Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC Review 14

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC Review

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Gigabyte today released the GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC, its top custom-design graphics card powered by the RTX 3050 Ampere GPU, which NVIDIA is debuting today. The RTX 3050 is an entry-mainstream product for 1080p gaming with fairly high details, or with moderate details and ray tracing enabled, with DLSS to keep frame-rates high. For most others, the appeal is in it being the most affordable RTX 30-series card, meant for 1080p e-sports gaming. Gigabyte is giving the chip an elaborate cooler and a factory-overclock.

The GeForce RTX 3050 is based on the same 8 nm GA106 silicon as the RTX 3060, although heavily cut down. While the RTX 3060 features 28 out of 30 streaming multiprocessors (SM) present on the chip, the RTX 3050 only has 20 out of 30. This results in 2,560 CUDA cores, 20 RT cores, 80 Tensor cores, 80 TMUs, and 32 ROPs. The card features 8 GB of GDDR6 memory across a 128-bit wide memory bus, compared to 12 GB across 192-bit for the RTX 3060. The memory clock is lowered, too, at 14 Gbps vs. 15 Gbps, resulting in a memory bandwidth of 224 GB/s, as opposed to 360 GB/s on the RTX 3060.

A key piece of specification that sets the RTX 3050 apart from the RTX 3060 is the PCI-Express bus width of just 8 lanes, that's PCI-Express 4.0 x8, compared to x16 on the RTX 3060 even though the GA106 is perfectly capable of x16, and all the custom-design boards we're testing today reuse PCB designs from RTX 3060 products with PCB traces for all 16 lanes in place. NVIDIA offers this explanation: "Dropping to 8 PCIe lanes improves supply. It allows us to source a wider variety of chips for the life of the product." In other words, NVIDIA is currently harvesting GA106 chips that didn't make the cut for RTX 3060, but could in the future switch to the smaller GA107 silicon, which physically has 24 SMs (3,072 CUDA cores) and a 128-bit GDDR6 memory bus, along with a PCI-Express 4.0 x8 bus. This switch would come with no difference in performance.

The Gigabyte RTX 3050 Gaming OC, which we are reviewing today, comes with a strictly 2-slot design, but one that's over 28 cm long, featuring an elaborate aluminium fin-stack heatsink with three 80 mm fans ventilating it. The PCB is only two-thirds the length of the card, so all of the airflow from the third fan vents through the heatsink and out of a large cutout in the backplate. The cooler also features some RGB illumination. On offer is a factory-overclock of 1822 MHz, compared to 1777 MHz reference, while the memory is left untouched. The card draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. Display outputs include two each of DisplayPort 1.4a and HDMI 2.1 connectors, which is an interesting mix. Gigabyte is pricing this card at $379 MSRP, a fairly big premium over the $249 base-pricing fantasy for the RTX 3050.

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
Gigabyte RTX 3050
Gaming OC
MSRP: $380
2560321552 MHz1822 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 17th, 2022 00:10 EDT change timezone

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