Nvidia RTX 3060 laptop vs RTX 4060 laptop: Is the new GPU worth it for gaming? (2024)

Both RTX 3060 and 4060 laptops are solid options for gaming (Image via Nvidia)
Both RTX 3060 and 4060 laptops are solid options for gaming (Image via Nvidia)

The Nvidia RTX 4060 and RTX 3060 laptops are the latest performance-class graphics processors from the company. The newer model is based on the latest Ada Lovelace architecture and thus supports Nvidia DLSS 3 and improved ray tracing performance. It is a substantial upgrade over the RTX 3060, the most popular laptop GPU in the series.

It is worth noting that 3060 laptops are powerful and can run most modern titles at up to 1440p without major issues. Thus, upgrading to the RTX 4060 might seem like an unnecessary waste of money. However, a few other factors like longevity, resell value of the older Ampere-based laptop, and performance per dollar should be considered.

This article will go over the performance and pricing of the two 60-class GPU-powered laptops and try to address the debate between them.


Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060 and 4060 laptops offer a ton of features for the money in 2024

Laptop manufacturers have launched a ton of RTX 3060 and 4060 models targeted at various users. The list includes everything from ultrabooks built with portability in mind to beefy machines for creators. However, for the sake of comparison with gamers in mind, we will only consider those machines built solely for gaming.


Specs

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We cannot make an accurate apples-to-apples comparison between the RTX 3060 and the 4060 since they are based on wildly different architectures — Ampere for the former and Ada Lovelace for the latter. With their latest lineup of products, Nvidia has focused heavily on efficiency, bumping up their per-core performance metrics.

Thus, even with a lower core count, Ada Lovelace-based cards beat their last-gen counterparts. The 3060 and 4060 laptop GPUs are a perfect example of how much the newer architecture under the hood of the latest graphics cards is benefitting them.

RTX 3060 laptopRTX 4060 laptop
CUDA core count3,8403,072
RT core count3024
Maximum boost clock1,425 MHz1,890 MHz
Memory size6 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR6
TDP80-140W50-115W

Thus, although the 4060 might come off as a weaker graphics card after a glance at the specs, it isn't. The GPU uses seventh-generation CUDA cores, unlike its slower sixth-generation counterparts on the 3060. It also packs fourth-generation ray tracing cores, which are way faster than what Nvidia came up with back in 2020.

The extra two gigabytes of video memory in the latest GPU will future-proof it. 6 GB is already running out of fashion, and on the desktop side of things, 8 GB is facing some hiccups too.


Performance differences

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Since the RTX 4060 is the newer kid on the market, we expected it to be faster than its older sibling. However, we were flabbergasted by the huge performance difference between these two graphics cards. The best part about the difference is that the 4060 manages to deliver about 40–50% more performance while being more power efficient than the 3060.

YouTuber Testing Games made a detailed comparison between the two laptop GPUs. The exact laptops used for the test were an MSI Raider GF65 with an Intel Core i7-10750H for the 3060-based device and a Razer Blade 18 with a Core i9-13950HX chip for the RTX 4060 model.

The results obtained in 1080p gaming are listed below.

RTX 3060 130WRTX 4060 140W
Spider-Man72110
Hogwarts Legacy3453
Cyberpunk 20774863
Forza Horizon 56797
Microsoft: Flight Simulator5172
Horizon Zero Dawn7371

The 4060 is way faster than the last-gen video card. It manages numbers close to 60 FPS in nearly every title, including extremely GPU-intensive titles like Hogwarts Legacy and Cyberpunk 2077.


Which among the RTX 3060 and RTX 4060 is the best choice?

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The RTX 4060 laptops are a bit costlier than the 3060-based models. However, while shopping for a brand-new gaming machine, we recommend the newer devices on the market for a couple of reasons.

The 4060 will last much longer than the RTX 3060. With support for DLSS 3.0 and a much superior graphics computing prowess, the latest 60-class GPU is miles ahead of what the Ampere-based pixel pusher can achieve.

The newer GPU packs more VRAM. 6 GB simply isn't enough to play the latest and most demanding titles like The Last of Us Part 1 and Hogwarts Legacy. The extra 2 GB of memory will give gamers a significant advantage.

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The difference between the cards is so much that we even recommend gamers with RTX 3060 laptops get one of the latest models on the market. Currently, the resell value of gaming devices based on this GPU is at an all-time high. Once RTX 4060-based laptops become mainstream, gamers can expect almost half the money they can get today.

Thus, upgrading to a newer laptop today will result in a much lower cost of ownership than doing so towards the end of the year.

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Edited by Angshuman Dutta
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