I’m not mad, just disappointed.
Nvidia’s RTX 4060 Ti is as old as milk, and it was just released in May. This card was disappointing when it was first released, with the memory interface hindering it in games released this year. But it has become even more outdated over the years as some of the best graphics cards from both the previous generation and the current generation have dropped in price.
Like any graphics card, you can’t look at it in a vacuum. The RTX 4060 Ti is the most disappointing GPU I’ve reviewed this year, but that doesn’t mean it’s the worst. There are plenty of situations where this might be the best choice for your PC build, but I was expecting a lot from such an important entry in Nvidia’s lineup.
we need to talk about 8gb
There’s no way around it: 8GB of VRAM isn’t enough for the RTX 4060 Ti. The card launched with this, and it seems even Nvidia knew this was a problem. Concurrent with the release, it was announced that a 16GB version of the same GPU would arrive a few months later.
Being limited to 8GB is a very serious concern in modern games, and it’s relevant if you’re spending $400 on an RTX 4060 Ti. take a look at Hogwarts Legacy Example below. The last-gen RTX 3060 Ti is faster. That’s only 2%, but the RTX 3060 Ti is three years old at this point.
In an extreme example, e.g. the last of us part 1, The RTX 3060 Ti is clearly faster. I didn’t find the names wrong here. The RTX 3060 Ti has the same 8GB of VRAM, but it’s on a wider 256-bit bus, allowing more data to travel from memory to the GPU at once.
These are two extreme examples, but they show what an impact 8GB of VRAM can have when you want to play the latest games, even at 1080p. This is especially disappointing when we look at games that aren’t emphasizing VRAM. In those titles, the RTX 4060 Ti has a $400 asking price.
Nvidia markets the GPU as a 1080p graphics card, and at that resolution, the card is on average 27% faster than the RTX 3060 Ti, which roughly matches the performance of the RTX 3070 Ti. This is a fantastic generational improvement, especially when bolstered by Nvidia’s excellent DLSS 3.
games like the last of us part one And Hogwarts Legacy, Those that are heavily constrained by VRAM are the problem. At $400, you can expect to be able to play the latest games at the highest settings, maybe even up to 1440p. The RTX 4060 Ti falls short of that expectation, and that’s almost entirely due to VRAM.
This is very frustrating because there is clearly a mismatch here between the power of the GPU and its memory interface. There’s also the entire memory interface. Even the RTX 4060 Ti 16GB has problems squeezing so much capacity onto a 128-bit bus, despite its higher capacity.
Same price, new class
The other disappointing aspect of the RTX 4060 Ti is that it is a 1080p GPU. The previous generation RTX 3060 Ti was targeted at 1440p despite the same $400 price tag (and during the peak of the GPU shortage). Three years and a new generation later, and somehow the same class of GPU is built for lower resolutions.
This is a shame for the RTX 4060 Ti itself, but even more so for the GPU as a whole. Previously, cards like Nvidia’s RTX 4060 and AMD’s RX 7600, both available around $300, were considered to be in the premium 1080p segment. Now, you’ll need $400 to get into that class, and that comes with obvious caveats when it comes to VRAM.
This is a step taken in the wrong direction. Rather than the premium, ray-traced future we might see with cards like the RTX 4070, the RTX 4060 Ti is a step backward for this class of GPU. Again, this doesn’t mean it’s the wrong GPU depending on your build and budget. But it certainly makes the card disappointing.
At the end of the year, the RTX 4060 Ti is struggling even more due to its direct competition. I perused Newegg and found three models in stock at a list price of $400, with some selling for closer to $430. At $450, you have AMD’s RX 7700 XT, which is an average of 22% faster at 1440p and 17% faster at 1080p. It even leads in ray tracing compared to the RTX 4060 Ti, and it comes with 12GB of VRAM.
It’s not the same price, but the performance difference is big enough that it might be just as good. To put this in perspective, the RX 7700 XT was widely considered disappointing in its own right, and it still manages to surpass the bar set by the RTX 4060 Ti.
It also features AMD’s previous generation RX 6700 XT. It comes close for most games, and for around $330. Ray tracing is pretty bad by comparison, but it’s hard to make a $70 sale on that alone.
However, the unfortunate reality for buyers looking at this price range is that Nvidia has very good software. We can look at all the performance and price charts in the world to see how the RTX 4060 Ti falls short of the competition, but it pales when looking at features like ray tracing and DLSS 3.5. Nvidia is far ahead in the field of software.
That’s probably the most disappointing thing about the RTX 4060 Ti. With the feature set and efficiency of this generation of Nvidia, this could be a great GPU with a few changes. The fact that it doesn’t fail gamers looking for a powerful, mainstream graphics card doesn’t matter.
still not a bad year
Wow, what the hell, am I right? I don’t want to end on such a disappointing note because we’ve seen some excellent GPUs this year, some of which have come from Nvidia. The RTX 4070 has proven to be a powerhouse for gamers who want a premium experience but don’t have an endless budget, and AMD’s RX 7800 XT showed that Team Red still has some fight left in it.
We’ve also seen great advancements in software, with DLSS 3.5 being the key one. Let’s hope we see more mainstream cards in 2024, or at the very least, the RTX 4060 Ti drops in price.