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NVIDIA RTX 4060 Ti (8GB) review: Better 1080p ray tracing for $399

It's the slightly more future-proof alternative to the upcoming RTX 4060.

Photo by Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

To say that I loved NVIDIA's RTX 3060 Ti is an understatement. It was the ideal balance of price and performance — something that became even more true when GPU prices fell back down to Earth. With NVIDIA's RTX 40-series cards skyrocketing to pricey new heights, I began to worry that the company was drifting away from affordable GPUs. Well, worry not. The $399 RTX 4060 Ti proves that NVIDIA can still deliver plenty of value under $500.

To be clear, it's not the dramatic leap forward that the 3060 Ti was (and if you have one of those cards, just sit tight for now!). But if you're still running an RTX 2060 GPU, or something older, the 4060 will be a worthwhile upgrade. It excels at gaming in 1080p with ray tracing at high framerates, and it can also handle 1,440p decently in less demanding games.

NVIDIA

The 4060 Ti is a solid ray tracing performer that many gamers can actually afford.

Pros
  • The most affordable 40-series GPU yet
  • Excellent 1080p performance
  • Far better ray tracing than the 3060 Ti
  • DLSS 3 offers a nice fps boost
Cons
  • 1440p performance limited with ray tracing
$400 at Best Buy

We reviewed the 8GB 4060 Ti, but there's also a model with 16GB of VRAM coming in July for $499. And if you're looking for the cheapest option, there's also a $299 plain 4060 on the horizon too. Judging from the current Steam stats, I'd wager that card will end up being the most popular. But the $399 model may make sense if you want to future-proof a bit, even if you don't plan to move beyond 1080p gaming.

NVIDIA RTX 4060 Ti rear view
NVIDIA RTX 4060 Ti rear view (Photo by Devindra Hardawar/Engadget)

The Founder's Edition 4060 Ti we're reviewing has the same basic cooling setup as the rest of the 40-series: A premium metal case surrounding a bevy of heatsink fins, along with dual rear fans. The GPU is noticeably lighter than the RTX 4070, and its dual-slot design makes it ideal for small-form factor systems. Under the hood, the 8GB 4060 Ti is powered by 4,352 CUDA cores, and it can reach up to 2,535 MHz boost clock (up from a 2,310 MHz base clock). One major upgrade is its 32MB of L2 cache, a huge step forward from 4MB on the previous two generations of '60 cards.

3DMark TimeSpy Extreme

Port Royal (Ray Tracing)

Cyberpunk

Blender

NVIDIA RTX 4060 Ti (8GB)

6,599

8,170/37 fps

1080p RT Ultra DLSS: 86.4fps

4,435

NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti

5,408

6,989/32.36 fps

N/A

3,012

NVIDIA RTX 4070

8,610

11,195/52 fps

1080p RT DLSS: 160 fps

6,020

NVIDIA RTX 3070

6,226

8,032/37 fps

N/A

3,500

I knew the RTX 4060 Ti was a winner as soon as I started benchmarking Cyberpunk 2077. It averaged 86.4 fps in 1080p with ultra ray tracing settings and DLSS 3 enabled. That's smooth enough to look great on any monitor, especially if it supports NVIDIA's G-SYNC frame synchronization, which would help to reduce screen tearing. Without ray tracing, Cyberpunk hit an impressive 158 fps. (I'd rather take the ray tracing over those extra frames for a single-player game, though.)

In 1,440p, Cyberpunk hit a steady 60fps with ultra ray tracing settings and DLSS 3. That would still look great on most screens if you're not chasing the dream of high frame rates. The 4060 Ti clearly isn't meant to be a 1,440p card with ray tracing, but it's capable in a pinch.

NVIDIA RTX 4060 Ti rear ports
NVIDIA RTX 4060 Ti rear ports (Photo by Devindra Hardawar/Engadget)

I saw similar results in Halo Infinite: The 4060 Ti averaged 148 fps in 1080p with maxed out graphics settings, and a serviceable 83 fps in 1,440p. If you think you'll be spending more time in 1,440p, you may want to consider going straight to the $599 RTX 4070. (While the extra RAM on the 16GB 4060 Ti sounds nice, I wouldn't bet on that making a dramatic difference in 1,440p.) Thanks to its excellent cooling setup, the GPU never went beyond 65 Celsius after extensive benchmarking.

In most tests, the 4060 Ti performed slightly better than the two and a half-year old RTX 3070. That card retailed for $499, but its street price was far higher long after its debut. The 4060 Ti makes a more impressive performance leap when compared to the 3060 Ti, but again it's not big enough to demand an immediate upgrade.

NVIDIA RTX 4060 Ti top down front view
NVIDIA RTX 4060 Ti top down front view (Photo by Devindra Hardawar/Engadget)

For the most part, the RTX 4060 Ti seems like a reward to gamers who stuck with their older GPUs for years. It'll be a welcome introduction to the world of ray tracing for GTX 1060 owners. And for people upgrading from the RTX 2060, the performance leap with DLSS 3 will be dramatic. If you're on the fence, though, it may be worth waiting to see how the rest of AMD's Radeon RX 7000 family looks. Recent rumors point to more of those Radeon cards appearing next month.

While I'm more excited to see what NVIDIA can eke out from its $299 RTX 4060, the 4060 Ti remains a solid ray tracing performer that many gamers can actually afford.