In this article, we will be discussing the power limits, or TGP (total graphics power) of RTX 3060 graphics cards. We will be examining the default power limits of different models and how they affect performance. Additionally, we will be looking at the maximum power limits of these cards and how they can impact overclocking.See the price history of Used Nvidia RTX 3060 & New Nvidia RTX 3060
*This blog post was written based on this video from O!Technology YouTube channel. Watch the video to get a more detailed take on this subject.
Default Power Limits
It is interesting to note that almost all RTX 3060s have the same 170 watt default power limit. The only exception is the Gainward Ghost and Palette Dual OC, which are essentially the same card. This could be seen as both a good and bad thing. On one hand, it means that any card will perform the same at default settings. On the other hand, it means that even the more expensive models will perform the same at default. It is unclear why this is the case, but it is possible that Nvidia enforces this on all manufacturers.
Using TechPowerUp's relative performance charts in their reviews, we can see that all the cards perform basically the same, matching the RX 5700XT and slightly above the reference spec RTX 3060. This is regardless of differences in clock speed specifications. Additionally, TechPowerUp's reviews show that the cards also achieve roughly the same clock speeds, which is as expected.
From the above information, it is clear that the TGP or power limit is a crucial factor in terms of the clock speeds and therefore the performance that you get from the GPU. Furthermore, the low temperatures even for the small dual fan cards like the EVGA XC and Zotek AMP suggest that the RTX 3060 isn't particularly hard to cool. Therefore, it is recommended to pick any RTX 3060 you want as they all perform the same.
Maximum Power Limits
When it comes to maximum power limits, there are some differences among the different models. A higher power limit will allow for higher overclocking as it gives the GPU more headroom to clock higher. However, most cards don't let you increase the power limit above the default TGP. This is likely because those cards have bare minimum PCB designs and basic cooler designs that are incapable of higher power usage. These should be avoided if you have plans to overclock.
In conclusion, the power limits of RTX 3060 graphics cards are an important factor to consider when purchasing a GPU. The default power limits are the same for most cards, but the maximum power limits can vary. It is important to pay attention to these limits if you plan to overclock your GPU as it can impact performance. Additionally, it is also important to choose a card with a higher power limit if you plan to overclock as it provides more headroom for the GPU to clock higher.Learn about RTX 3060 VRM's