Let’s not beat around the bush — Nvidia’s recent RTX 4060 Ti isn’t one of the best graphics cards out right now. It doesn’t even come close.
Still, it’s the second cheapest graphics card in this generation, and for Nvidia, it’s the most affordable by far. Because of that, you might be tempted to buy it to include it in a budget-oriented PC build. Well, this is my cue to tell you that you probably shouldn’t get the RTX 4060 Ti, but there are several other GPUs that are more worth your money.
A lukewarm welcome
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Nvidia’s RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti have been some of the most popular GPUs of their generation. The RTX 3060 is currently the third most common graphics card among gamers according to Steam’s Hardware Survey, and unlike the two cards that are currently above it (GTX 1650 and GTX 1060), it continues its slow climb toward the top.
You’d think that the RTX 4060 Ti would be prepared to become a similar hit; the perfect gateway to high-end gaming with a more modest price tag. However, that’s simply not the case. The card has received a very lukewarm response so far, and it’s hard to imagine it getting significantly better over time unless the GPUs that come next prove to be even more of a flop than the RTX 4060 Ti.
Sure, calling it a flop might be a bit extreme, but reports from various sources say that it’s simply not selling well. When it comes to reviews of the GPU, the response to it has been a little bit all over the place, with some outlets claiming it’s a disaster and others praising it for its performance. What’s the truth?
Far from perfect
The RTX 4060 Ti is ill-prepared to face some of the most demanding games in 2023, let alone the games that will be released in the next few years. It’s not a bad GPU per se, but some weird design choices combined with the $400 price tag make it a pretty poor value pick.
For starters, the RTX 4060 Ti actually has fewer CUDA cores than its predecessor (4,352 versus 4,864). That alone is not a problem, because Nvidia gave it a massively increased cache to make up for it. The issue lies in VRAM, and more precisely, the memory bus.
It features the same 8GB of VRAM, which, as we’re now finding out, is not really enough to run modern games. However, while the RTX 3060 Ti has a roomier 256-bit bus, the RTX 4060 Ti is limited to a measly 128-bit, resulting in drastically lower memory bandwidth. That can cause a serious bottleneck in some games.
If the RTX 4060 Ti was $100 cheaper, something like this could’ve been excused. Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang defends the questionable choices the chipmaker made when designing this model, but no matter how you spin it, the RTX 4060 Ti is limited by its own specifications, and yet, it’s still a midrange card if you look at the price alone. For $400, most of us expect to get something better.
We’ve compared the RTX 4060 Ti to its predecessor in some modern games, such as Returnaland found the difference in frame rates to often be negligible. The GPU does have a lead over the RTX 3060 Ti, but it’s not massive enough to justify this kind of price.
Keep in mind that the performance differs across many different tests, so dig into our review to find out more. The RTX 4060 Ti did a good job of keeping up with our usual test suite, but in newer games and at higher resolutions, it begins to struggle. This struggle will only get worse as years go by and games need more and more performance from the graphics card.
Of course, the RTX 4060 Ti has an edge over its predecessors — it unlocks Nvidia’s DLSS 3. But is that enough to sell it as a worthwhile graphics card? I don’t think so, and this is an opinion echoed by many.
Although it’s the cheapest model in a famously overpriced generation of GPUs, it still doesn’t really deliver when it comes to value. Sure, it’ll cost you less, but it’s still hard to confidently say that it’s worth the $400 price tag.
So what can you do if you’re trying to build a new PC or upgrade your existing rig? Buy a GPU, but maybe skip the RTX 4060 Ti.
There are plenty of options
Just because the RTX 4060 Ti is the cheapest right now doesn’t mean that it’s of good value. Nvidia will soon release an RTX 4060 Ti with 16GB VRAM, priced at just $100 more. Without having seen it, it’s hard to say how much better it will be, but it’ll address the main issue with the 8GB version, and that just might be worth $100 to some people. There’ll also be a $300 RTX 4060 coming out in the next couple of months.
Assuming you don’t want to try your luck with the RTX 4060 Ti 16GB, there are still plenty of options that’ll get you performance similar to the 8GB version without running into problems with limited VRAM. Both AMD and Nvidia itself have cards that simply make more sense right now.
Let’s start with the RTX 4070. You can get it for around which is what it was priced at from the get-go, and it offers a huge improvement over the RTX 4060 Ti. It’s faster, has more VRAM, and handles itself better at higher resolutions. It’s simply a better pick for future-proofing.
The downside? It’ll cost you around $600, which is $200 more than the Founders Edition version of the RTX 4060 Ti. However, it’s the most straightforward upgrade that still unlocks DLSS 3, improved ray tracing, and all those other Nvidia goodies, while providing more value than the 4060 Ti. And it’s not even that much more expensive if you’re buying a GPU made by Nvidia’s board partners, as those sell for up to $460.
RX 6700 XT
If you just want games that run well and don’t really care about various bells and whistles, you might as well move back to the previous generation and buy an AMD card. Those GPUs are pretty good value right now, having received significant price cuts since launch. In fact, last-gen options typically offer much better performance per dollar, although that varies depending on the brand and the model.
We compared the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT to the RTX 4060 Ti, and lo and behold, the last-gen AMD offering is actually faster in some games, and even when it isn’t, it still keeps up with Nvidia. Seeing as you can get it for around there’s no reason to buy the RTX 4060 Ti over this model unless you care about ray tracing — Nvidia maintains a strong lead there, as is usually the case.
If you want to stick to Nvidia, some last-gen options are still solid. The RTX 3070 is pricier than the 4060 Ti, but if you can add a little extra to your GPU budget, it’s a decent pick. It has significantly more cores and a wider bus (256-bit). It’s still just 8GB of VRAM, but much like the RTX 3060 Ti, it’ll most likely do a better job with newer, bandwidth-hungry titles.
With that said it’s still more expensive than the 4060 Ti. You can find it for around on Amazon. Call it a middle-of-the-pack kind of pick; if you don’t want to go up to the $600 RTX 4070 but you’re willing to spend more than the $400 for the RTX 4060 Ti, this is a good option to consider if you prefer to shop Nvidia.
RX 6800 XT
Those who aren’t afraid of buying AMD GPUs have a lot of hidden treasure to tap into around this price point. For roughly you could pick up the RX 6800 XT and move up to a whole different league of graphics performance. While the RTX 4060 Ti is marketed as a 1080p graphics card, AMD’s RX 6800 XT can handle 1440p and even 4K just fine. That is not to say that you can’t use the RTX 4060 Ti for 1440p, but as I mentioned, it doesn’t scale equally well.
This GPU features twice the VRAM of the RTX 4060 Ti, meaning 16GB across a 256-bit memory bus. The bandwidth nearly doubles as well. You’re giving up $120 and access to Nvidia’s Frame Generation, but you’re also getting a GPU that’s more likely to hold up well against future games.
I know what you might be thinking — suggesting the RX 7600 as a replacement for the RTX 4060 Ti is an odd choice. However, I stand by it. If you’re looking for a GPU that offers decent value and can handle 1080p gaming without ray tracing, you might as well just buy the RX 7600 for instead of shelling out $400 on the RTX 4060 Ti.
Full disclosure: AMD’s RX 7600 is slower than the Nvidia card, no contest. You’re not getting the same kind of performance with this GPU. However, seeing as Nvidia’s pricing has been rather questionable in this generation, the real budget pick here is always going to be the RX 7600 and not the RTX 4060 Ti. This is the way to go if you’re more bothered about the budget than winning some extra frame rates in AAA games.