Nvidia's RTX 3060 graphics card is finally here. Launching today - that's Thursday February 25th - at 9am PT / 5pm GMT, the RTX 3060 is the latest entry in Nvidia's RTX 30 series and the cheapest RTX 30 card to date, coming in just under the RTX 3060 Ti at £299 / $329. You can read all about its performance in my full RTX 3060 review, but if you've already decided the RTX 3060 is the new graphics card for you, then here's a list of everywhere you'll be able to buy an RTX 3060 card in the UK and US when it launches later on.
RTX 3060: what you need to know
- What is it? Nvidia's new entry-level RTX graphics card, and the successor to the popular GTX 1060
- When is it coming out? February 25th
- How much is it? Prices start from £299 / $329
Where to buy an RTX 3060
The RTX 3060 is launching worldwide on February 25th at 9am PT / 5pm GMT. There's no Nvidia Founders Edition of the RTX 3060, so you'll have to pick from one of the many third party cards from Asus, MSI, Zotac, Palit, Gigabyte and others if you want to get your hands on one. Prices are set to start at £299 / $329, but many cards will likely be more expensive than that depending on how much they've been factory overclocked or how much fancy cooling apparatus they've got. This is usual when a new graphics card launches, and the most expensive versions of a particular card can sometimes be £100-200 more expensive than the cheapest one.
However, prices may also start rising very quickly depending on how fast these cards get snapped up, which is highly likely given that all of Nvidia's other RTX 30 cards have sold out within minutes of going on sale over the last few months. Realistically, the number of cards available at its lowest RRP are probably going to be few and far between, but I wouldn't recommend paying more than £400 / $400 for your RTX 3060, so don't be fooled into paying over the odds for one just because that's only what's left available.
In the meantime, here's a list of every retailer I can find in the UK and US that currently have holding pages for RTX 3060 cards, and I'll be adding more as and when they appear:
Where to buy an RTX 3060 in the UK:
Where to buy an RTX 3060 in the US:
Nvidia RTX 3060 specs
The RTX 3060 is the fifth RTX 30 series GPU to be released by Nvidia so far, and is the long-awaited successor to Nvidia's popular GTX 1060 graphics card. Sitting just beneath the RTX 3060 Ti in terms of power and price, the vanilla RTX 3060 actually has one key advantage over its more expensive sibling when it comes to its tech specs, which I've detailed below.
|RTX 2060 Super
|RTX 3060 Ti
|GPU Boost Clock
|Recommended System Power
Whereas the RTX 3060 Ti only has 8GB of VRAM, the regular RTX 3060 has 12GB of the stuff, leaving it better prepared to tackle high-end quality settings down the line. While most games still only require betwen 4-6GB of VRAM for their top quality settings, we are starting to see a couple of titles butt up against that 8GB boundary offered by the RTX 3060 Ti. Watch Dogs Legion, for example, technically requires just over 8GB of VRAM in order to use its Ultra quality preset at the moment, and memory requirements are only likely to get bigger and bigger as time goes on. As such, 12GB should give you plenty of headroom to accommodate more of those top tier quality settings in the future.
That doesn't necessarily mean the RTX 3060 is more powerful than the RTX 3060 Ti, though, as the rest of its specs (apart from its slightly faster boost clock speed) put it very much below its Ti sibling.
Should I buy an RTX 3060?
If you're happy with your PC's current gaming performance, then there's no need to rush out and buy an RTX 3060 right this second. With stock levels likely to be low to non-existent for the foreseeable future, I'd suggest waiting if you're not in dire need of an upgrade.
If recent games have left your PC feeling a bit underpowered, though, then the RTX 3060 will likely be a great upgrade option for those who want to play games at 1080p and 1440p. While I put together my own benchmark figures, here are some numbers Nvidia shared during their initial reveal of the RTX 3060 back in January. Here, they compare the RTX 3060's 1080p gaming performance with that of the RTX 2060 and GTX 1060 - although most of the GTX 1060 figures also include ray tracing for some reason (which it can't really do), so it's hardly a surprise that so many of them are between 0-10fps.
As you can see, in the two games that don't have any ray tracing and DLSS gubbins tacked on (Total War: Three Kingdoms and The Division 2), the RTX 3060 looks to offer nearly double the performance of the GTX 1060, making it a good upgrade option for owners of that particular card.
Of course, we still don't know yet whether Nvidia will be releasing any more RTX cards after the RTX 3060, so it's possible there might be an even cheaper RTX 3050 on the way, say, that comes a bit closer to the GTX 1060's original launch price of $249. Last time, Nvidia's family of ray tracing capable graphics cards stopped at the RTX 2060, and they introduced a new family of non-ray tracing GTX 16-series cards to fill out the rest of their more budget-friendly GPU ranks. The same may well happen again with this new generation of graphics cards, although given that ray tracing now comes as standard on the Xbox Series X, Series S and PlayStation 5, it's possible that we'll see ray tracing support across the board this year, rather than just a select few. There's just no way to tell at the moment.
Still, even if something cheaper does eventually come along, I'd imagine the RTX 3060 will still be a good pick for those after a flawless 1080p gaming experience, as well as a pretty darn great 1440p one as well. Indeed, given that the RTX 3060 Ti was more than capable of delivering 60fps speeds on max settings at 1440p in pretty much all of today's biggest games when I tested it earlier in the year (and well into the 90s and 100fps zone at 1080p on max settings), the regular RTX 3060 shouldn't be too far behind. For the complete rundown, read my full RTX 3060 review.