Nvidia RTX 3050 assessment: Finances GPUs are formally again

Nvidia RTX 3050 review: Budget GPUs are officially back

Nvidia RTX 3050

MSRP $249.00

“The RTX 3050 is a return to funds GPUs for Nvidia, with strong efficiency that is bolstered by DLSS.”

Execs

Strong 1080p gaming efficiency

Low listing value

Helps DLSS

Respectable ray tracing

Cons

Costs will doubtless be excessive

Minor stuttering in memory-intensive video games

2022 is the 12 months funds GPUs are making a comeback — or at the very least it appears that means. I assumed this class of GPU was lifeless; Nvidia skipped the RTX 2050, in any case, and costs on the perfect graphics playing cards proceed to rise. The $249 RTX 3050 is a return to kind, and it may very well be the go-to funds GPU this 12 months.

I’ve had the prospect to check the cardboard, and though it holds up in comparison with the remainder of Nvidia’s lineup and the competitors from AMD, its options are what make the RTX 3050 stand aside. With rumors of elevated provide and a lovely listing value, the RTX 3050 could also be an antidote to the GPU scarcity that funds players have been ready for.

Pricing and availability

RTX 3050 graphics card sitting upright.Jacob Roach / Digital Developments

Nvidia didn’t launch a reference design for the RTX 3050, however the firm nonetheless set an inventory value of $249. There’s a swath of choices from board companions, together with graphics playing cards from EVGA, PNY, Colourful, and Asus. I obtained my fingers on the EVGA RTX 3050 XC Black, which is on the market now for $249.

My card arrived with the wrong BIOS, the one meant for the marginally costlier EVGA RTX 3050 XC. This BIOS comes with a 68MHz enhance to the clock pace. It’s a distinction, however no more than three% on the most excessive, and you may simply make it up by manually overclocking.

Like all graphics playing cards in 2022, it is best to anticipate the RTX 3050 to promote out instantly. The saving grace is that there are fashions obtainable on launch day for listing value. That’s cheaper than you should buy virtually any graphics card proper now, together with choices which are a number of years previous.

On paper, the RTX 3050 is $50 costlier than the not too long ago launched AMD RX 6500 XT. I haven’t had an opportunity to check AMD’s card but, however the swath of benchmarks I’ve seen present that the RTX 3050 earns its larger value. The additional $50 buys you not solely a extra highly effective GPU but in addition Nvidia Deep Studying Tremendous Sampling (DLSS) and ray tracing that isn’t horrible.

The RTX 3050 is a greater worth than the RX 6500 XT.

If you may get an RTX 3050 for $250, it is best to — there isn’t a greater worth in in the present day’s GPU market. That’s not the fact for many, although. As soon as the preliminary inventory has made its means into the fingers of scalpers, you may anticipate to pay double the listing value. The RTX 3060, for instance, sells for round $750 on the secondhand market.

For the RTX 3050, I anticipate secondhand costs round $500. If that’s the case, the RX 6500 XT will promote for round $100 to $150 much less. Nonetheless, the RTX 3050 is a greater worth in my eyes. The efficiency of the RTX 3050 isn’t practically as essential as the truth that it’s a 30-series GPU. At the same time as nothing however a vessel for DLSS and ray tracing, it’s nonetheless extra spectacular than AMD’s competing graphics card.

Specs

The RTX 3050 is a real funds graphics card, and it comes with the specs to match. Sitting on the backside of Nvidia’s present lineup, the cardboard shaves a variety of cores off of the RTX 3060, cuts the ability draw by practically half, and limits the quantity of video reminiscence. In contrast to some latest GPU releases I’ve seen, although, the RTX 3050 doesn’t have issues primarily based on the spec sheet.

CUDA cores
Enhance pace
Reminiscence capability
TDP
Value

RTX 3050
2,304
1.74GHz
8GB GDDR6
90W
$249

RTX 3060
three,584
1.77GHz
12GB GDDR6
170W
$329

RTX 3060 Ti
four,864
1.67GHz
8GB GDDR6
200W
$399

RTX 3070
5,888
1.73GHz
8GB GDDR6
220W
$499

In comparison with RTX 3060, essentially the most hanging change is the 8GB of GDDR6 reminiscence. The RTX 3050 squeezes that reminiscence by a smaller 128-bit bus, chopping the reminiscence bandwidth right down to 224GB/s. As well as, the RTX 3050 drops about 36% of the CUDA cores of the RTX 3060.

For that, the cardboard runs at a a lot decrease wattage. 90W is all you want for the bottom spec, which means you may get purchase with a 250W energy provide. Energy limits proceed to climb, and for the primary time, we have now an RTX 30-series graphics card that runs beneath 100W.

Ports on the RTX 3050 graphics card.The EVGA RTX 3050 XC Black contains three DisplayPort connections and a single HDMI. Jacob Roach / Digital Developments

In comparison with AMD, the RTX 3050 stands out due to its PCIe interface. Like most current-gen GPUs, the RTX 3050 helps PCIe four.zero. The RTX 3050 helps 16 lanes — not like the not too long ago launched RX 6500 XT, although. That ought to give methods locked to PCIe three.zero — each platform beneath 12th-gen Intel and AMD Ryzen 5000 — uninterrupted bandwidth.

Gaming efficiency

The RTX 3050 stacked on top of another graphics card.Jacob Roach / Digital Developments

The principle competitor to the RTX 3050 is AMD’s RX 6500 XT. I don’t have an RX 6500 XT to check proper now — although, I’ll replace this assessment with benchmarks as soon as my unit arrives — however I nonetheless wished to get an thought about how Nvidia’s newest funds try stacks up. I subbed in AMD’s RX 580. It’s an older GPU, however the benchmarks I’ve seen present that it performs across the stage of an RX 6500 XT.

To get rid of the CPU, I ran my assessments on the most recent construct of Home windows 10 with a Ryzen 9 5950X and 32GB of reminiscence. Listed below are my outcomes at 1080p with the best graphics preset:

RTX 3050
RTX 3060
RX 6600
RX 580

3DMark Time Spy 
6,749
eight,629
eight,zero71
four,820

Crimson Lifeless Redemption 2
52 fps
65 fps
59 fps
35 fps

Fortnite
79 fps
132 fps
98 fps
56 fps

Murderer’s Creed Valhalla
55 fps
64 fps
71 fps
42 fps

Battlefield V
92 fps
123 fps
120 fps
74 fps

Out of the suite, the RTX 3050 solely managed above 60 frames per second (fps) in Battlefield V and Fortnite. It’s not a lot of a shock, however the card couldn’t handle that coveted body fee goal in Crimson Lifeless Redemption 2 or Murderer’s Creed Valhalla. The RTX 3050 is a 1080p graphics card, nevertheless it’s not concentrating on the best graphics preset.

Decrease graphics presets had been far more spectacular — 64 fps in Murderer’s Creed Valhalla, and 134 fps in Battlefield V. In 2022, most graphic playing cards don’t make you select a decrease graphics preset on the correct decision. The RTX 3050 does, however that’s not a foul factor. If something, it showcases how little the best preset does and the way a lot efficiency you may acquire by bumping down the settings.

In comparison with the RX 580, you may see how a lot quicker a funds GPU needs to be in 2022. The RTX 3050 was about 40% quicker in 3DMark Time Spy, 41% quicker in Fortnite, and 24% quicker in Battlefield V. I haven’t had the prospect to check the RX 6500 XT but, however I’ve seen sufficient to say that the RTX 3050 is the quicker card.

The RTX 3050 is about 20% slower than the RTX 3060 however 25% cheaper.

That’s taking a look at backside of the barrel choices, although. In the wrong way, the RTX 3050 was about 20% slower than the RTX 3060 in Crimson Lifeless Redemption 2. In Battlefield V, the distinction was even bigger at 25%. The RTX 3060 hits a candy spot that the RTX 3050 can’t handle. That stated, the RTX 3050 is about 25% cheaper and solely 20% slower.

There have been issues outdoors of uncooked efficiency. The reminiscence brought about points that don’t present up in common body charges. In Battlefield V, my first few runs resulted in minimal body charges within the single digits, manifesting as stutters as I performed by. That is the smaller reminiscence bus and 8GB of VRAM at play. In titles with plenty of high-resolution textures, there was some stuttering as the sport loaded and the property had been pulled into reminiscence.

PX1 logo on the RTX 3050 graphics card.

nvidia rtx 3050 review 5

Nonetheless, the RTX 3050 lands the place it ought to. And in comparison with the competitors that AMD is presenting proper now, that’s nice. I nonetheless assume the RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti hit the worth/efficiency mark higher than the RTX 3050; nonetheless, there’s probability the RTX 3050 will promote for considerably lower than these playing cards on the secondhand market.

Content material creation efficiency

The RTX 3050 is a gaming graphics card, and it is best to choose up one thing extra highly effective if plan on utilizing it primarily for 3D modeling or rendering. I nonetheless wished to throw the cardboard to some content material creation benchmarks to see the way it stacks up, and though the outcomes aren’t horrible, they aren’t nice both.

RTX 3050
RTX 3060
RX 6600
RX 580

Blender BMW (decrease is healthier)
76 seconds
45 seconds
86 seconds
168 seconds

Blender Classroom (decrease is healthier)
279 seconds
208 seconds
167 seconds
370 seconds

Blender Koro (decrease is healthier)
227 seconds
162 seconds
156 seconds
N/A

Pugetbench for Premiere Professional
766
703
605
603

Throughout the three Blender renders, the RTX 3050 was about 32% slower than the RTX 3060 and equally sluggish in comparison with the RX 6600. It had a greater displaying in PugetBench for Premiere Professional, however as is the case with the RX 6600 and RTX 3060, this benchmark is leaning closely on the CPU and system reminiscence.

Nvidia RTX 3050 graphics card sitting on its back.Jacob Roach / Digital Developments

In comparison with the RX 580, it’s no contest. The RTX 3050 can leverage CUDA for rendering, not like the RX 6600 and RX 580, which results in quicker render instances than OpenCL. I noticed a lot larger render instances with the RX 580, and within the case of the Koro render, I couldn’t even full the take a look at.

Make no mistake: The RTX 3050 just isn’t graphics card for content material creation. It could maintain its personal, however upgrading to the next class of graphics card — both from AMD or Nvidia — will repay exponentially.

DLSS and ray tracing

GeForce logo on the RTX 3050.Jacob Roach / Digital Developments

For the primary time shortly, Nvidia is standing aside not on uncooked efficiency however an inventory of options. DLSS is a vital function for essentially the most demanding video games, and if nothing else, the RTX 3050 gives a means to make use of DLSS in video games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Management. It additionally provides hardware-accelerated ray tracing, which works significantly better than the competitors from AMD.

RTX 3050
RTX 3060
RX 6600

Management (no RT)
58 fps
76 fps
67 fps

Management (Excessive RT)
35 fps
47 fps
27 fps

Management (Excessive RT + DLSS)
62 fps
N/A
N/A

Cyberpunk 2077 (no RT)
47 fps
59 fps
46 fps

Cyberpunk 2077 (Extremely RT)
23 fps
28 fps
10 fps

Cyberpunk 2077 (Extremely RT + DLSS)
47 fps
N/A
N/A

My outcomes above had been run with the identical take a look at bench at 1080p with the best graphics preset. I included the RTX 3060 and RX 6600 for reference, not as competitors for the RTX 3050. These two playing cards are in a category above the RTX 3050, they usually unsurprisingly carry out higher throughout the board.

That stated, I didn’t anticipate how shut the RTX 3050 can be to the RX 6600. With ray tracing turned on, you may see how shortly the RX 6600 falls aside. In Management, the place the 2 GPUs managed virtually equivalent common body charges, the RX 6600 sunk a lot decrease than the RTX 3050 with ray tracing on.

DLSS is the perfect function of the RTX 3050 — no contest.

It’s a testomony to how strong Nvidia’s ray tracing cores are, however actually, you wouldn’t play both of the video games above at their ray tracing body charges. That’s the place DLSS steps in. Even within the modest Balanced mode, the RTX 3050 maintained efficiency as if ray tracing was turned off. Within the case of Management, the typical body fee was really larger.

DLSS isn’t in each sport, however the listing of supported titles continues to develop. For a big chunk of main AAA releases, which might in any other case be unplayable on the RTX 3050, DLSS makes taking part in new video games with the entire visible bells and whistles potential. It’s the perfect function of the RTX 3050 — no contest.

Our take

The RTX 3050 is a graphics card that wins by default. Stacked up in opposition to the tragic RX 6500 XT, Nvidia may’ve launched virtually any graphics card and are available out forward. By itself, the RTX 3050 is an efficient graphics card that manages to ship efficiency that scales with its value, and that’s all I can ask for.

It earns an additional level on the again of DLSS, which catapults the RTX 3050 from — however not nice — GPU right into a go-to possibility for players on an excessive funds. Costs are inflated now, however hopefully we’ll see loads of $250 RTX 3050s by the tip of the 12 months — a lot not like Nvidia’s not too long ago launched 12GB RTX 3080.

Are there any options?

Not proper now. Nvidia skipped this value tier with the earlier era, and AMD’s RX 6500 XT falls woefully wanting the RTX 3050. The one options are Nvidia’s extra premium GPUs. Hopefully, by the tip of 2022, you’ll have the ability to discover one thing like an RTX 2070 or RTX 2060 Tremendous for across the similar value.

How lengthy will it final?

The RTX 3050 isn’t constructed for the longer term. It barely meets the mark for 1080p AAA gaming proper now, and inside a number of years, you’ll wrestle to hit sustainable body charges on the highest graphics settings. In case you are OK with bumping down your settings, otherwise you primarily play much less demanding video games, it ought to final 4 to 5 years.

DLSS helps loads, too. Assuming the listing of DLSS video games continues to develop, you’ll have the ability to squeeze efficiency out of the RTX 3050 for a few years to return.

Must you purchase it?

If you will discover the RTX 3050 at listing value, you can purchase it. After launch, it comes right down to what value you will discover the RTX 3050 at. It’s a strong graphics card, however you’ll be higher off with the RTX 3060 or RTX 3060 Ti if you will discover one for an inexpensive value.

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