The Nvidia RTX 3050 is a bought new entry-level ray tracing and DLSS GPU – if you may get it on the proper worth

It’s a bizarre, tough time to overview GPUs. The PC graphics market has been in overdrive for the final couple of years for a number of causes. For one, folks have been locked down, caught indoors with disposable revenue unused – so the place higher to spend it than on a PC improve? However then there’s the silly facet of issues – all this crypto mining BS – plus the impacts of the pandemic on the availability chain and manufacturing. As such, nothing concerning the graphics card market is dependable.

So sitting right here, tasked with reviewing the most affordable RTX card from Nvidia thus far, I’m confronted with tough selections. A significant factor in GPU evaluation is the price-to-performance ratio, however what are you able to do when shopping for these playing cards at RRP is nigh not possible? The reply, actually, is boring: we simply must warn you that the conclusions drawn on this overview are primarily based on the RRP, and also you may end up extra dissatisfied when you shell out additional to get one quick.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 punches in at £239 / $249, although you’ll be able to sadly count on to pay a bit of additional within the present market. This isn’t technically all-new silicon, because the 3050 made its debut in laptops final 12 months – however now it’s launching in a desktop format, which has been tweaked and upgraded from what was out there on cell appropriately.

Let’s simply lay out the place this card stands. On the high finish, Nvidia has playing cards just like the RTX 3080 and 3080 Ti, show-stopping beasts that include a four-figure price ticket to match. Prior to now, the entry level of the market was the RTX 3060, which we demonstrated with Minecraft and described as ‘1080p playing cards with a 1440p upside’, the place maybe the principle purpose you have been shopping for the cardboard was to get these RT cores which allow options like ray tracing and DLSS. Nvidia has gingerly positioned the 3050 a small clip under that card; lopping $80 off the worth in trade for taking away a lot of that 1440p upside.

That’s a 25% discount in worth in comparison with the 3060, then, and it’s honest to say that roughly every part concerning the card tracks in that type of zone. From energy consumption to variety of cores, bandwidth, and finally efficiency, this card is round 1 / 4 to a 3rd much less highly effective than the 3060. So the worth traces up – and that, a minimum of, is nice.

In case you’re not rocking a 4K show, a lot as with the 3060, this new card can supply vital advantages with out breaking the financial institution. A recreation like Murderer’s Creed Valhalla can run on medium settings at 1080p and get a near-sold 60fps with out situation. The identical is true for Cyberpunk 2077. Different much less taxing or higher optimized video games can do even higher; so it is a card that may ship even higher, pushing out effectively in extra of 60fps in comparatively current video games like Hitman 3 or Resident Evil Village.


If you wish to push issues to 1440p, you’ll get first rate efficiency, and positively have the ability to handle a locked thirty even in more difficult trendy video games round medium settings – however I do assume that is most at dwelling as a 1080p card.

It’s good things, although a lot of this efficiency is just like what you’d get out of a a lot older card reminiscent of a GTX 1660 Tremendous. What you come to this card for, then, is that RTX designation – and the added goodies you get because of this.

To that finish, let’s come again to Cyberpunk, a recreation that’s considerably reworked by the ray tracing presentation. In case you flip on ray tracing for each reflections and shadows, the RTX 3050 basically presents the sport at 1080p medium with its body fee halved, right down to proper round 30fps. It ought to have the ability to handle a comparatively locked 30. Activate DLSS, nonetheless, and you’ll take pleasure in the identical high quality picture (roughly) with a body fee that’s within the fifties – although sadly not fairly 60fps.

DLSS, which super-samples the sport picture and makes use of AI to upscale it to keep away from any artifacting, is vital to creating ray tracing viable on a card reminiscent of this. It could additionally simply straight-up be used to spice up efficiency – so if fancy lighting doesn’t hassle you, knock ray tracing off and DLSS on to see Cyberpunk publish near the 100fps mark. Which, on a $250 card, actually ain’t dangerous.

In comparison with a card just like the GTX 1660 Tremendous, one of many older technology playing cards this goals to be a viable improve to, the query subsequently turns into easy: would you like options like DLSS and ray tracing? In case you do, and extra video games are continually including help for them, then you definately want these RTX cores – and that is now the most affordable choice to get them. Nevertheless, this card additionally doesn’t really feel as a lot an improve as a few of its 30 collection siblings. The upper-end playing cards supplied eye-popping will increase on the 20 collection, the earlier technology – however the RTX 3050 struggles to outpace the RTX 2060 in lots of, many eventualities. That’s a little bit of a bummer.

One place the place Nvidia doesn’t wrestle a lot with this card is within the battle with AMD. They’ll be happy with the outcomes there. AMD’s closest choice to that is the RX 6500 XT, which is a less expensive card but additionally posts some really woeful efficiency; GamersNexus has an ideal breakdown of the way it even loses to GPUs launched way back to six years in the past. That card is a humiliation even at its RRP; Nvidia’s providing has efficiency that feels moderately consistent with its pricing.

And so all of it turns into a query of worth. The RTX 3050 is supposed to value $250, however with the market dictating it’ll doubtless be promoting for probably as a lot as double that, how worthwhile it’s it? Nicely, even a second-hand GTX 1660 Tremendous, the cardboard we beforehand referenced as a comparability level, is usually going for $500 proper now. And consistent with that, even $500 for this type of traces up as acceptable – it’s the identical worth as an open-box last-gen card, however you get these RTX cores. In case you get extraordinarily fortunate and discover one in inventory, non-scalped, at RRP, it’s a contextual steal.

However, wow, doesn’t this entire factor present how deeply damaged the GPU market is correct now? We’re speaking about how $500 may not be a nasty deal, market context thought of, for an entry degree card. It’s tousled. This will’t be fastened quickly sufficient – and when it’s, the 3050 will current as an absolute steal at $250. For now, we are able to advocate it – however by gritted enamel, thanks to those silly market circumstances. The Nvidia RTX 3050 is a bought new entry-level ray tracing and DLSS GPU – if you may get it on the proper worth

Fry Electronics Team

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