CES 2021: Nvidia takes wraps off GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 30 series laptop GPUs

Laptops with the RTX 3060 will perform better than ones with the previous GeForce RTX 2080 Super chipsets.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Image: Nvidia

Nvidia has unveiled its mass market GPU play, the $330 GeForce RTX 3060, at CES on Tuesday.

The company said its 60-class chips are its most popular, with the GTX 1060 topping Steam popularity charts since its 2016 unveiling, while noting that 90% of GeForce gamers do not yet have an RTX series GPU and remain on the GTX chips.

Nvidia said the RTX 3060 has twice the raster performance and 10x the ray-tracing capability of the 5-year old GTX 1060.

Spec-wise, the company said the Ampere-based RTX 3060 arrives with 12GB of DDR6 memory, 192-bit memory interface, 13 shader-TFLOPs, 25 RT-TFLOPs for ray tracing, and 101 tensor-TFLOPs for AI-boosted deep learning super sampling for pixel prediction in supported games.

As a 30-series GPU, the RTX 3060 has support for resizable BAR to allow the CPU to allow all of the GPU memory at once on compatible motherboards, as well as Reflex support to reduce input lag and Broadcast support to apply AI enhancements to audio and video feeds, and video conferencing.

The RTX 3060 is set to be available on late February. Speaking with journalists on Wednesday, Nvidia representatives said the company was making GPUs as quick as it could to meet demand and problems with the supply of chips.

"Graphics cards have been just completely unprecedented and I would expect to see that they're going to be a bit hard to come by, but are making them as quickly as we can and they are going to be rolled out globally," Nvidia director of product management Justin Walker said.

"We make more and more than we've ever made before, and launched with more than we've ever launched with before, and they still are very hard for folks to come by, and of course that's super frustrating for people."

On the laptop front, Nvidia announced it was launching the laptop version of its RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060 with over 70 laptops set to appear with them. The RTX 3080 and 3070 will begin to appear later this month, with the 3060 to follow at a later date.

The company said the RTX 3060 can deliver 90fps with ultra settings in 1080p and is able to outperform the previous GeForce RTX 2080 Super chipsets which are found in laptops costing $2,500, while devices with the new chip will start from $1,000. For the RTX 3070, it can handle 90fps with ultra settings in 1440p and is 50% faster than the RTX 2070, and will be found in devices costing upward of $1,300. The top of the line RTX 3080 will deliver over 100fps with ultra settings in 1440p and will be in laptops costing from $2,000.

The laptops will contain Dynamic Boost 2.0 that will allow AI to control and balance the power between the CPU, GPU, and GPU memory depending on what the load is, and WhisperMode 2.0 to allow users to select an acoustic level and have the CPU, GPU, fan speeds, and thermal envelope controlled by AI to deliver it.

Nvidia also announced RTX 30 series studio laptops with double the performance of the prior generation to allow video editors to work faster and reduce encode times by 75%.

Laptops with RTX 30 series will start to appear on January 26 from Acer, Alienware, Asus, Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, MSI, and Razer, with studio laptops to be created by Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and Razer.

Image: Nvidia
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