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Today, we're taking a second look at the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, and it's not because we think it's a graphics card that you should buy, but rather because we think it's completely lacking and you should avoid it. Makes sense, right?
We should clarify that the RTX 4060 Ti isn't necessarily a bad product. It functions well and you can have a good time gaming with it, there's no real flaw with the product. Rather, the issue lies with the price. For $400, it is "a bad joke." The card struggles to compete with the two-year-old RTX 3060 Ti, which we'll be scrutinizing further today. With just 8GB of VRAM, it repeats the same mistakes we observed from the last generation's RTX 3070 series. Although it's cheaper, it is markedly inferior due to its meager 128-bit wide memory bus.
Therefore, considering its price, it is a flawed product. There's insufficient VRAM, overall performance is subpar, and it's hamstrung by a narrow memory bus. However, we maintain that the card does function. Had it been priced at $300 or less, it could have been an outstanding product.
As it stands right now, a Radeon RX 6700 XT can be bought for $330, almost a 20% saving compared to the RTX 4060 Ti. The AMD GPU offers a comparable level of performance, particularly in rasterization, and an extra 4GB of VRAM, which proves beneficial. So if you want to know which GPU is the best purchase for under $400 at this moment, the answer is the Radeon 6700 XT, or maybe a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti.
The RTX 3060 Ti's price has dropped to $350, making it $50 less expensive than the newer 4060 Ti. This means that for those targeting 1440p, the older 30 series part offers better value.
And that's the comparison we're focusing on this review. The previous generation RTX 3060 Ti starkly illustrates why the 4060 Ti disappoints. Recall that when the 3060 Ti was released, it offered a massive 50% performance boost over the 2060 Super. After 18 months, Nvidia offered a 50% uplift at the $400 price point.
Admittedly, the Radeon 5700 XT provided better value at the same price point, yet the RTX 3060 Ti was still 20% faster, offered superior power efficiency, and support for DLSS and hardware ray tracing, making it a more attractive product.
However, the key point is that Nvidia offered a 50% performance increase at the $400 price point when transitioning from the GeForce 20 series to the GeForce 30 series. The 2060 Super wasn't even remotely comparable to the 3060 Ti. By the time the 4060 Ti arrived – 2.5 years after the introduction of the 3060 Ti – one would expect another significant jump in performance at the same $400 price point or an increase in VRAM. Yet, neither happened, and in some instances, Nvidia regressed. And we'll delve into that in just a second.
For testing, we used the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, paired with the Gigabyte X670E Aorus Master, using 32GB of DDR5-6000 CL30 memory. We tested 50 games at 1080p and 1440p but will only cover the more intriguing results. Then, we'll look at the margins seen across all the games tested in a single graph. So let's get into it…
Our first benchmark is Star Wars Jedi Survivor, and this happens to be one of the more favorable results for the 4060 Ti, as it was 12% faster at 1080p. However, as is often the case with the 4060 Ti, its performance relative to other GPUs declines as the resolution increases. At 1440p in this instance, it's only 10% faster than the 3060 Ti.
Another favorable result is observed in Cyberpunk 2077 with ray tracing enabled. Here, the 4060 Ti was 13% faster at 1080p. Then, in a rare occurrence, we find the margin extended to 19% at 1440p. However, neither product can deliver playable performance, with averages in both cases falling well below 30 fps.
The high-quality preset is much more suitable for those of you not interested in upscaling. Here, the 4060 Ti is only 8% faster at 1080p and then a mere 3% faster at 1440p, where both GPUs can now deliver around 60 fps.
This is a best-case result for the 4060 Ti in our 50-game benchmark, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, where it's 21% faster at 1080p and 20% faster at 1440p. Not bad gains. If this were the norm and the 4060 Ti came loaded with 16GB of VRAM for $400, we believe some 3060 Ti owners could justify the upgrade.
Unfortunately, that's not the norm. In fact, a good number of games deliver results that look more like this. That's right, somehow Nvidia has managed to regress, as seen when playing Control with the high-quality preset. In this example, the 4060 Ti was 4% slower at 1080p and 6% slower at 1440p. However, this isn't even the worst result.
That dubious honor goes to Doom Eternal, a highly memory-sensitive title. While the RTX 4060 Ti can deliver highly playable performance, this game highlights one of the key issues with the new 4060 Ti: that 128-bit wide memory bus. Bandwidth is a significant problem here, much more so than capacity. Obviously losing out to the previous generation part is bad, but the 6% loss at 1080p is nothing compared to the astounding 21% reduction seen at 1440p. That's just staggering.
Resident Evil 4, using the max preset, provides us with another example where the 4060 Ti lags behind the part that came 2.5 years before it for the same price – a significant misstep indeed. It was 10% slower at 1080p and 9% slower at 1440p.
Hogwarts Legacy, with ray tracing disabled but using the high preset, also sees the 4060 Ti trailing the 3060 Ti, this time by just 4% at 1080p and 1440p. Not a massive margin, but shouldn't this product be at least 20% faster than its predecessor to justify its existence, if not 30, 40, or even 50% faster?
The 4060 Ti truly has no honor, demonstrating this once again in For Honor, where it was a mere 4% faster than the 3060 Ti at 1080p, but then 3% slower at 1440p – another truly embarrassing result here.
Playing Fortnite using the DirectX 11 mode sees the 4060 Ti and 3060 Ti delivering practically identical performance at 1080p and 1440p. There's no real performance uplift to be seen here.
The Callisto Protocol results are similar with or without ray tracing enabled. Here, we present the results with RT enabled. Again, another instance where performance is very similar at 1080p and identical at 1440p, showcasing a disappointing generational uplift.
The Hunt Showdown results are fairly typical. Basically, we're looking at a small 10% increase at 1080p and no increase at 1440p. In this example, the 4060 Ti is just a 3060 Ti at the higher resolution.
Far Cry 6 is very playable using the ultra preset with Ray Tracing enabled, but the 4060 Ti is really no better than the 3060 Ti, delivering virtually identical performance.
A Plague Tale Requiem is another example where the 4060 Ti is basically just a 3060 Ti. Sure, it's a few frames faster at 1080p, but just increasing the resolution to 1440p is enough to neutralize the performance margin.
The last game we're examining the individual results for is The Last of Us Part 1. Here we see that the 3060 Ti was 6% faster at 1080p. Both are utterly deficient at 1440p due to a lack of VRAM – just 8GB doesn't cut it here.
We're sure that by now you have a clear understanding of why the RTX 4060 Ti was almost universally dismissed by reviewers and overlooked by consumers, but let's delve into the 50 game comparison to provide an even more detailed picture.
Here's the hard truth: when compared to the 3060 Ti across a vast array of games, the 4060 Ti was only 8% faster on average. This is similar to the 9% margin seen in our day-one review.
Nearly 70% of the configurations tested showed a margin of 10% or less, with only two examples where the 4060 Ti outperformed by a 20% margin or more. On the other hand, there were five examples where the 3060 Ti was faster. For over 20% of the tested configurations, the results were within 5%, translating to a difference of a few frames at most.
In short, after 2.5 years, the 4060 Ti offers, on average, an 8% increase over the 3060 Ti at 1080p, for the same price, and with the same 8GB of VRAM. But what about at 1440p?
As anticipated, things deteriorate even further at 1440p. Here, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti was on average a meager 5% faster than the 3060 Ti. It's worth noting that while the 4060 Ti was 20% faster in just a single instance, it was also 21% slower in Doom Eternal.
Given the Doom result, we anticipate that over time the 3060 Ti will actually age better than the 4060 Ti, although neither is expected to fare well with just 8GB of VRAM.
What We Learned
Those comparison graphs vividly illustrate just how incredibly disappointing the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is. This generation has turned out to be a shocker, especially considering the initial promise shown by the RTX 4090.
Imagine if we had suggested back in October last year, after reviewing the RTX 4090, that the 4060 Ti would cost as much as the 3060 Ti, but end up slower in a number of games. You'd have thought it a joke. Yet here we are: it is, on average, only 5% faster across 50 games. Despite the stark reality, it feels like there must be some mistake. However, this is the reality for gamers, and we don't foresee any meaningful changes soon.
The truth is Nvidia doesn't care, and there are several reasons for this. First and foremost, the AI market is booming, that industry needs a ton of GPUs, and profit margins are much higher there. As long as that trend continues, gamers will be a secondary concern, forced to pay top dollar for current generation silicon.
With no significant competition from AMD and high profits to be made elsewhere, Nvidia can afford to shift its attention away from gamers. This has led to GeForce GPUs gathering dust on shelves. It also helps that AMD's focus also appears to be on AI, even if they are behind the game on that one, though that's nothing new for AMD's Radeon division.
To wrap up, we're sure some may question the need for this comparison, given that the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti was already deemed undesirable at its original price. Our curiosity was piqued by the 4060 Ti's performance – or lack thereof. We had to test more games to identify further instances of this anomaly, and we found them. Additionally, having such a wide range of comparative data is extremely useful for future reviews and comparisons.
In summary, unless the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB sees a price reduction to no more than $300, we recommend seeking out the outgoing Radeon 6700 XT. Otherwise, you may have to wait up to a year for things to improve, though there's no guarantee that will happen.