Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Review: Ray Tracing on a budget

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Verdict

The Nvidia RTX 3050 is one of the cheapest graphics card bachelor in Nvidia’s latest range, yet it still manages to hit a 1080p at 60fps operation for most games while also offering high-end features such every bit ray tracing and DLSS. But with a performance not too unlike to the three-year old GTX 1660 Ti, those who like loftier frame rates will desire to await elsewhere.

Pros

  • Solid 1080p operation
  • Ray tracing and DLSS at a budget price
  • Low ability consumption
  • HDMI ii.1 back up

Cons

  • Offers similar performance to GTX 1660 Ti
  • Reliant on DLSS to hitting loftier frame rates
  • Volition probable be hard to find in stock at RRP

Availability

  • UK
    RRP: £239
  • Europe
    RRP: €279

Central Features


  • 1080p performance:
    Is capable of hitting 60fps with most games when playing in 1080p.

  • Supports DLSS
    DLSS uses upscaling engineering to boost a supported game’s frame rate without a big decline to epitome quality.

  • Supports ray tracing:
    Ray tracing allows supported games to feature avant-garde lighting and shadow effects.

Introduction

It’due south like shooting fish in a barrel to get caught upwards in the hype for all of the nigh powerful graphics cards – like the upcoming RTX 3090 Ti – just it’s usually the budget options that are the most popular, and the Nvidia RTX 3050 is exactly that.

This new RTX 3050 graphics card has a clear focus: 1080p gaming with support for ray tracing where possible. It is technically capable of striking college Quad HD and 4K pixel counts, just simply at a smashing cost to the frame rate.

The Nvidia RTX 3050 may be the cheapest graphics bill of fare in the 30-Series range at the time of writing, but since information technology packs the Ampere architecture and is capable of high-end features such as DLSS and ray tracing, it’southward nothing to exist sniffed at.

So does the RTX 3050 merit the accolade of a ‘deal buy’ or has Nvidia dumbed down the specs plenty to lose that Ampere magic? Here are my thoughts after testing out the Gigabyte’s RTX 3050 Eagle OC 8G.

And if y’all want to check out direct comparisons with other budget cards, check out our Nvidia RTX 3050 vs RTX 3060 Ti and Nvidia RTX 3050 vs Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti articles.

Specs and pattern

  • Features Nvidia’s latest Ampere architecture
  • Supports both ray tracing and DLSS
  • Packs the least powerful specs in the Ampere range

The Nvidia RTX 3050 is built on xxx-Series Ampere architecture, which is the latest available from Team Green. That means it’s bragging 2nd gen RT Cores and 3rd gen Tensor Cores, making the GPU more efficient than the previous generation when taking on the likes of DLSS and ray tracing.

Every bit a upshot, this is one of the cheapest graphics cards yous can buy that’s capable of ray tracing, which is arguably its chief entreatment, especially when compared to the likes of the GTX 1660 Ti.


But what exactly is ray tracing? This is an advanced rendering technique that can help to produce more realistic lighting and shadow effects. It’s particularly renowned for its excellent reflections, helping to create more photograph-realistic environments. Ray tracing is simply supported by a select number of games, but it actually helps to better the visuals for the likes of Command, Cyberpunk 2077 and the upcoming Dying Light two.

DLSS (deep learning super sampling), meanwhile, is a spatial epitome upscaling technology that uses artificial intelligence to requite the frame rate performance a meaning boost without any major compromises to the visual quality. On newspaper, it’due south especially important for cards similar the RTX 3050, allowing for a smoother performance despite the GPU’s limited ability.

Outside of Nvidia’s high-cease features, the RTX 3050’s specs wait quite ordinary. It packs simply 2560 CUDA Cores – for comparison, the RTX 3060 features 3584 CUDA Cores, and the RTX 3060 Ti flaunts 4864. This makes the RTX 3050 the weakest of the trio past quite a margin.

Architecture CUDA Cores Heave clock speed (GHz) Retentivity Graphics card power (Due west)
Nvidia RTX 3050 Ampere 2560 one.78 8GB GDDR6 130
Nvidia RTX 3060 Ampere 3584 1.78 12GB GDDR6 170
Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti Ampere 4864 1.67 8GB GDDR6 200
Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti Turing 1536 i.77 6GB GDDR6 120

The Nvidia RTX 3050 at least features the aforementioned 8GB GDDR6 memory as the RTX 3060 Ti, but it’s worth noting that it too lags far behind in terms of Retentivity Interface Width.

Information technology’southward not great readings for the RTX 3050, only this was never supposed to be an all-new powerful menu – it’due south instead Nvidia’s endeavor at scaling down the specs as far as possible to make the carte du jour more affordable, while however offering a competent 1080p functioning.

The RTX 3050 does have one positive over its more powerful siblings though, as it requires less power with just a 130W power consumption. So if you desire to play in Full Hd, but also don’t fancy seeing your electricity beak spiral out of control, this may well be a expert option.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050

Since Nvidia isn’t selling a Founder’s Edition of the RTX 3050, you’re going to accept to purchase the GPU from a third-party manufacturer. For this review, we’re testing Gigabyte’s RTX 3050 Eagle 8GB graphics carte. It has a compact dual-fan design, which looks tiny compared to Nvidia’s Founder’southward Edition RTX 3060 Ti.

Of course, the RTX 3050 volition come in all shapes and sizes with all of the different third-party manufacturers, which could potentially see small differences in functioning. But they all have the same RTX 3050 GPU chip inside, and then the fluctuations shouldn’t be too noticeable.

Interestingly, in that location’s no need for an adaptor for the PCIe connection with the RTX 3050, unlike the rest of its 30-Serial siblings. You’re still getting Ampere-flavoured benefits hither though, such as an HDMI 2.1 connection, ensuring the GPU is compatible with 8K TVs – the RTX 3050 won’t be able to hit those resolution heights, but it’due south nonetheless practiced to have.

Benchmarks

  • Capable of a 1080p at 60fps performance for most games
  • Similar performance to a GTX 1660 Ti
  • Struggles with ray tracing without DLSS

Simply because a graphics card is inexpensive, it doesn’t necessarily hateful information technology’s good, equally information technology needs to striking the performance sweet spot to ensure it’s capable of playing mod games at respectable frame rates. Equally such, nosotros ran the Nvidia RTX 3050 graphics menu through diverse games to see how it fares.

We tested the RTX 3050 with both synthetic and in-game benchmarks to evaluate its performance, while also checking out the idle and peak power draws. We tested every game with the highest preset available at three resolutions: 1080p, 1440p and 2160p.

Nosotros also tested three other graphics cards to compare the results, which included the GTX 1660 Ti, RTX 3060 Ti and AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT. We’d have liked to include the RTX 3060 and AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT in the benchmarks too, but don’t currently have admission to them.

To ensure fair testing, every graphics carte du jour was used in the exact aforementioned PC. Check out our rig’s tech specs below:

Exam rig specs:

  • Os: Windows xi
  • Motherboard: TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi)
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • PSU: Corsair HX850
  • Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H150i PRO RGB

With that out of the fashion, let’s check out all of the benchmark results:

Command

Resolution Ray tracing off / DLSS off Ray tracing on / DLSS off Ray tracing on / DLSS on
1920 x 1080 55fps 33fps 55fps
2560 ten 1440 35fps 22fps 38fps

I chose Control to test out both the DLSS and ray tracing performance on the Nvidia RTX 3050, as it’due south a relatively modern game that uses both RTX features to great effect.

As expected, having ray tracing activated saw the 1080p performance drop down from 55fps to 33fps, which is a fairly big upshot for a carte that’due south being championed every bit the almost cost-effective option for the lite-rendering technology.

Fortunately, DLSS was successful in offsetting that performance drib, bringing it back up to 55fps. Nvidia’s washed some fantastic work with DLSS over the years, as the image quality is nigh identical to the original picture, despite upscaling the image.

It’s also worth pointing out that by activating DLSS, I was able to run Control in 4K at a reasonable 30fps operation. That may not hit the platonic 60fps mark for PC gaming, but it’s still far better than the original unplayable 16fps performance that I saw with DLSS deactivated.

The Nvidia RTX 3050 is a slap-up example to prove merely how important ray tracing and DLSS can be – without them, this new GPU isn’t much better than a GTX 1660 Ti. That said, DLSS and ray tracing are only available with select games, so information technology’s worth checking beforehand whether your favourite titles are supported.

Horizon Zero Dawn


I likewise chose to utilize Horizon Nix Dawn in our tests, since information technology’southward a modern open-world game that really challenges your PC’s operation. The RTX 3050 performed very well hither, hitting the target 60fps performance at a 1080p resolution, which is close to the results of the RTX 3060 Ti.

Those performance scores take a nosedive in one case y’all accept the resolution upwards to 1440p and 4K, falling to 48fps and 27fps respectively. This hammers home the point that RTX 3050 is a graphics card for Full Hard disk drive gaming. If you’re craving additional pixels, you’re better off spending more on the likes of the RTX 3060 Ti.

Borderlands 3


Borderlands 3 is some other challenging game for your GPU, representing my get-go-person shooter in the testing procedure. The RTX 3050 disappointingly failed to fit the 60fps marking here, achieving 52.8fps. That’s still very much playable, mind, it’s merely not every bit smooth equally you’d desire for a carte that specialises in 1080p gaming.

Crank the resolution up to 4K, and yous’ll see the performance fall to 20.73, which is most unplayable. But again, this is not a card designed for an Ultra HD performance so it would be unfair to deduct points for that.

What is a footling worrying is that RTX 3050 offers well-nigh identical performance to Nvidia’due south GTX 1660 Ti, which launched back in 2022. This reinforces the point that the RTX 3050 is basically just a GTX 1660 Ti GPU with the added adequacy of ray tracing and DLSS. To be off-white to Nvidia, it has priced the GPU accordingly at £239/€279.

Clay Rally


To circular off the gaming tests, I picked Dirt Rally equally an case of an old game (released in 2022) to show how the GPU deals with less demanding titles such as eSports. Ideally, you want these results to be as high equally possible to see whether the RTX 3050 can make the well-nigh out of your monitor’s loftier refresh rate.

The RTX 3050 saw a 85fps operation in 1080p, and a 42fps result in 4K. Those results are pretty unremarkable, with even the GTX 1660 Ti faring better. Jump upwardly to the RTX 3060 Ti, and that Full Hard disk drive upshot will climb upward to a whopping 128fps, while the 4K performance leaps to 74fps.

As such, the RTX 3050 is really not an ideal GPU for eSports gaming. If you care about high refresh rates that far exceed 60fps, so you’ll be disappointed here. This graphics carte du jour is clearly intended for those who want to hit 1080p while spending as niggling money every bit possible.

3DMark Time Spy Extreme


3DMark’s Time Spy Extreme is a synthetic benchmark that tests the raw performance of a graphics card. It won’t give you an guess of what kind of functioning you should expect from each game, only spits out a numeric score later on evaluating the GPU’due south overall functioning.

With our testing, the RTX 3050 saw a score of 2991. That’s admittedly non cracking, with the older Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti seeing a 3017 outcome in comparison. That said, in that location really isn’t much departure between those scores, which is reflected by the game benchmark results.

3DMark Time Spy Farthermost also fails to consider features such as DLSS and ray tracing, which make the RTX 3050 a more than attractive option.

Power consumption and heat

  • Low peak power consumption compared to other GPUs
  • Idle power consumption isn’t equally depression equally AMD’s card

Operation isn’t the only cistron worth considering when information technology comes to graphics cards, peculiarly if you lot don’t desire your electricity bills getting even more expensive. Fortunately, the RTX 3050 has a relatively depression graphics carte ability at merely 130W. For comparison, the RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti have graphics bill of fare power figures of 170W and 200W.

Idle ability consumption Top ability consumption Pinnacle temperature
Nvidia RTX 3050 61W 225W 67°C
Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti 58W 213W 65°C
Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti 60W 317W 69°C
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT 46W 272W 66°C

Nosotros put these figures to the test by seeing the height power draw when running the high-intensive 3DMark Time Spy Extreme benchmark. With the RTX 3050 inside the rig, the PC saw a acme power consumption of 213W – the RTX 3060 Ti bill of fare saw a elevation of 317W, which means it’due south significantly more power thirsty.

But the RTX 3050 wasn’t equally impressive for its idle performance, which judges the performance when the computer isn’t running whatsoever intensive tasks such every bit a video game. AMD’s Radeon RX 6600 XT was the articulate winner in this test, despite having a noticeably more powerful operation.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050

In terms of thermal performance, the RTX 3050 saw an even higher acme temperature than the RTX 3060 Ti, but admittedly only by a couple of degrees.

After running 3DMark, the acme temperature came in at 67°C. That’s a similar result to all of the other cards on examination, so you shouldn’t need to worry nearly this GPU overheating.

Should you lot buy it?

If y’all want a budget ray tracing GPU:
The Nvidia RTX 3050 offers a similar functioning to the GTX 1660 Ti, which may exist disappointing to some, but the added bonus of DLSS and ray tracing makes this carte du jour more than appealing, especially considering its budget price.

If you lot care near high frame rates:
If you’re playing games without DLSS activated, you’re likely going to struggle to reach a loftier frame rate which could exist a turn off for those who own a 144Hz monitor. Even 2022’s Clay Rally failed to laissez passer the 90fps mark.

Final Thoughts

The Nvidia RTX 3050 is a solid graphics carte for 1080p gaming, striking 60fps for the bulk of AAA games. However, information technology offers a similar functioning to the GTX 1660 Ti despite that GPU launching three years ago and using older architecture.

The RTX 3050’s greatest strength is its back up for the likes of ray tracing and DLSS, despite its upkeep price. This makes a large difference to both the visual quality and performance of a game, but such features are only supported by select titles. As a consequence, y’all really need to brand sure your favourite games are supported by the RTX featureset before making the leap to the RTX 3050.

How we test

Every graphics card we review is run through a series of synthetic and real world benchmarks to guess its performance, power efficiency and potential for overclocking.

Tested with in-game benchmarks

Power consumption checked

Compared confronting other cards we’ve tested

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FAQs

Is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 good for gaming?

The RTX 3050 has been purpose congenital for gaming, and tin can hit a 1080p at 60fps performance for the majority of AAA games.

What is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050?

This is the cheapest graphics card currently available in Nvidia’s latest range.

What is ray tracing?

Ray tracing is an advanced rendering applied science that makes lighting furnishings and shadows expect more realistic.

Trusted Reviews test data

Superlative temperature

3DMark Fourth dimension Spy Extreme

Borderlands iii frame rate (4K)

Dirt Rally (Full HD)

Dirt Rally (Quad Hard disk drive)

Horizon Zero Dawn frame rate (Full Hard disk)

Dirt Rally (4K)

Horizon Zero Dawn frame rate (Quad Hard disk drive)

Horizon Aught Dawn frame rate (4K)

Borderlands 3 frame charge per unit (Full HD)

Borderlands 3 frame rate (Quad HD)

Power consumption

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050

67 °C

2991

21 fps

85 fps

67 fps

60 fps

42 fps

48 fps

27 fps

53

38

224.five W

Full specs

UK RRP

European union RRP

Manufacturer

Release Engagement

First Reviewed Date

Model Variants

Ports

Ability Consumption

Video Memory

Boosted Clock Speed

CUDAcores

Architecture

Ray Tracing?

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050

£239

€279

Nvidia

2022

26/01/2022

Gigabyte RTX 3050 Eagle OC 8G

HDMI 2.1, 2x DisplayPort

224.5 West

8 GB

ane.78 GHz

2560

Ampere

Yeah

Jargon buster

DLSS

Deep learning super sampling is Nvidia’s paradigm upscaling applied science which can improve a game’due south framerate without reducing the quality of the  visuals.

Ray Tracing

Advanced light-rendering technology that allows for more realistic lighting and shadow effects within in-game worlds.

FPS

‘Framerate per second’ indicates how many images are shown within one 2nd. The college this figure, the smoother in-game motility will appear. Powerful discrete GPUs are far more than likely to offer higher framerates compared to integrated graphics housed inside processors.

Source: https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-rtx-3050

Posted by: Sadiyev.com