While we expect the AORUS GeForce RTX 3060 ELITE 12G to come at a later date after the launch of the RTX 3060 Gaming and Eagle model, it actually came much earlier than we’ve initially expected. Higher boost aside, the most notable characteristic of the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G is without a doubt, the surprisingly beefy cooler which is probably one of the best you’ll get to see on an RTX 3060.

For our test this time, we’ll be comparing it against the RTX 3060 Eagle 12G which is used as the base reference for us to see how much performance gain can we expect from the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G.

Specifications

GPU AORUS GeForce RTX 3060 ELITE 12G Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Eagle 12G
CUDA Cores 3584 3584
Tensor Cores 112 112
RT Cores 28 28
Texture Units 112 112
ROPs 48 48
GPU Boost Clock 1867 MHz 1777 MHz
Memory Data Rate 14 Gbps 15 Gbps
Total Video Memory Size 12G GDDR6 12G GDDR6
Memory Interface 256-bit 192-bit
Memory Bandwidth 448 GB/sec 360 GB/sec
TDP 170W 170W
Recommended PSU 650W 650W
Power Connectors 1 x 8-pin, 1 x 6-pin 1 x 8-pin
Dimensions 296mm x 117mm x 56mm 242mm x 124mm x 41mm

Unboxing

Packaging-wise, we can see that Gigabyte has taken another step to further revamp AORUS to be a standalone brand of its own. I’m not exactly a fan of the new design myself but it’s still good to see the amount of effort, which hopefully will bring the AORUS brand even further.

Inside the box, you’ll find the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G alongside the AORUS case badge, 4 years extended warranty registration guide, and the quick start guide.

The AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE

AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G 6

Unlike both the RTX 3060 Gaming and Eagle model, the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G is equipped with three 80mm cooling fans that look nothing like the design that many of us are familiar with. Even so, they still come in the same Windforce 3X cooling design that has the middle fan spinning in an alternate direction as the two fans on its side to provide a bigger coverage on the heatsink for better cooling performance.

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As mentioned earlier, the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G is equipped with a rather beefy cooler for an RTX 3060. The full-coverage design and the thick heatsink are pretty similar to the one we’ve seen on the RTX 3070 Gaming OC but of course, it has a different vibe of its own.

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The RGB lightings are pretty fancy despite its unexpected minimalist design. Compared to some of the AORUS cards we’ve seen in the past that has the RGB LEDs embedded into the fan blades, the RGB ring on the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G is more reasonable in overall.

AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G 11

While both the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G and Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle 12G are both RTX 3060, the power requirement seems to be really different according to the official specifications. It’s very unlikely that you’ll get to see a crazy performance boost here but the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G requires a 650W power supply with a single 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connector.

AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G 16

The backplate on the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G is very well designed and I can say the current-gen RTX 30 series AORUS cards have the best-looking metal backplate, much better than all the previous AORUS models I’ve seen so far.

AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G 17

The ‘Screen Cooling’ design at the back of the card is pretty much known to most of us already by now, which has been adopted in almost all of the RTX 30 series cards available right now.

AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G 18

As for the display output, the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G comes with 2 x HDMI and 2 x DisplayPort. It’s very similar to the EAGLE model, which will come in really handy for budget-oriented builds because most of the affordable display monitors you’ll find in the market will only come with a single HDMI and VGA port for input.

Test System Setup

For our games benchmark test, we’ve selected several AAA titles to run at their highest possible settings using the following setup under an ambient temperature of 31°C:

CPU Intel Core i9-10900K
Motherboard ASUS ROG Maximus XII Apex
Memory XPG Spectrix D60G DDR4-3600 CL14
Graphics Card GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition / Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Eagle 12G
Power Supply Enermax MaxTytan 1250W
Primary Storage Force Series Gen.4 PCIe MP600 2TB NVMe M.2 SSD
Secondary Storage WD Black 6TB
CPU Cooler Cooler MasterLiquid Master ML360R RGB
Chassis Streacom Open Benchtable BC1
Operating System Windows 10 64bit

Games Benchmark – RTX 3060 ELITE 12G vs. RTX 3060 Eagle 12G

On 1080P, both RTX 3060 performs really well with all the games configured at the highest graphics settings. The non-raytracing performance is pretty much excellent overall and there’s nothing much to complain about. Raytracing with DLSS is great as well and the higher boost clock does give the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G a clear advantage over the RTX 3060 Eagle 12G.

The performance on 1440P is pretty reasonable as well and we can actually see some games are still really playable even with raytracing enabled. The AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G still has the advantage with its higher boost clock but more demanding titles like Cyberpunk 2077 will give it a hard time still. If you want a better frame rate on these games, lowering the ray tracing settings from ultra to high will help with the frames.

4K gaming is out of the question for both raytracing and non-raytracing as it’s never intended for this. There are some exceptions of course, but most of the triple-A titles are too much for the RTX 3060 to handle. Looking at the average number of 30 fps and some even go below that, we’d say it’s best to stick with 1440P at most if you’re gaming on the RTX 3060.

 

Thermals & Power Draw

AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G 13

We’re using the FurMark stress test utility for our thermal test and here we can see that the beefy cooler on the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G is doing its job really well to keep the load temperature at 65°C. Compared to the compact cooler on the RTX 3060 Eagle 12G, the extra-thick cooler on the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G is able to lower the GPU temperature further by 5°C.  You can further improve the cooling performance by increasing the fan speed via AORUS Engine but in case if you’re into silent PC builds, that’s definitely not an option. For those of you who think the default fan speed is still too loud during operation, you can find the BIOS switch at the back of the card and switch to Silent mode.

The power draw is very similar for both but we can see the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G will stay at 170W more often during load as compared to the Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle 12G that runs at 162-168W most of the time.

Final Thoughts

Just like the Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle 12G, the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G is a very capable graphics card for entry-level gaming PC not just for 1080P gaming but 1440P gaming as well. Overall, the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G is pretty much a buffed-up RTX 3060 with a higher boost clock and beefy cooler. It’s still not powerful enough to take an RTX 3060 Ti head-on but it’s still a very capable card that can satisfy most entry-level gaming needs without any significant hiccups. The 12GB VRAM is still too much for most of the existing games that wouldn’t even use up more than 6GB with the highest settings applied but we can definitely see more titles in the future that will actually take advantage of the extra VRAM available.

Price-wise, the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G is retailed at RM 2,569 according to the official launch price, which is about RM 480 higher than the base model RTX 3060 Eagle 12G that is priced at RM 2,089. It’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to get any graphics cards being sold individually at the official MSRP, so your only option now is either to upgrade your current system to a new one if you’re still rocking on previous-gen hardware. Given that you’re lucky enough to be able to find one that’s being sold at the right price, the AORUS RTX 3060 ELITE 12G is a reasonable choice if you want a powerful RTX 3060 that runs well and cool right out of the box despite the higher cost.

Pros
  • Good performance right out of the box
  • Cooler performs really well
  • Runs silently even during full load
  • Come with HDMI 2.1 and support AV1 decode
  • Come with two HDMI output
Cons
  • Not much significant performance gain with the 12GB worth of VRAM
Subjective
  • Expensive

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