Released in January 2022, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 boasts 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM. This product competes with the RTX 3060 Ti by offering the same memory size with higher boost clock rates and lower power requirements, despite having a much slower memory bus and lower overall bandwidth.
For $249 (less than 6 million), the RTX 3050 sets the stage for an affordable graphics card capable of providing Ray Tracing with 1080p resolution at 60fps.
The question is, is it worth upgrading your current GPU to an RTX 3050?
1. Increase the number of multiprocessors
Built using Nvidia’s Ampere architecture, the RTX 3050 comes with 20 streaming multiprocessors and 2560 CUDA cores, significantly larger than the GTX 1650’s 14 streaming multiprocessors and 892 CUDA cores.
Users looking to invest in the RTX 3050 will be pleased to know that although the capacity of this GPU is at 130W, higher than the AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT and other similar GPUs, the extra performance is well worth it.
2. Ray Tracing
Ray Tracing is one of the main reasons why people want to upgrade their graphics card
For those who want to upgrade their graphics card, one of the main reasons to do so is because of Ray Tracing. Thanks to its ability to render more realistic highlights and shadows, Ray Tracing is one of the most sought-after technologies in PC gaming.
Advanced rendering techniques such as Ray Tracing are especially appealing because the realism of the images in games created by this technology is almost unbeatable. The main limitation, however, is that only a handful of games support Ray Tracing, so if you’re investing in an RTX 3050 for this reason, you might be disappointed.
With the more powerful GPUs available, it’s hard to say whether the RTX 3050 is worth the investment just for the Ray Tracing feature. In fact, DLSS is a much appreciated bright spot among Nvidia’s 30-series GPUs, boosting performance in games and achieving 1080p at 60fps for longer without sacrificing visuals.
NVIDIA DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) is a breakthrough AI rendering technology that boosts graphics performance by using a dedicated Tensor Core AI processor on top of GeForce RTX GPUs.
In particular, DLSS helps increase frame rates for low-end graphics cards. Essentially, you’re getting more out of this affordable graphics card – higher resolution gaming at higher frame rates.
Not to mention, the RTX 3050 comes with Nvidia Reflex – technology that helps reduce lag in competitive games, which is especially useful for multiplayer titles.
4. Low temperature
The RTX 3050 maintains lower temperatures and uses less power while using the same cooler as the RTX 3060. Moreover, it offers more space to dissipate heat if you plan to overclock.
You can see temperatures ranging from 60°C to 62°C, even at 1440p. While the fan speed of this GPU can’t match that of the GTX 1660 Super, it produces more noise than other low-cost graphics cards.
Even so, with a mid-range GPU capable of comfortably operating at 1440p and DLSS like this, the increased fan noise shouldn’t be a big deal.
5. Play games at 1440p
If you look at the state of the graphics card market, the RTX 3050 is an impressive upgrade. Even with Ray Tracing enabled and DLSS off, you can still play many AAA titles and hit over 40fps. Take this even further by playing games that don’t have Ray Tracing but have DLSS enabled, and you can expect more than 140fps.
Although marketed as a 1080p graphics card, the RTX 3050 can run on multiple 1440p displays. As a result, those with an AMD RX 6500 XT will benefit from switching to the RTX 3050, if 1440p gaming is something they want to experiment with.
Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 is capable of playing almost any game in your library. Without sacrificing visuals, enjoying high settings is a breeze for this GPU, especially if you can get it at the right price.
Why upgrade to Nvidia RTX 3050?
In previous years, you might think that the RTX 3050 didn’t improve much over the similarly priced GTX 1660 Super. However, this is no longer true.
Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 as it stands is certainly worth considering with advantages like more streaming multiprocessors, increased CUDA core count, Ray Tracing, DLSS, gaming at 1440p and the ability to maintain low temperatures.
However, if you have enough budget and are keeping an eye on the RTX 40-series, perhaps it makes more sense to choose this generation of GPUs.