ASUS GeForce RTX 3050 STRIX OC Review 61

ASUS GeForce RTX 3050 STRIX OC Review

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The ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 OC is the company's most premium custom-design graphics card based on the RTX 3050 NVIDIA is debuting today. The card is designed to look several segments more premium than it is when installed in your case and aims to be all you ever need if you're gaming at 1080p with a focus on e-sports titles. The GeForce RTX 3050 is being debuted as an entry-mainstream product, and it is the most affordable GeForce "Ampere" GPU in the desktop segment.

The RTX 3050 is based on the same GA106 silicon as the RTX 3060 positioned a segment higher. While the RTX 3060 is carved out of this chip by enabling 28 out of 30 streaming multiprocessors (SM) physically present, nearly maxing it out, the RTX 3050 is cut down from it by enabling only two-thirds of the SMs (20 out of 30). This results in 2,560 CUDA cores, 20 RT cores, 80 Tensor Cores, 80 TMUs, and 32 ROPs. There are two major changes beyond the GPU that set the RTX 3050 apart from the RTX 3060. First, the RTX 3050 gets 8 GB of memory across a 128-bit GDDR6 interface running at 14 Gbps, while the RTX 3060 has 12 GB of it, over 192-bit, and running at a slightly higher data-rate of 15 Gbps. There's hence a stark difference in bandwidth (360 GB/s vs. 224 GB/s).

The second key difference between the RTX 3050 and RTX 3060 is the PCI-Express bus. The RTX 3050 comes with just a PCI-Express 4.0 x8 host interface, while the RTX 3060 has PCI-Express 4.0 x16, even though the GA106 fiberglass substrate isn't any smaller on the RTX 3050 and most custom-design boards, including this ROG Strix, use RTX 3060 PCBs, wiring out all 16 PCIe lanes to the host interface. NVIDIA's statement on the matter is that "dropping to 8 PCIe lanes improves supply. It allows us to source a wider variety of chips for the life of the product." We see this as a hint that future batches of the RTX 3050 could be carved out of the even smaller GA107 silicon, which physically has 24 SMs and a 128-bit wide GDDR6 memory bus, and an x8 PCIe interface. Right now, NVIDIA could be harvesting GA106 chips to eventually switch to GA107 without any changes in specifications or performance.

The ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3050 OC is easily the most premium RTX 3050 card we've come across. A huge triple-slot DirectCU III cooling solution takes on this tiny GPU with a typical power under 150 W. This 30 cm long cooler features an elaborate aluminium fin-stack heatsink that's ventilated by a trio of Axial Tech fans. The cooler also features an elaborate RGB illumination not just along the front and top of the card, but also the metal backplate. The cooler is longer than the PCB, so most of the airflow from the third fan is vented through the backplate. You also get certain ROG-exclusive features, such as 4-pin case-fan and 3-pin ARGB headers that let you synchronize your cooling to that of your graphics card. ASUS is pricing the RTX Strix RTX 3050 OC at an MSRP of $489, a steep premium over the $249 fantasy baseline.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Market Segment Analysis
GTX 1650 Super$4001280321530 MHz1725 MHz1500 MHzTU1166600M4 GB, GDDR6, 128-bit
GTX 1660$480 1408481530 MHz1785 MHz2000 MHzTU1166600M6 GB, GDDR5, 192-bit
RX Vega 56$8003584641156 MHz1471 MHz800 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1660 Super$5501408481530 MHz1785 MHz1750 MHzTU1166600M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
GTX 1660 Ti$5001536481500 MHz1770 MHz1500 MHzTU1166600M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
RX 5600 XT$7002304641375 MHz1560 MHz1500 MHzNavi 1010300M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
RX 6500 XT$3501024322685 MHz2825 MHz2248 MHzNavi 245400M4 GB, GDDR6, 64-bit
RTX 2060$5701920481365 MHz1680 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
RX 5700$9502304641465 MHz1625 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2060 Super$8002176641470 MHz1650 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX Vega 64$850 4096641247 MHz1546 MHz953 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
RX 5700 XT$10002560641605 MHz1755 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 3050$500
MSRP: $250
2560321552 MHz1777 MHz1750 MHzGA10612000M8 GB, GDDR6, 128-bit
MSRP: $490
2560321552 MHz1860 MHz1750 MHzGA10612000M8 GB, GDDR6, 128-bit
RTX 2070$7502304641410 MHz1620 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX 6600$5701792642044 MHz2491 MHz1750 MHzNavi 2311060M8 GB, GDDR6, 128-bit
RTX 3060$7503584481320 MHz1777 MHz1875 MHzGA10612000M12 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
RTX 2070 Super$8002560641605 MHz1770 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
Radeon VII$8003840641400 MHz1800 MHz1000 MHzVega 2013230M16 GB, HBM2, 4096-bit
RX 6600 XT$6002048642359 MHz2589 MHz2000 MHzNavi 2311060M8 GB, GDDR6, 128-bit
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May 19th, 2022 09:18 EDT change timezone

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