Nvidia RTX 3050 Review
Published: 26th January 2022 | Source: Nvidia | Price: |
If you've been around the world of hardware for any length of time then you'll be familiar with the old refrain. A new product launches with the best possible take upon the new architecture (Core i9, Ryzen 9, RTX 3090 etc) which is gradually, once the impact has been made, cut down to make the product which the majority of people can afford. After all, we might dream of high end hardware but for most of us it's totally unobtainable. A brief glance at the Steam hardware survey will confirm that 1080P is still the resolution of choice, most people have a Quad Core CPU, most people have a mid-range GPU and most people run HDDs or SSDs rather than NVMe. It's important to always remember this. Just like most people don't live in 4 bedroom mansions in Surrey, so most people have an average gaming setup.
What always becomes a bit of a thorny issue is the blend between price and exactly how much a product has been cut down from it's flagship model. Prices always rise just as a part of inflation, but once you include the current global shortages then they've absolutely sky-rocketed. Just because you had £300 to spend on a GPU a couple of generations ago and thus have a GTX 1080 or RTX 2060 in your system, doesn't mean that same £300 plus Moore's Law will give you a card which significantly moves you forwards without spending more than you did before. Plus, eventually, as you hack bits off of the architecture then any benefits you might have gained from 2nd gen RT cores or 3rd Gen Tensor cores is negated by how few of them there are.
If our graphs showed anything it's that you need to be extremely cautious about the settings you're applying, and knowledgeable about which title you plan to play. If you've got a DLSS capable title then you 100% want to use it if you can, even if you don't fancy using Ray-Tracing. We saw from the first AMD RX cards with Ray-Tracing that it needs significant horsepower to accomplish and the RTX 3050 has barely got the oomph to make it worth your attention beyond curiosity. Although the RTX 3050 still gets that 60 FPS we desire in almost everything but those couple of titles which are famed for annihilating serious graphical weapons, or those times when running everything maxed is very detrimental to performance. Back off a hair and you'll gain loads of extra frames in things like Borderlands 3 or Dirt 5.
It's by no means a bad card as such, but it's very difficult to recommend it in performance terms over some previous cards like the RTX 2060. The results are very inconsistent too, something that will hopefully be smoothed out as drivers mature, but it's worth bearing in mind. After all, the same card is worse than the ancient RX Vega 56 in Gears 5, but spanks a RTX 2080 Super in F1 2020. Rarely has a card been quite so title dependant.
What we are pleased about are that there are actually some cards appearing on these shores in sufficient numbers you should be able to procure one if you need one, and you are guaranteed not to get gouged by people who are taking advantage of market shortages to expect you to pay £600 for a GTX 1650. As long as you understand this is a card that is pricier because of external influences then it should scratch that gaming itch whilst also allowing you to sneak a peak at some famous games in all their Ray-Traced glory without things turning in to a slide show, and that's just enough to win it our OC3D Value For Money Award.
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Most Recent Comments
BTW mining *is* starting to die. It's way less profitable than it was, and I have already seen quite a few lower end cards like the 3070Ti coming up for sale. Still stupid prices, and the gouging will continue until the flood that I reckon will come by summer.
OCUK now want 2 grand for a 3080Ti. IMO? they are doing the final gouging. Maybe hoping to catch people out before it all comes crashing down. Because when it does they won't be able to sell a GPU shaped stick of gum with the amount of second hand cards flooding the market.
As I mentioned in the 6500XT review thread their head salesman basically said they were gouging people £50 to make it "Not worth bothering for scalpers". Without realising of course that they are just doing the scalping as usual.
And oddly enough the prices did shoot up £50 the day after initial sale, but have mysteriously gone back down because I guess that one blew up in their face when they realised that people found out the cards were turd and not worth having like, at all.
So they are back down to £199 and still people are not buying them. Sadly though the 3050 seems to be so so. Like, better than total chite so people do want them hence the enormous gouge-o-rama.
I don't need a GPU (thank god) but if I did? I would be happy to be patient and wait like I always have with stuff.
Must dash. New 70" TV being delivered today for less than that 3050 on Ebay costs /rolleyes.Quote