NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 cards start shipping with GA104 GPUs
TechPowerUp's GPU Database Edition has discovered a new variant of the GeForce RTX 3060, one of NVIDIA's entry-level Ampere desktop graphics cards. NVIDIA launched the GeForce RTX 3060 based on the GA106, a GPU with 3,584 cores and 12 GB of GDDR6 VRAM running on a 192-bit bus.
The new variant retains all the GeForce RTX 3060's core specifications on a GA104 GPU with a 2487 device ID. Until now, NVIDIA has sold the GA104 in the RTX A3000, RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070 and RTX 3070 Ti. For reference, device ID 2487 would sit between the original RTX 3060 Ti and the RTX 3070 LHR in PCI ID databases.
Evidently, NVIDIA has repurposed faulty GA104 dies by disabling cores, TMUs and ROPs, while including 12 GB of VRAM instead of 8 GB. By Videocardz's count, NVIDIA has disabled almost 42% of the GA104 die for these RTX 3060 cards. The website adds that NVIDIA will only allow its partners to sell these RTX 3060 GA104 cards in China, supposedly because of looser consumer laws than in other markets, such as the EU and North America.
These RTX 3060 GA104 cards remind us of the RTX 2060 KO, which NVIDIA shipped with TU104 GPUs from the RTX 2080. As it turned out, the RTX 2060 KO and its TU104 delivered better rendering performance in Blender than other RTX 2060s, which utilise the TU106. The cutdown TU104 did not perform much better than the TU106 in games, though. Hence, we would not be surprised if the RTX 3060 GA104 outperformed its GA106-powered siblings in some tests.