Playing games in 4K resolution has become common today. You can get 4K monitors readily and people enjoy more immersive gaming in higher resolutions.
GPUs have also improved a lot in terms of performance and this allows them to run higher resolutions seamlessly. But what about old GPUs?
The GeForce RTX 3060 was released in the year 2021 and it was a successful one. It has the potential to run 2K resolution at the highest settings. But can it run 4K? Is it capable of running higher resolutions at higher graphics settings?
Let us find out from this article.
Can GeForce RTX 3060 Run 4K?
The GeForce RTX 3060 can run 4K but the performance depends on the games or applications it is running. For the most part, it can work with many game titles with decent frame rates and smooth gameplay. But when you go with higher game titles, there will be some considerable performance drop.
RTX 3060 is a potential card for gaming with 4K but here are some factors you must consider before using it for 4K gaming.
Capable, But not Ideal
If you ask whether 3060 can run 4K, then yes, it has the capability to run. But there are better cards to run 4K. Because RTX 3060 is more suited for 2K gaming and natively, it is intended for something other than 4K.
Many games, including AAA titles, can be played with 2K resolution at higher graphics settings with the 3060. But when it comes to 4K with AAA titles, you are forced to set the graphics to medium or low settings.
This shows that the card is just below the performance of high-end GPUs. But with normal game titles, you can enjoy 4K at decent graphics settings.
Only Decent Frame Rates
Although the card can output and render games at 4K, you can only expect a decent frame rate with demanding game titles.
Especially when you set the games at higher graphics settings, the frame rates can drop up to 20fps.
But if you set the graphics at medium settings, you can get a playable frame rate at 4K like 35 to 50fps depending on the game.
So, you have to optimize for the games to run at a decent frame rate in 4K. You can meddle with your in-game graphics settings to get the ideal performance.
But as for Esports and older titles optimized for this card, it can run smoothly at higher FPS even at 4K. You can play them at ultra settings at 2K without any lag or drop in performance.
Enabling DLSS Gives Better FPS in 4K
If you want to get better visuals in 4K while gaming some demanding titles, you can enable DLSS.
DLSS is a tech that works only with Nvidia cards. DLSS or Deep Learning Super Sampling will take a high-resolution image, lower its resolution, and use deep learning to render it like the original one.
Since the actual resolution is dropped to a lower one, you can get a boost in FPS when enabling DLSS.
So, if you enable DLSS in your game settings, you can get a better 4K performance even for high-end game titles.
DLSS option will be present in the in-game graphics settings. Open the game, go to graphics settings, and go to advanced settings.
There you can enable DLSS and select ray tracing level. This will allow the GPU to use DLSS and give a better frame rate in your gameplay.
Best for 2K Gaming
The RTX 3060 can display ultimate performance with 2K resolution. You can enjoy higher FPS even at high graphics settings without any issue in 2K resolution.
This card is optimized for 2K gaming and you can get the performance you expect in it. If you go to 1080p, the performance will be much better than 2K.
So, RTX 3060 can have the best performance in 1080p and 2K only. As for 4K, you can run the games with decent FPS but not the best gameplay graphics can be achieved.
If you want to enjoy 4K gaming truly, you have to go for higher GPU cards with the latest processor and larger memory. With those cards, you can easily get more than 100 FPS even with heavy game titles.
With 3060, you can get a maximum of 35 to 50fps in 4K gaming provided that the games are optimized with medium graphics settings and DLSS enabled.
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What settings are needed to game at 4K with a 3060?
There are a bunch of settings you can optimize to play 4K with a 3060. Since it is a potent card for running 4K games, you don’t need to struggle much with the card to bring out a decent performance.
You can do the settings in two areas. You can use the native Windows power and display settings and secondly, you can use Nvidia Control Panel. Let us look at both the settings that can be optimized for 4K gaming.
Windows Power and Display Settings
- Search for power options in the start menu and go to it.
- Click on Advanced options and choose High Performance to enable the best performance from the processors.
- Then search for Game mode in the start menu and enter it.
- Once entered, toggle the Game mode on and your PC will be optimized for playing games.
- Then search for Graphics settings at the start and enter into it.
- Turn on the Hardware accelerated GPU scheduling
- Then go to the graphics performance preference and choose the Nvidia control panel in it by browsing. Choose options and select high performance. Save the settings and exit.
Now you have optimized your PC to high performance and game mode in all the settings. This will boost the performance of all the hardware in your PC for gaming in 4K.
Let us now look into Nvidia Control Panel Settings.
Nvidia Control Panel Settings
- Open the Nvidia control panel by right-clicking on the desktop.
- Inside the control panel, look for 3D settings on the left side and choose Adjust Image Settings with preview.
- Now on the right side, choose the option “Use the advanced 3D image settings”.
- Now come back to the left side and choose Manage 3D settings.
- On the right side, you can find under the Global settings tab an option called Low Latency mode. Choose it and turn it ON.
- Then in the same settings scroll down to find Power Management Mode. Select it and choose the option “Prefer maximum performance”.
Now you have enabled your GPU to perform with low latency and produce maximum power for high performance.
Apart from these, you can also download applications like the GeForce Experience or MSI afterburner to optimize your GPU minutely. You can also overclock the GPU using these applications.
As for the in-game settings, you can choose all medium settings and enable DLSS for better gameplay and higher FPS.
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What is the minimum Nvidia card recommended for smooth 4K gaming?
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is the minimum card that can run 4K games smoothly. Because it has higher cores and more memory which offers better performance than other lower cards.
If you want to particularly enjoy games in 4K but don’t want to spend a lot, then you can go for 3080. It has a competitive price and offers an average of 60fps in 4K for many game titles without any struggles.
With optimization and tweaks, you can push it further to get better performance in 4K. So, the minimum card that can seamlessly run 4K is the RTX 3080.
Does 12GB VRAM make 3060 viable at 4K?
12GB VRAM for 3060 is not enough to make it more comfortable to run 4K games. Because the performance not only depends on the VRAM and it also depends on the power of the processor.
We mentioned that 3080 is more suitable for 4K gaming than 3060. But the VRAM of 3080 is just 10GB while the 3060 houses 2GB more than it. That is why VRAM is not the only factor.
The 3080 has more clock speed, higher memory speed, higher memory bandwidth, better GDDR version, etc. So, this makes the 3080 more powerful than the 3060 even though it has lower VRAM than the latter.
Therefore, the presence of 12GB VRAM doesn’t play a big factor in playing 4K. We can say that it is what enables the 3060 to run 4K games with at least decent performance.
What FPS is expected in esports titles at 4K?
You can get an average of 52 to 54fps in 4K when playing esports titles. This is with a good CPU and keeping the graphics settings in ultra.
If you reduce the graphics settings, you can get a higher FPS with esports titles in 4K. Also, if you perform the necessary optimizations, you can get a higher FPS and seamless performance.
RTX 3060 is an excellent GPU for 2K gaming and when it comes to 4K it survives. If you want the best performance with 4K, then you have to get at least 3080. Some game titles like esports and older titles may perform better in 4K and provide you with a decent FPS. So, on the whole, 4K is playable with 3060 but not the recommended one for it.