NVIDIA has set a release date for the GeForce RTX 3060, although the wait won't be the biggest challenge. According to The Verge, the $329 mid-tier GPU will be available from retailers on February 25th at 12PM Eastern. You'll have to snap up a third-party video card. Unlike the RTX 3060 Ti and other higher-end boards, there won't be an official Founders Edition.
The base 3060 is a spiritual successor to cards like the GTX 1060 and RTX 2060, and brings features like hardware-accelerated ray tracing and DLSS to a sub-$350 NVIDIA card for the first time. It's the slowest of the RTX 30 family to date with 'just' 3,584 CUDA cores, a 192-bit memory interface and a 1.32GHz base clock. However, it also has the most memory of any mainstream NVIDIA GPU, with 12GB of RAM — it may be a better pick if you need that headroom more than you do raw computing power.
The challenge, as you might guess, is finding the RTX 3060 in stock. NVIDIA has been dealing with GPU shortages for months due to both a surge of cryptocurrency mining and limited demand, to the point where it has resumed selling years-old cards just to have products available. Production isn't expected to improve until NVIDIA's fiscal quarter ends in late April. If you don't act quickly enough, you may have to pay a premium for the RTX 3060 (or wait several weeks) to get one.