NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE Overclocking

The FPS Review may receive a commission if you purchase something after clicking a link in this article.

Conclusion

NVIDIA launched the GeForce RTX  3060 Ti on December 1st, 2020 at an MSRP of $399.  This next-generation GPU replaces the $399 GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER and AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT as an upgrade path.  NVIDIA launched the video card with bold claims, that it could rival the more expensive $699 GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER video card. 

In our launch review, we found the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition video card to be extremely well-rounded.  It did trade-blows with the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER Founders Edition, yet costing a lot less.  It brought GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER performance down to a mainstream price point.  That is progress.  However, there were some scenarios where the RTX 2080 SUPER snuck up on it.  This is where overclocking comes in, and we can see the true potential that the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE really has for gaming performance at 1080p and 1440p.

Overclocking

Overclocking the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition video card was an easy task.  We had unlocked Voltage control to add onto GPU Boost, as well as GPU Offset and Memory.  We were able to increase the Power Target by 10%.  This allowed us to set the highest stable overclock of +80 GPU offset and +750 on the memory.  We tried various settings of Voltage, but that just ended up hitting the TDP power wall and downgrading our overclock.  We found it was simply best to just leave the voltage alone and let GPU Boost manage that. 

In the end, we were able to take the GPU up to very high frequencies.  We did actually peak at 2085MHz and more-so at 2070MHz.  For the sustained overclock we hovered more closely to 2050-2055MHz.  This was stable and consistent.  If we were given a little more power headroom, we are sure the GPU would have been stable at 2070MHz.  Our final overclock average of 2052MHz provided a 6% GPU frequency boost over the default 1937MHz. 

You see, our Founders Edition video card actually boosted quite high with the default GPU Boost.  The Boost Clock is supposed to be 1665MHz, but our card was already boosting upwards to 1930MHz without even overclocking.  That left us some headroom, but overall, with it boosting so high, to begin with there’s not a ton of headroom because it’s already performing so high.  It will be interesting to see how add-in-board custom video cards behave and how much of a boost they achieve before their overclock. 

Our memory overclock was also very good, we managed to get it up to 15.5GHz over 14GHz.  Actually, we could get it up even higher, to 15.8GHz easily.  Maybe even 16GHz in some games.  The issue wasn’t how high it would overclock, but rather by doing so we eat into the TDP overall hurting our GPU frequency overclock.  Therefore, we kept it at 15.5GHz to maintain a higher GPU frequency.  For the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, a higher GPU frequency provides better gameplay performance.  The memory bandwidth is already very good.

NVIDIA Cooling

We can attribute a lot of this good luck on overclocking and frequency to the very robust NVIDIA cooling heatsink and fan configuration.  We found NVIDIA’s cooling on the Founders Edition was more than adequate for extreme overclocking the video card.  It did not hinder or hold back overclocking at all.  There is in fact a lot of headroom left with the cooling on the video card.  If the power target was allowed to go higher, the cooling on this video card could take higher GPU voltages.

We boosted the fan speed to 71% and the GPU was still only at 64c while overclocked.  Honestly, we didn’t even need the fans to be set that high.  At 71% they can be heard, but not loud.  If you want a quieter overclock leaving the fans on automatic should work fine with this video card.

Performance

Overclocking helped bring up performance in every game at every resolution and every game setting.  We saw between 5-8% advantage over the default performance, with the average being about 6%.  This was enough that it made certain situations smoother that were on the border of being playable. It also helped bring performance up to or over 60FPS in many games.  The most advantage was when we had Ray Tracing enabled, the extra performance made it better.

We also saw some big differences when it came to comparing GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER FE performance.  The overclock helped solidify the performance dominance over GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER FE.  In every game, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE was now faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER with it overclocked.  It also outperformed the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER FE, even more, when Ray Tracing and DLSS were enabled. 

We saw some large, above 10% performance advantages using the overclocked GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE over the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER FE.  The overclocked GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE also blew the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER and Radeon RX 5700 XT out of the water.  As an upgrade path, an overclocked GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE is a big upgrade in performance and features.

Final Points

The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is already a well-rounded video card, with GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER like performance at $399 it offers a great gameplay experience.  It also has appealing features like Ray Tracing and DLSS that are actually useable and playable in games today.  Adding overclocking to the mix makes it more capable, exceeding the performance of RTX 2080 SUPER by a good margin. 

When it comes to Ray Tracing performance the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE is very playable at 1080p and 1440p with DLSS.   Overclocking just smooths that out and brings a better experience when using those features.  In a game like Cyberpunk 2077, the overclocked GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE plays great at 1080p and 1440p using the “Ray Tracing: Ultra” Quick Preset.

Discussion

Join the discussion in our forums...

Brent Justicehttps://www.thefpsreview.com
Former managing editor of GPUs at HardOCP for 18 years, Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components since the late 90s, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review, he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer-oriented and hardware enthusiast perspective. You can follow him on Twitter - @Brent_Justice You can sub to his YouTube channel - Justice Gaming https://www.youtube.com/c/JusticeGamingChannel You can check out his computer builds on KIT - @BrentJustice https://kit.co/BrentJustice

Recent News