The smallest GeForce RTX 3060 12GB from Asus
Asus has taken the wraps off its Phoenix GeForce RTX 3060 12GB GDDR6 graphics card. Seasoned PC DIYers will be well aware of the Asus Phoenix family, with their single fan cooler designs, modest factory overclocks (if any) but on the positive side they can fit in physically confined spaces that other GPUs could not countenance. This card measures 177 x 128 x 51mm.
Looking at the key tech specs first, the Asus GeForce RTX 3060 Phoenix offers the standard RTX 3060 features such as 3,584 CUDA cores and 12GB GDDR6 memory. This compact 2.55 slot offering has the one 8-pin power connector and has two factory standard modes ready for you; Gaming Mode with a 1,777MHz boost clock (same as reference), and OC Mode with a 1,807MHz boost clock. Compare that to the HEXUS reviewed Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming OC 12GB with triple fan cooler that has a boost clock of 1,837MHz, but showed an average 1,995MHz opportunistic boost in gameplay.
With the cooling of the Phoenix requiring the most attention here, Asus provides quite a lot of reassurance that it will be ample. First, the card is said to feature a fan design with smaller centre plus more blades, with a precise barrier ring, for higher air flow (Asus talks about the “reversed rotational direction for the centre fan,” but obviously this is taken from a template). Moreover, the fan is of the dual-ball bearing type, for “2x longer lifespan”. Other helpful tech here is the protective aluminium backplate, and 304 stainless steel bracket, and use of auto-extreme manufacturing tech with 144-hour stress testing for reliability.
In times gone by you could typically buy Asus Phoenix family cards for at or below the reference design pricing, but that isn’t going to be the case, if you can find one of these at all.