As we recently reported, Nvidia’s budget desktop GPUs are expected to land in the next couple of months, with the RTX 4060 rumored to be launching in May – and the RTX 4060 Ti and 4050 supposedly dropping around the same May-June window.
What we didn’t know at the time was that freshly leaked specs for the RTX 4060 and 4060 Ti had also surfaced, with VideoCardz reporting on that – as well as further corroborating the suggested May release date.
Those leaked specs have me pretty worried, though. My colleague John Loeffler already raised concerns about the RTX 4060 back in February, and I’m here to double down on those claims: the most recent rumors have all but confirmed that both the 4060 and its big brother the 4060 Ti will only have 8GB of GDDR6 (not the GDDR6X found in the currently available RTX 4000 cards) with a 128-bit bus. That’s… not good.
Compared to the RTX 3060 Ti, that’s the same amount of video memory with literally half the bus width, and both of these cards have fewer shader cores too. Sure, it’s built on newer, faster architecture, so the baseline performance will be better, but the VRAM situation is concerning.
Analysis: 8GB is rapidly becoming insufficient for triple-A PC games
See, while 8GB of on-card video memory is fine in most instances, we’re seeing more and more games start to really guzzle that VRAM. As our good friends over at PCGamer pointed out, the recent PC port of The Last of Us: Part 1 glugs down more than 8GB of memory – and that’s just at 1080p High. Crank up the resolution or graphical quality and you’re going to be looking at much worse.
Sure, TLOU’s PC port has been notoriously poorly optimized, but the reality here is that it’s a phenomenally popular game that you’d struggle to run well at 1080p without 12GB of VRAM. Plenty of recent games can chew up more than 8GB, especially at 1440p and 4K.
Although we don’t have pricing for Nvidia’s next-gen budget GPUs yet, I’d expect the RTX 4060 Ti to land somewhere in the $300-500 range – a price comparable to AMD’s RX 6700 XT, which notably does have 12GB of VRAM. I’m basing that price tag assumption on the RTX 3060 Ti’s list price, and the newly-leaked pricing for the RTX 4070, incidentally.
This could be a make-or-break moment for Nvidia
The RTX 4060 (and, to a lesser extent, the 4060 Ti) are the GPUs I’ve personally been waiting for. Yes, I know the RTX 4090’s performance is earth-shatteringly fast, but it’s the RTX 4070 Ti that sits at the top of our best graphics cards list – and that’s because it’s better value for money.
The fact is that most gamers (and plenty of professional content creators) simply can’t afford to drop over $1,000 on a new GPU. I’m more interested in the best cheap graphics cards - I used a trusty old Nvidia GTX 1060 for years, and it served me well. If we take a look at the Steam Hardware Survey, we can see that Nvidia’s xx60 cards account for four of the top five most-used GPUs among PC gamers.
It’s clear that these more affordable graphics cards are the ones gamers actually want (or at least, can reasonably afford to buy), so there’s a lot riding on the RTX 4060. I’m seriously worried that it’ll underperform – and Nvidia really needs at least one of its budget RTX 4000 lineup to offer excellent bang for your buck.
I hope this latest round of rumors is incorrect; or at least that Nvidia can make that 8GB of GDDR6 stretch farther than expected. The RTX 4060 needs to follow the 3060 and 2060 as the most-used desktop card of this new generation. Prove the naysayers wrong, Nvidia!