Every graphics card manufacturer knows that it can sell whatever the volume of Nvidia and AMD GPUs coming out of factories. The stock situation is tightest on the latest GeForce RTX 30 Series and Radeon 6000 Series cards, but it goes deeper than that, with models of last-generation GPUs also difficult to get hold of.
Yet stock will become more prevalent over time. Knowing that GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is a solid option in the £350-£500 market, EVGA trots out three models. Speaking to the enthusiast aspirations of the range, two are For The Win (FTW) designs typically featuring healthy overclocks. We have the best-in-class FTW3 Ultra in for review today.
Both FTWs are exactly the same physically, meaning a 2.2-slot profile with card dimensions of 285mm length and 111mm height. That's 43mm longer than the beautiful reference model and about the same in heft, as this tips the scales at 1,021g.
Unlike many rival AICs, EVGA goes old school by having a full-width PCB, although there are a number of cutouts on the right-hand side for through-the-PCB cooling. No complaints on the heatsink front as ICX models have previously demonstrated good ability in balancing noise against performance. An 8-phase power supply drives the cut-down GA104 GPU, while another couple serves the memory.
Having baked-in ICX is limited to the style of cooler. This card does without the usual nine sensors dotted around the PCB for full-on ICX models. The trio of fans, meanwhile, turns off below 55°C. The switch-on/off is gradual and smooth.
The rear metal heatsink has a honeycombed pattern more for show as it acts as a brace rather than for cooling duties - there's nothing of note making contact with it. We prefer this sleeker design to the RTX 3080 XC3 Gaming because there's no visible GPU brace on the rear and EVGA gets rid of the rather ungainly front.
Though the same size as that RTX 3080, cooling is understandably less capable on this mid-range offering. It features one fewer heatpipe, but the single heatsink assembly does a fine job in covering the memory and VRMs in addition to having a large copper block in good contact with the core.
EVGA contends this model has dual BIOSes. It doesn't. The sole BIOS clocks the core in at a lofty 1,800MHz boost, or 135MHz above the Founders Edition, yet stated speeds are somewhat meaningless as all RTX 3060 Ti cards' real-world boost is higher than their specs suggest. Our sample hummed along at an average in-game 1,995MHz, which is the highest we have seen from any model thus far. 8GB of GDDR6 memory operates at a standard 14Gbps.
It's handy that dual 8-pin power connectors are at the side closest to where the PSU cables will be. The EVGA logo is the only part of the card receiving RGB treatment.
EVGA is wrong is stating this card tops out at 200W. Logs show the extra oomph required to drive the GPU at nearly 2GHz results in the FTW3 Ultra pulling 240W. No big deal as far as this cooler is concerned, of course, yet for those looking for more modest power options, it is good to know the FE stays within the quoted 200W.
The I/O, meanwhile, is standard amongst premium EVGA cards, comprising three DisplayPort 1.4a and a single HDMI 2.1.
Recommended pricing is $449 (£429). You can completely ignore that as stock is non-existent. On the large assumption that stock does become plentiful in the near future, pricing is competitive with other partners but clearly a lot higher than the card which causes all AICs a splitting headache - the £369 Founders Edition.