MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X LHR review – the sweet spot

It seems that the GPU shortage is almost over and the gamers can finally get a new and up-to-date GPU. No matter how big is your budget, saving money is always a good idea and that’s why a video card like the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti can be easily considered as a smart buy. This fella has the same memory capacity and bus width as its bigger siblings – RTX 3070 and RTX 3070 Ti. In addition, it’s not too far away from the performance levels of the GeForce RTX 3070 and if you want to squeeze a bit more performance out of it you can use DLSS to boost the FPS.

It’s almost clear that this GPU should perform great on 1080p but what will happen if you have a 1440p monitor or even a 4K one? That’s why we’re here to find if the 8GB VRAM could possibly be a bottleneck on higher resolutions, especially on 4K or if this GPU can be the ultimate sweet spot among the other Ampere video cards?  For this occasion, we got the MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X LHR – this graphics card looks like a great allrounder – it’s not huge, it weighs 1 kilo, and its cooling should be sufficient to cool down the internals.

You can check the current price of MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X LHR here: Buy from Amazon.ca (#CommissionsEarned)

Contents


Specs Sheet

  MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X LHR
Architecture Ampere
GPU chip GA104
Shader units 4864
ROPs 80
TMUs 152
Transistors 17400M
Base Clock (MHz) 1410
Boost clock (MHz) 1770
Memory clock (MHz) 1750
Memory size (MB) 8192
Memory type GDDR6
Memory bus width (bit) 256
Default board power limit 220W
Max board power limit 230W
Power Connectors 8-pin + 6-pin
Recommended PSU 600W
Dimensions 278 x 131 x 51 mm
Weight 1007g
I/O 3x Display Port v1.4a, 1x HDMI 2.1
Max Resolution 7680×4320
DirectX version 12.2
Technology 8nm
RTX capabilities Yes
Release date 12.2020

Test configuration

CPU: Intel Core i9-12900K
Motherboard: MSI MPG Z690 Carbon
RAM: 2x16GB DDR5 G.SKILL Trident Z5 6000MHz CL36
Power Supply: EVGA P+ 1300W
Cooling: COUGAR AQUA 360mm
Monitor: LG 43UN700-B
Case: Open test bench

Software
OS: Windows 11 x64 with the latest updates
Drivers: NVIDIA 516.40 drivers

Drivers

The GPU drivers for the MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X LHR can be found in the following link:
https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/drivers/

What’s in the box?

The video card is well-secured in a sturdy-looking box. Inside, you’ll find the GPU itself surrounded by protective foam which is good if the couriers decide to play a bit of ping-pong with your precious GPU before delivering it. Of course, there is a quick start guide and some other manuals.


Design and looks

The GPU features a two-fan design and that’s why it’s decently compact compared to some other RTX 3060 Ti models with triple-fan coolers. As you can see, the video card isn’t huge but keep in mind that it’s still a 2.5-inch product – other than that, it should fit even in most mATX cases.

Speaking of the fans, here we can find a pair of two TORX FAN 4.0 which on paper should be better compared to the previous versions. These fans can be found in many other MSI RTX 3000 graphics cards, including top-tier models. The shroud is made of plastic and it’s not a surprise at all – most modern GPUs come with plastic shrouds. On the other hand, the shroud houses the RGB illumination which isn’t too intrusive, ergo, the GPU isn’t glowing like a Christmas tree. If you’re not a fan of these modern fancy RGBs, probably you’re going to like this video card.

The backplate is made of metal which ensures better protection for the GPU and it has many cuts for better heat dissipation. Actually, it is good that the backplate is metal, considering that some mid-range video cards are equipped with plastic backplates, which is a shame.

This graphics card has a metal anti-bending strap which should prevent GPU sag. Still, it’s not a 32 cm four-slot model so GPU sagging isn’t a problem at all. MSI is advertising the heatsink design as “silencing” because of the improved “airflow dynamics”. Well, we’ll see further in the review if the GPU is silent under load or not.


Synthetic benchmarks, BIOS, and overclock

So, let’s test the GPUs’ raw performance with the aid of some popular benchmarks like 3DMark Fire Strike, 3DMark Time Spy, and Unigine Superposition. We’ll start with the stock results.

Now, let’s check the OC results.

 

 

 

3Dmark Fire Strike Graphics Score 3Dmark Time Spy Graphics Score Unigine Superposition
MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X LHR Stock 30571 11672 7215
MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X LHR OC 32882 (+8%) 12499 (+7%) 7689 (+7%)

As you can see from the table above, the average gain from the overclock is around 7%. If you have some spare time, you can try to overclock your GPU – the free performance is always welcome but if you just want to play games after work, don’t even bother the OC sliders, the performance gains aren’t massive at all.

BIOS 

You can have a look at the BIOS of the GPU and its stock clocks. In idle, the graphics card is dead silent, the fans aren’t spinning at all and the core temperature is below 40°C.

We’re a bit disappointed, that the GPU maximum power limit is just 10W higher compared to the stock one – shame.

Overclock
We’re using Unigine Heaven 4.0 in 4K for monitoring the stock and OC frequencies while testing for stability. Our video card isn’t a monstrosity when it comes to overclocking potential but keep in mind that it’s held back by the smaller power limit. Let’s check the stock frequencies. We got around [email protected]°C for the core and the memory is set to 1750MHz (7000MHz effective). The fans are spinning with 1710 RPM.

Overclocking the GPU isn’t complicated at all. With the MSI Afterburner’s Voltage/Curve frequency editor we set the core voltage to exactly 1V and the core clock to 2085MHz – the video card needs more than 1V for 2100MHz and this lead to throttling because it’s out of power limit. The Hynix memory is not an overclock champion – it’s stable at +750MHz (1938MHz – 7750MHz effective clock). The fans are set to 50% (1855 RPM) and we can bearly hear them spinning.

Gaming tests


 

Stray Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings)
1440p 207 fps 160 fps
4K 108 fps 80 fps


Far Cry 6 Low (Check settings) High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 180 fps 141 fps 122 fps
1440p 138 fps 109 fps 92 fps
4K 63 fps 54 fps


Diablo Immortal V.High (Check settings)
1080p 505 fps

God Of War Low (Check settings) Original (Check settings) High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 197 fps 170 fps 145 fps 105 fps
1440p 134 fps 118 fps 103 fps 81 fps
4K 57 fps 49 fps

Forza Horizon 5 Medium (Check settings) Extreme (Check settings)
1080p 179 fps 95 fps
1440p 153 fps 82 fps
4K 108 fps 59 fps


 

Days Gone Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Very High (Check settings)
1080p 262 fps 222 fps 202 fps 148 fps
1440p 183 fps 154 fps 139 fps 103 fps
4K 75 fps 55 fps


Death Stranding Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) V.High (Check settings)
1080p 206 fps 194 fps 176 fps
1440p 150 fps 142 fps 130 fps
4K 80 fps 73 fps

 

Call Of Duty Warzone (Caldera) V.Low (Check settings) Normal (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 192 fps 172 fps 150 fps
1440p 147 fps 128 fps 105 fps
4K 76 fps 62 fps


 

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Very High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 175 fps 165 fps 146 fps 123 fps
1440p 142 fps 133 fps 116 fps 99 fps
4K 72 fps 64 fps


 

FIFA 22 Low (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 466 fps 437 fps
1440p 397 fps
4K 275 fps


 

Resident Evil Village Performance (Check settings) Balanced (Check settings) Graphics P. (Check settings) Max (Check settings)
1080p 260 fps
1440p 213 fps 213 fps 193 fps 172 fps
4K 98 fps 87 fps


 

Cyberpunk 2077 Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 169 fps 139 fps 106 fps 89 fps
1440p 116 fps 92 fps 68 fps 56 fps
4K 32 fps 25 fps


 

Cyberpunk 2077 Benchmark Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 170 fps 139 fps 106 fps 87 fps
1440p 115 fps 92 fps 55 fps 56 fps
4K 33 fps 33 fps



 

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 139 fps 120 fps 102 fps 88 fps
1440p 115 fps 97 fps 82 fps 71 fps
4K 52 fps 45 fps


 

eFootball PES 2021 Low (Check settings) High (Check settings)
1080p 463 fps 307 fps
1440p 366 fps 207 fps
4K 105 fps


cs-go-benchmarks

 

CS:GO Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) MAX (Check settings)
1080p 798 fps 714 fps 574 fps
1440p 460 fps
4K 244 fps


 

 

DOTA 2 Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 360 fps 236 fps 232 fps 220 fps
1440p 295 fps 244 fps
4K 234 fps 141 fps


GTA-V-benchmarks

 

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5) Normal (Check settings) High (Check settings) Very High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 187 fps 187 fps 146 fps 94 fps
1440p 187 fps 185 fps 110 fps 62 fps
4K 57 fps 30 fps


 

For Honor Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Extreme (Check settings)
1080p 280 fps 266 fps 207 fps
1440p 181 fps 173 fps 142 fps
4K 73 fps 88 fps


 

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 492 fps
1440p 342 fps
4K 181 fps


 

 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) Lowest (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Highest (Check settings)
1080p 224 fps 173 fps 163 fps 112 fps
1440p 208 fps 121 fps 113 fps 74 fps
4K 63 fps 38 fps


 

Doom Eternal Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) U.Nightmare (Check settings)
1080p 325 fps 304 fps 257 fps
1440p 217 fps 214 fps 191 fps
4K 129 fps 112 fps


 

Red Dead Redemption 2 Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) MAX (Check settings)
1080p 182 fps 115 fps 68 fps 36 fps
1440p 142 fps 83 fps 49 fps 26 fps
4K 26 fps


 

Metro Exodus Low (Check settings) High (Check settings) Extreme (Check settings)
1080p 201 fps 103 fps 50 fps
1440p 178 fps 80 fps 38 fps
4K 49 fps 22 fps


 

Gears 5 Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 266 fps 199 fps 166 fps 133 fps
1440p 228 fps 147 fps 123 fps 98 fps
4K 68 fps 53 fps

 

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Ultra High (Check settings)
1080p 162 fps 144 fps 123 fps 89 fps
1440p 132 fps 118 fps 102 fps 72 fps
4K 65 fps 48 fps


Hearthstone Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings)
1080p 1343 fps 1385 fps 60 fps
1440p 1270 fps
4K 785 fps


 

World Of Tanks Encore Medium (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 266 fps
1440p 348 fps 177 fps
4K 175 fps 90 fps


 

Minecraft Minimum (Check settings) Maximum (Check settings)
1080p 2962 fps 242 fps
1440p 2317 fps 237 fps
4K 357 fps


 

League Of Legends V.Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) V.High (Check settings)
1080p 958 fps 774 fps 760 fps
1440p 766 fps
4K 670 fps


Rocket League H.Quality (Check settings)
1080p 559 fps
1440p 409 fps
4K 212 fps


Overwatch High (Check settings) Epic (Check settings)
1080p 300 fps
1440p 305 fps 204 fps
4K 158 fps 108 fps




PUBG V.Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 267 fps 214 fps
1440p 326 fps 227 fps 193 fps 150 fps
4K 100 fps 75 fps


Borderlands 3 V.Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Badass (Check settings)
1080p 218 fps 189 fps 138 fps 105 fps
1440p 208 fps 148 fps 96 fps 74 fps
4K 50 fps 40 fps


Team Fortress 2 MAX (Check settings)
1080p 279 fps
1440p 279 fps
4K 248 fps


 

Far Cry New Dawn Low (Check settings) High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 194 fps 161 fps 142 fps
1440p 159 fps 133 fps 120 fps
4K 74 fps 68 fps


 

The Witcher 3 Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 270 fps 230 fps 151 fps
1440p 241 fps 183 fps 160 fps 113 fps
4K xxx fps xxx fps 86 fps 65 fps


 

Need For Speed Heat Low (Check settings) High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 160 fps 143 fps
1440p 167 fps 128 fps 116 fps
4K 75 fps 69 fps


 

Apex Legends Min. (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) MAX (Check settings)
1080p 299 fps 299 fps 240 fps
1440p 296 fps 225 fps 173 fps
4K 116 fps 97 fps


Battlefield V Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Ultra (Check settings)
1080p 200 fps 200 fps 197 fps 190 fps
1440p 200 fps 198 fps 159 fps 153 fps
4K 87 fps 87 fps


 

ARK: Survival Evolved Low (Check settings) Medium (Check settings) High (Check settings) Epic (Check settings)
1080p 304 fps 158 fps 117 fps 74 fps
1440p 251 fps 106 fps 85 fps 54 fps
4K 42 fps 28 fps


 

Warframe Low (Check settings) High (Check settings)
1080p 958 fps 431 fps
1440p 267 fps
4K 128 fps


Temperatures and comfort

In this test we use 100% on the GPU, monitoring its frequencies and chip temperature.

30 min Cyberpunk 2077 on 4K Ultra details Clock Core Temperature GPU Hot Sport Temperature Power FAN RPM
MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X LHR 1868 Mhz 64°C 74°C 219.1W 1677 RPM


Yes, the MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X LHR is almost a near-silent video card. Keep in mind that we are torturing the GPU in Cyberpunk 2077 for 30 minutes on 4K resolution and the quality is bumped to Ultra – on 1080p and 1440p the GPU is even cooler and quieter (also, check the frequencies while benchmarking with Unigine Heaven 4.0). Let’s get back to the stress test – 64°C core temperature and around 1677 RPM for the fans is a great result. The Hot Spot temperature is in check as well – this GPU can be great for overclocking but it needs a bigger power limit or you can try a combination of undervolt and overclock.

Verdict

The MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X LHR is a great mid-range GPU. Yes, it’s great because it has a good build quality, its unintrusive design is a bit on the stealthy side, it’s quiet under load (almost near-silent) and the performance of this GPU is even enough for 4K gaming with some compromises. Speaking of which, at least for now, the 8GB memory buffer isn’t a problem for playing on 2160p but if you’re looking for a future-proof product, probably a 10GB+ video card will be a better choice.

In most cases, if the FPS on 4K isn’t high enough, the bottleneck isn’t the capacity of the video memory  – the raw power under the hood is the real limitation in these scenarios. Still, the GPU is doing a good job (on 2160p) even in games like God Of War, Days Gone, Call Of Duty: Warzone, etc. If you need more FPS, you can always drop down the details from Ultra to Very High / High – (depending on the game) or you can use DLSS if the title supports this feature.

You can check the current price of MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X LHR here: Buy from Amazon.ca (#CommissionsEarned)

Pros

  • Well-build
  • Nearly silent under load
  • Compact
  • Has a metal backplate
  • Cool during gaming
  • Idle fan stop
  • Comes with goodies like HDMI 2.1, PCI-Express 4.0, DLSS, and ray tracing
  • 8nm tech process


Cons

  • Just 230W TGP for a 8-pin + 6-pin configuration
  • The maximum power limit isn’t sufficient for a proper overclocking without throttling

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