The gaming performance on a graphics card is the most important factor in buying a card, but you also need to be concerned about the noise, temperature and power consumption numbers.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition Temperatures:
At idle on our open air test bench we were sitting at around 37C at idle with no fan noise as they don’t spin. After playing PUBG for over an hour at 1440P we found that the temperatures topped out at 69C range. The GPU coolers two fans were off at idle and running around 1500 RPM at full gaming load.
For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Kill-A-Watt power meter. For load numbers we ran Rainbow Six Siege at 1440P and recorded the peak power number while the in-game benchmark was running. This is done to ensure the results are repeatable.
Power consumption on the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition tops out at 372 Watts on Rainbow Six Siege at 1440P with the Kill-A-Watt power meter.
NVIDIA PCAT Testing
One of the new tools that we have to look at power consumption is the NVIDIA Power Capture Analysis Tool (PCAT). NVIDIA came up with custom designed board and software utility that captures accurate perf-per-watt and total graphics board performance data. The Kill-A-Watt power meter that we used for the previous data has a polling rate of 1 second, whereas the PCAT has a polling rate of 0.1 seconds and also logs the data. This combined with the fact that it is only measuring the power used by the graphics card make it the superior way to look at power consumption. We recorded power usage on 3DMark Time Spy as this graphics test doesn’t often receive updates and is easy to run.
Here is a look at total PCIe Power for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 TI against the GeForce RTX 3070/3080 Founders Edition graphics cards and the AMD Radeon RX 6800/6800 XT reference cards. PCAT showed that during this snippet of time the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti used at most 234.6 Watts of power with an average usage of 160.4 Watts. This is just a measurement of the card itself is using and nothing else in the system.
Here is a closer look at the NVIDIA Geforce RTX 3060 Ti total PCIe power over time plotted against the AMD Radeon RX 6800 to give you an idea of how the two cards differ across the run.
Let’s wrap this up!