super 8GB then it is safe to assume that over 6GB is useless

I don't even think anyone is going to play 1440p ultra on these cards anyway because you will get poor fps in all of these cards. Only way to get decent fps is to use DLSS at this resolution


RTX 2060 6GB only get big hit in fps (compared to 8GB cards) is when you use ray tracing and high resolution (like 1440p). But nobody is going run game in those setting on RTX 2060 because it won't run well anyway. You will run out of GPU power before you run out of video ram. In other words, nobody will run Cyberpunk on settings that benefits from over 6GB if the GPU is not fast enough. In other words, having over 6GB is not needed on RTX 2060 for this game.
 
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Toju Mikie

Posts: 212   +195
WRONG

Doom Eternal, RTX 2060 6GB (desktop) minimum is 89fps and average 114fps when running the game on 1440p ultra nightmare quality

Check benchmarks
https://static.techspot.com/articles-info/2155/bench/DOOM-o.png

In other words, 6GB is not causing any issue in this game because it is running >60fps all the time. IT DOES NOT NEED more than 6GB on 1440p max setting even if the game can use over 6GB

..........

Cyberpunk 2077, RTX 2060 6GB is on par with 5700 8GB and slightly slower than RTX 2060 super 8GB on 1080p ultra (RT off) and 1440p ultra setting (RT off)

Check benchmarks
https://static.techspot.com/articles-info/2164/bench/1440p_Ultra.png
https://static.techspot.com/articles-info/2164/bench/1080p_Ultra.png

Since that RTX 2060 6GB is matching 5700 8GB and only slightly slower than RTX 2060 Super 8GB then it is safe to assume that over 6GB is useless

I don't even think anyone is going to play 1440p ultra on these cards anyway because you will get poor fps in all of these cards. Only way to get decent fps is to use DLSS at this resolution


RTX 2060 6GB only get big hit in fps (compared to 8GB cards) is when you use ray tracing and high resolution (like 1440p). But nobody is going run game in those setting on RTX 2060 because it won't run well anyway. You will run out of GPU power before you run out of video ram. In other words, nobody will run Cyberpunk on settings that benefits from over 6GB if the GPU is not fast enough. In other words, having over 6GB is not needed on RTX 2060 for this game.

I can speak for Doom Eternal since I have that game. On some maps in single player, the game will refuse to allow you to play on ultra nightmare settings because it needs around 6.5GB to 7GB VRAM, so you need an 8GB card even in 1080p in some maps. In Techspot review, they only play one map. They don't go through the entire game in the benchmark.
This issue was a similar issue in the past with the 3GB 1060 already not able to max games in 1080p. Games like GTA 5 would warn you that you were exceeding the VRAM limit. That was one of the reasons I decided to buy the 1070 for my desktop.
 
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neeyik

Posts: 1,881   +2,199
Staff member
It's a shame 1440p benchmarks are missing.
Relatively few of the laptops used have anything better than a 1080p screen:

XMG Apex 17 2021 - 1920x1080
Asus ROG Flow X13 - 1920 x 1200
Gigabyte Aorus 17X - 1920x1080
MSI Stealth 15M - 1920x1080
Schenker Via 14 - 1920x1080
XMG Core 14 - 1920x1080
Intel NUC M15 - 1920x1080
Dell Inspiron 14 7000 - 2560 x 1600
Tuxedo Aura 15 - 1920x1080
HP Probook x360 435 G7 - 1920x1080
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 - 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad T14 - 1920x1080 or 2560 x 1440
HP Envy x360 (4500U) - 1920x1080
Lenovo IdeaPad 14 - 1920 x 1080
Acer Swift 3 14 Ice Lake - 1920 x 1080
Razer Blade 15 Base - 1920x1080 or 2560 x 1440
MSI GE66 Raider 10SGS - 1920x1080 or 3840 x 2160
Asus TUF Gaming A15 FA506IV - 1920 x 1080
MSI GL65 Leopard 10SEK - 1920 x 1080
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SE - 1920x1080 or 3840 x 2160
Asus TUF Gaming A15 FA506IU - 1920 x 1080
Asus TUF Gaming A15 FA506II - 1920 x 1080
Gigabyte Aorus 15G XB - 1920 x 1080
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401IV - 2560 x 1440
Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX481FL - 1920 x 1080
Razer Blade Stealth 2019 - 1920 x 1080
MSI Prestige 14 A10SC - 3840 x 2160
Gigabyte Aorus 15 - 1920 x 1080
MSI GE75 Raider 9SF - 1920 x 1080
Razer Blade Pro 17 - 1920 x 1080, 2560 x 1440, or 3840 x 2160
Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531G - 1920 x 1080
Gigabyte Aorus 15 XA - 1920 x 1080
Acer Predator Helios 300 (9750H) - 1920 x 1080
Asus ZenBook UM433D - 1920 x 1080
 

Wrinkle

Posts: 66   +48
Relatively few of the laptops used have anything better than a 1080p screen:

XMG Apex 17 2021 - 1920x1080
Asus ROG Flow X13 - 1920 x 1200
Gigabyte Aorus 17X - 1920x1080
MSI Stealth 15M - 1920x1080
Schenker Via 14 - 1920x1080
XMG Core 14 - 1920x1080
Intel NUC M15 - 1920x1080
Dell Inspiron 14 7000 - 2560 x 1600
Tuxedo Aura 15 - 1920x1080
HP Probook x360 435 G7 - 1920x1080
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 - 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad T14 - 1920x1080 or 2560 x 1440
HP Envy x360 (4500U) - 1920x1080
Lenovo IdeaPad 14 - 1920 x 1080
Acer Swift 3 14 Ice Lake - 1920 x 1080
Razer Blade 15 Base - 1920x1080 or 2560 x 1440
MSI GE66 Raider 10SGS - 1920x1080 or 3840 x 2160
Asus TUF Gaming A15 FA506IV - 1920 x 1080
MSI GL65 Leopard 10SEK - 1920 x 1080
MSI GS66 Stealth 10SE - 1920x1080 or 3840 x 2160
Asus TUF Gaming A15 FA506IU - 1920 x 1080
Asus TUF Gaming A15 FA506II - 1920 x 1080
Gigabyte Aorus 15G XB - 1920 x 1080
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401IV - 2560 x 1440
Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX481FL - 1920 x 1080
Razer Blade Stealth 2019 - 1920 x 1080
MSI Prestige 14 A10SC - 3840 x 2160
Gigabyte Aorus 15 - 1920 x 1080
MSI GE75 Raider 9SF - 1920 x 1080
Razer Blade Pro 17 - 1920 x 1080, 2560 x 1440, or 3840 x 2160
Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531G - 1920 x 1080
Gigabyte Aorus 15 XA - 1920 x 1080
Acer Predator Helios 300 (9750H) - 1920 x 1080
Asus ZenBook UM433D - 1920 x 1080

True but since I have a 1440p gsync monitor and an LG OLED gsync TV I would probably hook it up to one of those at a point. I'm currently debating myself whether I should skip pc entirely for this generation and get a 3060 laptop instead. I currently use a 2060 in my pc which I use mostly at 1440p so it would also give me a better view on performance improvements.

Also, the 3060 was pretty much presented as a 1440p card and I would like to see how it compares to its card based brethren.
 
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neeyik

Posts: 1,881   +2,199
Staff member
True but since I have a 1440p gsync monitor and an LG OLED gsync TV I would probably hook it up to one of those at a point. I'm currently debating myself whether I should skip pc entirely for this generation and get a 3060 laptop instead. I currently use a 2060 in my pc which I use mostly at 1440p so it would also give me a better view on performance improvements.

Also, the 3060 was pretty much presented as a 1440p card and I would like to see how it compares to its card based brethren.
As Tim pointed out in the article, once more 1440p capable AMD and Intel laptops come on to the market, testing will start to include such benchmarks. For now, though, one can at least estimate the best possible case for a mobile 3060 compared to the desktop version:

Mobile 3060 vs desktop 3060
Core count: 3840 vs 3584
TMUs: 120 vs 112
ROPs: 48 vs 64
Memory: 192-bit 15 Gbps vs 192-bit 14 Gbps
Boost clock: 1703 MHz vs 1777 MHz
Power limit: 115~130 W vs 170 W

Essentially, the mobile version has two more SMs than the desktop model, but with a 4% lower Boost clock and a 24~32% lower power limit, the chip won't be able sustain full load clocks as well. The 25% lower ROP count will make matters worse at 1440p too, as will the 6% less bandwidth. Depending on the game, the laptop version might get within a few percent of the 3060 graphics card, but a modern title with all the bells and whistles switched on, it could easily be a good 30% slower.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 1,574   +1,585
TechSpot Elite
Well Tim I thank you for the configurations you tested. My laptop has a 200 watt 2080 and I can finally get an idea of how the 3000 series will match up. I hope you can get on to the 3070 and 3080 because that is the range I want when I buy.

Again, šŸ‘
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 1,574   +1,585
TechSpot Elite
As Tim pointed out in the article, once more 1440p capable AMD and Intel laptops come on to the market, testing will start to include such benchmarks. For now, though, one can at least estimate the best possible case for a mobile 3060 compared to the desktop version:

Mobile 3060 vs desktop 3060
Core count: 3840 vs 3584
TMUs: 120 vs 112
ROPs: 48 vs 64
Memory: 192-bit 15 Gbps vs 192-bit 14 Gbps
Boost clock: 1703 MHz vs 1777 MHz
Power limit: 115~130 W vs 170 W

Essentially, the mobile version has two more SMs than the desktop model, but with a 4% lower Boost clock and a 24~32% lower power limit, the chip won't be able sustain full load clocks as well. The 25% lower ROP count will make matters worse at 1440p too, as will the 6% less bandwidth. Depending on the game, the laptop version might get within a few percent of the 3060 graphics card, but a modern title with all the bells and whistles switched on, it could easily be a good 30% slower.

Those specs remind me of a GTX 1070 mobile I had in my previous laptop. It had a 25 watt lower power limit but the core count was raised from 1920 to 2048 and actually performed slightly better than a desktop 1070. I guess the deal from here will be how much the 40 watts lower power limit will hurt.
 

Reehahs

Posts: 1,262   +928
Perhaps techspot should produce a simple hierarchy chart of laptop GPU's and include integrated GPU's on processors. That way people can know whether it's worth upgrading.

Such a thing would be very useful, a desktop version exists on Tomshardware.

I find it easier to use Gpixel and Gtexel numbers from Wikipedia to compare GPUs.
 

sreams

Posts: 179   +294
Just ran that Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark on my ASUS ROG Strix G17 (5900HX/3070) with the same settings. 122fps average. Not bad at all compared to that 2080 Super 200W system at the top of the chart.