Asus TUF GeForce RTX 3060 Ti review: Stone cold, dead silent

The Asus TUF RTX 3060 Ti puts exceptional custom touches on an exceptional 1440p graphics card.

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Power draw, thermals, and noise

We test power draw by looping the F1 2020 benchmark at 4K for about 20 minutes after we’ve benchmarked everything else and noting the highest reading on our Watts Up Pro meter, which measures the power consumption of our entire test system. The initial part of the race, where all competing cars are onscreen simultaneously, tends to be the most demanding portion. 

This isn’t a worst-case test; we removed the Core i7 8700K’s overclock and specifically chose a GPU-bound game running at a GPU-bound resolution to gauge performance when the graphics card is sweating hard. If you’re playing a game that also hammers the CPU, you could see higher overall system power draws. Consider yourself warned.

power Brad Chacos/IDG

Somehow, Asus manages to draw quite a bit less power with the TUF than Nvidia needs for its RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition. Rerunning the (long, oh so long) test several times on each card confirmed the results. Bravo, Asus.

We test thermals by leaving GPU-Z open during the F1 2019 power draw test, noting the highest maximum temperature at the end.

temps Brad Chacos/IDG

Again: Bravo, Asus.

Nvidia’s Founders Edition delivers fine thermal and acoustic performance, but the bulky Asus TUF RTX 3060 Ti cooler takes it to the next level. It delivers downright frigid temperatures and better yet, it remains utterly silent while doing so. Seriously: I couldn’t hear this card over my system’s CPU cooler and case fans in any scenario. That’s not unusual for massive, fully kitted-out triple-slot versions of enthusiast-class GPUs, but it’s not typical in more midrange graphics cards like this.

And that’s with the default Performance BIOS enabled. I can’t envision any reason to flip over to the Quiet BIOS, which Asus claims is four times quieter, because this one is utterly silent. The dual-BIOS options and exceptional TUF cooler should prove welcome in any overclocking endeavors, however.

Next page: Should you buy the Asus TUF RTX 3060 Ti?

At a Glance
  • The Asus TUF RTX 3060 Ti puts exceptional custom touches on an exceptional 1440p graphics card. It's dead silent, stone cold, and comes with nice extras like a dual BIOS switch and an second HDMI 2.1 port.

    Pros

    • Dead silent and exceptionally cool
    • Spectacular 1440p gaming
    • Dual-BIOS switch
    • Extra HDMI 2.1 port
    • Attractive all-metal design
    • Superior ray tracing performance vs. AMD GPUs

    Cons

    • Massive size
    • Factory overclock provides no real-world performance uplift
    • 8GB of GDDR6 memory limits future 4K gaming potential
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