Palit GeForce RTX 3050 StormX OC Review 13

Palit GeForce RTX 3050 StormX OC Review

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NVIDIA today released the GeForce RTX 3050, its most affordable "Ampere" architecture desktop graphics card, and we have with us the Palit RTX 3050 StormX OC. The RTX 3050 is being launched as an entry-mainstream product, enabling 1080p gaming with moderate-to-high details and the potential for more eye-candy when you turn on the DLSS feature. The Palit RTX 3050 StormX OC is a compact, ITX-friendly custom-design graphics card targeted at those who just want to get an RTX 3050 and get gaming.

The RTX 3050 is based on the same 8 nm GA106 silicon as the RTX 3060, but with several differences. While the RTX 3060 nearly maxes out the GA106, enabling 28 out of 30 streaming multiprocessors (SM), the RTX 3050 only has 20 out of 30 enabled. This results in a CUDA core count of 2,560 compared to the 3,584 of the RTX 3060. The other key difference is memory. While the RTX 3060 is endowed with 12 GB of it across a 192-bit wide GDDR6 memory interface, the RTX 3050 has 8 GB across a 128-bit wide interface. The memory clock is lowered to 14 Gbps, too, resulting in a memory bandwidth of 224 GB/s, compared to 360 GB/s on the RTX 3060. With a typical board power of just 130 W, the RTX 3050 can make do with just a single 6-pin PCIe power connector, although we see quite a few board partners opt for the 8-pin PCIe connector.

Perhaps the most interesting difference in specifications is the PCIe bus. NVIDIA halved the PCIe bus width to PCI-Express 4.0 x8, from x16 on the RTX 3060, even though the GA106 very much does support x16, and we've seen board partners reuse their RTX 3060 PCBs, with their x16 PCIe wiring intact. Why NVIDIA chose this route is anyone's guess, especially given the fiberglass substrate of the GPU isn't any smaller. On its part, NVIDIA stated that the move is aimed at improving supply, as NVIDIA states 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 pretty loud hint that the company may carve future RTX 3050 cards out of the even smaller "GA107" silicon that has 24 SMs (3,072 CUDA cores) and a 128-bit wide memory bus, but a PCIe 4.0 x8 bus.

The Palit RTX 3050 StormX OC uses a simple board design that's under 17 cm long and 12 cm high, and should offer maximum compatibility. It uses an aluminium fin-stack heatsink that's ventilated by a single 100 mm fan. You still get idle fan-stop. The company also packs a factory overclock of 1807 MHz boost, compared to 1777 MHz reference, while leaving the memory untouched at 14 Gbps. The card draws power from a single 8-pin power connector. Display outputs include three DisplayPort 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1 connector. Palit is pricing the RTX 3050 StormX OC at close to NVIDIA's MSRP of $249, which of course is a fantasy. We expect actual pricing to be closer to $500.

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
Palit RTX 3050
StormX OC
MSRP: $250
2560321552 MHz1807 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 26th, 2022 06:52 EDT change timezone

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